Neither Bush nor Clinton is confronting the hard numbers, but at least each is proposing ... BABY STEPS

WHO WOULD DO THE BEST JOB of leading the U.S. out of its economic mess? Would it be President Bush, who advocates tax cuts to unleash what Republicans like to call the magic of the marketplace? Or Bill Clinton, who wants to use the power of Washington to rebuild America's creaky infrastructure and pour resources into job-training programs?

At its economic forum last week in New York City, TIME asked a panel of leading economists and marketplace experts to assess the Bush and Clinton programs. Such analysis is a bit like looking at clouds, since both candidates offer wispy details and...

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