After years of screaming about Obama’s deficits, how will anyone break the news to Republicans that today, the Treasury Department and Office of Management and Budget announced that the 2014 deficit as a percentage of GDP has reached its smallest point since 2007 at $483 billion, which also happens to be below the average deficit of the last 40 years.
Also, while we’re on it, wanna know how we got here? Bloomberg says revenue. Oh, holy Republican grail, is there no end to the perfidy? Read on:
The budget deficit in the U.S. shrank to the lowest level as a share of the economy since 2007 in fiscal 2014 as faster growth and falling unemployment boosted tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.
The shortfall was $483.4 billion in the 12 months to Sept. 30, compared with $680.2 billion a year earlier, the Treasury said today in Washington. That’s about a third of the record $1.4 trillion deficit reached in 2009. Revenue jumped 8.9 percent and spending gained 1.4 percent, the figures showed.
Bloomberg goes on to warn that this is only good news for the short term — big troubles await because an aging population will cause Social Security and healthcare costs to rise, and the Deficit Will Kill Us All Then.
Reagan said, “Social Security, let’s lay it to rest once and for all… Social security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund or reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security Trust Fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or raising or lowering the deficit.”
No mention was made of the fact that we are subsidizing big oil and huge corporations are fleeing the country in order to avoid paying taxes here. Taxes being r.e.v.e.n.u.e.
Fear mongering about the future aside, no one can deny this is good news. And it kicks sand in the Republican meme about President Obama’s big spending liberal ways.
In September, Forbes announced that the deficit has disappeared:
The U.S. Treasury announced last Thursday that the federal deficit was $128.7 billion in August. That’s 13 percent lower than it was during the same month last year.
Washington typically records a budget surplus in September and $80 billion or so in black ink is in fact projected for next month. If that occurs as expected, the deficit for all of 2014 will be about $500 billion. That will be more than 26 percent below 2013 and the smallest federal deficit by far since 2008.
So, we came in under the prediction for September, but as Forbes discussed last month, no one is talking about this. The budget deficit scolds have gone silent. The Tea Party is silent. The Republican Party is silent — other than to keep on using “deficit” as a weapon of mass talking points destruction in debates around the country, facts be damned.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was pleased, “Six years ago, our nation was confronted with the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression. In those dark days, Democrats stepped up and put our economy back on track. Since President Obama took office, our nation has made immense progress. Today, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted streak of job creation in our history, the unemployment rate is at a six-year low, and the deficit as a percentage of GDP has been cut to the lowest level since 2007.”
Pelosi addressed those rising healthcare fears, “Democrats have consistently worked to reduce the deficit in a responsible and balanced way. The Affordable Care Act continues to drive down the growth of health costs, securing a stronger future for our seniors, our families and our budget. Republicans, however, have consistently chosen a radical and irresponsible path: advancing budgets that gut the investments in America that are essential to job creation and growth, betraying students, seniors and middle class families while refusing to close even one special-interest tax loophole. With many middle class families still struggling, Republicans even voted to raise taxes on the middle class while slashing them for millionaires.”
Republicans always leave revenue out of the discussion even as they fear monger about how we just can’t afford to feed starving children or take care of our elders, because the deficit! But there is always money to give corporations a free ride on the taxpayers’ backs.
Pelosi charged, “Time and again, Republicans have blocked action to lift the draconian sequester cuts that are weakening our global competitiveness and harming communities across the country. The American people have had enough of Republicans trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and middle class families. They have had enough of the Republican recklessness that shut down the government for 16 days, costing our economy $24 billion and 120,000 jobs. It is time to jumpstart the middle class, invest in our future and build an economy that works for everyone – not just the privileged few.”
The Republican deficit argument is dead in the water. Of course, that won’t stop them from using it or their base from believing in it. But here in reality land, things are slowly getting better. Just imagine what a little help from Congress would do. Are you picturing that? Now picture a ballot box.