infinite spending -> balanced budgets?

The State of the Union speech reminded me of the Radio Scripts, yet again:

``How can you have money,'' demanded Ford, ``if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn't grow on trees you know.''

``If you would allow me to continue ...''

Ford nodded dejectedly.

``Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.''

Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed.

``But we have also,'' continued the Management Consultant, ``run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship's peanut.''

Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The Management Consultant waved them down.

``So in order to obviate this problem,'' he continued, ``and effectively revaluate the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and ... er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances.''

Well, it certainly seems sensible to me. Compared to Bush's fiscal policies, at any rate.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum complements the fictional example well with color charts. The bottom line is that Bush stated in the State of the Union:

In two weeks, I will send you a budget that funds the war, protects the homeland, and meets important domestic needs, while limiting the growth in discretionary spending to less than 4 percent....By doing so, we can cut the deficit in half over the next five years.

But by taking Bush's own proposed policies into account, the actual result is to inflate the deficit to $500 billion by 2009. Bush knows this. Therefore, those 15 words in bold are a bold-faced lie.

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