I would rather have an economist forming monetary policy than a politician
And I would prefer almost any politician over almost any economist. It's one of the reasons I vote. If we wanted economists to run things, then lets have an oligarchy and put them in charge.
What's ultimately being "run" is a small percentage of the overall budget (remember all those entitlements and debt payments eat up huge chunks of the dollars). Budget policy should reflect the political agenda of the party in power. It's what the competing platforms are all about.
What W's team sound's like is the the standard financial management team found in a lot of big businesses. Heavy of accounting expertise. AKA, letting the bean counters run the business. Highly profitable. Except we're talking about a government, not a business.
Bush's job is to set the direction and sell the final product. He'd better be comfortable with it, and with those that formulated it, because he will take the heat.
Or not. If he has lost of "experts" creating the budget, he can use the ultimate defense and blame them. You're right that he is responsible. And while an attention to minutiae is self-defeating, I would hope for more hands on involvement.
Setting general goals and leaving policy decisions up to unelected "lieutenants", no matter how able, is dangerous. His style: He sets broad parameters and goals, hires capable lieutenants, and gives them wide latitude and authority. Is a very sound business model. And may work well in business. Or in Texas, where the governor's powers are circumscribed.
While I agree that the government has to be more business-like, that's a far cry from saying it should be run like a business. The American public deserves more attention from the man the majority of us didn't vote for.
I also think, all the smoke an mirrors aside, his tax cut proposal is premature. The nation has enjoyed the benefits of deficit spending for 16 years. It's time to pay the piper. Maxing out your credit cards and then making the minimum payment, counting on the raises you're going to get in five or seven years from now to do some serious pay-down, strikes me as foolish. Of course, by the time we know, one way or another, there'll be someone else in the White House to blame.