Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grim and getting grimmer

The Congressional Budget Office released a report today that is getting a lot of buzz because it shows a significant downgrade in CBO projections of growth, unemployment, the deficit, and debt.  James Pethokoukis provides the five scariest charts from the report.  As you are reading through them, note that the CBO's baseline projections are based on current law, which is how the CBO is required to calculate its baselines.  For example, the baselines are calculated with the Bush tax cuts being reversed (which they are set to do automatically) and the yearly fixes to the Alternative Minimum Tax and Medicare payments to doctors are not enacted.  The alternative scenarios, on the other hand, are much more realistic because they are based on reasonable expectations of what the laws will be in the future.