Bearer of Bad Tidings

Penner becomes director of the Congressional Budget Office

It's an ill office to be the first to herald I ill," wrote Aeschylus, the Greek tragedian, in the 5th century B.C. By that standard, the director of the Congressional Budget Office occupies one of the illest offices in Washington. Since becoming the CBO's first director when the agency was set up in 1975, Alice Rivlin has had the thankless task of telling Congress how big future budget deficits will be and proposing various alternatives, most of them politically unpalatable, for reducing the shortfall. After eight often frustrating years, Rivlin, 52, last...

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