Fox' latest chart failure: Deficits and debt are different things

On tonight's Special Report, Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle reported on what he called “dire warnings today from the director of the Congressional Budget Office.” Angle claimed that federal deficits are projected to “hit 62 percent of GDP this year, and if Congress adds to spending as it now plans to do, the deficit would climb to almost 90 percent by 2020.”

That would be dire. In fact, it would be jaw-dropping.

Lest there be any doubt just how massive the deficit problem is, Fox News provided a chart:

Par for the course this week, Fox got the chart wrong. Jaw-droppingly wrong.

Consider, for a minute, that the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently pegged U.S. GDP at $14.6 trillion. Based on Angle's report, CBO predicts that the deficit will reach $9.05 trillion this year. That would be up exponentially from estimates in January.

What CBO director Doug Elmendorf actually testified was that the overall national debt might reach 62 percent of GDP this year and could reach 90 percent by 2020.

Alas, the only thing jaw-dropping here is Fox News' continued failure to create charts and graphs that are anywhere close to accurate.