Few alumni are closer to the heartbeat of a major national issue than Joshua Odintz ’95, who last June was named Chief Tax Counsel to President Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. On loan from his job as Acting Tax Legislative Counsel at the U.S. Department of Treasury, Odintz is presenting tax reform options to the commission, which on December 1 issued recommendations to Congress on how to balance the debt-laden federal budget by 2015.
Odintz’ strong technical and legal skills, combined with his political experience made him an ideal choice for the key post. In addition to helping write the regulatory guidelines at Treasury for the new Affordable Health Care Act for America, he served as Tax Counsel for Senate Finance Committee for two years.
Odintz knew his work would be cut out for him, so huge was the challenge facing the commission.
“I think almost everyone agrees that the U.S. has reached a crisis point at which we have to make some very difficult choices if we’re going to solve our huge fiscal problems,” he says. “The annual deficit tops $1 trillion, the national debt has reached $13 trillion, our international credit standing is shaky, and debt projections for the next 20 years are truly alarming and must be addressed now.
“My job is to advise the commission on all the tax-related options to help them come up with some innovative new ideas for containing costs and increasing revenue. I’m honored and excited to help shape something that could really help our country years into the future.”