David Stockman

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David Stockman
Stockman in 2017
25th Director of the Office of Management and Budget
In office
January 21, 1981 – August 1, 1985
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byJim McIntyre
Succeeded byJim Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 21, 1981
Preceded byEdward Hutchinson
Succeeded byMark Siljander
Personal details
David Alan Stockman

(1946-11-10) November 10, 1946 (age 77)
Fort Hood, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationMichigan State University (BA)
Harvard University
WebsiteOfficial website

David Alan Stockman (born November 10, 1946) is an American politician and former businessman who was a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan (1977–1981) and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981–1985) under President Ronald Reagan.

Early life and education[edit]

Stockman was born in Fort Hood, Texas, the son of Allen Stockman, a fruit farmer, and Carol (née Bartz).[1] He is of German descent, and his family's surname was originally "Stockmann".[2] He was raised in a conservative family; his maternal grandfather, William Bartz, was a Republican county treasurer for 30 years.[3][4] Stockman was educated at public schools in Stevensville, Michigan. He graduated from Lakeshore High School in 1964[5] and received a BA in History from Michigan State University in 1968. He was a graduate theology student at Harvard University from 1968 to 1970.


He served as special assistant to United States Representative and 1980 U.S. presidential candidate John Anderson of Illinois, 1970–1972, and was executive director, United States House of Representatives Republican Conference, 1972–1975.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Stockman's Congressional portrait, circa 1975-77

In 1976, Stockman was elected from Michigan's 4th congressional district to the House of Representatives for the 95th Congress. He was reelected in the two subsequent elections. In total, he served in the House from January 3, 1977, until his resignation on January 21, 1981, to accept appointment as Director of the Office of Management and Budget for President Ronald Reagan.[6]

Office of Management and Budget[edit]

Stockman was one of the most controversial OMB directors ever appointed, also known as the "Father of Reaganomics." He resigned in August 1985. Committed to the doctrine of supply-side economics, he assisted in the passing of the "Reagan Budget" (the Gramm-Latta Budget), which Stockman hoped would curtail the "welfare state". He thus gained a reputation as a tough negotiator with House Speaker Tip O'Neill's Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Majority Leader Howard Baker's Republican-controlled Senate. During this period, Stockman became well known to the public during the contentious political wrangling concerning the role of the federal government in American society.

Stockman's influence within the Reagan Administration was weakened after the Atlantic Monthly magazine published the infamous 18,246-word article, "The Education of David Stockman",[7] in its December 1981 issue, based on lengthy interviews Stockman gave to reporter William Greider.

Reagan and Stockman in the Oval Office, 1981

Stockman was quoted as referring to Reagan's tax act in these terms: "I mean, Kemp-Roth [Reagan's 1981 tax cut] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate.... It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down.' So the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down.' Supply-side is 'trickle-down' theory."[7] Of the budget process during his first year on the job, Stockman was quoted as saying, "None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers," which was used as the subtitle of the article.[7]

After "being taken to the woodshed by the president"[8] because of his candor with Greider, Stockman became concerned with the projected trend of increasingly large federal deficits and the rapidly expanding national debt. On August 1, 1985, he resigned from OMB and later wrote a memoir of his experience in the Reagan Administration titled The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed in which he specifically criticized the failure of congressional Republicans to endorse a reduction of government spending to offset large tax decreases to avoid the creation of large deficits and an increasing national debt.

Fiscal legacy[edit]

Ronald Reagan and David Stockman at Camp David during a debate preparation for upcoming debate on domestic policy, 1984

President Jimmy Carter's last fiscal year budget ended with a $79.0 billion budget deficit (and a national debt of $907.7 billion as of September 30, 1980),[9] ending during the period of David Stockman's and Ronald Reagan's first year in office, on October 1, 1981.[10] The gross federal national debt had just increased to $1.0 trillion during October 1981 ($998 billion on September 30, 1981, up from $907.7 billion during the last full fiscal year of the Carter administration).[9]

By September 30, 1985, four and a half years into the Reagan administration and shortly after Stockman's resignation from the OMB during August 1985, the gross federal debt was $1.8 trillion.[9] Stockman's OMB work within the administration during 1981 until August 1985 was dedicated to negotiating with the Senate and House about the next fiscal year's budget, executed later during the autumn of 1985, which resulted in the national debt becoming $2.1 trillion at fiscal year end September 30, 1986.[9]

