Thursday, October 05, 2006

Brad and Other Libs Miss Deficit by just 39%!!!

Re(1): 'Edmund Andrews on the Bush Budget Submission', Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal
Re(2): 'And, now banned :-{', Me
Re(3): 'Budget Deficit Estimation', Me
Re(4): 'Federal Budget Deficit - MoveOn Libs, nothing to see here', Me

Still not permitted to post on Brave Brad DeLong’s (the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton) Lefty web site, but I can post here regarding his FY2006 budget premonitions:


Well Brad,

You have your answer regarding the truly brilliant FY2006 deficit estimate of $423 Billion.

Missed it by that ($163 Billion) much...

Get Smart...

But that wasn't your real question was it...

Here is a question (given that this post isn't dead and that I am permitted to post again): What will the higher income middle class going to do with a clearer tax burden. That is, they can compute their taxes without the AMT surprise...

Brad, are you going to keep on trusting Krugman et. al.?


Let's see...

In February I estimated a deficit of $287 Billion.

Missed it by that ($27 Billion) much...

I guess presenting and missing an economic target by a mere 39% is good enough for government work - Brad DeLong, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton. Vote these guys back in!!!


Dean Moriarty said...

Does that figure include the costs associated with Iraq and Afghanistan?

Boghie said...


I generate my numbers using actual expenditures - not projected budgets.

Thus, the number in the MTS reflect the expenditures associated with the supplementals.

Bush et. al. are hiding the expense of the war from the budget process - and that is a bit wrong of them, but who actually knows with certainty what will be required. However, he cannot hide the expenditures as they are paid out.

Dean Moriarty said...

Boghie, thanks for the response on Tigerhawk. I appreciate the clarification. It's nice to see a thoughtful discussion in an age of trash-talking knuckleheads and arrogant idealogues that wield shibboleths like cudgels. I thought I'd post the a few points on your own blog, though, if you don't mind, as I figure you pay closer attention to this than other ones.

1) The only Randy Rhoads I listen to is the (God rest his soul) heavy metal guitarist that often played with Ozzy Ozbourne. Left-wing talk radio is as vapid and ignorant as right-wing talk radio.

2) I sure as hell hope that people weren't planning on living off of Social Security (although many unfortunately are). Even FDR said that it was never intended to serve as a retirement plan, only a measure to protect our elderly and disabled from falling into abject poverty. It drives me nuts when people complain, and (mostly Democratic) politicians sympathize, that they “can’t live off their meager Social Security checks.”

3) Are you said that there was no debt retirement in late 1990s? I don't think this is right. I'd have to check the figures later, but I thought that in late 1998 and early 1999 we were paying down at least $10BB per fiscal quarter. I thought that publicly-held debt went down as a percentage of GDP. I could be wrong though. At the very least, it grew a lot less quickly in the 90s than it did in the 80s, and slower than it is growing right now.

4) Are you certain that the "evil" Halliburton is paying a "fairer share?" Not that I don't believe you, but I'd like to see the data on that. From what I've read (and I'm not saying that it is air-tight truth), they aren't paying all that much due to offshore tax havens and depreciation loopholes. In fact, I think Cheney helped them find loopholes to a big refund during his time there. (and let's not forget the settlement they had with the SEC, the pension robbing, and the class-action suit from their shareholders). I don't begrudge them their enormous wealth, but I wonder to what extent they are indeed shouldering a "fair" tax burden (whatever that might be), and whether they are reporting everything they ought to be.

5) Debt ownership: I should have clarified that the increase in foreign debt I was talking about referred to the period since March 2001 for the figure in the 70s. However, unless I'm reading the tables wrong, foreigners hold 44% of the total debt, and 64% of that is foreign central banks. (

6) As to comparisons of FY 2001, I wasn't quibbling with the context of war and "biblical catastrophes"(as in Katrina?), but rather just historical economic recoveries. Additionally, in assessing the relative impact of the fiscal policy, how much of the growth that's occurred can be attributed to the tax cuts (and which tax cuts at that) as opposed to the huge amounts of defense and discretionary spending? Personally, I think it would be ideal to live with the lowest tax rates possible, but monetary policy is far more impactful than fiscal policy.

What changes that the Democrats could make are you suggesting would "clobber" the economy? A hike in the top marginal rate? I think that history has shown that, within reason, slightly higher tax rates don’t have the catastrophic effects that many supply-side scare-mongers would like to claim, and that super-low rates don’t create the kinds of magic that their proponents claim. I'm pretty sure which side of the Laffer Curve we're on at this point, and I doubt anyone is going to hike the top rate to anywhere close to pushing over the line. I think that fiscal policy is more a matter of managing the results of the greatness of our powerful economy as it is a matter of creating that greatness.

Finally, I hope you are right about the surpluses. That would be a much needed relief (are you going to take up Mark Kleiman on his $10,000 bet, then? :) ). Anyway, thanks again for the discussion.