Economic good news?
The headlines are all sunny about the projected $100 billion decline in the Deficit. Swallowing Bush's line that it is due to the tax cuts, and regurgitating it to their open-beaked readers. Luckily, DeLong allows the more discerning open beaked readers (such as myself) a more tasty morsel.
In this feast of economic mealworms and such(ok stop with the bird metaphors), he gives us plenty of reasons to give this news the old gutteral distrust reaction that is typical of almost any statement about our economy by the Bush admin. Amongst the various highlights, DeLong gives us this:
In July 2003 the fiscal 2003 deficit was estimated at $459 billion; the actual outcome was $378 billion. In February 2004 the fiscal 2004 deficit was estimated at $521 billion--more than $100 billion higher than the Congressional Budget Office's contemporaneous estimate, and $108 billion higher than the actual fiscal 2004 deficit of $413 billion. In January 2005 the adminnistration's forecast for the fiscal 2005 deficit was $427 billion--the deficit came in at $318 billion. And in each case the Bush administration trumpeted the "progress" on the deficit made relative to the benchmark set by its own highballed previous forecasts.
Which makes me wonder. Since we have Congress in the mood of legalizing things that aren't. Maybe it is time they switched gears, and expanded a law that is currently on the books for Corporations to regulate the Government's own Financial reporting. Seems to me false reporting of the Government's financial state is indeed illegal if Sarbanes-Oxley were to apply to the Government.
After all, the idea behind Sarbanes-Oxley was more transparent financial disclosure. Besides the fact that our Government is run for/by corporations, these numbers that are falsely inflated do affect financial markets, including all things that are backed by the "full faith and credit of the United States Government."
So if this full faith is undermined by constant lying and unreliable financial statements by the people who matter. Aren't lots of people loosing money because of it? Aren't lots of other people getting played by this game? Sort of like the Enron days, when Ken Lay would tell the employees that everything was great, and that they should invest in the stock, knowing full well that the opposite were true.