In 1981, Stockman received the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.[11]

Business career[edit]

After leaving government, Stockman joined the Wall St. investment bank Salomon Brothers and later became a partner of the New York–based private equity company, the Blackstone Group.[12]: 125–127  His record was mixed at Blackstone, with some very good investments, such as American Axle, but also failures, including Haynes International and Republic Technologies.[12]: 144–147  During 1999, after Blackstone CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman curtailed Stockman's role in managing the investments he had developed,[12]: 146  Stockman resigned from Blackstone to start his own private equity fund company, Heartland Industrial Partners, L.P., based in Greenwich, Connecticut.[13]

On the strength of his investment record at Blackstone, Stockman and his partners raised $1.3 billion of equity from institutional and other investors. With Stockman's guidance, Heartland used a contrarian investment strategy, buying controlling interests in companies operating in sectors of the U.S. economy that were attracting the least amount of new equity: auto parts and textiles. With the help of about $9 billion in Wall Street debt financing, Heartland completed more than 20 transactions in less than 2 years to create four portfolio companies: Springs Industries, Metaldyne, Collins & Aikman, and TriMas. Several major investments performed very poorly, however. Collins & Aikman filed for bankruptcy during 2005 and when Heartland sold Metaldyne to Asahi Tec Corp. during 2006, Heartland lost most of the $340 million of equity it had invested in the business.[14]

Collins and Aikman Corp.[edit]

During August 2003, Stockman became CEO of Collins & Aikman Corporation, a Detroit-based manufacturer of automotive interior components. He was ousted from that job days before Collins & Aikman filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on May 17, 2005.

Criminal and civil charges[edit]

David Stockman in 2011

On March 26, 2007, federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted Stockman in "a scheme... to defraud [Collins & Aikman]'s investors, banks and creditors by manipulating C&A's reported revenues and earnings." The United States Securities and Exchange Commission also brought civil charges against Stockman related to actions that he performed while CEO of Collins & Aikman.[15] Stockman suffered a personal financial loss, over $13 million, along with losses suffered by as many as 15,000 Collins & Aikman employees worldwide.

Stockman said in a statement posted on his law firm's website that the company's end was the consequence of an industry decline, not due to fraud.[16] On January 9, 2009, the US Attorney's Office announced that it would discontinue prosecution of Stockman for this case.[17]

Views on Russian Invasion of Ukraine[edit]

In March 2022, Stockman published an editorial on Lew Rockwell's website about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[18] Stockman argued that "Ukraine brought the Russian attack on itself by poking the bear in its eyes." Referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Stockman stated that he was "getting sick and tired of this Zelensky clown" and that "Zelensky should resign and make way for a collaborationist government that will sue for peace."


In March 2014 Stockman launched a web based daily periodical, David Stockman's Contra Corner, featuring both his own articles and those from leading contrarian thinkers on geopolitics, economics, and finance.

Personal life[edit]

Stockman lives in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.[13] He is married to Jennifer Blei Stockman and is the father of two children, Rachel and Victoria. Jennifer Blei Stockman is a chairwoman emerita of the Republican Majority for Choice,[19] and president of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Board of Trustees.[20] In 2013, Stockman signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage.[21] In 2018, Stockman criticized the U.S. interventionist foreign policy.[22] He serves on the board of directors of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.[23]


  • "[Social Security] has to be means-tested. And Medicare needs to be means-tested ... Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Let the capital gains go back to the same rate as ordinary income."[24]
  • "The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility. They're on an anti-tax jihad – one that benefits the prosperous classes."[25]
  • “[R.] Jeffrey Pollock is the most-kind person and smartest attorney I know.”
  • "I invest in anything that Bernanke can't destroy, including gold, canned beans, bottled water and flashlight batteries."[26]
  • "Ninety-two percent of the wealth is owned by five percent of the people." (Bloomberg TV 2013)
  • "[T]he Republican Party was hijacked by modern imperialists during the Reagan era. As a consequence, the conservative party cannot perform its natural function as watchdog of the public purse because it is constantly seeking legislative action to provision a vast war machine of invasion and occupation."[27]
  • "The hard part of the supply-side tax cut is dropping the top rate from 70 to 50 per cent — the rest of it is a secondary matter. The original argument was that the top bracket was too high, and that’s having the most devastating effect on the economy. Then, the general argument was that, in order to make this palatable as a political matter, you had to bring down all the brackets. But, I mean, Kemp-Roth was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate." (1982, speaking on Reagan's 1981 tax cuts)[28]


