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« Quote Of The Day, Chirping Crickets Edition | WILLisms.com | Why We Are Winning In Afghanistan »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 449 -- Record Deficits.

The Bush Record On Tax Cuts & Deficits-

Investors Business Daily, on the incredible shrinking deficit:

...the deficit this year would be $205 billion, or 1.5% of GDP, down from $248 billion, or 1.9% of GDP, last year and well below the peak of $413 billion, or 2.6% of GDP, in 2003. That 1.5% of GDP, by the way, also is well below the average of 2.4% over the past four decades.

The OMB now expects a surplus in 2012. But private budget watchers say if the economy stays healthy, it could happen by 2009.

Indeed, the Bush tax cuts did not cause deficits. They probably accelerated the evaporation of the deficits, though, according to Brian Riedl:

The inflation-adjusted 2004-2007 revenue surge of 25 percent represents the largest three-year tax revenue surge since 1966-1969.

Tax cuts do not cause deficits. Overspending does.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: States Riddled With Debt Lose People To Low Debt States.

Posted by Will Franklin · 12 July 2007 03:47 PM


Will needs a basic economics course.

I'm sure Will isn't aware of it, but the OMB forecasts rely on Young Master Bush's tax cuts being phased out in 2010, adding more revenue.

Will also needs to remember Young Master Bush inherited an economy that was producing a surplus. As usual, Young Master Bush screwed that up, too.

Posted by: Jadegold at July 12, 2007 06:29 PM

Ignoring Jadegold's economic lesson here, I was taken aback by this statement of Diane Sawyer that I found over at Newsbusters.com.

I usually don't go off topic, but I almost fell out of my chair when I read the following statement that shows the personal naivete of those in the MSM.

"Diane Sawyer: "You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, 'Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?' And I said, 'That's what journalists do.' And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I've ever had."

Do these people ever leave NYC or Washington, DC?

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 12, 2007 08:13 PM

Good post.
Tax cuts, every time it has been tried has increased tax revenue into the treasury and spurred economic growth.

Some people think increasing taxes and curtailing economic growth is good for the economy and increases tax revenue. NO.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 12, 2007 08:45 PM

Oh no, I guess the deficit shrinking now before the tax cuts are phased out must be some kind of illusion.

If it runs contrary to Jadegold's predigested liberal view of things, why, it just can't be true!

Run along and peddle your stupid sophistry somewhere else, Jadegold.

And take that economics course yourself.

No wait, learn how to READ first.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at July 12, 2007 09:06 PM

It is now agreed that the recession in the early Bush administration started in November 2000, before he took office. Bill Clinton actually did some good things economically, including NAFTA & GATT and welfare reform, and though he neither created the expanding economy nor the bubble that burst, he was part of both. The surplus was an excellent thing, but in hindsight a good deal of it was collecting taxes on the late 90's growth in time before the NASDAQ tanked.

Eneils, thanks for the tip. I'm going to use that quote on my own site.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 12, 2007 10:08 PM

NAFTA was one of the worst things to happen to us. Why? Because it put Mexico's Third-World industry in direct competition with our first-world industry. Guess who lost?

Now, ignorant, uneducated Mexicans are out of work. Where do they go? Across the border! They invaded and drove down the wages at the bottom. Then, they imposed a huge economic and social burden on us, with their high illegitimacy rates, high birth rates, and high crime rates, not to mention the added burden of paying for the education of their children, their medical costs, and the cost of their incarceration. To add insult to injury, they not only don't pay enough taxes to cover their consumption of public services, they take the fruits of their labor out of our country and its economy and pour it in to theirs--to the tune of $13 billion a year.

NAFTA didn't start the problem with illegal aliens, 3/4 of whom are Mexican, but it certainly exacerbated it.

Posted by: Nathan Hale at July 13, 2007 12:05 AM

It is now agreed that the recession in the early Bush administration started in November 2000, before he took office.

It may be agreed by tinfoil hat-types but not by serious economists.

Take, for example, NBER.

