Here’s a great analogy from Fred Clark, a.k.a. Slacktivist:
I might be less skeptical of the Bush administration’s claim to be planning to cut the federal deficit in half over the next five (now four) years if they produced even the hint of something resembling a plan or an explanation of how they intend to do this.
It doesn’t help their credibility on this point that they’re also playing “Mom, I’m pregnant” every year with their deficit projections.
My friend Michelle got a tattoo, a modest, but conspicuous little dolphin on her ankle. This was bound to freak out her mom. So before showing her mom the ink, she told her she was pregnant. After letting her really freak out over that for a bit, she said, “Relax, mom, I’m not pregnant. I just got a tattoo and I didn’t want you to blow this out of proportion.”
No offense to Michelle, but this is a pretty dishonest trick. In her defense, she only did it once. The Bush administration has done this same thing year after year.
They project record-shattering deficits of half a trillion dollars or so, so that later, when the merely record-breaking figure of around $400 billion comes out they can claim that they’ve actually reduced the deficit from their previous, Mom-I’m-pregnant projection.