Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bush Bad, Economy Bad...

The media always has to tell you that despite the good news, there is really bad, bad news lurking right below...unless a Democrat occupies the White House - then happy days are here again, now and forever, no end in sight, hallalujah and praise the Lord. EconoPundit talks about a one-sided prophecy of economic doom:

USA Today wants you to
start worrying about the real federal deficit -- you know, the deficit that we would see if only the federal government didn't keep two sets of books and were honest about what it really owes.

Well, yes, the picture looks bleak if we add in upcoming Social Security and Medicare obligations -- but if you're going to start fooling with the calculation methodology, shouldn't you add in thus-far-ignored offsetting assets to counterbalance the new liabilities you're now considering? For example -- what's the royalty value of all the Alaska oil reserves now sheltered from development? What total royalties will be collected from offshore oil reserves we're only now considering developing?

And by the way -- what's the market value of approximately one-quarter of the USA landmass never privatized in the ninteenth century and therefore still owned by the federal government?

If USA Today, and all the other media economic experts, looked at potential revenue as well as potential outlays, the future may not look as bleak as they are desperately trying to paint it. When a middle-class citizen looks at their net worth, and upcoming economic liabilities, they factor in possible capital gains realizations, potential sale price of their home, value of their 401(k) if liquidated, etc. I'm sure the reporters at USA Today do the same. Why won't they apply the same simple math that any financial advisor uses to the economics of the federal government?

Might not make the picture so bleak...and we can't have that !

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