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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Deficit Is Running 10 Percent Below Last Year’s Level

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Author Topic: Deficit Is Running 10 Percent Below Last Year’s Level
Greg Davidson
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Remember when the deficit was presented by Republicans as if it were an important issue?

quote:
The Treasury Department said on Friday that the deficit in August totaled $64.4 billion, a drop of 50 percent from the same month a year ago. Much of that improvement reflected quirks in timing related to the calendar: About $42 billion in August benefit payments were made in July because Aug. 1 fell on a Saturday. Through the first 11 months of this budget year ending Sept. 30, the deficit is running 10 percent below last year’s level. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting that the deficit for the full year will drop to $426 billion, down 11.8 percent from the previous year and the lowest imbalance since 2007.
link

We are now doing far better than the promise that Romney made about cutting the deficit in half in his 2012 campaign. If Republicans cared about the issues that they proclaimed to care about, you would think that they should express some recognition of this progress.

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AI Wessex
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Alas, this isn't totally new and may not be worse than in the past. Lyndon Johnson once remarked that if he were to walk on water across the Potomac, Republicans in Congress would accuse him of being unwilling to get his feet wet. The difference between then and now is that when both sides were out of the spotlight they were able to work together.
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Rafi
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I remember when the deficit was important.
quote:
The portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed Friday, Sept. 4, at $18,112,975,000,000, according to the latest Daily Treasury Statement, which was published at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

That, according to the Treasury's statements, makes 175 straight days the debt subject to the limit has been frozen at $18,112,975,000,000.

175 days and counting.

Remember when the government lying to the people was presented by democrats as if it were an important issue?

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AI Wessex
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What are they lying about? As you point out, this is a legal limit, and is due to Republicans in Congress being unwilling to raise the debt ceiling. The Executive has had to use all sorts of bookkeeping tricks to keep the "portion of the federal debt that is subject" to this ceiling in check. I'd say they are working their buns off to comply with the restraints that Congress has put the country under.

I suppose this story will drop from sight if the House shuts down the government in their frenzy to defund Planned Parenthood.

[ September 12, 2015, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Alas, this isn't totally new and may not be worse than in the past. Lyndon Johnson once remarked that if he were to walk on water across the Potomac, Republicans in Congress would accuse him of being unwilling to get his feet wet. The difference between then and now is that when both sides were out of the spotlight they were able to work together.

Is it possible that part of the reason the parties can't work together any more is due to social media and the 24 hour news cycle always having the spotlight on politics? Maybe they can't ever be out of the spotlight now, which means they'll always act as they used to only occasionally have to act in the past.
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AI Wessex
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The media is the biggest hindrance to good communication and objective reporting these days, but the Republican attack machine began revving its engine well before the Internet ever open the tubes or cable scaled out to the massive number of 24-7 channels we have today.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
We are now doing far better than the promise that Romney made about cutting the deficit in half in his 2012 campaign. If Republicans cared about the issues that they proclaimed to care about, you would think that they should express some recognition of this progress.

Same reason as the last 20 times you asked the identical question. The "progress" still hasn't brought the deficit anywhere near the pre-Obama averages for the deficit.

What's interesting to me this time, is that it's no longer blindingly easy to get the chart that shows government revenue and spending over the last hundred years or so, which made this non-progress completely evident, because apparently, government propaganda (ie sites produced by the white house) has been google bombed to such an extent that's all that shows up. Funny, how much better the government versions make the President's performance look.

Just to be clear, since you've asked this question multiple times, and had this fact demonstrated repeatedly, 'If (you care) about the issues that (you) proclaimed to care about, (shouldn't) you (***) express some recognition of this (underwhelming) progress'?

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TomDavidson
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Both Seriati and Al, I think, are right. Which is interesting. It's unquestionable that the economy has improved under Obama, but it's also unquestionable that the deficit is "lower" under Obama the same way that conservatives could, until a couple years, claim the Earth had been "cooling" for a decade.

To my mind, when measuring a president's deficit performance, an average of every year after their third should be taken as their score, along with a big grain of salt.

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Greg Davidson
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Seriati, it was the Bush Administration who took serious steps to mask the deficit by using "emergency" appropriations to pay for their wars throughout Bush's term; it was under the Obama Administration that accurate reporting on the total deficit was restored.

