Henry Aaron

Henry Aaron

HENRY J. AARON is currently Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. From 1990 through 1996 he was the Director of the Economic Studies Program.

He initially joined the Brookings staff in 1968. From 1967 until 1989 he also taught at the University of Maryland. In 1977 and 1978 he served as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He chaired the 1979 Advisory Council on Social Security. During the academic year 1996-97 he was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

He is a graduate of U.C.L.A and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

He is a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisors, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the advisory committee of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and the visiting committee of the Harvard Medical and Dental Schools. He is a member of the board of directors of Abt Associates and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He was a founding member, vice-president, and board chair of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He has been vice-president and member of the executive committee of the American Economic Association and was president of the Association of Public Policy and Management. He has been a member of the boards of directors of the College Retirement Equity Fund and Georgetown University.

Recent Stories By Henry Aaron:

  • Health Care Law Dodges a Bullet…for NowJune 28, 2012

    Health care reform is a drama in four acts.  The first two acts—the Congressional debate leading to enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and the multiple court cases culminating in today’s Supreme...

  • How Our Broken Tax System Drives the EconomyJanuary 31, 2012

    Bruce Bartlett is a tax curmudgeon – and I mean that as a compliment. It is hard to spend as much time as Bartlett does studying the U.S. tax system and not get grumpy. Bartlett writes with such ‘can...

  • Ryanomics: Radical, OtherworldlyApril 12, 2011

    Just after the Republican electoral blow-out last November, I asked one of my colleagues, a former Republican member of Congress, what he thought the new House majority would do with its power. His...

  • Put the Bowles-Simpson Plan on IceDecember 2, 2010

    The president’s fiscal commission formally votes Friday on co-chairmen Erskine Bowles’s and Alan Simpson’s deficit reduction plan. The plan would need a 14-vote supermajority to be sent to the floor...

  • A Deficit-Reduction Plan Rife With ProblemsNovember 12, 2010

    The draft proposal of the leaders of President Obama’s deficit commission arouses strongly mixed emotions.  On the one hand, authors Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson deserve credit, along with others...

  • First, Do No Fiscal HarmSeptember 3, 2010

    What can someone concerned by the delicate condition of the U.S. economy feasibly do to get things moving again? It depends on political circumstances, but lawmakers should keep in mind the need for...

  • A Consensus Based on Confusion: Part IIJuly 20, 2010

    Yesterday, I explained why raising the “normal” or “full benefits” retirement age under Social Security has little to do with when people retire.  It is, simply, an across-the-board benefits cut....

  • A Consensus Based on Confusion—Part IJuly 19, 2010

    Almost everyone seems to agree that the United States has a long-term budget problem.  They do not, however, agree on what to do about it—mostly.  In one area, consensus seems to have emerged—at...

  • Social Security: Getting the Facts RightMarch 28, 2010

    Much is being made these days of the projection that benefit payments will exceed earmarked payroll tax revenues. The New York Times treats this development as front-page news. Unfortunately, there...

  • Paying For Health Care Not Fun, But Worth the CostFebruary 25, 2010

    Mike Tanner’s belief that consumers are the key to slowing the growth of health care spending reminds me of the claims of supply-side economists that tax cuts would boost revenues. The ideas of both...

  • A Budget Commission: Form Not SubstanceFebruary 2, 2010

    That the United States faces a serious long-term fiscal gap is now widely recognized, but deciding what to do about it poses a huge dilemma for Congress and the Obama administration. Many members...

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