Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Numbers

There's been a spirited (and sometimes dispiriting) argument going on concerning which of the collection of flawed candidates on offer should carry the Republican banner in 2012 against President Obama.

If the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office turn out to be accurate, it may not matter very much:

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the deficit will rise to $1.08 trillion in 2012.

The office also projected the jobless rate would rise to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013.

These are much dimmer forecasts than in CBO's last report in August, when the office projected a $973 billion deficit. The report reflects weaker corporate tax revenue and the extension for two months of the payroll tax holiday.
Wait, the payroll tax holiday? I thought that was money that went into the lockbox. Anyone remember the lockbox?

Actually, the key number is the unemployment number. That's the one that will drive the debate this year, along with the price of gasoline over the summer. As horrific as numbers in the trillions are, they are so huge that they end up being abstractions for most people. The numbers the average person experiences are the ones that matter, which is why, even though the Republican field has turned out to be weak, I think Obama is in a lot more trouble than some of my Democratic Party friends seem to understand.


Gino said...

it all comes down to Ohio.

Anonymous said...

the lockbox? I didn't realize you were an Al Gore supporter. Also, you will have to introduce me to the Democrats who think the Election is gonna be a walk in the park for Obama. They need to be disabused of that notion. I can talk to them if you like.

But as long as Willard can't keep his silver foot out of his mouth or his perfectly coiffed head out of his ass, everything does seem to be coming up Milhouse for Obama. Every day, I become a little more convinced that Romney just might be the better Candidate (if you are a Democrat), than Gingrich. My God, this guy is a gift that keeps giving. I am starting to see why he has lost so many previous elections...He's a walking gaffe. No wonder he lost 40 points in 6 months to Ted Kennedy. And couldn't run for re-election as Governor. The more people get to know him, the higher his negatives climb.