Monday, September 21, 2009

How hopeless is the Federal Deficit?

The projected deficit for this year is 1.85 trillion dollars. No doubt a staggering amount and if you listen to the right its an Obama created disaster that there is no hope of getting out of. But is it?

First of all lets look at the 8 years of the Bush Administration. When Bush came into office the federal budget had a surplus of 236 Billion dollars. 8 years later a deficit of 700 billion dollars, a net loss of 936.2 Billion dollars. The net loss so far in the Obama Administration is about 97% not the 300 and 400% numbers people on the right keep claiming.

Yet this is a huge number. Is there any hope of getting out of it? History clearly shows us the answer is yes. The current years deficit is 12.93% of the nations GDP, sounds high. Yet in 1943 it was 28.05% of GDP, in 1944 it was 22.35% and 1945, 24.06%. Think about almost 1/4 of our nations economy was federal debt.

So how long did it take to get out of that? Amazingly not long. Only 2 years later in 1947 there was a surplus. In fact in the 11 years from 1947-1957 we had a surplus 7 out of 11 years.

Oh and for the record it was a Democrat, Harry S. Truman that took our country from the largest deficit as a percentage of GDP to a surplus. And the last surplus was once again under the leadership of a Democrat Bill Clinton.

Lets look at Congress, during the 8 years of the Truman Presidency and the taking of our federal budget from massive deficits to a surplus, 6 of those 8 years it was a Democratic Controlled Congress. The 8 years of Clinton's 6 of the 8 were Republicans. So in short Congress is 50/50 historically.

The point is when Republicans try to label the Democrats as the tax and spend party, and they the fiscally conservative party, history doesn't back them up. Barack Obama has pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Though it sounds impossible, it has been done before and yes by a Democrat.

source: Deficit as a % of GDP

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