NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bush's Team Shows What Policies He'll Follow

August 2, 2000

More than campaign promises or party platforms, a presidential candidate's personnel decisions tell us the direction his administration will take. That is because presidents must delegate implementation of most of their policies. Unless a president has articulate and determined advisers to help him carry through his plans, they too easily founder on the rocks of inertia.

We now know a great deal about Gov. George W. Bush's foreign policy and defense team.

  • Although not official, it is a foregone conclusion that Colin Powell will be Secretary of State, and as a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we can assume he will have a lot to say about defense policy as well.
  • We can also assume that Dick Cheney, the vice presidential nominee and a former Secretary of Defense, will also have a great deal to say about defense policy.
  • Lastly it is assumed that Condoleezza Rice of Stanford University will become Bush's national security adviser.

By contrast, we know much less about Bush's domestic and economic appointments.

  • It is thought that Larry Lindsey, his chief economic adviser, will be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
  • Economist John Cogan, also of Stanford, is assumed to be in line for Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
  • But as yet, we have no clue about who Bush might nominate for Treasury Secretary, U.S Trade Representative and other key economic policy positions.

Either Steve Forbes or Bill Archer (R-Texas), the retiring chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, would be an outstanding choice for Treasury.

If Bush's appointments to key economic agencies are as good as those he has made for defense and foreign policy, prospects for continued economic growth will be greatly enhanced.

Source: Bruce Bartlett, senior fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis, August 2, 2000.


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