Deficits and Elections

You read stuff like this WaPo article from David Cho all the time and it’s just never based on anything but vapors in the reporter’s imagination:

But by suggesting the deficit may have peaked, administration officials are taking a political gamble. If the favorable number does not hold up in coming months and the budget shortfall surpasses the $1.4 trillion recorded last year, voters in the November midterm elections could punish the Democrats for offering false hope.

Political Scientist Henry Farrell from the Monkey Cage offers this rejoinder.

It is certainly true that the electorate ‘could’ punish the Democrats for offering false hope on the deficit. But it’s also possible that the electorate ‘could’ punish the Democrats for how much Tim Burton’s latest movie sucked, for increases in shark attacks, or for failing to prevent the massive invasion of green alien space monkeys that’s due to take place this summer. Actually, there is some interesting evidence on the shark attacks. The false hopes, Alice in Wonderland and green space monkey effects? Not so much.


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