Let me quote from the article for you. I won't omit anything, and I'll try to keep things in context to avoid any charges of manipulating the text. Here's the opening paragraph:
"If it’s not bad enough that rapid economic recovery has neutered Sen. Kerry’s principal domestic criticism of President Bush, now comes even worse news for the Democratic campaign: The budget deficit is starting to substantially shrink."
A couple of paragraphs later, he continues:
"The fiscal-year 2004 budget deficit now looks to come in around $435 billion, less than 4 percent of GDP. This would be almost $100 billion below early-year estimates from the Office of Management and Budget and about $50 billion less than Congressional Budget Office forecasts."
The only problem? The total budget deficit for 2003 was $375.3 billion dollars. So... hmm... let me do the math... 435 billion... 375.3 billion... carry the 1... no wait.. hmmm... ok, ok, let me get out my calculator, because this is making no sense. 375.3... minus... 435... um...
I dunno. Someone will have to check my math, because my calculator keeps insisting that 435 is actually greater than 375.3. But he used the word "shrink".
Oh, I know, maybe I misunderstood him. One sec, let me pull up dictionary.com. Ok, here we go.
Wait. Hold on.
Shrink: "To become reduced in amount of value; dwindle."
Hmmm. Ok, I know, I know, maybe I chose the wrong definition of shrink! Here's another:
"To express fear, horror or pain by contracting the body, or part of it; to shudder; to quake."
AH! Of course. Now it makes sense. The budget deficit is getting so large that the entire economic body of the country is shuddering in fear - quaking in horror. Maybe that's because it's the largest budget deficit in the history of the country. What was the 2nd largest budget deficit in the history of the country? Oh yeah, heh, that'd be 2003's 375.3 billion dollar deficit. Whoops? What's probably most amazing is that when Bush came into office in 2000, the country had a 236.4 billion dollar budget surplus. So in effect he's taken us from +$236b to -$435b in 4 years - that's a rate of decline of $167b a year - and they're bragging about it.
At this rate, in another 4 years, we'd be at... *taps on calculator* ... oh dear. We'll break the $1 trillion mark. But that's impossible, right? Right, it has to be, because even Republicans have to wake up at some point, smell reality, and vote for someone other than Bush. Because, you know, I sort of like living in a country that isn't a 3rd world country, and I'd imagine most Republicans do too.
Here's the article:
Want to know where I got my numbers? From Congress, same place he did. Here's the CBO*'s official budgets:
Isn't it funny how a little omission, a little lie, can make such a big difference in perception? It's like going into the dentist for a checkup and, upon waking up from sedation, having him tell you: "Sorry - I made a little whoopsie. We're going to have to amputate all five of your limbs". And then, when you recover from your shock and the screams die down, he looks up from his paperwork and grins sheepishly. "Sorry, sorry, I made a mistake. I'm only going to have to remove the lower three." It may, theoretically, be better news than the first thing you heard, but that doesn't make it good news. It just makes it slightly less horrifying.
* - Congressional Budget Office. Assuming these numbers weren't audited by Arthur Andersen, I'm guessing they're accurate.
P.S. I was going to continue through the article, but it was making my head hurt too much. You do the math yourself, you're all smart people.