Charles Blahous

Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Charles Blahous is a Hoover visiting fellow specializing in domestic economic policy. His areas of expertise include retirement security, with an emphasis on Social Security and employer-provided defined benefit pensions, as well as federal fiscal policy, entitlements, demographic change, economic stimulus, financial market regulation, and health care reform.

From 2010 to 2015, Blahous served as one of the two public trustees for the Social Security and Medicare Programs. From 2007 to 2009, he served as deputy director of President Bush's National Economic Council. From 2001 to 2007, Blahous served as a special assistant to the president for economic policy, first covering retirement security issues and later encompassing energy policy. In 2001, he served as the executive director of the bipartisan President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security.

From 2000 to 2001, Blahous led the Alliance for Worker Retirement Security, a private-sector coalition dedicated to the fiscally responsible reform of Social Security. From 1996 to 2000, he served as policy director for US senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). From 1989 to 1996, he served in the office of Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY), first as a Congressional Science Fellow sponsored by the American Physical Society and, from 1994 to 1996, as the senator's legislative director.

Blahous’s latest publications include Social Security: The Unfinished Work (Hoover Press, 2010) and Pension Wise: Confronting Employer Pension Underfunding—and Sparing Taxpayers the Next Bailout (Hoover Press, 2010). He is also the author of Reforming Social Security. He has published in a number of periodicals including National Affairs, Financial Times, Politico, National Review, Harvard Journal of Legislation, Baseball Research Journal, and the Journal of Chemical Physics. He was named to SmartMoney's "Power 30" list in 2005. His public appearances include various radio and television programs including "Ask the White House," and speeches on university and college campuses.

Blahous has a PhD in computational quantum chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and an AB from Princeton University, where he won the McKay Prize in Physical Chemistry.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

The Bipartisan Policy Center's Tax-Heavy Social Security Plan

by Charles Blahousvia e21, Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The BPC proposal is a serious plan, backed up with an impressive amount of analysis and documentation. It’s also a plan under which Social Security, just as under current law, would grow much more expensive to taxpayers in the future than it is now...

Social Security, Medicare Face the Age of Austerity

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, November 22, 2010

In this National Public Radio interview, Charles Blahous discussed his upcoming book

Analysis and Commentary

Slowing Down Social Security's Retirement Age Increase

by Charles Blahousvia e21, Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Thursday, November 18, 2010

The fact is that the Simpson-Bowles proposal would effect a slower future increase in the retirement age than that already occurring under current law...

Simpson and Bowles propose a slower increase in the retirement age

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Much of the discussion about the Simpson-Bowles Social Security proposal has centered around its provision to gradually increase the benefit eligibility age.  One would be hard-pressed to accurately understand this provision given the nature of much public commentary about it.

The Social Security component of Bowles Simpson

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Fox News, Chuck Blahous, author of the upcoming book Social Security: The Unfinished Work, discusses

Social Security Shortfall Warrants Action Soon

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, November 12, 2010

On Tuesday, November 9, Bob Greenstein and I released our joint paper “Social Security Shortfall Warrants Action Soon,” sponsored by the

Analysis and Commentary

Social Security Shortfall Warrants Action Soon

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, November 12, 2010

On Tuesday, November 9, Bob Greenstein and I released our joint paper “Social Security Shortfall Warrants Action Soon,” sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Fiscal Policy Initiative...

Analysis and Commentary

Fairly Understanding the Simpson-Bowles Social Security Proposal

by Charles Blahousvia e21, Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles of President Obama’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission surprised the political world Wednesday when they publicly released their own (as opposed to a full commission) five-part plan for repairing the federal government’s dire fiscal outlook...

Fairly Understanding the Simpson-Bowles Social Security Proposal

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles of President Obama’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission surprised the political world Wednesday when they publicly released their own (as opposed to a full commission) five-part plan for repairing the federal government’s dire fiscal out

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Social Security: The Unfinished Work

by Charles Blahousvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, November 8, 2010

Drawing on more than fifteen years of work on Social Security policy, first in the U.S. Senate and later in the White House, Charles Blahous argues that our national Social Security debate is more polarized than it needs to be, even given the depth of legitimate differences over the program's appropriate future direction.

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