Worth Reading for April 12, 2010
Yes, Bryan Caplan Is the Stupidest Man Alive

Deficit: This Is Not Good News

David Cho writes:

The federal deficit is running significantly lower than it did last year, with the budget gap for the first half of fiscal 2010 down 8 percent over the same period a year ago, senior Obama administration officials said Monday. The officials attributed the results to higher tax revenue and to lower spending than projected on bailing out the financial system. If the trend continues for the rest of the year, it would mean the annual deficit would be $1.3 trillion -- about $300 billion less than the administration's projection two months ago for 2010...

This is bad news: unemployment is higher than it was a year ago, and so the deficit ought to be higher: a lower deficit means that they have gotten fiscal policy off.

But because David Cho has never bothered to learn the policy substance, he cannot add any value. It would have been much better to just let Peter Orszag grab the mike and publish what he said.

All Cho can do is go into an inside-baseball political-spin blather that would he better left on the cutting-room floor:

But by suggesting the deficit may have peaked, administration officials are taking a political gamble. If the favorable number does not hold up in coming months and the budget shortfall surpasses the $1.4 trillion recorded last year, voters in the November midterm elections could punish the Democrats for offering false hope...

David:they aren't "suggesting" anything. That the deficit is running lower than it did last year is a fact of life. It is not something that the Obama administration decided to do. Cho's spin is just silly.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps.