The Deficit: Just Say Oops!

Just Say Oops!

What do you call a $100 billion mistake? Inexcusable? Grotesque? If you are a Washington bureaucrat, you call it a "technical re-estimate." That was the modest verbiage employed by the Office of Management and Budget last week when, during its mid-year review, the agency acknowledged that estimates of tax revenues for the next five years were $130 billion too high. The result: even higher budget deficits.

Two days later, OMB Director Richard Darman explained to the Senate Budget Committee that the problem was a Treasury Department accounting blunder. "As far as we understand, we made a mistake," he said. "There it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!