The L.A. Times' Fiscal Fantasies

But what if one were to assign presidential responsibility based on budgets passed — or in Obama's case, fiscal auto-pilot exercises conducted — during their respective terms? This would give Bill Clinton credit for Bush 43's first eight months of public debt-to-GDP decline, and would blame Bush for Obama's first eight disastrous months, despite the Texan having no involvement in 2009's deficit- and debt-driving stimulus plan. Even in that tortured framework, six of the eight budgets for which Bush was supposedly responsible showed public debt-to-GDP decreases or small increases. Such increases during Obama's presidency have all ranged from large to very large.

Here is how it all looks when presented in a chart:


It's quite obvious that the vast majority of Bush 43's presidency was marked by modest growth in public debt as a percentage of GDP, and that things did not begin to get out of hand until the first full budget year after the Democratic Party took control of the House and Senate. Absolutely all of Barack Obama's presidency has seen catastrophic growth in that percentage.

There is almost certainly no end in sight in debt-to-GDP growth, despite Lauter's contention, presented as if factual, that "the debt will tick down slowly to around 71% of GDP in 2018."

CBO's projections assume annual nominal GDP growth of 5.9 percent or more, or well over 3 percent after inflation, during each of the three fiscal years ending in 2017. In the four years since the recession officially ended, the economy has grown at a compound annual rate of 2.2 percent.

What in the world is there on the economic policy front which would give anyone but a blind leftist partisan the idea that stronger economic growth is on the horizon? Is it the relentlessly growing army of Obamacare part-timers? The mind-boggling incompetence of the Obamacare rollout? The plundering of red states, the young and self-employed upper middle-class hard-wired into Obamacare itself? The EPA's war on coal and fossil fuel-based energy? Beyond that, for CBO's projections to come true, the Fed's relentless generation of money from nothing must continue to keep interest rates historically low. There have already been signs of serious weakening on that front.

Lauter's background clearly establishes not only that he should know better than to compose and publish such rubbish, but that he also does know better. So apparently he doesn't care that he has presented self-evident lies. Work such as his goes a long way towards explaining why daily circulation at the Times, which was 900,000 in 2006, was only 494,352 as of March 31.

That's clearly 494,352 too many.