Enron style accounting comes to the White House. The chicanery is all about "meeting" a Bush campaign promise to halve the deficit. How do you do that?
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. By starting with the outdated projection, Mr.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. ...You start with a fake target, then you exclude enormous costs that are a direct result of your policies. I really don't understand how this kind of lying happens in plain sight with no one caring. I guess the only accountability is the voters, and the electorate ain't too good at the numbers.
Administration officials are also invoking optimistic assumptions about rising tax revenue while excluding costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as trillions of dollars in costs that lie just outside Mr. Bush's five-year budget window. ...
The budget is also expected to exclude Mr. Bush's goal to replace Social Security in part with a system of private savings accounts, even though administration officials concede that such a plan could require the government to borrow $2 trillion over the next decade or two.