Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Cunning Plan

I do believe Baldrick is running things:

Republican budget writers say they may have found a way to cut the federal deficit even if they borrow hundreds of billions more to overhaul the Social Security system: Don't count all that new borrowing.

As they lay the groundwork for what will probably be a controversial fight over Social Security, Republican lawmakers and the Bush administration are examining a number of accounting strategies that would allow the expensive transition to a partially privatized Social Security system without -- at least on paper -- expanding the country's record annual budget deficits. The strategies include, for example, moving the costs of Social Security reform "off-budget" so they are not counted against the government's yearly shortfall.

It's "good" so we don't have to count it. These people are crazy. We are truly fucked. The scary thing is that in order for this to work in the short term they're going to have to do double-secret-stupid accounting. Money borrowed from the trust fund will be used to reduce the deficit, as it is now, but then reductions in money borrowed from the trust fund to fund their fantasy plan will not be counted as increases in the deficit.