After whistling past the midterm elections, the Bush administration is shaking up its economic team in the face of lagging growth and increasing joblessness.
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey tendered requested resignations Friday, clearing the way for fresh thinking. The more mundane problems of government didn't go away while Bush turned his attention to homeland security and the terror war, and now he is moving to address one.
The Democratic reaction was predictable: ''Firing its economic team is an overdue admission by the Bush administration that its economic policies have failed,'' said Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
When the economy falters, the president usually gets the lion's share of blame -- whether or not it is fair and justified. ...
With the midterm election already history, tomorrow starts the rest of the period before Bush will stand for re-election. When Bush fills the freshly vacated economic team seats, the direction of his economic policy should begin to emerge. Since he's going to be held responsible for the condition of the economy come 2004, Bush is well advised to do what he can to put it more firmly on the road to recovery.
--Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal
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