CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Deficit Committee Co-Chair Reveals Himself as Numerologist

Deficit Committee Co-Chair Reveals Himself as Numerologist

Thursday, 01 July 2010 05:15

Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chairman of President Obama's deficit commission, revealed that he was a numerologist yesterday when he suggested that the commission should set a limit on federal government spending at 21 percent of GDP. (Numerologists assign mystical powers to specific numbers.)This fact should have been highlighted more prominently because it is unusual to have people with such extraordinary beliefs in prominent positions in government.

More typically these people are pragmatists who believe that goods and services should be provided in the most efficient possible way. For example, if it is more efficient to provide retirement benefits through a public Social Security system or health care through a public Medicare-type system, most people in responsible positions would support expanding the public sector.

However, because of his belief in numerology, Mr. Bowles would waste resources, thereby slowing growth and eliminating jobs, by instead providing these services in a less efficient manner in the private sector. This is a very peculiar view and should be highlighted by those reporting on the deficit commission.

Comments (11)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, July 01, 2010 7:28
Numerology is to Austeritology
As Astrology is to Scienceology

When in Doubt Be Exactly Wrong
Rather Than Approximately Right
what's up with that first name
written by frankenduf, July 01, 2010 7:57
maybe he's a gambler
written by dissident, July 01, 2010 11:59
It's blackjack.
Is Obama devious?
written by Joe K, July 01, 2010 12:57
Coupled with Simpson, looks like the leadership of our deficit commission is close to brain-dead. Perhaps that is what Obama intended, so that the commission's recommendations could be easily discredited and ignored.

If so I guess a good plan, but I'm still leery of what these ignoramusses might come up with.
written by diesel, July 01, 2010 2:56
Thanks Dean, for a good laugh.
written by Queen of Sheba, July 01, 2010 7:53
"CBO Director Doug Elmendorf warned lawmakers that the 2010 health-care overhaul made a 'dent' in health-care spending, but that it 'did not substantially diminish that challenge" of cost-cutting.'"

Unless this mystical committee insists that the lawmakers take another swipe at health care reform - this time putting together a program that will bring our health care costs in line with the rest of the countries that provide universal coverage - their efforts to "reorganize" every other big ticket item in the budget won't get them much closer to the 21% mark.

And about that 21% number. Maybe it was the product of numerology, but I would rather imagine the committee's sitting around a table and each one guessing a two-digit number, then drawing a number out of a hat. The one who had guessed the number closest to the one he drew would be the winner, and his number would be the one used in the WSJ article.
Congratulations, Erskine!
timberland shoes store
written by timberland for you , September 11, 2010 3:46
Tucked away in our timberland for you subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that timberland 6 inch spans the continent. YQ
written by cheap ugg boots, October 08, 2010 9:41
GHD Hair Straightener Discount
cheap ugg uk sale
UGG Ultra Short boots
UGG Ultra Tall boots
GHD Benefit Styler
Tiffany Jewelry
written by Tiffany Jewelry, October 23, 2010 4:13
It is a good news that no need to go at the match place, because we can see that game live on our T.V. Really a blatant post tiffany jewelry
written by angellover, November 26, 2010 1:06
I am content product to uncover this short write-up extremely useful for me, contemplating that it consists of whole large amount of information ugg sale . I whatsoever occasions decide on to research on the brilliant high quality content product options as well as this create a variation I found in you post. a assortment of many thanks for sharing.
written by SFP, December 01, 2010 8:37
Best deals on optical transceivers. Buy SFP Plus, SFP+, X2, XENPAK, XFP, WS-G5487,WS-G5483,SFP, GBIC for Cisco,HP and 3Com with lowest prices and lifetime warranty.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.