Jesus. This is wildly inappropriate.
After a week in which Doug Elmendorf, the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said that Congressional health care overhauls would balloon federal health care obligations by $240 billion over the next decade, the President Obama called him into the Oval Office for a little chat.
But Elmendorf didn’t just get leaned on by the president. He was outnumbered by something like 10-1:
In addition to the president and Elmendorf, present in the meeting were White House officials such as Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Phil Schiliro, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle, Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag (a former CBO director himself), National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Christy Romer, senior adviser David Axelrod, and press secretary Robert Gibbs.
Others were there as well, including Department of Health and Human Services adviser Meena Seshamani, Harvard University economist David Cutler and Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institute, who was founding director of CBO from 1975-1983.
There’s nothing subtle going on there. I’m intimidated just reading about it.