• There's Really No Need to Worry About This $1.3 Trillion Deficit

    Barack ObamaToday President Obama is set to reassure an anxious nation that despite all appearances to the contrary, America's fiscal situation is not as dire as it seems.

    Oh, wait. My mistake

    President Barack Obama is set to deliver the worst fiscal news since the Great Depression.

    On Monday, he’ll outline a deficit of $1.3 trillion, the largest as a share of the nation’s economy since World War II. He’ll blame years of runaway budgets, two costly wars, exploding health care costs – and even the massive stimulus package he signed last week, accounting for fully one-quarter of it.

    [...] "The budget news is very bad in the short, and the long run," said Alice Rivlin, Bill Clinton’s budget director.

    Okay, okay, don't panic. Let's look at this rationally.

    "A trillion is not a 'bleak' number, per se. It's just a number. We might need two trillion," said the University of Texas’s James Galbraith in an email. "Deficits have to grow. They will grow. Please get used to it."

    That's very sensible. A trillion is just a number, and numbers can't hurt you. No one has ever died from an eight attack or been jumped in an alley by a roving gang of 493s.

    So, short-run solution: simply decide that numbers don't count. Maybe even replace them with letters, colors or emoticons! How does a deficit of Orange ;) sound? Pretty festive, right? And once we get through the short run problems, all that's left is the long run. At which point we'll all be dead.

    I don't know about you, but I'm feeling better already.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Deficit, Economy, Stimulus


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