Allan Hubbard

Allan Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council, was Tuesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On reports that current law will allow oil companies to pump $65 billion worth of oil and gas from federal lands without paying royalties:

"As the president has said, when you have oil ... north of $40 dollars [a barrel] ... you don't need to be providing incentives to oil and gas companies to drill and we should be collecting the appropriate amount of royalties."

On Republican economist Bruce Bartlett charging in a new book that Bush administration economic policies are "developed on the fly and in secret with little or no analysis or forethought."

"It is a very thorough, thoughtful process inviting wide par-ticipation within the administration. We also talk to experts outside the administration."

On the president's push for Health Savings Accounts so workers can contribute pre-tax dollars to pay the high deductible amounts on their health insurance:

"We will know it is working when growth in healthcare starts to slow down.... [I]f people do pay for the service ... it has a huge impact on [bringing down the] price."

On the need to repair the federal tax system:

"It is obviously not a priority right now but it is not something the president is going to give up on. He very much believes the tax system is broken, it is impossible to understand.... It needs reform."

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