Clive Crook Gets Fiscal Religion

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 8, 2009

Read, assuming, of course, you have the stomach for this.

Crook points out that (a) the long-term fiscal outlook for the United States is a bad one, with more spending and less revenue; (b) the projected deficit looks to be 4% of GDP–with other pressures like demographic trends and future public spending likely pushing it to 8% of GDP; (c) health care reform will add still more to the fiscal gap (with $634 billion put in a reserve fund, as I have pointed out here); (d) contrary to projections, there will be further bailouts and reductions in the alternative minimum tax may well eat further into revenue; (e) efforts at revenue raising through cap and trade are less likely to pass than appropriations bills are (I am against cap and trade, but that is immaterial here; what matters is that Congress is not going to be able to raise revenue in the near future nearly as quickly as it is going to be able to spend money); and (f) you can only tax the rich so much–a point I made here.

That enough to depress you? Here’s one more thing–call it (g): The Obama Administration projects economic growth rates of 2.6% in its deficit projections, which would result in a $7 trillion deficit over a ten year period. The Congressional Budget Office, however, assumes a 2.2% growth rate. If the CBO is right, we have a deficit that will be $9.3 trillion over the same period.

Got fiscal religion yet? If so, you are disqualified from working for the Obama Administration.

Previous post:

Next post: