They look basically the same, except that last year the worst year for the deficit was supposed to be last year and this year it’s supposed to be this year. And so on. If you go back farther, moreover, to the George W. Bush years, you find that he, too, forever told us that prosperity was just around the corner.
Nothing illustrates this better than David Leonhardt’s cool new budget widget in the NYT.
With a scroll of your mouse, you can go through each forecast from 2001, which looked like this…
to 2009, which looked like this:
And you can also read David’s excellent tale of our budget collapse, which begins like this:
There are two basic truths about the enormous deficits that the federal government will run in the coming years.
The first is that President Obama‘s agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. The second is that Mr. Obama does not have a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit, despite what his advisers have suggested.
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