The pre-Obama deficit was $1.4 trillion - that was the official estimate for the current year on the day that he took over. How do you ignore that?

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Rafi
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You ignore the near doubling of the national debt by Obama and cherry pick out one data point as if that means Obama is bringing federal spending under control. Plus, it's easy to get that nice little data point when you quit counting the spending for 6 months ain't it?
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
The pre-Obama deficit was $1.4 trillion - that was the official estimate for the current year on the day that he took over. How do you ignore that?

I've answered this specific claim at least 20 times for you, did you read the prior answers? The single year deficit you cite was 3 times higher than the highest ever deficit before. If you discount the OBVIOUS OUTLIER then not one (with the possible exception of this year) of Obama's deficits is less than the second highest ever recorded deficit by another President. And his average deficit is what 3 times higher than any other President.

Tom's right about the math point.

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AI Wessex
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Number games. Let's see, Obama was handed an economic disaster that saw the deficit blow up from about $460B in 2008 to $1.4T in 2009. It's pretty hard to pin that on him. Every year since then he has reduced the deficit to where this year it will be about the same as it was in 2008.

What exactly are you blaming Obama for? If the deficit is "his fault", what should he have done differently that would have reduced the deficit far faster?

Bear in mind that Greg is correct that Obama has done much better than Romney promised he would have done, so don't you have a beef with him, too?

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Fenring
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Side question: Was the ballooning deficit from 2008-2009 partly a result of those big government bailouts? Or was the added deficit generated from another area of the budget?
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Greg Davidson
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No, those "big government bailouts" were not a substantial portion of the deficit for FY 2009 (which runs between Oct 2008 and Sep 2009). Additionally...

quote:
Altogether, accounting for both the TARP and the Fannie and Freddie bailout, $617B has gone out the door—invested, loaned, or paid out—while $390B has been returned.

The Treasury has been earning a return on most of the money invested or loaned. So far, it has earned $283B. When those revenues are taken into account, the government has realized a $56.2B profit as of Sep. 14, 2015.

Thanks, Obama

link

[ September 14, 2015, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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Greg Davidson
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Seriati, your x20 answer is predicated on a faulty assumption there is a very low correlation between the federal deficit in one year and the federal deficit in the next year. It's like someone criticizing a doctor by saying "I know the patient had cancer last month, but he did not have it for almost 99% of his life before that time, so your explanation on why treatment has taken so long is just cherry picking from a very bad month"
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson
Seriati, your x20 answer is predicated on a faulty assumption there is a very low correlation between the federal deficit in one year and the federal deficit in the next year. It's like someone criticizing a doctor by saying "I know the patient had cancer last month, but he did not have it for almost 99% of his life before that time, so your explanation on why treatment has taken so long is just cherry picking from a very bad month"

No Greg, the faulty premise is that the deficit shows you more than the expenditures and revenues. This President locked in emergency level spending as a new default, and rather than cutting it back to historical levels (even adjusted for growth) has attempted to close the gap with revenues. You don't get props for spending more and closing the deficit by taking more. Pretty sure we have "record revenues" this year.

Quit playing with statistics, this administration has done nothing real to reduce the deficit in a way that should cause conservatives to rejoice, so quit pretending they are being hypocritical.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Was the ballooning deficit from 2008-2009 partly a result of those big government bailouts?
Don't forget that about $300 billion of that $1 trillion+ bailout came in the form of tax cuts, something the Republicans are always crowing about. [Wink]
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
No Greg, the faulty premise is that the deficit shows you more than the expenditures and revenues. This President locked in emergency level spending as a new default, and rather than cutting it back to historical levels (even adjusted for growth) has attempted to close the gap with revenues. You don't get props for spending more and closing the deficit by taking more
Seriati, you just keep repeating your remarkable claim that Obama "locked in emergency level spending as a new default, and rather than cutting it back to historical levels".

With respect to the lock in, could you please show the data that demonstrates that the spending associated with the economic emergency remains in the current budget (as opposed to other costs that may be growing, such as a growing VA cost due to the Iraq War)

Secondly, the deficit climbed enormously because the economy had the greatest collapse in 80 years and that significantly reduced revenues. When Obama's policies helped the US economy recover faster than all of the other developed economies, that was seen in a recovery in tax revenue. Thus I also disagree about your comment about no credit for "taxing more"

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