It's not news that George W. Bush is economically illiterate; the only surprise is that his illiteracy intruded today on a long-planned fiscal policy stunt, whereby he was to congratulate himself on beating a rigged forecast for the budget deficit this year. So his explanation began:
This economy is growing, federal taxes are rising [sic], and we're cutting the federal deficit faster than we expected.
The transcribers catching his confusion of taxes with revenues. And here's that rigged forecast:
Here are some hard numbers: Our regional projection for this year's budget deficit was $423 billion. That was a projection. That's what we thought was going to happen. That's what we sent up to the Congress, here's what we think. Today's report from OMB tells us that this year's deficit will actually come in at about $296 billion. (Applause.)
Could it be then that the botched forecast of what would happen in Iraq is not a bug, but a feature?