Orszag Sidesteps Tenure Question

By Gregory

Apr 28, 2010 2:19pm

ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: OMB director Peter Orszag just finished speaking to the Pete Peterson Foundation's Fiscal Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.

During his conversation with Newsweek's Jon Meacham, the president's budget director sidestepped a series of questions about how long he will serve in the Obama administration. He emphasized how much he enjoys it without ever answering if he was in it for the long haul.

"What a Washington parlor game," said Orszag to which Meacham shot back: "You're all we got."

On the question of health care costs, Orszag spoke out against Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., proposal to end Medicare as we know it by converting the government health care program for the elderly into a type of voucher system. Orszag argued that reforming payment systems — not capping the government's open-ended financial commitment to the elderly — is the key to reducing health care costs.

Orszag said it was "not implausible" to think that the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a component of the recently enacted health care overhaul, might become the most significant aspect of the landmark health care bill when scholars look back decades from now.

On the question of whether President Obama can meet his deficit reduction goal while keeping his promise not to raise taxes on couples making less than $250,000 per year, Orszag stuck to President Obama's position that he wants to give the fiscal commission, which held its first meeting yesterday, plenty of running room to come up with a solution.

Earlier today, former President Bill Clinton addressed the Peterson summit. His remarks touched on immigration, a Value Added Tax, Goldman Sachs, and his daughter's upcoming wedding.

For more on Clinton, click HERE.

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