Free Markets, Free People

Spinning A 1.4 Tillion Dollar Deficit

The Washington Post is just shameless. How else would you describe this:

The federal budget deficit soared to a record $1.4 trillion in the fiscal year that ended in September, a chasm of red ink unequaled in the postwar era that threatens to complicate the most ambitious goals of the Obama administration, including plans for fresh spending to create jobs and spur economic recovery.

Still, the figure represents a significant improvement over the darkest deficit projections, which had been as much as $400 billion higher earlier this year, when the economy was wallowing in recession.

Or said another way, 1.4 trillion in new debt isn’t so bad – some guy earlier this year thought it would be 1.8 trillion.

Here, let’s do the graphics and decide how much of a “significant improvement” this is:

budget deficit

A few paragraphs later after trying to sell everyone on how this chasm of difference has actually ended up being beneficial, the Post mentions:

At about 10 percent of the overall economy, the gap between federal spending and tax collections is the largest on record since the end of World War II, and bigger in nominal terms than the past four years of deficits combined. Next year is unlikely to be much better, budget analysts say. And Obama’s current policies would drive the budget gap into the trillion-dollar range for much of the next decade.

Geithner is mentioned saying that “deficits are too high” and Peter Orszag is quoted saying:

“The president recognizes that we need to put the nation back on a fiscally sustainable path.” As Obama draws up his second budget blueprint, due to be delivered to Congress in February, Orszag said, “we are considering proposals to put our country back on firm fiscal footing.”

Are “we”? Cap-and-trade. The take-over of the health care system. Government owned auto companies. Trillion dollar deficits for at least a decade. A doubled money supply and $533,000 jobs?

The Post manages to destroy all the happy talk, though, in what must have been an inadvertent fit of journalism contained in one sentence:

Orszag has already instructed federal agencies to identify spending cuts for next year’s budget, but the report comes as lawmakers contemplate proposals that would drive spending even higher.

And, of course, the guy right smack dab in the middle of encouraging all of that higher spending is the same guy Orszag is claiming wants to put the country back on “firm fiscal footing”.

If double-talk were money, this administration would be running a surplus. And the Washington Post isn’t so bad at it either.



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22 Responses to Spinning A 1.4 Tillion Dollar Deficit

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah…that deficit thingy.

    You have to remember that The Clown™ intends on using the old “I inherited this” excuse until he is run out of DC by the people. It is as if no one remembers that Eisenhower “inherited” the Korean War from Truman, that Kennedy “inherited” the phony missile gap from Eisenhower, that Nixon “inherited” the Vietnam War from Johnson, that Reagan “inherited” a horrific economy from Jimmy “Dickweed” Carter, that Clinton “inherited” a bad economy from Bush 41, and that Bush 43 “inherited” the bubble and al-Qa’ida from Clinton. No President – no President has come into office not “inheriting” some problem, major or minor, from their predecessor. The Clown™ is not the first. And none of these past Presidents whined for a full year about what he “inherited.” Imagine Reagan telling the president in 1982, “I know the economy is bad…but I inherited this from my predecessor.” People would have laughed at him, the way they should laugh at The Clown™.

    Perhaps, in 2013, we can have the Republican who replaces The Clown™ say for a full year or two that he “inherited” a massive budget deficit. Does anyone think that the media will let him cry and whine like that for a year or two? I don’t think so!

    • Clinton inherited a bad economy from Bush? How do you figure? At the time of Clinton’s inauguration, the GDP had gone through 7 consecutive quarters of expansion. Clinton inherited a recovering economy from Bush, but it’s a bit of a stretch to claim it was a bad economy.

      • Absolutely correct. The recession had ended in March 1991. NBER, for reasons unknown only to morons and ignored by liberals, didn’t reveal until December 1992 that the recession had ended. I was but a teenager at the time, but it was a powerful lesson in how NBER and mainstream media can make or break a presidency.

        Of course, NBER nowadays will predict the start of a recession before the second consecutive quarter of GDP decline (their official rule for recession)…so long as a Republican is in the White House. They can also predict the end of a recession before the official numbers showing growth…so long as a Democrat is in the White House. And there’s nary a worry about a double-dip recession — no way that will happen under Saint Obamus!

      • Steverino said, “Clinton inherited a bad economy from Bush? How do you figure?”

        Okay…so what I meant to say was that Clinton “inherited” a lousy economy from Bush 41. It was not good at the time – I think we all should concede that. But, you are right – the economy was recovering by the time Clinton got into office, and his policies only continued the recovery, and were not wholly responsible for it.

        Nevertheless, the point I made still stands – none of these Presidents, who came into office with numerous challenges, went on for months blaming their predecessors or claiming that they “inherited” the situation they found themselves in. Only The Clown™ does this…and he sounds to me like a first grader whiner who finds that his diaper is filled with doo-doo and keeps blaming the diaper company for the situation.

