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Dropping a Chapter

Oh, now they’re worried about credibility…. I think it’s a bit too late…

Dropping Report’s Iraq Chapter Was Unusual, Economists Say (
Concern About Impact on White House’s Credibility Cited
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 23, 2005; Page A17
At the National Security Council’s request, the White House excised a full chapter on Iraq’s economy from last week’s Economic Report of the President, reasoning in part that the “feel good” tone of the writing would ring hollow against the backdrop of continuing violence, according to White House officials.
The decision to delete an entire chapter from the Council of Economic Advisers’ annual report was highly unusual. Council members — recruited from the top ranks of economic academia — have long prided themselves on independence and intellectual integrity, and the Economic Report of the President is the council’s primary showcase.
The annual report was upbeat on Iraq.
The withholding of a completed chapter struck some economists from both political parties as evidence of the council’s waning influence.
“This is extraordinary,” said William A. Niskanen, a CEA member in the Reagan White House and the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute. “The council has been unfortunately weakened.”


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