Ed Glaeser does not like the Republican mortgage plan any more than I do. I am not sure that plan is still alive. It may have been superceded by another ill-conceived idea, a tax break for home buyers. See Tyler Cowen.

Meanwhile, President Obama comes across as rather confused. He cannot tell the difference between policies to fight a recession and policies to produce long-term structural change (or, at a more cynical level, programs to reward Democratic Party constituencies and push favored Democratic Party causes). He seems to be with Nancy Pelosi, not with Alice Rivlin.

I’ll admit that the economics profession is in turmoil these days. But watching both parties, I am reminded again of Herbert Stein’s observation that noneconomists, including politicians who make economic policy, know even less about the economy than economists do.