I always took comfort in the idea that who’s elected president didn’t really affect our direction much — that America was simply too sprawling, de-centralized and muscular for us to be moved very far one way or the other by the policies of a president and his administration. But I’m starting to conclude that idea was wrong, at least during a period of profound economic restructuring like the one we’re living through right now.
To try to understand how presidents think through their economic policy and how a given administration would know if something truly extraordinary and world-changing was hitting the nation’s economy, I spoke at length with Keith Hennessey.
Hennessey served in the George W. Bush Administration as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the U.S. National Economic Council. Today, he is a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and lectures at Stanford’s Business and Law Schools. He also is the proprietor of KeithHennessey.com, quite possibly the finest, most insightful blog on government finance there is.