Washington Post reporter Zachary Goldfarb caused spit takes in Washington on Friday morning. At the top left of the paper, the headline is "Obama budget to rebuff austerity." Or, as Goldfarb described the new White House budget document, "Obama will call for an an end to the era of austerity that has dogged his presidency..."
Is there nobody at the Post who can properly understand that the largest deficits in American history have occurred in the past five years? This was quickly mocked on Twitter:
Goldfarb and the Post only acknowledged the historic deficits as a distant afterthought in the rearview mirror as the deficit "collapses" as a political issue after the latest Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal:
The lack of conflict is due in part to the collapse of the deficit as a political issue. While annual budget deficits remain high by historical standards, they have shrunken rapidly over the past few years as the economy recovered and Congress acted to cut spending.
The latest estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show the deficit falling to $514 billion this year and to $478 billion in fiscal 2015 — well below the trillion-dollar deficits the nation racked up during the recession and immediately afterward. But the CBO warned that deficits would start to grow again in a few years.