Talk about missing the point

Over the weekend, Jerry Fuhrman posted this interesting graph (oddly, even though the graph was from The Washington Post, he credited it to the far-right Investors Business Daily – perhaps that accounts for the rest of his confusion, as well).

To Jerry, this graph is a cautionary tale about the inadequacy of economic projections. He blames the $12.7 billion gap you see there on bad projections. The truth, of course, is that the gap is not the result of bad projections. Instead, it is the result of bad policies, almost all of them policies of the Bush administration.

If you read the text in the graph – which Jerry apparently did not, that becomes clear: “Since then, tax cuts, new spending, two wars and two recessions have driven debt toward $10.4 trillion this year, well off the projection 10 years ago.”

The new spending, by the way, is almost entirely related to Bush, not Obama policies. The Medicare drug benefit, for instance. Certainly, most of the plunge in revenue can be attributed to Bush – most of it accounted for by the unwise tax cuts he pushed through and the rest due to the Great Recession that began under his watch – which was reversed by Obama’s stimulus package and other policies. That package accounts for the lion’s share of new spending in the Obama administration. Contrary to common belief, Obama hasn’t gone on a wild spending binge. Most of the current deficit is caused, as noted above, by Bush policies and the recession.

This can be more clearly seen in this chart:

Once more, it becomes clear that the current deficit has almost nothing to do with poor projections and everything to do with bad policy.

Dig a little deeper, and go to the actual source material, Jerry, and you might see that, too.


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