Upside down
We've got our priorities upside down
Back in January, here's what the CBO projected in its 10-year budget outlook for fiscal years 2012 to 2021:
Total revenues: $39.084 trillion
Total outlays: $46.055 trillion
Total surplus/deficit: $-6.971 trillion*

Now, flash forward to Wednesday, and check out the CBO's latest projections for the same 10-year period:

Total revenues: $39.221 trillion
Total outlays: $42.708 trillion
Total surplus/deficit: $-3.487 trillion*

Well, look at that. We were at a $7 trillion projected deficit in January, and now, after eight months of letting the GOP drive our fiscal and economic policy, the projection is now just $3.5 trillion. Hip, hip, hooray! We cut the budget deficit in half! And we did it without raising taxes. Isn't that awesome? I can't wait to see the economy soar and polling numbers jump.

Except even though we cut the budget deficit in half over the past seven or eight months, unemployment is higher today than it was in January (up to 9.1 percent from 9.0 percent) and the stock market is lower (the Dow is at 11,321 today compared with 11,891 on Jan. 31).

And even though we did things the GOP's way (or, more likely, because we did things their way), voters are less happy than ever with their political leadership. At the end of January, President Obama's net approval rating was +5; today it is -11, a 16-point slide in reverse.

It's not just President Obama, however. People are frustrated with him, but they really hate John Boehner. Back in January, Boehner's net approval rating was +2. Today, it's -24, a huge 26-point collapse in his approval rating leaving him far less popular than President Obama.

After eight months of letting Republicans drive our economic and fiscal policy, the moral of this story is abundantly clear: It's time to stop.

*In both its January and August projections, the CBO's baseline assumption is that things like the Bush tax cuts and Medicare doc "fix" are not extended. This, as CBO acknowledges, is an unrealistic assumption, but they make it because it reflects current law. As a result, the budget deficit could be as much as $5 trillion higher, but it would be that much higher in both cases. In other words, it's an apples-to-apples comparison.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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