Former senator Phil Gramm joins AEI

The American Enterprise Institute has announced that former senator Phil Gramm has joined the think tank as a visiting scholar to work on economic policy.

“Senator Gramm is one of the most innovative policymakers of our time,” said AEI President Arthur Brooks in a statement. “The Washington policy community has great need of his ideas and wisdom. We are thrilled to have him as part of the AEI Economic Policy Studies team.”

According to AEI, Gramm will be working on a comprehensive plan to fix the U.S. economy through reform of the tax code and entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Gramm was first elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1978. After being thrown off the House Budget Committee for supporting the Reagan tax cuts in 1982, he resigned his seat and won the vacancy in a special election as a Republican. In 1984, Gramm was elected to the Senate, defeating Ron Paul, among others.

He served as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and authored Gramm-Latta Budget Bill, the Gramm-Rudman Balanced Budget and Deficit Control Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Following his Senate career, Gramm served nine years as the vice president of UBS Investment Bank.

In 2009, Time magazine named Gramm in its list of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis” for his strong support for financial deregulation, his role in repealing of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act and inserting a key provision into the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that exempted over-the-counter derivatives from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at governmentality.net and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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