The comedy writers at the Congressional Budget Office have produced an economic projection for 2013 to 2023. Let me summarize it for you: we’re due.
For me the biggest knee-slapper is illustrated in the chart above, depicting annual GDP growth. Let me translate it for you. They’re projecting that economic growth from 2014 to 2018 will proceed faster than it did from 2000 to 2006 and faster than it did for much of the 1990s. Here’s their explanation:
After the economy adjusts this year to the fiscal tightening inherent in current law, underlying economic factors will lead to more rapid growth, CBO projects—3.4 percent in 2014 and an average of 3.6 percent a year from 2015 through 2018.
Why? Underlying economic factors or, said another way, we’re due.
I’m tempted to make a list of the questionable assumptions they’ve made. It would be hard to know where to stop. Let me just give a few:
- Faster economic growth from 2014-2018 than was experienced from 2002-2006.
- No recessions from the present until 2023.
- If there is a recession during the period, it will not be met with fiscal stimulus (otherwise their deficit projections fall apart).
- Between 2014 and 2017 roughly 250,000 new jobs will be created per month (we haven’t seen anything like that for decades).
For me the most striking prediction: they’re predicting the longest expansion in U. S. history. These guys just slay me.
Of course, if GDP just proceeds along the line we’re on now, all of their other projections collapse, especially debt to GDP and employment. When you predict more of the same, you don’t need much to justify it. When you’re predicting a stunning, history-making boom, I think you need more than “we’re due”.