Jason Furman is a modern day economist who has most recently served since August of 2013 as the President’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. He proved to be the 28th individual who worked in this capacity for the White House. In this position, Furman endeavored on behalf of the President as his Chief Economist who was also a Member of the Cabinet.
Jason Furman previously also helped the President since the administration began. Before his stint as Chairman of the CEA, he held roles as Principal Deputy Director for the National Economic Council as well as Assistant to the President. Before the administration took office, Furman was the campaign Economic Policy Director in 2008. He also worked on the Presidential Transition Team.
Prior to serving President Obama, Jason Furman held a range of posts in both research and public policy. His research work had him as a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and at the Brookings Institute. He also held a number of positions at important universities like the New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy.
In these various capacities, Furman has engaged in research covering a substantial range of topics. These included tax policy, fiscal policy, Social Security, health economics, and international and domestic macro economics. He has penned a significant number of articles for scholarly periodicals and journals. Furman also worked as editor on two books for economic policy.
In the realm of past public policy, Jason Furman served on behalf of the Clinton administration. He held posts at the National Economic Council and also with the Council of Economic Advisers for President Clinton. He also served at the World Bank for a time. Furman has accomplished all of this thanks in part to his Ph.D. he holds from Harvard University in economics.
Jason Furman had his own style heading the Council of Economic Advisors. When he stood before the television cameras, he engaged in both defense and offense at the same time. In the midst of the government shutdown, he appeared on camera to explain to the public why the shutdown was so negative for the economy, using his memorable phrase the “mathematical derivations of all of this.” Once budget analysis determined there would be serious negative repercussions from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, he hurried to inform the President before attempting to persuade the press that the analysis had been misinterpreted. Millions of American workers were not really going to reduce their hours or quit their jobs over it.
Behind the scenes, Jason Furman worked tirelessly throughout Washington to argue the case with research that the national safety net has accomplished significant strides in reducing poverty over the 50 years since the day when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. He used this as a springboard to insist that the time had come to focus on changing the economy effectively so that there would be fewer numbers of poor people in the first place. This argument drove a major portion of the second term agenda for President Obama.
Jason Furman was a critical part of the team responsible for shaping the Affordable Care Act, or Obama Care. The aides to President Obama have always claimed that Furman succeeded in the White House because he effectively stuck with economics, his main area of expertise. This is something that Obama always sought out in his close advisers.