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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Creative Accounting

In yesterday's post on the credit crunch, I made offhand reference to the fact that deficits encourage inflation, linking to and quoting from, in distress, the news of the Bush administration's record-breaking $490 billion deficit.

Of course, nothing is as it seems, ever. Today via Think Progress, I see that ABC's Good Morning America this...well...this morning had the following news:
Claire Shipman reported that the deficit is actually much higher because “creative White House accounting” didn’t include the war, the unemployment costs, Medicare fees, or the housing bill in its calculations. If those numbers are included, it brings “the grand total to about $600 billion.”
Here's the video:

Creative accounting indeed. But nothing new, really; the Bush administration has always seen its war costs as outside the budget, not to be counted in their drunken night ashore; and we all know that they see laws and regulations as malleable, flexible, and at times invisible. So no big surprise there either.

It's only the number which is so appalling, and, even given the players, almost...almost shocking. And knowing that it will likely be a Democrat who inherits this unmitigated mess, I wouldn't even expect them to try and stay within this projection.

Hell, if they thought they'd be able to leave Obama to pick up the pieces of a trillion dollar deficit, they'd probably find some way to work it out. Maybe in addition to preemptive pardons, they'll start looking at preemptive corporate bailouts too. Maybe Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, or even the Carlyle Group should be protected against any future potential profit loss?

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