To make Mr. Bush's goal easier to reach, administration officials have decided to measure their progress against a $521 billion deficit they predicted last February rather than last year's actual shortfall of $413 billion.Not only that, but the White House is not including (a) costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, (b) the cost of major initiatives like overhauling Social Security, and (c) "trillions of dollars in [other] costs that lie just outside Mr. Bush's five-year budget window."
By starting with the outdated projection, Mr. Bush can say he has already reduced the shortfall by about $100 billion and claim victory if the deficit falls to just $260 billion.
January 2, 2005
Bush Math. The New York Times reports on Bush's campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by 2009:
by allan at 2:41 PM