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

The Crass Distortion of Paul Ryan’s Social Security Proposals

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome to an Election Year October, known to people inside the Washington beltway as the political “silly season”. It’s this time of year when public issues are frequently distorted, often by those whose political prospects are dimming.

Is Everyone Just Imagining the Government Spending Explosion?

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, October 22, 2010

The New York Times’s Paul Krugman published an interesting column last week entitled, “Hey, Small Spender.” The “small spender” in Dr.

Analysis and Commentary

The Crass Distortion of Paul Ryan's Social Security Proposals

by Charles Blahousvia e21, Economic Policies for the 21st Century
Friday, October 22, 2010

It’s this time of year when public issues are frequently distorted, often by those whose political prospects are dimming. A classic example of this biannual spectacle is the spate of recent attacks on what has been (inaccurately) described as Congressman Paul Ryan’s Social Security plan...

Analysis and Commentary

Is Everyone Just Imagining the Government Spending Explosion?

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

We cannot sensibly diagnose whether there should be additional federal spending if we aren’t willing to acknowledge the unprecedented level of spending already taking place...

CRFB's Constructive Social Security Proposal

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), the bipartisan fiscal watchdog group, is releasing a series of papers entitled, “Let’s Get Specific.” Already on its web site are papers offering specific reforms to address Social Security,

Analysis and Commentary

Why tell-all books are harmful

by Charles Blahousvia Daily Caller (DC)
Monday, September 27, 2010

The bottom line is that no matter how the process is conducted, the president’s advisors need to be able to offer him their counsel — and yes, even to have heated exchanges in the hallway — without later reading a transcript of their remarks in the newspapers...

Why tell-all books are harmful

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, September 27, 2010

In my last piece, I explained the White House’s economic policy process as directed by the National Economic Council (NEC).

Analysis and Commentary

Change at the National Economic Council: What Does it Mean?

by Charles Blahousvia Daily Caller (DC)
Friday, September 24, 2010

The recent announcement that Larry Summers will be departing as head of President Obama’s National Economic Council (NEC) has prompted rampant speculation about what this will mean for future White House economic policy and process direction...

Change at the National Economic Council: What Does it Mean?

by Charles Blahousvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, September 23, 2010

The recent announcement that Larry Summers will be departing as head of President Obama’s National Economic Council (NEC) has prompted rampant speculation about what this will mean for future White House econom

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