Nothing is going on in Washington right now. News like this can't be all bad. It is a known fact that less goes wrong in Washington when nobody is there. This is not just one of those sayings of Calvin Coolidge; it is a known fact.
Congress is on vacation until July 23. This doesn't mean that some members won't put in a bill for a business trip. Even though this is investigated from time to time, it seems business is where the swimming pools are. The President isn't answering his phone these days, which probably means he is at Camp David having a barbecue, or out at the ranch having a barbecue, or out shopping with Nancy for barbecue sauce.
In other words, Washington is virtually empty. At least the Rev. Jesse Jackson couldn't find anybody to talk with. The only people he has been able to talk with lately, besides Castro, are the 26 Cuban prisoners he brought home with him, and even then a lot is lost in the translation. So Mr. Jackson left town and went to Tijuana. The reason he is hardly ever seen in an American city is that he can act more like a president when he is somewhere else.
Even though the government is at a standstill, everyone says the American economy is still strong. This may simply mean it is strong like a package of Limburger cheese left on the windowsill, but at any rate it is not being tampered with.
Then there are the interest rates. Everyone is talking about interest rates but no one is doing anything about them. Which perhaps is just as well. All we know for sure is that when interest rates went up everyone in the White House left town.
People in the business community keep on saying that the stock market went down only because the prime rate went up. We happen to think the reason the stock market went down is that all the people on Wall Street and in the Federal Reserve System went away on vacation and they don't want any money to be made while they are away. This column predicts the stock market will go up later in the summer when everybody gets back.
Vacation time is all right. But it keeps the budget up. When everyone is away , an entire government payroll has to be added just to answer telephones.