A chart created by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has been circulating among liberal bloggers such as Ezra Klein, James Fallows, and Andrew Sullivan.

The chart, seen to the right, purports to show that the next decade’s deficits are entirely the result of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, wars, bailouts, recession, and stimulus.

Their methodology fails statistics 101.

Imagine a basketball team that loses 100-98. It would make no sense to cherry pick one single basket by their opponent and blame it for 100 percent of the loss – letting all other baskets scored off the hook. Yet that is essentially what CBPP is doing.

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