The U. S. political and policy outlook has seldom been so murky. Political analysts are unusually hesitant to forecast the election outcome and economic analysts seem incapable of forecasting next year's budget balance within hundreds of billions of dollars. Meanwhile, the Congress provided a huge dose of well-timed fiscal stimulus in 2002, but is now operating without a fiscal compass. They have no budget rules or fiscal goals that can be identified. The only clear voices are possessed by the warriors Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Whatever the merits of the case for attacking Iraq, the warriors have worn down the opposition, both here and abroad, and war seems likely.