Williams Relays Theory Admin Inflated Deficit Projection So It Looked Good When Lower
The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Tuesday delivered short items on how this year's budget deficit will be $296 billion, down substantially from the administration's predication of $423 billion, but while ABC anchor Kate Snow and CBS anchor Bob Schieffer stuck to how economic growth fueled increased tax revenue, NBC anchor Brian Williams decided to relay, without naming any names, a conspiracy theory: “Many economists and administration critics say the White House has deliberately inflated its own deficit projections in the past few years to score political points when the actual numbers came in lower." Of the three anchors, only CBS's Schieffer noted the role of tax cuts, citing how President Bush “gave the credit to his tax cuts, saying they stimulated the economy and boosted the amount of money coming into the Treasury." (Transcripts follow)
Brian Williams, on the July 11 NBC Nightly News:
“President Bush today presided over an event designed to trumpet the administration's so-called mid-session budget review. This is a duty that normally falls to a lower budget official and not the President, but the administration wanted to highlight new numbers showing that the budget deficit is going down. Last year's deficit was $318 billion. And last year the White House predicted this year's deficit would be $423 billion. Now, according to today's projections, this year's deficit will come in, in fact they say, at $296 billion, mostly because of increased tax revenue from corporations and wealthy Americans. Now many economists and administration critics say the White House has deliberately inflated its own deficit projections in the past few years to score political points when the actual numbers came in lower.”Substitute anchor Kate Snow on ABC's World News Tonight:
"There's encouraging news about the federal budget tonight. The Bush administration said this year's deficit will be $296 billion, much smaller than the $423 billion shortfall forecast six months ago. President Bush said the improvement is the result of strong economic growth, which led to an unexpected surge in tax payments by corporations and wealthy Americans."Bob Schieffer on the CBS Evening News:
"It's a rule of Washington. When the news is good, the highest ranking official announces it. So today the President himself announced that the federal deficit this year will total $296 billion. That is 30 percent lower than he predicted back in February. He gave the credit to his tax cuts, saying they stimulated the economy and boosted the amount of money coming into the Treasury."