Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by This Incompetent Clown?

Andrew Samwick on the Bush White House:

Vox Baby: Republicans and Gas Taxes: The word "emerging" is in quotes, referencing a theme of the article, which is that it is much easier for people who have worked inside a Presidential administration to advocate for politically unpopular ideas when they are on the outside. That's true but only to a point. It's not that Greg Mankiw ever said anything other than what he now says about the gas tax while on the inside. It's that the President sets the framework for all policy outcomes--not the CEA--even on economic issues. CEA, like every other part of the administration, works to generate the best outcomes within that framework. And if the President is not interested in a gas tax, then it becomes a very short conversation...

The most interesting thing about this, I think, is that it was the exact opposite in the Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations. If Advisor X thought that policy Y was a very good idea, and if the President was not interested, then Advisor X looked forward not to a very short but to a very long conversation.

You see, a President who trusts, values, and respects his advisors doesn't cut them off when they tell him that he is wrong not be interested in policy Y. He listens.

Elect Presidents like Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton. Don't elect presidents like George W. Bush.


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