Meet Jason Furman: Obama’s Next Top Economist

President Obama introduces Jason Furman (R) as a deputy director of the National Economic Council during a visit to Thompson Creek Manufacturing on Jan. 7, 2011 in Landover, Md.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

People are reporting today that Jason Furman, a longtime Obama administration official currently serving as a deputy on the National Economic Council, will be tapped to chair the Council on Economic Advisors. The CEA job is a bit hazily defined and its head has played different roles over the years, but Furman’s been part of Obama’s team for a long time and is known for his knack for blending policy and politics and should end up being a relatively “in the mix” CEA chair compared to some of his predecessors with more strictly academic backgrounds.

Best of all, Furman has written for Slate in the past, including his memorably spirited defense of Wal-Mart against Barbara Ehrenreich and this brilliant screed against the mortgage interest tax deduction which, unfortunately, is unlikely to be embraced as official administration policy.