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UMKC’s Stephanie Kelton is named chief Democratic economist on the Senate Budget Committee

Stephanie Kelton has been an economics professor at UMKC since 1999. She is a self-described “deficit owl” who supported larger budget deficits to counteract the recent recession.
Stephanie Kelton has been an economics professor at UMKC since 1999. She is a self-described “deficit owl” who supported larger budget deficits to counteract the recent recession. The Kansas City Star

Stephanie Kelton, an associate professor and chairwoman of the economics department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has been named the chief economist for the Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee.

Kelton announced on her Twitter account that she had accepted the chief economist position. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Each party has its own chief economist on the budget panel, which among other things oversees the Congressional Budget Office.

“We’re very excited to have her on our team,” Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, told the Washington Examiner. He noted that Kelton has “very strong academic credentials.”

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is considering a run for the presidency in 2016. He will be the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee in January. Sanders is a longtime advocate for increasing spending on social programs and favors slashing the defense budget.

He has said he aims to use his position on the committee to oppose Republican plans to overhaul Social Security and Medicare. Republicans have not yet announced who will be chairman of the committee next year.

Kelton has been an economics professor at UMKC since 1999. She is a self-described “deficit owl” who supported larger budget deficits to counteract the recent recession.

Kelton’s research interests include modern monetary theory, employment policy, fiscal policy and international finance.

Wayne Vaught, dean of UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences, issued a congratulatory statement Tuesday. He also said the Senate appointment “is indicative of the national and international significance of the work being done by Stephanie and her colleagues in our economics department.”

Vaught said the university was still developing plans for staffing the economics department following Kelton’s departure.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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