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USAlice Rivlin, Fed Vice Chair and Deficit Hawk, Dies at 88

01:25  15 may  2019
01:25  15 may  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Alice Mitchell Rivlin (March 4, 1931 – May 14, 2019) was an economist and U.S. Federal Reserve and budget official. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve

Alice Rivlin urging the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to "go big" on debt reduction in 2011. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve , Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Alice Rivlin, Fed Vice Chair and Deficit Hawk, Dies at 88© Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Alice Rivlin

(Bloomberg) -- Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and a relentless fighter for deficit-reduction while vice chair of the Federal Reserve, has died. She was 88.

She died Tuesday at her home in Washington, according to an emailed statement from the Brookings Institution, where Rivlin was senior fellow. The cause was cancer.

Rivlin, whose career as an economist and budget scold included a stint as director of the Office of Budget and Management under President Bill Clinton, made her biggest splash as an advocate of debt and deficit cuts during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. As CBO director, she questioned the validity of his optimistic deficit projections, a criticism that caused an outcry among Republicans in Congress who called for her to step down.

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Alice RivlinAlice Rivlin urging the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to go big on debt reduction in 2011. Vice Chai. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve , Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding Director of the

Alice Mitchell Rivlin (born March 4, 1931) is an economist and former U.S. Federal Reserve and budget official. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve , Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

“She forged a commitment to providing objective, nonpartisan information to help the Congress make effective budget and economic policy,” a statement on the CBO’s website said. “And her commitment to high-quality analysis, well thought out and clearly presented, continues to be a guiding principle of CBO.”

Ezra Klein, editor-in-chief of vox.com, called Rivlin the “queen of Washington’s budget wonks” during a 2016 interview with her. “There is no budget wonk in Washington with a resume as thick as Alice Rivlin’s,” Klein said.

He cited her various federal government jobs, her work with the 2010 bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the so-called Simpson-Bowles Commission) and her service as the president of the American Economic Association.

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Deficit hawk is a political slang term in the English speaking world for people who place great emphasis on keeping government budgets under control. ' Hawk ' can be used to describe someone calling for harsh or pain-inducing measures

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Governors are appointed by the President from among the sitting Governors. They both serve a four-year term and they can be renominated as many times as the President chooses, until their terms on the Board of Governors expire.[1]. Vice Chairman of the Fed .

Tax Cut Critic

While at the CBO, Rivlin set the tone for its cold-shower mission, saying it would act neutrally not politically in handling requests from members of any party for data or analysis. She called the CBO the “official purveyor of bad news to the Congress.”

Rivlin began her government career in the 1960s during the Great Society era of federal programs. She remained a consistent advocate of big central government as the director of policy, rather than private industry, and a critic of tax cuts that were promoted as likely to boost investment.

In 2008, she was named one of the greatest public servants of the previous 25 years by the Council for Excellence in Government.

“Alice had a hard head and a soft heart--a pragmatic approach to achieving fiscal sanity and assessing costs and benefits of policy alternatives, combined with deep concern about the impact of policy on people,” Janet Yellen, former Fed chair and distinguished fellow in residence at Brookings, said in the organization’s statement. “To women in economics, including me, Alice was a mentor, a role model, and an inspiration.”

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Alice Rivlin urging the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to "go big" on debt reduction in 2011. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve , Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Alice Mitchell Rivlin (born March 4, 1931) is an economist and former U.S. Federal Reserve and budget official. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve , Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

She had worked at the liberal Brookings Institution before entering government, and returned there for repeated spells through the 1980s. In 1993, Rivlin became Clinton’s deputy budget chief under Leon Panetta, then replaced her boss -- and became the first woman to hold that cabinet post -- when Panetta became White House chief of staff.

Joins Fed

Clinton, whose health and budget policies Rivlin sometimes criticized publicly, appointed her to the Fed in 1996, and she stayed there as vice chair until 1999.

She returned to Brookings as a senior fellow, writing prolifically on monetary, fiscal and health matters.

“Alice Rivlin was a cherished member of the Brookings community for more than 60 years, a trailblazer in the field of economic policy, and a civil servant of unparalleled devotion,” an emailed statement from the think tank said.

In 2010, Rivlin served as co-chairman, with former Senator Pete Domenici, a Republican from New Mexico, of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force.

Rivlin remained a commentator on budget matters into the era of President Donald Trump, criticizing the economic proposals in his 2018 State of the Union message. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, she said he’d waited too long to start repairing U.S. infrastructure, and wasn’t addressing the looming deficit increases likely to be required by an aging population, with Trump’s tax cuts adding to the problem.

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Alice Rivlin 's wiki: Alice Mitchell Rivlin (born March 4, 1931) is an economist and former U.S. Federal Reserve and budget official. She served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve , Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding Direc

Alice M. Rivlin is a senior fellow in Economic Studies and the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy. She served as Director of the Office Management and Budget (OMB) in the first Clinton Administration and as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board.

Increasing Debt

“No one is talking about how we pay for it in the long run,” she said. “We are headed down a track where our national debt keeps growing.”

Born Georgianna Alice Mitchell on March 4, 1931, in Philadelphia, to Allan Mitchell and the former Georgianna Fales, she dropped her first name. Her father taught nuclear physics at Indiana University. She graduated from the Madeira School in Virginia before earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bryn Mawr College in 1952. She got a master’s and a doctorate in the same subject at Harvard University’s Radcliffe College.

She later taught at Harvard, as well as other schools including Georgetown University and George Washington University. She was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Prize in 1983 and was elected national president of the American Economic Association in 1986.

Her published work included “Caring for the Disabled Elderly: Who Will Pay?” and “Reviving the American Dream,” studies published by Brookings. In the latter, she argued that the budget deficit was “the biggest single impediment” to reviving an under-performing U.S. economy. She called her views those of a “fanatical, card-carrying middle-of-the-roader.”

She married Lewis Rivlin, a Justice Department attorney in 1955. They divorced in 1977, after having two sons, Allan and Douglas, and a daughter, Catherine. She married Sidney Winter, an economics professor, in 1989.

(Adds Janet Yellen quote in 10th paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the spelling of Bryn Mawr College in 14th paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Oster in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at [email protected], Ben Holland, Steven Gittelson

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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