Edmund Andrews on the Bush Budget Submission
The Economist Finds Its Snark

In the Bush Administration, You See, They Fire the Competent People...

OMB Director Josh Bolten--quite possibly the worst OMB director ever--is asked a question:

Working for Bush means never having to say you're sorry : Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua Bolten held a relatively uneventful press briefing yesterday on the new White House budget, but one sharp reporter asked a question that needed to be asked.

Q: Several years ago, [Former Army Gen. and Chief of Staff Eric] Shinseki was chastised for suggesting that the war in Iraq might cost upwards of $200 [billion]. [Former White House Economic Advisor] Larry Lindsey got in some hot water, too. Now with the cost of the war up around $300 billion or so, is it time to apologize to these guys for being, if anything, conservative in their estimates?

Bolten: I'll leave that to others. I don't think so. The costs of the war are what they are.

What a predictably cavalier attitude. The people who were right were fired, and the people who were wrong were promoted. And as the cost of the war, not even counting the immeasurable loss of human lives, is passing $300 billion, the White House isn't even including the price tag in Bush's latest budget. I suppose it's possible to find a less responsible presidential administration, but it's hard to see how.