Charles Blahous

Charles Blahous

  • Director of Spending and Budget Initiative
  • Senior Research Fellow

Charles Blahous is the director of the Spending and Budget Initiative and a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He specializes in domestic economic policy and retirement security (with an emphasis on Social Security), as well as federal fiscal policy, entitlements, and health care programs. 

Blahous’s media appearances range from The Diane Rehm Show and Fox News to C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. He was named to SmartMoney’s “Power 30” list in 2005 and has written for the Wall Street Journal,The Washington Post, Financial Times, Politico, National Review, Harvard Journal on Legislation, National Affairs, Journal of Chemical Physics, and Baseball Research Journal, among others.

Blahous is the author of Social Security: The Unfinished Work and Pension Wise: Confronting Employer Pension Underfunding and Sparing Taxpayers the Next Bailout, as well as the influential study, “The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act.”

Blahous served as a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare from 2010 through 2015.  He was formerly the deputy director of President Bush’s National Economic Council, special assistant to the president for economic policy, and executive director of the bipartisan President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security.  He recently served on the Bipartisan Policy Center's Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings.

Blahous received his PhD in computational quantum chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and his BA from Princeton University.

Published Research

Charles Blahous | Jan 14, 2014
According to a new paper published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the slowdown in health care cost growth is extremely unlikely to solve Medicare’s financing problems. Indeed, such a suggestion primarily reflects an incomplete understanding of how current Medicare cost projections are done.
Charles Blahous | Nov 14, 2013
In a new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Charles P. Blahous, a Mercatus senior research fellow and public trustee for Medicare and Social Security, examines the causes of federal deficits by systematically examining the federal budget itself, quantifying all contributions to the deficit regardless of when they were enacted.
Charles Blahous | Mar 05, 2013
In the wake of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, states face complex decisions concerning whether to expand Medicaid coverage to the full extent envisioned in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, commonly referred to as Obamacare). With the federal government no longer able to coerce expansion, states must base their decisions on value judgments that incorporate each state’s unique budgetary circumstances, the needs of its uninsured population, and the incentives established by interactions among the ACA’s provisions.
Charles Blahous | Nov 15, 2012
In a new Mercatus Center study, Charles Blahous, senior research fellow and public trustee for Social Security, reviews the most misunderstood aspects of the current Social Security replacement rate formula, looks at the effects it creates, and discusses potential reforms.

Working Papers

Policy Briefs

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

e21
Aug 24, 2016

Only if we surmount our labor force participation challenge will we be able to successfully address other economic policy desires such as higher living standards, lower poverty, and sound federal government finances. For these and other reasons, re-orienting federal policies to keep people in the workforce is likely to remain the pre-eminent economic policy challenge of our time.
e21
Aug 01, 2016

Having federal taxpayers pick up between 90-100% of the cost of state Medicaid expansions was one of many questionable policy decisions made in the ACA. It’s also proving to be much more expensive than the federal government expected.
e21
Jul 05, 2016

In sum, systemic underfunding in employer-provided pensions remains an enormous challenge facing plan sponsors. Unless it is successfully addressed, it threatens to become a still bigger problem confronting millions of workers and potentially federal taxpayers as well.
e21
Jun 23, 2016

The BPC retirement security commission proposals reflect a roughly 50/50 compromise between left and right as to how to shore up the finances of Social Security. All program participants would benefit from the stabilization of program finances, with the largest gains accruing to low-wage workers.

Contact

Charles Blahous

Books

| Sep 29, 2015
In a new set of essays commissioned by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, seven leading policy experts share innovative ideas on how to solve the pre-existing condition challenge. While their approaches exhibit differences as well as similarities, they are unified in their pursuit of a humane, equitable, fiscally sustainable solution to a conundrum that has driven and strained the entire post–World War II healthcare debate.

Podcasts

Charles Blahous | July 10, 2015
Charles Blahous discusses how the costs of the Affordable Care Act has impacted the federal deficit on the nationally-syndicated John Batchelor show.
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