Better Late than Never
I just caught a recent Spinsanity piece on the spinning of the deficit. They have a great exchange from McClellan’s first day:
Q: One more thing, if I may. You had a laundry list, basically, about what has contributed to the deficit, and you didn’t include the tax cuts in there. Was that an oversight?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, no. Again, there’s going to be a full briefing on there. But, clearly, it was, you know, the slower economic recovery and weak stock market that caused revenues to decline, which explains the biggest change that you’ll see in our budget position — followed by cost of war and the economic growth plan.
Oops! Must have slipped his mind. A recession would in fact explain some of the big drop off in revenue–except that GDP has not fallen (see this post). And blaming the weak stock market for the drop off in revenue is also a stretch because so much stock is held in nontaxable accounts (IRAs and endowments) that a decline in the market has a disproportionately small impact on tax revenues.
Spinsanity’s got a lot more, including some additional analysis of what portion of the deficit is attributable to Iraq and Afghanistan.