Who’s Counting? (updated 2-25-09)

Who’s counting the budget deficit? Well the news media might be, but the way they’re keeping it secret, one might believe it’s their PIN. From the AP by way of Drudge

“By the president’s account, the administration inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year from the Bush administration – that’s the figure Obama says he’ll cut in half – and the stimulus law, coupled with rescue efforts for ailing automakers, the financial industry and beleaguered homeowners will raise this year’s red ink to $1.5 trillion.”

Well, thank goodness, the President is keeping an account, because apparently no one in the news media has Internet access and they aren’t aware that President Bush’s last budget, passed by the 110th Congress, and Senator Obama’s caucus ( I have not confirmed his vote – he was probably too busy to vote), had a $407 billion deficit (based on contemporaneous revenue assumptions, obviously).

How did President Obama get to $1.3 trillion? Well he added in his mis-named ARRA of 2009 which consists of $787 billion in deficit spending, and some revenue reduction from the scared populace, and VOILA – $1.3 trillion. Except President Obama apparently forgot that he signed the ARRA and not President Bush.

Updated 2-25-09

How did President Obama get to his $1.3 trillion number? I’ve done some research and I still don’t know. There’s certainly a number for 2009 in the CBO data that matches it, more or less, but I haven’t been able to divine how the CBO reaches it. I do know that the $1.3 Trillion does included $184 Billion of the ARRA that actually gets spent this year, but it’s really not clear (to me) how the TARP money is accounted for or some of the other recent financial rescues.  And there is $150 billion or so of reduced revenue that got added in, which would have made the origianl Bush defict in the $550 billion range, 

Whatever the full explanation, I’m sure  that much like Timothy Geithner, the President made a “simple mistake” adding in $184 Billion and whatever else he’s authorized to his ‘inherited deficit”.

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