I don't know about you, but I don't even know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow, let alone for the next ten years. But it's amazing to me how many of us make these long-term plans. Some of us even put numbers to them.
They're called budget forecasts. And they always look impressive.But they're always wrong. And here's why. They're for 10 years!!! That's why!!
Who on God's green earth can say with a straight face exactly what will happen in ten years?! What are they? Nostradamus?
I remember a ten-year forecast Bill Clinton made when he first became president that predicted deficits for as long and as far as the eye could see. Then, only a few years later, updated forecasts with surpluses for...as long and as far as the eye could see. And by the way, forget 10 year stabs at this nonsense. We're not much better forecasting out 10 months.
Back in January, this administration thought eight percent would be the highest the unemployment rate would go. Now it's approaching 10 percent.
I remember the last president saying Iraq wouldn't cost more than $50 billion when we started. More like 500 billion by the time we've stopped, if we are lucky.
My point is not to blame any party or president, just our propensity to attach meaning to what is meaningless...predicting life years out. Because life has a funny way of making predictions look stupid. And childish. Because, you know, when I was a 10-year-old child, I wanted to be an astronaut by the time I was 20.
I never factored in fitting into the rocket ship!
Lots of things we don't factor in. I guarantee that a 10-year forecast in 2000 never included a terror attack on our soil, or a costly war on somebody else's soil. Just like I can guarantee you it didn't include financial meltdowns or bailouts.
That's why you shouldn't put much faith in them. And you certainly shouldn't be bragging about them.
So when the president boasts about trimming long-term deficit spending to seven-something trillion smackers from nine-something trillion smackers, smack some sense into him. And remind him you don't brag about what you haven't done.
You know, that would be like me saying, two years from now I’ll be 50 pounds lighter at the rate I’m going, and everyone slapping me on the back.
Please, someone, anyone, slap me to my senses. And tell me to spend less time looking at a spreadsheet. And more time looking at something else. I don’t know, a mirror.
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