January 19, 2005


Promises by the Numbers (Robert J. Samuelson, January 19, 2005, Washington Post)

Everyone is going to play numbers games to judge George W. Bush's next economic policies. At the top of the list will be Bush's pledge to cut the budget deficit in half by 2009. Although this promise seems simple, it isn't.

Let's see. Chad Kolton, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, says the pledge was made a year ago, when the projected deficit for 2004 was $521 billion, or 4.5 percent of gross domestic product. Thus, the administration's targets for 2009 are $260 billion, or 2.2 percent of GDP. But wait; the actual deficit for 2004 was $413 billion (3.6 percent of GDP).

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2005 11:57 PM
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