President Obama's former director of the Office of Management and Budget made a public break with the administration Tuesday. In his debut Op-ed in the New York Times, Peter Orszag made the case for the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, given to people making over $250,000 a year, something the president does not support.
Orszag's Op-ed suggests the White House compromise with Republicans in Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts. "In the face of the dueling deficits, the best approach is a compromise: extend the tax cuts for two years and then end them altogether. Ideally only the middle-class tax cuts would be continued for now. Getting a deal in Congress, though, may require keeping the high-income tax cuts, too. And that would still be worth it," Orszag wrote in the New York Times. "Why does this combination make sense? The answer is that over the medium term, the tax cuts are simply not affordable. Yet no one wants to make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two, which is exactly what would happen if the cuts expire as planned. "
The White House pushed back on any idea of controversy between a former staffer and the current administration, saying there are always varying opinions at meetings. "Depending on the issue... had varying opinions on what to do when and how best to execute it. And I think that's true for a whole host of different policies," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at the White House on Tuesday. Gibbs also said the Op-ed was, in his mind, written from a different perspective than as a former White House staffer.
"I think Peter had a congressional relations hat on, in terms of what political price Congress might have to go through to extend different things," Gibbs said.
Former OMB Director Peter Orszag is a New York Times contributor and the paper is expected to publish more from him in the future. Orszag left the White House last month after serving approximately 18 months in the position of director of OMB.