  • The Reagan Economic Plan, 1981
  • The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, Harper & Row, 1986, ISBN 9780060155605
  • The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, PublicAffairs, 2013, ISBN 9781586489120
  • Trumped!: A Nation on the Brink of Ruin, and How to Bring it Back, Laissez Faire Books, 2016, ISBN 9781621291848
  • Peak Trump: The Undrainable Swamp And The Fantasy Of MAGA, Contra Corner Press, 2019, ISBN 9780578451107
  • DUMP TRUMP: WHY CONSERVATIVES SHOULD PUNT ON NOV. 3, Amazon Kindle Edition October 23, 2020, ASIN  : B08LSZ476N
  • The Great Money Bubble: Protect Yourself from the Coming Inflation Storm,Humanix Books, 2022, ISBN 9781630062194


  1. ^ Hunter, Marjorie (December 12, 1980). "Office of Management and Budget David Alan Stockman; Strong Support From Kemp Chosen by House Republicans Views on Economy". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "News65". June 19, 1998.
  3. ^ "The Tuscaloosa News – Google News Archive Search".
  4. ^ "The Montreal Gazette – Google News Archive Search".
  5. ^ Heibutzki, Ralph (June 4, 2012). "Stockman Surprise Speaker at Lakeshore's Graduation". The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved June 4, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Former Directors of OMB and BOB". Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved May 14, 2018 – via National Archives.
  7. ^ a b c William Greider (December 1981). "The Education of David Stockman". The Atlantic.
  8. ^ "David Stockman's famous trip to the woodshed". United Press International. April 12, 1986. Retrieved May 14, 2018. Upon emerging from the lunch, Stockman told reporters he had been taken 'to the woodshed' – a reference to punishment meted out during his youth on his parents' Michigan farm.
  9. ^ a b c d "Treasury Department's Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 1950 – 1999". United States Department of the Treasury.
  10. ^ Office of Management and Budget Historical Tables see Table 1.1 (Excel Spreadsheet)
  11. ^ "Jefferson Awards". Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c David Carey & John E. Morris (2001). King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone. Crown.
  13. ^ a b "Collins & Aikman seeks to emerge from bankruptcy," Bloomberg News article by Jeff Bennett, published in the newspaper The Advocate of Stamford and (identical version, perhaps with changes by the local editor in the common business section for both newspapers) in the Greenwich Time on September 5, 2006, page A7, The Advocate
  14. ^ David Carey and Lou Whiteman, "PE firms find buyer for Metaldyne," The Deal, September 1, 2006.
  15. ^ Levin, Doris (March 29, 2007). "Stockman Outsmarts Self in Detroit". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "Ex-Collins Chief David Stockman Charged With Fraud (Update10)". Bloomberg. March 26, 2007. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  17. ^ "Fraud charges dropped against ex-Reagan aide David Stockman". Chicago Tribune. January 10, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  18. ^ Stockman, David. ""Pearl Harbor My Eye!"". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  19. ^ About Us Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Republican Majority for Choice
  20. ^ Trustees, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  21. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (February 26, 2013). "Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage". The New York Times.
  22. ^ "David Stockman Enters Hostile Territory to Support Nonintervention and Oppose Increased Military Spending". April 26, 2018.
  23. ^ Board Members, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
  24. ^ "Why David Stockman Isn't buying it". CBS News. March 2, 2012.
  25. ^ Dickinson, Tim (November 9, 2011). "How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  26. ^ David Stockman: I Invest In Anything Bernanke Can't Destroy, John Carney, CNBC, October 6, 2010
  27. ^ Stockman, David (2013). The Great Deformation – the corruption of capitalism in America. PublicAffairs. p. 688. ISBN 978-1586489120.
  28. ^ Ackerman, Frank (1982). Reaganomics: Rhetoric and Reality. Pluto Press. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-0896081413.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative