Obama Saves America From Republican Failure By Bringing Deficit Below 50 Year Average


“Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration,” 2016 Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul said. “And it’s now tripling under Barack Obama’s watch.”

Those are some scary words, and they feed the willfully ignorant frenzy driving Republicans to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. That and their failure to understand what the debt ceiling actually is.

As we head into yet another GOP shutdown showdown allegedly over Republicans unwillingness to pay off the debt they’ve already spent, it’s worth noting reality for a moment. The Congressional Budget Office put the deficit for the just ended fiscal year at 2.4% of GDP, below 50-year average, and also, 2015 was the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit declined as a percentage of GDP.

The federal government ran a budget deficit of $435 billion fiscal year 2015, CBO estimates—$48 billion less than the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2014, and the smallest deficit recorded since 2007. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit—at an estimated 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—was slightly below the average experienced over the past 50 years, and 2015 was the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit declined as a percentage of GDP since peaking at 9.8 percent in 2009. By CBO’s estimate, revenues were about 8 percent higher and outlays were about 5 percent higher in 2015 than they were in the previous fiscal year. CBO’s deficit estimate is based on data from the Daily Treasury Statements; the Treasury Department will report the actual deficit for fiscal year 2015 later this month.

We can’t have an honest discussion about the deficit without noting that “the FY2009 federal deficit was running at a rate of $1.2 trillion on the day he (President Obama) took office in the midst of a financial crisis.”

Also, Factcheck continued (note this was written in 2014):

But a fact that may surprise Obama’s critics is that Obama’s spending increases have been historically modest — much smaller than his predecessor’s, and well below the rate of inflation. Federal spending in the current fiscal year, which ends this month, is running only 7.9 percent higher than it was when the president took office. This increase is well below the 12 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index, which we’ve mentioned.

But the spending increase under Obama would be even lower — only 5.9 percent — if we used the most recent estimate of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office from August 27. CBO puts the current year’s outlays at just over $3.5 trillion. The final, actual spending figures for this year should be announced sometime next month, and we’ll report on them in our next update.

And right when I was about to credit Republican austerity for some of this:

To be sure, some of the spending restraint has been forced on Obama by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Even so, the contrast with the Bush administration’s spending increases is quite dramatic. Federal outlays rose nearly 33 percent during the first four fiscal years for which Bush signed the appropriations bills (FY2002 – 2005) and rose again by another 34 percent during the next four fiscal years, even subtracting $203 billion from FY2009 to adjust for Obama’s additions that year.

PolitiFact checked Rand Paul’s claim and found “Quite a few readers asked us if the debt has tripled since Obama took office in January 2009. We took a look at the numbers, and it hasn’t. It’s increased about 1.7 times.”

Want to know how Rand Paul’s “office” justified his claim? Watch the shells move (my bold): “Looking at the whole statement — not just the second clause — Paul wasn’t saying the debt has tripled under Obama alone. Instead, he was saying that it doubled under President George W. Bush. And since Obama took office, it has risen to a point that is triple what it was when Bush first took office. By this measure, Paul’s statement is closer to accurate. Let’s go through the numbers.”

Jobless claims also fell to near a 42-year low today, after the Department of Labor released their update:

In the week ending October 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 263,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 277,000 to 276,000. The 4-week moving average was 267,500, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 270,750 to 270,500.

So what we have here is a President who has set historic records for continuous private sector job growth, has lowered spending increases dramatically – in fact they have been “historically modest”, and the deficit for the just ended fiscal year is at 2.4% of GDP, below 50-year average.

What’s it all mean? It means that President Obama is not the big spender Republicans make him out to be, unless they really want to blame him for picking up the tab for their 2007 financial crisis and the two unfunded wars they started and put on a credit card. So when Republicans talk about not raising the debt ceiling due to their objections to “spending”, not only is this irresponsible because the money has already been spent, but it’s irrational and ridiculous. For a big spender, see Obama’s predecessor – the entitled “decider”.

In other words, President Obama is the only adult in the room.

31 Replies to “Obama Saves America From Republican Failure By Bringing Deficit Below 50 Year Average”

  1. Waiting for this to hit the mainstream media and properly inform all Americans about how Obama is truly the President of Fiscal Responsibility, and not the “Tax and spend Democrat” the GOP makes him out to be.


  2. So they are happy with “Paul’s statement is closer to accurate?” I guess when he cuts SS and Medicare for three million, and says the cuts inly affected “about 50,000” since it is ‘close to accurate,’ we’ll all be satisfied? Sorry, Paul advisors…he lies.

  3. OK Andy, but are not trends important?Look at Bush’s huge growth in deficits when “deficits don’t matter.” according to Cheney, and the downward trend since then, even with Bush’s war funding caused recession. Meanwhile, he’s enabled job creation without a lick of help from the people elected in 2010 on “JOBS!!!” In fact, they stymie him at every turn. So I’d say this administration has been one of the most successful in history, and yet, the media fawns all over the GOP lies. Disgusting. There is no way a Republican should even be considered for national office of any kind.

  4. Why is this not discussed on the Sunday shows? We are getting tired of the Trump show and the War news, and how Obama is dealing with Putin, etc. and of course more massacres and talk of what to do about who gets guns and what to do in keeping guns away from maniacs and mentally sick people…….

    Oh, BTW I want to see more discussed on the Sunday shows about the Republican’s pain and misery. Now That’s music to my ears. MCarthy drops out of the House Leadership race, and NOBODY want’s the job. How about that. The T-Partiers are jumping for joy, they have succeeded in plunging their party into chaos and disorder. The moral must be pretty low in their camp. Except for the aforementioned T-Party wrecking crew (Termites destroying from within).

  5. How to keep the unemployment low:

    Notice how population growth was 23.6% 1977-1997 while growth of NILF was a mere 10.5% As the population grew, job growth kept NILF to a low rate of expansion. While the population soared by 52 million, only 6.5 million people were added to NILF.

    In the golden era of 1982 – 2000, population rose 21.5% while NILF expanded by 15%. Job growth was still strong enough to limit NILF expansion. The population grew by 50 million while NILF expanded by 9 million.

    But by the present era, Not in the Labor Force expanded by 37.5% while population grew by only 14.2%. This chart shows the difference between the two eras: those Not in the Labor Force soared by an unprecedented 26 million people–a staggering 15.6% of the nation’s work force of 166 million. (Roughly 140 million people have some sort of employment or self-employment, though millions of these earn less than $10,000 a year, so classifying them as “employed” is a bit of a stretch).

  6. Employment Obama style:

    As a reminder: jobs have quantity and quality components. The quantity component was good enough to convince the 10 Year the taper is imminent (if not stocks, which continue to trade dislocated from any and all fundamentals). But how about the quality? In a word: not good. In June, the household survey reported that part-time jobs soared by 360,000 to 28,059,000 – an all time record high. Full time jobs? Down 240,000. And looking back at the entire year, so far in 2013, just 130K Full-Time Jobs have been added, offset by a whopping 557K Part-Time jobs. And there is your jobs “quality” leading to today’s market euphoria (if only for now).



  7. As a follow up it has not gotten any better in 2014 or 2015. I will be back with additional numbers. Also the gains of immigrant workers have largely offset any gains in employment by native Americans, not counting illegal immigrant workers, of which I see many in my field of construction which artificially holds down wages.

  8. Saving America Obama style:

    Ratio of Part-Time Employed Remains Higher Than the Pre-Recession Levels
    October 5, 2015
    by Doug Short

    et’s take a close look at Friday’s employment report numbers on Full and Part-Time Employment. Buried near the bottom of Table A-9 of the government’s Employment Situation Summary are the numbers for Full- and Part-Time Workers, with 35-or-more hours as the arbitrary divide between the two categories. The source is the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) of households. The focus is on total hours worked regardless of whether the hours are from a single or multiple jobs.

    The Labor Department has been collecting this since 1968, a time when only 13.5% of US employees were part-timers. That number peaked at 20.1% in January 2010. The latest data point, over five years later, is only modestly lower at 18.1% last month. If the pre-recession percentage is a recovery target, we’re just above half-way there.


  9. DJ,
    I thought you loved me. Did you miss me?
    I do not hate the current occupant of the White House, but I think he is as poor a President as the previous occupant.They have both done a spectacular job at spending my children’s and grand children’s future.

  10. Good news that the debt has dropped from $1 trillion to $435 billion. Bad news that the Congressional Business Offices is giving Republicans an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare saying the debt will go up when more baby boomers retired. HOGWASH. What created the debt was our elected leaders giving away trillions the Rich, Corporations, CEO’s and Bankers trillions when all it would take is less than $200 billion to bring everyone out of poverty in the US, and less than $200 billion to bring everyone out of poverty in the world.
    FACT: The % Rich: More Than $6.5 Trillion Lost in US Income Due to Republican Tax Cuts for the Rich – including 13 million millionaires and 572 billionaires, where 4000 top wage earners don’t pay any taxes robbing the rest of us resulting in increased poverty, homelessness, and hunger. http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/more-than-6-5-trillion-dollars-lost-in-us-income-due-to-tax-cuts-for-the-rich

  11. Shadow,
    I’m not sure what a teatard is but thank you.

    I will let the facts speak for themselves.

    “And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” – John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

  12. Your government at work Bureau of Lies and Scams:

    “The BLS has the cajones to declare that only 157 million of the 251 million working age Americans are actually in the labor force.

    This outrageous assumption flies in the face of all reasonableness, facts, and truth. In 1937, even with women not working outside the home and very few people living past 65 years old, the participation rate was 75%. Today, with the majority of women capable and willing to work and older Americans working well into their 60s, the BLS actually expects a critical thinking person to believe the participation rate is only 62.4%, the lowest since 1977. It’s a pure and simple despicable lie. The true participation rate should exceed the rate in 1937, based on the facts. Using the 75% participation rate today, yields a true unemployment rate of 21%, not the preposterous 5.1% shoveled by the bullshit artists at the BLS. The 21% rate ties very closely to the figure arrived at by John Williams at Shadowstat…

  13. Rhonda,
    The best tax policy money can buy. Look at the percentage of the overall taxes paid by corporations versus individuals over the past four decades and you will see a dramatic decline in the corporate tax base with the growth of the international corporation. As for the rich individuals, why do you think they have the best accountants. Walmart gets billions in tax breaks while being owned 4 of the richest people in the world. Neither the Dems or the Repubs will or want to fix this. Who do you think the Clinton’s made their millions from, international corporations. Chelsea is married to a hedge fund manager. Same old same old.

  14. You need to learn the difference between debt and deficit. Our national debt is at $18+ trillion while our deficit is at $435 +/-.

  15. Um Boston, calm down and take your meds. Heard of a little thing called Baby Boomers? They are leaving the workforce in mass.

  16. Andy. You might mention GDP was $12.7 Trillion and last year it was $16.3 Trillion. GDP per capita is up as well during the period.

  17. I wonder if I can tell the credit card people that I won’t be paying off my debt because it makes my budget look too high? NAH! They want their money.

  18. The reason for so many part-time jobs is that many of the big Corps saw an opportunity to hire more PT employees, pay lower wages, would not need to provide benefits (healthcare & retirement packages), & get a tax break for sending manufacturing off shore.

    All the regulations related to wage standards, fair wages for fair work, employee relations etc have been slowly eroded away for the past 30+ years. Every time we have had a GOP Congress they have found more ways to degrade the middle class. Sadly, so many in the middle class refuse to see that its the Republican legislation or lack thereof that is destroying this country.

    You cannot expect Democratic Congress or Admin to fix in one or two terms what Repubs destroy in the next breath. One step forward two steps back is not progress – its regression.

  19. We now have a perfect example of GOP governance in SC, LA & TX. Flood waters rise and crumble what is left of poorly maintained infrastructure. You cannot continually give tax breaks to the wealthy and expect to keep things in working order. There is not enough money to tax the middle & poor to keep the infrastructure maintained.

  20. Why do presidents get credit and blame for the results of taxing and spending?

    Other than undeclared war (which Congress should be responsible for) – taxing and spending is what Congress does.

  21. YOU didn’t say that GW Bush was left a HUGE surplus when he took office, HUGE!He spent that and some. Gave most of it to his buddies. Took the rest from the poor and middleclass, then sent them to a War that could not WIN. Surge!!? BS they paid them to stop fighting while BO took over, Then started again. Thats a Bush Family thing, either AWOL or MIA or Jump out of plane leave your crew behind

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