Projections in the State of the Union address

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 02:44:48 -0500

In the State of the Union Address, Clinton suggested that some quantitative projections:

These figures should be based on careful models of economic growth, inflation rates, longevity, and other related factors for the next 15-30-55 years.

I wonder if these estimates are published. I would be particularly interested in seeing the estimates for the error margins in these forecasts... (If this is at least an attempt to produce serious statistics, the data of this scale and importance should be backed up _very_ carefully).

Is the U.S. government, the ultimated legal entity in the country, responsible to any degree for its statements? I.e., would anybody there suffer if these projections appear to be complete bogus?

I would find it more likely that there will be no budget surplus in the next 15 years, the next 30 years will see dramatic changes in demographic patterns because of changes in global economy and health-related sciences, and that Social Security, U.S.A, and American dollar will not exist in their current form in 55 years. I am not sure humans will exist in their current form at that time, either, but being a responsible person, I would not make forecasts with a large margin of error :-)

Apparently, at least one of these two forecasts is seriously delusionary. Which one(s), do you think? And more importantly: does it matter?

Alexander Chislenko <> <> <>