Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and a relentless fighter for deficit-reduction while vice chair of the Federal Reserve, has died. She was 88.
She died Tuesday, according to Shannon Meraw, spokeswoman at Brookings Institution, where Ms. Rivlin was senior fellow.
Ms. Rivlin, whose career as an economist and budget scold included a stint as director of the Office of Budget and Management under President Bill Clinton, made her biggest splash as an advocate of debt and deficit cuts during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. As CBO director, she questioned the validity of his optimistic deficit projections, a criticism that caused an outcry among Republicans in Congress who called for her to step down.
Ezra Klein, editor-in-chief of vox.com, called Ms. Rivlin the "queen of Washington's budget wonks" during a 2016 interview with her. "There is no budget wonk in Washington with a resume as thick as Alice Rivlin's," Klein said.
He cited her various federal government jobs, her work with the 2010 bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the so-called Simpson-Bowles Commission) and her service as the president of the American Economic Association.