My Beautiful and Talented Wife (The BTW) loves American Idol. I watch it from time to time only because she does.
As I watched the women perform last night I couldn't help but feel as if I had seen this before. I don't mean Tuesday night's performance by the male contestants; I mean something from long ago.
A few days away from the Washington scene sometimes allows you to hear and see things that were invisible before you left.
In ths case it's the growing sense inside the Beltway that major changes in some policies are on the way.
The New York Times has a story this morning that former Commerce Secretary and Blackstone founder Pete Peterson is creating a foundation to, among other things, continue to promote his work of the past three decades that the U.S. fiscal sky is falling. Buried in the story is an announcement that U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, who heads the Government Accountabiliy Office, has been hired to head the foundation.
This is utter nonsense:
Isakson, Chambliss Co-Sponsor Legislation to End Reckless Spending, Reform Federal Budget Process
All of the handwringing by economists about the stimulus bill is irrelevant. Other than come up with the top line of $150 billion (1% of GDP), this effort was driven by political rather than economic analysts and advisors.
My strong suspicion is that that the expected and much-wanted political boost teh White House and congressional leaders are hoping for won't occur. If the economy goes into a recession at this point the stimulus will be seen as ineffective. If the economy doesn't go into a recession it will be seen as unnecessary.