Feds Celebrate $3 Trillion Tax Haul

This Washington Times piece did an nice overview of FY2014:

The Treasury Department unveiled its Fiscal Year 2014 numbers, which showed that the government’s revenue, for the first time ever, hit the $3 trillion mark. However, the government still overspent its revenues, leaving a $483 billion deficit.

Supporters of President Obama are touting the “success” of a $483 billion deficit by pointing out its the lowest deficit since 2008. A “mere” $483 billion deficit is not something to be celebrated. It means that, despite record revenues, the government still engages in out-of-control spending.

By comparison:

“The government first hit the $1 trillion revenue mark in 1990, then hit the $2 trillion mark in 2000. But President George W. Bush’s tax cuts and the bursting of the 1990s Internet bubble cut into revenue, dropping it to $1.8 trillion in 2003, before it began the shaky climb to $3 trillion.

Just five years ago, in 2009, the trough of the recession, revenue was only $2.1 trillion. That means it’s leapt $900 billion in just five years.”

And here’s where the dichotomy lies. The Left sees high government revenue as something to be celebrated, while the Right understands that high government revenue means less money for the private sector. “Every one of those $3 trillion is sucked out of the private-sector economy and makes the private sector smaller,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax-policy studies at the Cato Institute. “The $3 trillion isn’t free. It comes out of our pockets and from the private economy.”

Contrast his analysis with Jack Lew’s, Treasury Secretary. “The president’s policies and a strengthening U.S. economy have resulted in a reduction of the U.S. budget deficit of approximately two-thirds — the fastest sustained deficit reduction since World War II,” Mr. Lew said.

What are those “president’s policies”? Successful tax hikes. The highest 2% earners saw their tax margins increase; all earners saw their payroll taxes go up. And don’t forget the Obamacare taxes. The full list of all of Obama’s tax increases can be found here.

Perhaps the most profound statement can be summed up here: “Spending, meanwhile, has remained relatively flat at about $3.5 trillion.”

When spending is “flat” at $3.5 trillion, we definitely have a problem. Each year since 2009, the Obama Administration has spent over $3 trillion, the only president to ever do so: From 2009 – 2013 respectively, here are the numbers of spending in per year: 2009: $3,517,677; 2010: 3,457,079; 2011: $3,603,059; 2012: $3,537,127; 2013: $3,454,605. For a full chart of historical federal spending per year, go here. Federal spending has remained consistent at around $3.5 trillion/year — consistently high. Over-budget. And adding deeply to the deficit each year.

It will be interesting to revisit this next year at the end of FY2015, when Obamacare, the crowning Obama policy achievement, really gets going. Remember how Obamacare was going to reduce deficits? About that. The Weekly Standard recently did a thorough analysis of Obamacare projections and found that:

“So, compared to the deficit surplus of $180 billion for 2015-24 that a straight extrapolation from the CBO’s 2012 scoring would yield, current projections now indicate that Obamacare’s decreased spending (in relation to prior expectations) will reduce deficits by another $83 billion (bringing the estimated surplus to $263 billion), but those projected surpluses will be more than offset by the projected $132 billion decrease in Medicare revenue and $262 billion decrease in tax revenue due to lower job growth.

In all, therefore, CBO projections indicate that Obamacare will increase deficit spending by $131 billion from 2015-24. That’s a $311 billion swing from the extrapolated 2012 numbers, a $240 billion swing from the actual 2012 numbers, and a $255 billion swing from what we were told when Obamacare was passed.

So, this fiscal year was more of the same. Government overspending, gleefully celebrated by record tax collections of your hard earned dollars. The rapacious government needs to be fed.

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