Wednesday, February 25, 2004

A Memo to the Media

From Brad DeLong:

It was funny over the past week and a half to watch Treasury Secretary John Snow, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Press Secretary Scott McClellan, and George W. Bush decline to endorse their own macroeconomic forecast--they ran from it as if it were a highly poisonous reptile, in a spectacle that the National Journal's Stan Collender described as an "extremely rapid (indeed, almost unprecedented) backing off from an important projection in an official report... only the latest in what has become a steady series of embarrassing gaffes from the White House's budget and economic team."

But one thing disappointed me. No reporter asked the natural follow-up question:

Mr. Secretary, the macroeconomic forecast you have just declined to endorse underlies all of Treasury's and OMB's budget estimates. Are you also saying that you decline to endorse the numbers in the administration's budget, and that those numbers are now inoperative as well? If not, then how can you endorse the budget number without endorsing the forecast it is built on?

Even if you can't get to Snow, I'm sure they can bother our dear Scottie about this one.