Peter ‘Save Social Security’ Orszag is negotiating his next job – Citigroup

Via Digby, we discovered this little love note in the business press:

Citigroup Inc., recovering from its $45 billion bailout in 2008, is in advanced talks to hire former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Orszag, 41, may take a job in the New York-based firm’s investment-banking division, the people said, declining to be identified because the discussions are private. An announcement may come as early as today, one of the people said.

So let’s see, the sequence is:

2005 Peter Orszag, already at the Brookings Institute, proposes the Diamond-Orszag Plan, “Saving Social Security” (pdf; intro here; comment here). He wants (surprise) benefit cuts. The Diamond-Orszag Plan is now incorporated into the Bowles-Simpson (Mr. 310-Million Tits) Deficit Commission Proposal.

2006 Orszag is picked to direct The Hamilton Project, created by Robert Rubin “to think about what a future Democratic administration would do” in the economic sphere. Senator Obama attends the opening.

2007 Orszag goes to the Congressional Budget Office, where his specialty was analyzing the effect of health care costs on the federal budget.

2009 Orszag runs OMB for President Obama, where he makes Deficit Fear his specialty. During the run-up to the health care bill:

Orszag … had meetings with insurance executives and health experts as the White House made health reform its top legislative priority after enacting the $814 billion stimulus.

2010 Orszag leaves OMB in August and immediately raises his head in September with a NY Times editorial arguing for extension of the Bush tax cuts.

November 3 Orszag writes a NY Times column arguing again for “saving Social Security” by cutting benefits.

It’s now barely December, and Orszag has already been spotted negotiating his earthly reward. (Psst: The record is 30; I’d go for 31.)

From Rubin to Obama to Bowles-Simpson to Citi. Not bad for a guy who had to climb his way up from Exeter. As Groucho once said, “Clip me off a piece of that.”


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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