Alice M. Rivlin

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Alice M. Rivlin is best known for her role as budget director in the Clinton administration (1994-1996).

Rivlin has deep ties to the finance industry and to budget austerity advocacy groups funded by Peter Peterson.

A former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board (1996-1999), Rivlin has served on the board of directors of the global consulting firm BearingPoint (2001-2006), The Washington Post Co. (2002-2006), the New York Stock Exchange (2005-2006), the NYSE Group (2006-2007), and NYSE Euronext (2007-2009).

Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem."

Rivlin is a member of the Campaign to Fix the Debt's steering committee.[1] She is also on the board of Fix the Debt’s parent organization, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and was a member of the Simpson-Bowles Commission (on its discretionary and mandatory spending working group), where she voted for Simpson and Bowles’ recommended $200 billion annual cuts in discretionary spending, raising of the Social Security retirement age, cutting the federal workforce by 10%, and reductions in federal pensions and student loan subsidies.

Rivlin also co-chaired the Debt Reduction Task Force with Pete Domenici at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a precursor to the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

Rivlin also backed a proposal to voucherize Medicare, though she objected to Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's claim that his privatization proposal had her backing,[2] since Rivlin had not agreed with Ryan's proposal on how much vouchers would be worth and wanted to keep the current delivery system as an option for seniors.[3] Under the Ryan-Rivlin plan, the CBO stated, "voucher recipients would probably have to purchase less extensive coverage or pay higher premiums," and "future beneficiaries would probably face higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare."[4]

This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.

About Fix the Debt
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at and in the Nation magazine.

Brookings Institute Biography

Rivlin "is a Visiting Professor at the Public Policy Institute of Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. She is the Director of the Greater Washington Research Program at Brookings. Before returning to Brookings, Ms. Rivlin served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board from 1996 to 1999. She was Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1996, and Deputy Director (1993-94). She also chaired the District of Columbia Financial Management Assistance Authority (1998-2001).[5]

"Ms. Rivlin was the founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office (1975-1983). She was director of the Economic Studies Program at Brookings (1983-1987). She also served at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (1968-69).[5]

"Ms. Rivlin received a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, taught at Harvard, George Mason, and The New School Universities, has served on the Boards of Directors of several corporations, and as President of the American Economic Association. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of BearingPoint, the New York Stock Exchange and the Washington Post Company.[5]

"She is a frequent contributor to newspapers, television, and radio, and has written numerous books. Her books include Systematic Thinking for Social Action (l971), Reviving the American Dream (1992), and Beyond the Dot.coms (with Robert Litan, 2001). She is co-editor (with Isabel Sawhill) of Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget (2004), Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005: Meeting the Long-Run Challenges, and (with Litan) of The Economic Payoff from the Internet Revolution (2001).[5]

"Ms. Rivlin was born in 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. She received a B.A. in economics from Bryn Mawr College in 1952; and a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) in economics in 1958. She is married to economist Sidney G. Winter, who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. (August 2005)" [5]

Resources and Articles

Featured SourceWatch Articles on Fix the Debt

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  1. Fix the Debt, "Who We Are", organizational website, accessed December 2012.
  2. Ezra Klein, "Rivlin: 'I don't support the version of Medicare premium support in the Ryan plan'", The Washington Post, April 6, 2011.
  3. Meredith Shiner, "Alice Rivlin: I don't back 'Ryan-Rivlin' plan", Politico, April 5, 2011.
  4. Congressional Budget Office, "Preliminary ANalysis of the Rivlin-Ryan Health Care Proposal", organizational document, November 17, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Brookings Institution, Alice M. Rivlin, organizational biography, accessed October 25, 2007.
  6. National Advisory Board, AmericaSpeaks, accessed October 25, 2007.
  7. Directors, Cafritz Foundation, accessed December 20, 2008.