Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jaw Dropping Economic Policy Making

by Ken Houghton

Via John Fox at the Curious Capitalist, THE summary of Bushonomics (via the WaPo series):
Oh, and one other interesting moment in the article. Ed Lazear apparently needed Cheney to tell him that the mortgage-interest tax deduction is popular:

When Edward P. Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, broached the idea of limiting the popular mortgage tax deduction, he said he quickly dropped it after Cheney told him it would never fly with Congress. "He's a big timesaver for us in that he takes off the table a lot of things he knows aren't going to go anywhere," Lazear said.

Looks as if Jared Bernstein or pgl of AngryBear was more right than the ever-optimistic Brad DeLong on this one: which DeLong, much to his credit, declares openly today [all links to DeLong's site].

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I'll just say what I said chez DeLong:

Cheney actually was right that limiting the mortgage interest deduction is, politically, something only an economist could love.

With respect to DeLong's money quote about Lazear's deference to Biggus Dickus:

But a professor of economics being unable to think of a time he was right and a poli sci grad school dropout was wrong on a matter of economic policy? Puhleeze.
Is is just me, or does "Eddie and Condi go back to the Farm" sound just a bit too much like an elitist version of a Jim Varney movie?
It isn't just you. My idle speculation, though, is that Condi will hit the wingnut welfare circuit, speechifyin' and/or think-tankin', unless Stanford pays its administrators fabulously well (and not just very well by elite university administration standards).
Word among my Stanford colleagues is that she wouldn't be welcome in admin, and that she was a competent-but-not-exceptional teacher. She'll probably wind up at Hoover, where she can draw her respectable six-figure salary indefinitely AND make a mint on the lecture circuit.
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