Here's what NBER said about the issue:

On November 26, 2001, the committee determined that the peak of economic activity had occurred in March of that year. For a discussion of the committee's reasoning and the underlying evidence, see http://www.nber.org/cycles/november2001. The March 2001 peak marked the end of the expansion that began in March 1991, an expansion that lasted exactly 10 years and was the longest in the NBER's chronology. On July 16, 2003, the committee determined that a trough in economic activity occurred in November 2001. The committee's announcement of the trough is at http://www.nber.org/cycles/july2003. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in March 2001. The 2001 recession thus lasted eight months, which is somewhat less than the average duration of recessions since World War II. The postwar average, excluding the 2001 recession, is eleven months.

Ken: The point you miss, via ignorance, is that deficits are very high. Noting that they have decreased a little is a little like crowing that your cancer isn't spreading as fast.

Moreover, the thrust of the IBD piece is that the deficit may disappear altogether. Even if we buy into this--it means tax cuts won't be responsible.

Posted by: Jadegold at July 13, 2007 07:31 AM

"Ken: The point you miss, via ignorance,"

Ken, like you, I have never been classified as a scholar, top-notch intellectual, liberal college professor, or Tibetan mountain-dweller, I also missed the point.

Guess we need to hit the books.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 13, 2007 08:54 AM

I have been reading your postings and comments for a few years, if you have missed a point via ignorance, I have not seen it.

Your over-stating a point is pure, unrefined, un-adulterated ignorance. And I have seen it many times with you.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at July 13, 2007 09:06 AM

jadegold, it's an easy google. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A38826-2004Jan22?language=printer Same source, BTW. While there will of course be various groups who will slice the data in different ways, many with an agenda, your characterising those who disagree with you as tin-foil hat types is why your arguments are not taken seriously here. You remain unable to disagree with someone without some intentional insult. You might practice disagreeing with someone in a more balanced fashion and see if your social life improves.

The economy is generally still good at the start of a recession, as one's elevation above sea level remains quite high as one starts to descend a mountain. Looking for starting points is useful in determining possible causes. Bush and Cheney were accused of talking down the economy in the summer of 2000 when they noted some dangerous signs. But even if you take the more convenient view that the recession started in March 2001, it is hard to see what actions of the Bush administration could make that happen so quickly.

Economists love to argue about whether the deficit is important or not, some calling it a fleabite, some calling it crucial. I lean toward considering it important, myself, keeping it in the context of GDP and external events such as the destruction of the WTC. Lowering deficits is a good thing. I certainly have wished that the Bush administration would do more on the spending side to reduce it. Growing out of the deficit does seem to be happening, however.

Nathan Hale, point taken, but I still think the overall benefit accrues to both nations, which have both enjoyed significant growth. The negatives are often focused and visible while the benefits diffuse in economic change. Firm conclusions about Mexico's benefit are confused by the enormous corruption drawing down their economy.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 13, 2007 09:18 AM

AVI: Indeed, it is an easy Google. As I noted previously and reemphasized here, the NBER hasn't readjusted its contention the recession began in March 2001.

What you and your fellow Reynolds Wrap™ head covering folks miss is that events do have effects--sometimne quite significant--on the economy. In 2001, you had Young Master Bush inserted into office via a SC decision. If you recall, Young Master Bush ran on a platform of lower taxes as well as a promise to halve the National Debt by 2010. People who make their living on the market understood this was alchemy.

No longer would we be following principles of President Clinton that brought us surpluses; instead, Young Master Bush told us there was such a thing as a free lunch.

As history shows us--there wasn't.

Posted by: Jadegold at July 13, 2007 10:01 AM

When you decide to discuss my points, I am ready.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 13, 2007 12:42 PM

Wikipedia, which usually leans a touch left, gives this balanced picture. The article isn't that detailed, but the links are good.


Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 13, 2007 12:49 PM

See page 36 of this .pdf: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/pdf/08msr.pdf

CBO = assumes tax cuts expire.
OMB = assumes tax cuts continue.

The graph in this post is based on OMB projections.

Patience is wearing thin with regard to the ole jademeister.

Posted by: Will Franklin at July 13, 2007 04:50 PM

Of course, Will's patience wears thin. He probably doesn't like getting caught stretching the truth far beyond the breaking point.

It's an interesting cite that Will provides; nowhere in that document is the graph that IBD presents. In fact, when you go to pg 36, it is table largely unrelated to the issue at hand. The closest to the IBD graph appears on pg 1.

