All politicians left behind in math

Sam Smith

The story got nowhere near the attention it deserved, but after Obama and Boehner declared that their budget agreement would produce a $38 billion savings, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the effect would be about $352 million – or less than one percent of the amount the politicians claimed.

How can one possibly have a workable government – let alone a reasonable budget – when the numbers being used are that far apart? And when the media gives it token mention and moves on to the next press conferences?

This is not a debate. This is not a difference in ideology or an adut conversation. This is adult insanity.

As noted here before, we are really living in a new Middle Ages in which life is being driven by myths rather than reality. And where reality is generally considered irrelevant, unsophisticated or perverted.
The media has slipped hopelessly into this morass, witness this from the Washington Post: “Obama acknowledged that the debt must be tackled faster than he has previously proposed.”

As Dean Baker – one of the isolated sane – observes: “It is only possible to ‘acknowledge’ something which is true. The Post obviously believes it is true that ‘the debt must be tackled faster than he has previously proposed,’ but that does not make it so. This is the Post’s opinion.”

Baker goes on to note: “Remarkably, the coverage of the President’s [budget] speech in both the Post and the NYT included no mention of the recession. The main reason that the deficit has soared in the last three years is because of the economic collapse that followed the crash of the housing bubble.

“If the deficit is reduced substantially before the economy has gotten back to near full employment levels of output, the main effect will be to slow growth and throw more people out of work. This fact was never mentioned in either piece even though President Obama proposes to have his deficit reduction targets to become binding in fiscal year 2014, a point at which the unemployment rate is still projected to be 7.2 percent. ”

It is one thing to have Republican corporate hit men treating facts with such indifference, but when Obama, the NY Times and the Washington Post, join in the fantasy, your chances of a realistic solution from the capital are pretty much over.

It is one thing to have someone like Senator Kyl declare that Planned Parenthood spends 90% of its fund on abortions (instead of the actual 3%) and then to have his office declared that “his remark was not intended to be a factual statement,” but when a Democratic president is 100 times off from a Congressional Budget Office analysis you have what they call in Washington a serious structural problem.

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