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Finally Honest Predictions of the Future

February 22, 2009

A specimen of typical Libtalk:

Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday that a budget blueprint he is releasing Thursday will be “honest in its accounting.”

Meaning, of course, not that it will be within the legal framework, as this goes without saying, but that Bush’s budgets were less than honest, and most likely illegal (note the Arthur Anderson swipe in the linked text.)

It’s typical for the left to use wishy-washy terms to make good/evil distinctions in a way that suits them. One way of doing things is “fair” another one is “unfair”, one way of planning a budget is “honest”, another is “dishonest”. Apparently, because

“[Obama’s] budget actually is going to assume that there will be a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood or manmade disaster in the United States in fiscal year 2010, and each year going forward 10 years,”

it is an “honest” budget. One way of predicting the future (namely Obama’s) is more “honest” than another (namely Bush’s).

As for the other predictions concerning the budget: the French Cowboy is wary. It’s going to be very, very, very tough to reduce the deficit by half within four years even if nothing catastrophic happens. Withdrawal from Iraq will be costly in money terms, Afghanistan is also going to be very financially demanding, and taxing the rich and companies might not even increase tax revenues thanks to the downward pressure on productivity and the Laffer effect.

Also, the potential for cost reductions in the health care sector may well be overestimated and they don’t come for free either as increases of efficiency often demand initial investments that pay off only over a long period of time. (And this leaves aside that the nature of the health care system is such that economic efficiency often clashes with the main goal of the system, ie to help sick people. So even if there is room for cost reductions the non-pecuniary price of such may be too high to talk about an actual improvement.)

So let’s wait and see what those “other cuts and savings to be specified later” will be.

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