The most astonishing statistic this year so far is a close race between the migration numbers and the emergency food grants.
The migration number should be of deep concern to us all, given they've cocked it up in spectacular fashion.
The department is out by thousands. There are nowhere near as many people arriving here as they thought, and that's bad because given we thought they were flooding in.
We went and got obsessed over housing. A flood of apartments is coming on stream and building consents are at modern record levels.
Then we have the labour issues. We need labour, which dovetails with the emergency food numbers and other welfare statistics.
We need labour because tragically there are a growing number of locals who find work just a bit tiresome, and we have a Government which doesn't seem to mind the attitude, and as a result hands out food grants and benefits in record numbers.
The upside of the migration numbers is that both the Labour Party and New Zealand First promised to cut them.
They haven't of course, not directly, but it's trending their way.
What they've done is tank the economy, and along with a series of international events that have led to increasing uncertainty, the number has slowed all by itself.
50 per cent increase in number of electricity hardship payments
Solo mum with four children one of thousands in emergency housing
It's still not as low as they said it would be.
New Zealand First said they'd cut it to 10,000 net, but it does presumably quell the xenophobes who have laboured under the delusion that migration is bad, and all those foreigners are only here to buy our houses and steal our jobs.
The big question of course is how hard is it to count?
People in, people out, how you can mess that up so badly defies logic. But they have, and although the consequences are serious, I doubt anyone will be held to account.
But in election year I am fascinated to hear how people like Grant Robertson are going to explain how that on one hand we apparently have an economy to be proud of and yet on the other we are handing out millions in emergency food grants.
Hardship grants generally are up over 45 per cent on last year, food grants are up over 65 per cent and housing grants are up 146 per cent and over 3 times since 2014.
They are astonishing figures by anyone's measure, far less in a country where they are trumpeting economic success.
The social housing waiting list is at record levels, and the jobseeker benefit numbers rise by about 15,000 every year.
The jobseeker benefit by the way is frequented by those ready for work.
Is there work? Yes, there is.
Do employers have trouble filling gaps? Yes, they do.
Then explain why there are jobs and recruitment issues and yet we have ever-larger numbers of people not working, getting paid for not working, and queues at record levels for every form of social assistance.
They can't of course, because the truth is they are pro-welfare. Those who line up are no longer held to a level of accountability they once were.
This at least in part is why the surplus is now gone, and the borrowing is beginning.
This is the cold hard economic truth, the more you spend in the non productive part of the economy, the less you get back, the balance is tipped.
The more people on welfare, the fewer you have working and paying taxes.
If your tax base shrinks you have hit the economic slippery slope.
Borrowing is not an economic skill, and it's certainly not a reflection of a well run economy, especially when you started out with massive surpluses.
I have watched Carmel Sepuloni, who has a growing welfare portfolio, several times now try to explain this paradox -a strong economy with its booming welfare bill - and she can't. She looks like she doesn't understand the situation, and the economics.
She's not as verbally dextrous as Robertson.
But the reality is numbers don't lie. Look at any social indicator you want - jobless, emergency food, motels, social housing, it's a booming business of misery.
The tragedy is we got here in two and a half short years.