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The Monitor Breakfast

CBO chief: Partisan slings and arrows are of no effect on its reports

The White House didn't like the recent Congressional Budget Office report showing that a $10 minimum wage would cost the economy 500,000 jobs. Director Douglas Elmendorf defends both the report and the CBO's work in hyperpartisan times.

By David T. CookStaff writer / February 21, 2014

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf speaks at a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Michael Bonfigli/TCSM


Douglas Elmendorf is the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. He was the guest at the Feb. 19 Monitor Breakfast.

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Producing economic studies in an intensely partisan time:

"We understand that there will be a range of reactions ... among policymakers and commentators.... It doesn't surprise us nor does it have any effect on the work that we do."

Responding to White House criticism of a CBO study that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would cost 500,000 jobs:

"Our analysis ... is completely consistent with the latest thinking in the economics profession."

Surprise among Democrats that his experience in the Clinton White House doesn't result in their positions getting better treatment in CBO studies:

"My personal views about economic policy are completely irrelevant to the work that we do."

Whether he is willing to serve another term after his current one expires in January 2015:

"I love my job and I am focused on doing it this year."

The effectiveness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus) on its fifth anniversary:

It "raised output and employment substantially relative to what it would have been otherwise."

Whether the CBO tracks Twitter comments about its studies:

Our job "is not basically to ... be the hall monitor in the Twitterverse."

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