The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Deficit Graph

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a non-partisan government agency that acts as the fiscal analysis arm of the government. It evaluates the government's budgets and reports on fiscal reality as best it can, constrained by certain rules that often make its projections too optimistic, not too pessimistic.

With that in mind, consider that yesterday the NYT trumpeted the very suspect* drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1 to 7.8 percent. In their effort to help Barack Obama who had a very, very bad week, the NYT suggests that this might be an economic turning point. That assertion is laughable in light of the downward trend in GDP (a trend that the NYT gave short shrift) and recent projections by the CBO that indicate ruinous deficits in a second Obama term and thereafter. And by the way, the CBO suggests that the White House budget projections are "optimistic" in the extreme.

Consider the following graph (hat tip: Instapundit):

As you can see, the deficits during the eight Bush years were far too high, but they pale in comparison to the first four years under Barack Obama. Worse, Obama's deficits bottom out this year and then begin to rise again (the red represents CBO projections, the tan/pink represents White House projections, and gray represents actual results). And even worse than that, Obama's deficits for 2010 - 2012 are considerably higher than the CBO projections for those years!

As a simple example of Obama's nonexistent fiscal discipline and his total disregard for debt, spend a moment examining the area under the histogram for 2001 through 2008 (the Bush years with an on-going war in Iraq and a lower level conflict in Afghanistan) and then the area under the histogram for 2009 to 2012 (with a low level conflict in Iraq and a war that Obama foolishly escalated in Afghanistan, a stimulus that simply didn't accomplish it's goals, and significant expansion of government programs). Now examine the CBO projections for 2013 to 2016—the end of Obama's second term, should he be re-elected.

It's not a pretty picture. But it's one that should appear on the refrigerator of every pro-Obama soccer mom who cares about the economic future awaiting her children.

* After 43 straight months of 8.0+ unemployment and job creation this month of less than 114,000 (anemic) the only reasonable explanation of the drop is that even more people simply dropped out of the job hunt. In fact, if all unemployed were counted in these statistics, the actual unemployment number would likely top 10 percent.