You have to wonder if it's the same person at the White House?
Years after the administration displayed the "mission accomplished" banner behind the president as he spoke on an aircraft carrier about how hostilities in Iraq were over, the president spoke yesterday in Arkansas in front of a banner saying "fiscal responsibility."
Has anyone else noticed that new OMB Director Jim Nussle is no where to be found?
Think about this. It's the last week of the fiscal year, no fiscal 2008 appropriations have yet been enacted, Congress has to pass an increase in the debt ceiling by next Monday, and Alan Greenspan has been everywhere the past week saying terrible things about the Bush budget and economic plan.
And Jim Nussle hasn't been seen or heard from.
Will new OMB Director Jim Nussle ever be heard from again?
That's the question I I try to answer in this week's "Budget Battles" column on nationaljournal.com.
There's little doubt that Nussle's preference is to get out there and score points for the White Houset. He is combative, partisan, and likes to mix it up. (Remember, this is the representative who made a speech on the House floor with a bag over his head to criticize the Democratic leadership. )
This is a surprise that could reverberate for months.
It now seems almost inevitable that, regardless of who is elected president and which politicla party controls Congress, federal spending and borrowing will have to increase substantially in the coming years. My guess is that a 25 percent real increase over current levels -- about $125 billion -- is coming.