President Obama has tapped Jacob Lew, a former budget director and current Deputy Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton, to replace Peter Orszag as the head of the Office of Management and Budget.
Who is Jacob Lew? Here's a brief bio:
- Harvard undergrad, Georgetown Law
- 1979-1987: Top domestic policy adviser to House Speaker Tip O'Neill
- 1993-1994: Special Assistant to President Clinton; helped design Americorp
- 1998-2000: Budget director under President Clinton
- 2001-2006: COO and EVP of New York University
- Today: Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources ("alter ego" to Hillary Clinton)
During Lew's time at OMB under Clinton, the U.S. budget operated at a surplus for three consecutive years. Suffice it to say the next three years are going to be a little different. CBO projects the United States could add as much as $2 trillion to the debt in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Acting as budget director during the economic boom of the late 1990s was a bit like handling a state-of-the-art yacht in still water. Managing a budget that's bursting at the seams to keep the economy on track while half of Congress screams about the deficit will be more like windsurfing a South Pacific typhoon.