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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11586/budget-forecast-dreaming/

Budget Forecast Dreaming

February 2, 2010 by

The NYT runs an interactive chart on forecasts vs reality in federal budgeting. It turns out that the forecasts don’t consider 1) political greed, and 2) change.


Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 7:38 am

Why the solid line past 2010? Shouldn’t be there.

Deefburger February 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

“Why the solid line past 2010? Shouldn’t be there.”

It’s funds already allocated. Like all the wonderful spending programs they have planned for 2010, that were allocated in 2009.

The 2010 spending spree was allocated in 2009 and delayed so that the spending “relief” would occur in an election year. Makes ‘em look good at election time. Simple old time election bubble.

Abhinandan Mallick February 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

In the future, perhaps “New York Times” and “Paul Krugman” will come to represent derogatory slurs.

Steve Hogan February 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

The budget “surplus” of the late 90′s is a myth. The deficit continued to climb every year. But even if you take the numbers at face value, the revenue was based on a bubble economy that had to implode. We were already well into a recession when Clinton left office.

The real crime was in trying to prevent the correction from playing itself out. We got Bush-Greenspan using the same tired Keynesian nonsense, which gave us an even bigger asset bubble. That same mistake is now being repeated with Obama-Bernanke on a much larger scale. The outcome is going to be disastrous.

Ted February 2, 2010 at 10:59 am


Could someone point me in the direction of some articles concerning the Austrian viewpoint of the Clinton budget surplus?

(8?» February 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Here is a good look at the mythical Clinton surplus. Long story short, they raided the SSI cookie jar and generally Krugmaned up the place.


Bruce Koerber February 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Notice the result of empirical economic forecasting. Even if the numbers miraculously matched the forecast the numbers would have no connection to the human reality.

Bogus results & bogus methodology & bogus interpretation means that we are living in the Dark Ages of economic science!

Steve Hogan February 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

The politicians have been masking the true deficits for years by raiding the Social Security “trust fund.” Hundreds of billions worth. Since SS was considered off-budget and not part of the general fund, stealing from it was a relatively simple matter.

Those days are now over, because the trust fund’s payouts exceed contributions starting this year. They’ll be raiding the general fund to pay current SS recipients. It’s an accounting shell game, but hiding the chicanery won’t be so simple any more. It’s like paying down the Visa bill by adding to the MasterCard bill. Eventually the whole thing collapses from its own contradictions.

The crooks in Washington have stolen everything in sight. The country is technically insolvent. The sooner we repudiate the debt and end the immoral welfare state, the sooner we can pick up the pieces and begin anew.

Eric M. Staib February 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Abhinandan Mallick: “In the future, perhaps ‘New York Times’ and ‘Paul Krugman’ will come to represent derogatory slurs.”

“(8?» Long story short, they raided the SSI cookie jar and generally Krugmaned up the place.”

Perhaps they will! :-)

Brian Macker February 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm


It goes all the way to 2020.

roy February 3, 2010 at 2:21 am

wow.. that is some track record! Good thing we don’t trust those guys with our money……. oh wait, we do. shit!

Seattle February 3, 2010 at 5:50 am

An interesting general pattern: In all but a few cases, the budget is forecasted to go into a surplus within the next few years, but the thick blue line just keeps dropping off. The forecasters must be like the guy that keeps flapping his arms after he falls from a cliff.

Scott D February 3, 2010 at 9:20 am

Brian Macker

“It goes all the way to 2020.”

Click through to the NYT article, Brian, for an explanation. The thick blue line is the current prediction.

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