Monday, April 15, 2013

CBPP = Obama's New Favorite Think Tank?

Does President Barack Obama have a new favorite think tank?

Here is what The New York Times is reporting:
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic minority leader, has arranged for House Democrats on Thursday to hear a debate on Mr. Obama’s proposed change in the cost-of-living formula that determines Social Security benefits. The debate will pit the A.F.L.-C.I.O. counsel, Damon Silvers, who opposes the change in the formula, and Robert Greenstein, executive director of the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities [sic], which has long supported changes to entitlement programs as part of a bipartisan deal to protect other federal spending on, for example, antipoverty programs, the nation’s infrastructure and education.
It has been evident from his first months in office that the pragmatist in Mr. Obama has made him sympathetic to the thinking of Mr. Greenstein and others. In 2009, Mr. Obama considered proposing the change in the cost-of-living formula for Social Security until Democratic Congressional leaders objected.
[Editor's note: The New York Times reported the think tank's name incorrectly; it is actually Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, not Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.]

Here is more about that House Democratic Caucus meeting that The New York Times is referring to.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) was founded in 1981 by Robert Greenstein, who was the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service at the US Department of Agriculture under President Carter.  He was also appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, and headed the federal budget policy component of the transition team for President Obama.

Vice President Joe Biden has called CBPP "invaluable" and a "go-to resource for consistently reliable analysis on matters of budget and fiscal policy at every level of government."

There are several former Obama Administration officials currently housed at CBPP, including:
  • Jared Bernstein, a Senior Fellow who was Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Sharon Parrott, Vice President for Budget Policy and Economic Opportunity, who served as Counselor for Human Services Policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Richard Kogan, a Senior Fellow, who was a Senior Adviser at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
  • Barbara Sard, Vice President for Housing Policy, who was Senior Advisor on Rental Assistance to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan.

CBPP was recently ranked as the 23rd best think tank in the US by the University of Pennsylvania annual think tank rankings.  It was also ranked as the 21st best domestic economic policy think tank in the world.  CBPP was also ranked as the 15th best social policy think tank in the world.