After the Congressional Budget Office projected the federal spending deficit will be slightly smaller than had been expected, a few politicians were quick to say their efforts to cut spending already are paying off.
Spending cuts approved by Congress and President Barack Obama earlier this summer had virtually nothing to do with the changed deficit prediction.
At one point the deficit for this year was expected to top $1.4 trillion. But the CBO revealed recently the prediction has been changed to $1.28 trillion.
Buried in the CBO report was the explanation that much of the shift - about $116 billion since March - resulted from higher than expected income tax collections this year.
Almost none of the $1 trillion in spending cuts approved this summer will kick in during this fiscal year. In fact, the $1 trillion is spread out over the next 10 years.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, put the CBO's announcement in perspective: "A slight decrease in the projected deficit is nothing to celebrate, particularly when it is accompanied by the grim news that CBO expects the national unemployment rate to continue to exceed 8 percent well past next year."