Peter Orszag, the man who President-elect Obama has tapped to be his director of the Office of Management and Budget, (as first reported by National Journal and confirmed by ABC News) is currently director of the Congressional Budget Office, where he has maintained a blog since December 2007, ABC News’ Brian Hartman points out.
The "Director’s Blog" is fairly dry stuff — policy papers and references to testimonies and speeches he’s given.
"Today, CBO released the Monthly Budget Review," Orszag wrote. "In fiscal year 2008, the federal government recorded a total budget deficit of $455 billion — $293 billion more than the deficit incurred in 2007. As a share of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), the deficit rose from 1.2 percent in 2007 to 3.2 percent in 2008. That increase in the deficit of 2 percentage points of GDP reflected both a reduction in revenue (which declined by 1.1 percent of GDP) and an increase in spending (which rose by 0.9 percent of GDP)."
But that’s not the point. The point is that the director of OMB has Cabinet rank. Which means that, for the first time ever, there will be a blogger tapped to join the Cabinet.
Is that an achievement for this civilization or a step backward? You be the judge.
UPDATE: To be more precise, Orszag will be the first blogger asked to join a Cabinet.
But Christina Pearson at the Department of Health and Human Services notes that after HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt joined the Bush administration he statred a blog. Leavitt, Pearson notes, "writes every word and chooses every topic himself. (on a side note, Secretary Leavitt has had his blog longer than Mr. Orzag has had his CBO blog) It’s featured permanently on the HHS homepage but here’s the link anyway. Secretary Leavitt’s blog has also been prominently featured in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Conference and in news reports."