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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."

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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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