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« Quotational Therapy: Part 82 -- When Ridiculous Increases In Spending Still Aren't Enough. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 301 -- Declining & Concentrating Birthrates. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 300 -- Cutting The Deficit In Half.

Deficits Smaller Than Forecast-

A couple years ago, President Bush pledged to cut the federal budget deficit in half by the time he leaves office. So how's that going?

Ahead of schedule, if you can believe it (.pdf):


At the time, many conservatives chortled at the prospect of the deficit being cut in half without major spending cuts; many in the media and on the left scoffed that there could be no way to cut the deficit in half without tax increases.

Well, the President's tax relief jump-started the ailing American economy inherited from the previous administration in January 2001, boosting tax receipts to record levels.

Over the near term, if stronger-than-forecast economic growth continues, it is entirely possible that we could see surpluses before the President leaves office. Yes, even with massive spending increases.

Over the longer term, of course, the picture isn't so easy and carefree. We won't be able to simply grow our way out of long-term entitlement-driven budget problems.

OMB (.pdf).


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The Decline Of The Media.

Posted by Will Franklin · 18 March 2006 10:14 AM



You might want to provide the following by way of comparison:


This has information on France, Germany, and Italy's budget deficit problems where Italy has a budget deficit as high as 4.3% of GDP and France and Germany cannot get under the 3% of GDP for budget deficits that is required by EU Standards.

Interesting to see the US Budget deficit shrinking below 3% in 2005, while the grandstanding on the left about budget deficits is going on. The Current Account Deficit is probably as troubling or more in the short run and in the long run, the Entitlement problems loom large.

But again, sucks to be France and Germany. They have 1.5-2% GDP Growth Rates so expansion is not going to pull them out. Tax cuts grow the economy and the economic benefits and future tax revenues have more than offset the tax cuts. Bush's economic plan certainly pulled us out of the recession. Surprise, Surprise, no one gives any credit at all to how well the economy is doing.

Posted by: Justin B at March 19, 2006 01:48 AM



This has an interesting graph of the Current Account Deficit and the overvaluation of the dollar. I think we have to focus on the Current Account Deficit and Social Security Reform as our priorities. The recent diversion of Dems to talk about budget deficits and use Dollar figures as opposed to %GDP figures is a smoke screen. The real problem is Americans love foreign products and we are in real danger due to our overconsumption. Add to that the fact that we as a nation do not save and compound that with a time bomb of entitlements and we are in bad shape.

Posted by: Justin B at March 19, 2006 01:57 AM


Here's another chart showing the history and projections of the U.S. federal spending. What's cool about it is that it also shows the history and projections of U.S. tax revenue and the difference (the deficit or surplus) in between the two (HT: The Skeptical Optimist). Check out where he's projecting the budget will go back into balance!

Posted by: Ironman at March 19, 2006 08:09 AM

Social Security is easy. Keep raising the retirement age of the able bodied. Do it slow.

The medical programs are a harder nut.

Posted by: M. Simon at March 20, 2006 09:00 AM


The deficit "figures" add back social security cash "surpluses" and other trust fund "surpluses" with accrued interest.

The false crisis in SS is after 2009 it is less cash cow to offset the deficits.

The SS crisis is you have to pay it all back someday.

And yes we will see 3% plus growth every year forever.

Posted by: ilsm at March 20, 2006 12:54 PM


I delete a lot of spam. Sometimes legit comments get nuked in the process. I don't delete legit comments on purpose without banning an IP address in the process. What was your comment about?

Posted by: Will Franklin at March 20, 2006 09:43 PM