Federal Spending

We have been running budget deficits for a long time.  Both Democrats and Republicans have been running up our credit card. It is catching up to us.

Please don’t try to tell me that President Clinton cut the deficit, he didn’t.  President Clinton had an “on-budget” surplus of $449 billion but during that same time the “off-budget” deficit was $850 billion.  This results in a net deficit of $400 billion dollars.  I didn’t believe it myself…all these years I thought he had actually improved our situation.  See for yourself on page 8 of this report prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Our debt has been growing steadily for a long time.  However, our debt as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) started growing in the early 80’s.  Many people will make the argument (which I am so sick of hearing) that we have had debt this high before.  Ok, we did…but let me tell you why it isn’t the same.  In the mid 1940’s, our debt soared from 50%, to over 120% of GDP.  This happened in about 5 years, during WWII. Over the next 3 decades, that percentage was brought back down to less than 40% of GDP.  Over the past 30 years, that percentage has been creeping up.  At the end of 2009 the debt was 83% of GDP.  The new budget adds more than $10 trillion (yes, trillion, with a “T”) to that number in less than 10 years, bringing us to 107% of GDP  (for details, see page 178 of the US budget and add the debt held by government accounts and the public debt together to get the total debt figure, then divide by the GDP number from page 146).

Please remember, the current administration inherited mandatory spending programs.  This isn’t all President Obama’s fault.  It is not President Bush’s fault either.  For decades we have been on this path, we all share the responsibility for this. Presidents, Senators, Representatives, and citizens…there is plenty of blame to go around.  The truth is, all the finger pointing in the world isn’t going to fix this, can we please…just deal with it.

Filed under: Uncategorized | Posted on March 20th, 2010 by Holly

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