60 Years of Budget Deficits
Public debt is a very fiery issue in politics. I recently received in email from the great folks at No Labels about budget deficits, which led me to an article about budget deficits since the early 1900s. Feel free to sign up for the No Labels email updates with Mark McKinnon, but also have fun with this article, or whatever you call it when you read about budget deficits.
*And by the way, it’s important to note the difference between national debt, and national budget deficits – the deficit is the amount of debt accrued in the year of discussion, while the debt is about the aggregate.
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BY CHRISTOPHER INGRAHAM AND KENNEDY ELLIOTT – March 4 at 4:01 pm
When President Obama took office in 2009 at the height of the recession, the annual budget deficit came in at 10.1 percent of gross domestic product — a level not seen since the end of World War II. In the five years since, the budget deficit has been sliced more than half. New figures in Obama’s just-released budget put it at only 3.7 percent of GDP in 2014. Explore 60 years of deficits – and the occasional surplus – in the interactive chart below.
As the chart shows, the recent reduction of the deficit has come primarily due to spending cuts instead of revenue increases. Spending has shrunk 4.1 percentage points from 2009 to today, while revenue has grown only 2.2 percentage points in the same period. To put it another way, there have been nearly $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue increases. On the surface, it would appear that Republicans won the budget wars. But you wouldn’t get that impression listening to the rhetoric coming from some quarters of the Republican base after the recent debt-ceiling fights.