Posted by: Jadegold at July 13, 2007 06:14 PM

Even if Pete Peterson. George Akerloff, Uve Reinhart et al. thought the recession began two months after Bush's inauguration (if that is so what policy could have caused it more likely than the previous administration's), they readily admit that Bush turned it around more quickly than most postwar recessions.
Has Jade ever said why he/she likes higher taxes so much?

Posted by: SR at July 14, 2007 01:07 AM

Try discussion. I dare yah.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 14, 2007 01:37 AM

I looked into the numbers on CBO and found some interesting facts about the decline in revenues from 2000-2003.

First of all, revenues as % of GDP fell from roughly 21% to 16.5% from 2000-2003, a change of 4.5%.

1.5% of the 4.5% drop in revenues as % of GDP were a result of lower social security, corporate income and excise taxes. Since the tax cuts did not affect revenues in these areas, the fall in revenues in these areas is clearly not related to the Bush tax cuts.

Capital gains realizations fell from 6.5% of the GDP in 2000 to 2.5% of GDP in 2002. Obviously the stock market tanked in 2000, people stopped cashing out and the government didn't get as much money from this. The fall in capital gains revenues can realistically take the tax cuts off the hook for another 1% GDP in revenue loss.

This means that only 2% of the revenue loss as % of GDP can realistically be pointed at the tax cuts and that assumes that, aside from capital gains, individual tax revenues were not at all lowered by the recession. Since that is a very unrealistic assumption I'd say the Tax cuts can realistically be held responsible for 1-1.5%(20-33% of total revenue loss) of the revenue loss as % of GDP from 2000-2003.

Of the 4.9% GDP shift in the budget from surplus to deficit from 2000 to 2004... the tax cuts, at most, are responsible for 1.5% GDP of that shift... in other words, had it not been for higher spending, the surplus would have never disappeared.

Source : http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=4985&type=0&sequence=5

Posted by: Syphax at July 14, 2007 01:50 PM

Asst. Vil. Id.,

There is no doubt that, on the whole, Mexico benefits from the current system. They export their unemployed to another country, and they proceed to send billions of dollars home every year. Mexico doesn't have to pay for education or other social services for those who are in America: we foot that bill.

Some illegal aliens are violent criminals. (For a partial listing of their crimes against us, go to Immigration's Human Cost) Having them in America means that Americans are the victims of their crime, not Mexicans.

Finally, the huge number of Mexicans in the southwestern US fuels their revanchist dreams. Given that two of the border states, Texas and California, no longer have a white majority, those dreams are closer to fruition than many realize.

Now: does it benefit us? Illegal aliens consume more in public services--education, hospitalization, welfare, and incarceration--than they pay in taxes. How much more? An estimated $86 billion in 2004.

Unlike legal immigrants, who get screened for diseases, illegal aliens bring many diseases with them: some exotic, others that were eradicated from American decades ago. They bring malaria, drug-resistant TB, plague, leprosy, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease. It's so bad that the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons recommended a border wall--to protect public health. You can read more about it here; there's a link to the the original article there.

Most insidiously, the growing presence of Mexicans among us is one of the many factors that is destroying our sense of our own nationhood. This is a much larger problem, and one that I won't explore now (but is covered frequently at View From the Right.

NAFTA accelerated the Mexican invasion of the US, and so accelerated the damage that illegal alien Mexicans do. Because they cause us so much damage--in health, economics, society, crime, and more--I disagree that NAFTA has been of net benefit to the US.

Posted by: Nathan Hale at July 16, 2007 12:31 AM

Nathan Hale, I don't entirely disagree. But not all bad results of illegal immigration are attributable to NAFTA. I don't think the cause and effect are as strong as you state it.

In general, fewer trade barriers benefits all parties. It is not magic, and does create unbalanced stresses. The unbalance driving illegal immigration is that a wealthy country is bordering a poorer one and employers will hire the incomers. NAFTA has created economic benefit for Mexico beyone the export of its unemployed. They are not sending their most desperate, but their more ambitious. Ambition is not an unalloyed virtue, and the influx includes criminals. But most were previously employed in Mexico.

I am not gainsaying the burden on services, particularly in border areas. Those folks are paying a high price on behalf of the rest of us.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 16, 2007 02:51 PM

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