PERSONALITY: Alice's Adventures in Budgetland

Though it controls the nation's purse strings, Congress has long been outmatched by the Executive Branch in brainpower for evaluating federal spending proposals. Only a few Senators and Representatives have acquired much proficiency in economics, and the Administration can overwhelm them with spending and revenue estimates prepared by the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers—in all, an apparatus of some 700 people. This year the imbalance has been lessened by the new Congressional Budget Office and its articulate, politically liberal director, Economist Alice Mitchell Rivlin.


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