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If you laid the world's economists end to end, would they reach a conclusion?

What should be done about the sluggish economy? Here's an answer the New York Times would never put on the front page:

Those are the questions a dozen economists who were not invited to Waco said they would have tried to answer had they been at the conference. While their responses in interviews differed, most shared the view that the private sector, for all its frailty, still had enough momentum to carry the economy to full recovery with modest additional help from government.

Even that could be delayed, said the Nobel laureate Robert M. Solow, who served in the Kennedy administration, in an era when stepped-up government spending to support a weak economy was standard practice.

"I would recommend waiting until fall to see what happens," Mr. Solow said. If the Federal Reserve's sharp reduction in interest rates turns out to be insufficient, then he would accelerate the spending of already appropriated money, but, to avoid running up a budget deficit larger than necessary, would not appropriate more.

Of course, you can find economists to say the opposite, too. But the point is, the attacks on Bush because he isn't Doing Something are just knee-jerk Democratic reactions, not reasoned arguments. When Bush does nothing, he's accused of not demonstrating concern to inspire confidence. When he holds a conference, he's accused of "stage-managing" a conference. Eventually, you have to get the impression that people are criticizing Bush's policies because they don't like Bush, not because they have any substantive complaints.


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