POLICY: Everyone's Wild Over Alice

Will Congress ever get comfortable with economics? Despite their constitutional power over the nation's purse strings, the moguls on Capitol Hill have rarely been able to joust on an even footing with the White House when it came to arguing about the cost of specific programs or shaping the federal budget. When they tried—so they bitterly complained—they were almost always zapped by a barrage of expert-sounding figures prepared by professionals in the President's Office of Management and Budget. All that changed, or was supposed to, three years ago, when the legislators created...

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