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VOICE: It's time for another episode of everyone's favorite show, Know Your Czars!
GLENN: That's right, everyone. It's time for your favorite game, Know Your Czars. The most fun you can have watching your country disintegrate. Today's czar likes numbers. In fact, he announced that the Obama administration had lowered the deficit this year from $1.8 trillion to $1.6 trillion. Well, everybody dance... or not. Sure, he also noted that U.S. unemployment will surge to 10% this year and the budget deficit will widen to $1.5 trillion next year, reflecting a deeper recession than previously expected. And that the economy will shrink 2.8% this year, worse than the 1.2% contraction projected way, way, way back... in May. But it is clear that this guy is great with numbers because he's a real cost‑cutter. Any guesses who this guy might be?
STU: Is it Bernie Madoff?
GLENN: Sorry, sorry. No, not Bernie Madoff. Let me give you another hint. These big deficit savings are from their own estimates. So we can see how accurate they are. Sure, we're already about 18% higher than the top end of their unemployment estimates, top end, we're already 18% higher; but is that because they were completely wrong about how their stimulus plan would work? Could it be that the plan actually made things worse? Of course not. This czar says, quote, this administration's economic projections show that we have inherited a deeper recession than understood, end quote. Yes, it's their favorite word in the entire universe: Inherited. By the way, you won't be getting anything inherited very soon under these people. They inherited that $1.6 trillion deficit. So there was nothing they could do about it. They had to spend more this year to turn it around in the future. Now, that is financial optimism. Any guesses who this czar might be?
PAT: Is it Ken Lay?
GLENN: Ooh, sorry. I'll give you another hint. In 2008 George Bush had what all ‑‑ the all‑time record deficit in history. People like me bashed him for it. Barack Obama is crushing that record this year. But here is the detail that our czar forgot to mention: Even by Barack Obama's own estimates, at no time in the next ten years is Barack Obama able to do better than President Bush's worst year.
Now, I'm not saying that he ever has a surplus. I'm saying his deficit is worse than Bush's worst year. For every single year in his first term, his second term, and the first half of, well, I would say Joe Biden's term but it will probably be just the rest of Barack Obama's lifetime term. Today's czar shows the best year will be a deficit of $739 billion in 2015, if everything is as rosy as he says it will be. That's 61% worse than Bush's worst year and that's without universal healthcare and cap and trade. But... it gets worse. Again by Obama's own budget projections, the policies he's already put in will have the deficit getting worse, not better, at the end of projections. Worse in 2016 than 2015. Worse in 2017 than 2016. Worse in 2018 than 2017, and worse in 2019 than 2018. But after that, don't worry. I mean, everything is going to be ‑‑ anybody know who the czar is?
STU: Is it the State of California?
GLENN: Very, very close.
PAT: Is it Mark Rich?
GLENN: I think Mark Rich and Ken Lay are all dead, aren't they? No, sorry. Today's czar is Peter Orszag, Peter Orszag, our budget czar, handy with a calculator and based on his predictions so far, the proud Enron of czars.
VOICE: Ooh, sorry. Just like everyone who plays this game, you lose. But at least I'll die a little smarter just for listening to... Know Your Czars!