A Whole Lot of Dimes Worth of Differences

US Federal Budget Deficits and Surpluses

There are less than 100 days before the election, and the Ds are getting nervous. They are pumping out their message and will be getting louder with every passing day. When I look at the graphic I posted I ask Gee, do I believe them or my lying eyes? To me the Ds' message sounds like Tarzan-Speak. It goes something like this:

Bill Clinton GOOD
George W Bush BAD
Barack Obama victim of BAD George W Bush

Enough of the Tarzan-speak. The message I am promoting has to do with right vs wrong instead of good vs bad. The other message is to explain the role the US House has in budget process. Too many reporters try to look at the issue in terms of who occupies the Oval Office, and this view of it overlooks the fact that all federal budget items must originate in the US House. The Rs took over the US House in January of 1995 and they held the majority until January of 2007. For four straight years starting in 1998 the US federal government had budget surplusses instead of budget deficit. In six of the other eight years of Republican majority House rule we have smaller budget deficits than any annual budget deficit from 1982 thru 1993 when the Ds were in the majority in the US House. Now when the Ds took over the majority in the US House some new budget deficit records were set. Three straight years of 2008 thru 2010 are higher federal budget deficits than this country has ever seen.

I found a couple of recent Washington Post articles that have the right facts but come to the wrong conclusions. One is from July 7th 2010, U.S. marks 3rd-largest, single-day debt increase, an sxcerpt:

The one-day increase for June 30 totaled $165,931,038,264.30 – bigger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007 and larger than the $140 billion in savings the new health care bill will produce over its first 10 years. The figure works out to nearly $1,500 for every U.S. household, or more than 10 times the median daily household income.

Daily debt calculations jump and fall, and big shifts are common. But all three of the biggest one-day debt increases have occurred under the tenure of President Obama, and all of the top six have been in the past two years – an indication of just how quickly the pace of deficit spending has risen under Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush.

This excerpt should have ended with

an indication of just how quickly the pace of deficit spending has risen under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The second article from July 8th 2010,
IMF asks U.S. to cut budget deficits
, an excerpt:

But the 185-nation international lending agency was less positive about the outlook for the U.S. government deficits going forward.

It noted that because of the recession and the government's spending to battle the downturn, the amount of U.S. government debt held by the public has almost doubled since 2007 and now stands at 64 percent of the economy as measured by the gross domestic product, the highest level since 1950.

The IMF said it projected that under current government policies, that debt burden would grow to 95 percent of GDP by 2020 and climb to 135 percent of GDP by 2030.

It put forward a range of proposals from trimming the mortgage interest deduction to imposing higher taxes on energy or implementing a national sales tax saying the problems would grow in the future as the baby boomers make greater demands on Social Security and Medicare.

Hey 185-nation international lending agency, thanks but no thanks on your proposals. The US is not going to tax itself out of this mess. Just like a lot Ds they are drawing the wrong conclusions from the right facts.

So I look forward to next 90-plus days of Obama arguing how bad the federal budget deficits were when Republicans had the majority, and nobody wants anything like that again. Really? Nobody? Would you like to make a wager on that Mr. President? In less than 100 days we are going to find out what people want.

I found the graphic at this website, Budget Explorer, and if you have time to play there are some fun ways to find your own federal budget solutions there.

Cross-posted at The Minority Report