Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Douglas Holtz-eakin, director of the Congressional Budget Office, was Tuesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On the congressional view of budget issues:

"It is an attitudinal sea change...compared to two years ago. The notion that there is easy money, we can do what we want, that is gone."

On the need to act on US fiscal problems:

"The next five years are the window because over the longer term things get much, much tougher. These are the good times.... [T]he focus will have to be on really core issues."

On whether he told a reporter that growth in Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare is the central domestic policy challenge of our time.

"Yes, but I was understating it."

On whether faster economic growth could solve Social Security's financial problems:

"This is not a problem we are likely to grow our way out of. This is about policy choices."

On the impact of Bush administration defense- spending plans now in place:

"We are on track to spend 25 percent more in real terms than we are now and 15 percent in real terms above the height of the cold war. It is a very substantial demand for resources.... That leaves off the global war on terror."

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