Darman Tapped at Bush Budget Director, Sources Say
Nov. 20, 1988
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President-elect George Bush will round out his economic team Monday by naming Richard G. Darman as White House budget director and Michael J. Boskin as chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, transition sources said Sunday.
On an otherwise quiet weekend, Bush attended church, jogged in the misty afternoon and met with his choice for White House chief of staff, Gov. John Sununu of New Hampshire.
The vice president's aides said he would have make some transition announcements Monday morning before he meets with former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, who recently wrote a report with bipartisan advice for the new president.
Bush announced last Tuesday he would retain Nicholas F. Brady as treasury secretary. He told reporters Friday he was concentrating on naming the rest of his economic team before turning his attention to defense and national security posts.
Transition sources, who spoke only on condition that they not be identified, said the directorship of the White House Office of Management and Budget post would go to Darman and that Boskin, a Stanford University economics professor, had been tapped to head the Council on Economic Advisers. Both nominations have been widely expected.
Darman was the top aide and protege to James A. Baker III during his four years as President Reagan's first chief of staff. In Reagan's second term, Darman was deputy to Baker as treasury secretary. Both left the government when Baker resigned in August to run Bush's presidential campaign.
Bush named Baker, his longtime associate from Houston, as his choice for secretary of state on Nov. 9, the morning after the election.
Brady, who served eight months as a caretaker senator from New Jersey in 1982, was sworn in two months ago as Baker's successor at Treasury. He is a former chairman of the investment banking house of Dillon, Read & Co. Inc.
Darman once was an Elliot Richardson aide at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the early 1970s. He has an inside knowledge of government and the budget that rivals that of Reagan's first budget director, David A. Stockman.
Boskin helped inspire Bush's idea of a ''flexibile freeze'' in government spending to wipe out budget deficits now running at $155 billion a year. An authority on the Social Security system, Boskin argued in a recent book titled ''Too Many Promises'' that the program should be overhauled to separate its welfare and pension functions.
Boskin proposed a two-tier system, with a flat monthly payment aimed at helping people stay out of poverty and the upper tier tied strictly to how much people paid into the system.
Currently there is a sharp tilt to Social Security benefits, with lower- income workers getting a far heftier return on their payroll taxes than middle- and upper-income workers.
Bush scheduled a meeting Monday with computer magnate David Packard, who headed a commission that recommended major changes in Defense Department procurement policies.
On Tuesday, the president-elect plans to fly to Alabama to visit a conference of Republican governors and to Houston for a get-acquainted meeting with Mexican president-elect Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who takes office Dec. 1.
Bush will return to Washington Tuesday night, then fly Wednesday to Kennebunkport, Maine, for a long Thanksgiving holiday weekend that could include a fence-mending session with Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the vanquished Democratic presidential nominee.