As expected, the Bush administration announced today that this year's budget deficit is not nearly as bad as officials had predicted it would be a few months ago. On the off- chance that this strikes you as cause for celebration, you can reuse the same party hat you wore last year. According to the Los Angeles Times, "This will be the third year in a row that the administration put forth relatively gloomy deficit forecasts early on, only to announce months later that things had turned out better than expected. To some skeptics, it's beginning to look like an economic version of the old 'expectations' game."
To President Bush, on the other hand, the news looked like proof that he had it right all along. "The tax cuts we passed work," he declared this morning. Economists at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, meanwhile, dispute this claim, using data gleaned from a Treasury Department analysis presented at the very same Mid-Session Review at which President Bush made his announcement. Guess they shouldn't have commissioned that study