The New York Times put out a neat interactive graph today that shows just how inaccurate long-term U.S. budget forecasts are. The dark line in the graph above is the actual U.S. budget since 1980, while the light gray lines are the predicted surpluses and deficits.
For the most part, with the noted exception of the late 1990's dot-com boom, all of the forecasts, whether Republican or Democratic, predicted smaller deficits or eventual surpluses that never came to be.
Forecasters in the early-90s didn't predict the boom of the late-90s, so maybe Obama's forecast is too grim. On the other hand, based on this chart, it's probably too optimistic.
Graph from the New York Times.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By Stephen M.