        • I’d even go further to say that the growth was despite Clinton’s policies, and was not in any wise from them (other than the late-1990s tax cuts that the GOP Congress pushed for).

          “Nevertheless, the point I made still stands – none of these Presidents, who came into office with numerous challenges, went on for months blaming their predecessors or claiming that they “inherited” the situation they found themselves in.”

          Indeed, even Clinton. And I don’t recall ever hearing GWB talk about inheriting an economy on the downswing, though it was more than a fair point to counter the idiotic “Bush recession” chanting.

      • Not only did Clinton inherit a RECOVERED economy, he inherited the economy at the time the S&L bailouts had run their course and were generating a positive cash flow (part of the Klintoon “surplus”). He also inherited a “Peace Dividend” in the form of a collapsed Soviet Union just a year earlier, which allowed greatly reduced military expenditures, (another facet in his “surplus”) which he in turn squandered with his “had in the sand” approach to national security.

        Clinton also inherited the High Tech revolution from it’s genesis the Reagan years.

  • I’ve never been a deficit hawk.

    But Obama and Pelosi have already broken the bank and they haven’t even gotten warmed up yet. They’re lying about the cost of their health care monstrosity. They’re locked in with the climate hysteria and determined to enact the massive wealth transfers that would be enabled by cap and trade. And their “stimulus” bill is a political payoff that they plan on using to buy themselves continuing power in the 2010 elections.

    Even with all of that there is something even more fundamentally wrong with this administration that is just now beginning to emerge: it is worse than its worst critics imagined — it is thuggish, blatant in its by proxy race baiting, seemingly disconnected from national security, and eager to have real crises, especially economic ones, instead of the usual fake crises that liberals so enjoy.

    This is a lethiferous (that was the word of the day at crowd. And don’t let my little joke make you think I’m not using the word seriously.

    • The level of complicity by the Congress shows that this is not a mere excrescence, but systemic to the nature of the Democratic Party.

  • Just to be clear, this was the last Bush budget, not the first Obama budget.

    • And if you believe that, you also believe he both earned and deserved the Nobel Prize.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but there was no Bush budget for ’08: the democrats in Congress kept passing continuing resolutions to STOP him passing his own budget so that their boy TAO could give them everything they wanted when he came in in ’09.

    • Since Congress has final sign-off on the budget, no budgets have been President XYZ’s alone. Not by a long shot.

  • The WaPo’s shameless spinning of the deficit / debt is part ‘n’ parcel of everything else MiniTru does in relation to the jug-eared fool they got elected last November: ANYTHING to make him look good. Have a look at the latest cover of Newsweek: a photo of that fool Biden with the caption (paraphrasing), “From health care to Afghanistan, Biden in a force to be reckoned with.” Biden is a brain-damaged fool who has a team of White House spinmeisters following him around to explain what he meant every time he blurts out something embarrassingly stupid. Why does Newsweek deify this moron? Because to tell the truth about Joe would reflect badly on The One, and MiniTru isn’t about to do that.


    If the American people really understood what their own elected officials (from BOTH parties) are doing to the future of our country, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to buy tar, feathers, rails, and rope within 500 miles of DC.

  • How else would you describe this…

    Ummm…. Democrat.

  • I am not a deficit hawk either. However, it is one thing to run a deficit, temporarily, or to run a deficit at a rate lower than economic growth, and another thing to set up structural deficits, to emplace policies that will grow the deficit while slowing growth, etc.

    • This level of debt, relative to GDP, hasn’t been seen since World War II. But there’s no massive “war effort” here. These are purely structural deficits for all the social programs. Oh sure, the deficit will drop in future years — to a level still higher than we’ve had.

      Here’s an example of the economic reasoning. While most people were talking about Obama’s Peace Prize, largely missed in the news was the big lie about the new health care proposal. It will cost $82.9 billion a year for 10 years (meaning the actual spending will be double that), but there will supposedly be $81 billion in total cuts over those ten years, so the Democrats are claiming it will “reduce the deficit.” And the original proposal was $860 billion, so what are we worrying about…right?

      • “It will cost $82.9 billion a year for 10 years (meaning the actual spending will be double that),”

        Surely you’re not serious? :-p

        More like double in the second year (the election year?) and up to quadruple that by the sixth year or so (once the economy tanks completely and EVERYONE is on the public option).

        “How the Repub’s will ever win an election with $$TRILLIONS in bribes to the masses” is a question we need to ask, not just assume the 48% electorate will have any sway.

  • What do you guys mean there was no Bush Budget 08? I’m confused. Does anyone have a link explaining this?

  • Nice of you to break out the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street banks, passed before Obama was elected, and included in this figure.

    Oh, wait. You didn’t.

    • And the decade’s worth of future trillion dollar budgets Obama has laid out? Plan on trying to blame those on Bush too, ‘nost?

      Thanks for driving by and leaving you usual uh … droppings. Come back again when you can’t stay so long.