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5 Reasons The U.S. Deficit Has Fallen By Nearly $5 Trillion (And Why That’s A Bad Thing)

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5 Reasons The U.S. Deficit Has Fallen By Nearly $5 Trillion (And Why That’s A Bad Thing)



This year’s deficit will likely be $514 billion, down about a quarter from last year’s deficit of $680 billion, which was down by more than a third from the year before.

“Since 2010, projected 10-year deficits over the 2015-2024 decade have shrunk by almost $5.0 trillion, $4.1 trillion of which is due to four pieces of legislation enacted in the intervening years,” Richard Kogan and William Chen write in a new report for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

So — despite the fact that most Republicans think it’s still growing — America’s budget deficit has been reduced by two-thirds from the $1.6 trillion cost overrun President Obama inherited in 2009.

This is supposed to be good news. Centrists laud deficit reduction as if it were the only worthy goal of a government. While the improved budget outlook in the near-term has helped President Obama avoid the sort of debt limit standoff that nearly created another financial crisis in 2011, government policy is hurting the recovery and inflicting long-term damage on the economy.

Here are five reasons the deficit is falling in a way that’s hurting America’s long-term prospects.



  1. charles king March 20, 2014

    Republican Congress and some Democracts are not doing their job of putting the country on the right track off recovery. We the People must let our Representives know that We the People Want? this S*** straighten out and get the country’s Democracy working and get MONIES out of the People’s business. The President(Obama) has put forth a plan for You Reps. Too follow but You insist on Not doing What? you were sent to Wash. Too do, get the hell off the stool and get busy or get Lost, the country do not need your defiance, We the People need your HELP. People , just remember ” the VOTE is still SUpreme and it can still get rid of These(Greedy capitalistic Pigs, Plutocracts(with money)Non thinking Republicans an Democracts What? they Want? I do not know) Obamacare Works, Society-security Works, Medicacare Works and all the things that our President and his Admin. trying to do for the country these things work so Why/ are we standing still and Not moving forward. Let these (Do Nothing Politicians Know That We The People still have Control of The VOTE and We wiil put You Do Nothing pieces of S*** out of business) Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING

  2. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell March 20, 2014

    Federal deficit spending adds dollars to the economy, which is stimulative. Here is when the next recession will occur: http://mythfighter.com/2013/08/11/the-recession-clock/ (The Recession Clock)

  3. ExRadioGuy15 March 20, 2014

    While reducing the deficit (and, eventually, the national debt) is a laudable effort, the WAY it’s done is just as important.
    The way the GOP want to do it is by reducing government spending and taxation. That’s the WRONG way to do it. By making government smaller, you allow the wealthy and big corporations to eventually overthrow the government so that they can take over. Our representative democracy would be gone and replaced by something I call a “Fascist Corporate Plutarchy”. Fascist because they adhere to all Fascist principles; Corporate because corporations would take over all of the former functions of government (think the “Robocop” movies, where a big corporation owns and operates the Detroit Police Department, on steroids) and a Plutarchy is a plutocratic oligarchy. A plutocracy is a government by the wealthy and an oligarchy is a government by a very small number of people, not necessarily politicians.
    The CORRECT way to reduce the deficit and the debt is to do what FDR did to get this country out of the GOP and FCP-caused Great Depression: increase government spending and go to a Progressive taxation system, where the wealthy and big corporations pay a higher effective rate of taxes compared to the middle class and smaller businesses. Right now, our federal tax system is “Upside Down”, where the tax percentage and effective rate paid by the wealthy and big corporations is lower than that of the middle class and smaller companies, when they pay ANY taxes, thanks to the Bush 43 tax policies. Successful people and corporations also get “rebates” in addition to paying no taxes thanks to those tax policies put into effect during the Bush 43 administration. Even the Libertarian suggestion of a so-called “Fair Tax” or flat tax is regressive and favors those with more money and higher incomes.
    The postwar economies of the Truman, Eisenhower and Clinton administrations, which featured high taxation on the wealthy and big corporations, boomed, allowing deficits to be eliminated and debts to be repaid. If we’re truly serious about wiping out the deficit and paying down the debt, the first HUGE step that can be taken to achieve those things is to fully repeal the remaining Bush 43 tax policies. Many people wrongly believe that they were repealed in the resolution of the “Fiscal Cliff” nonsense at the beginning of 2013. Until our politicians are willing to do that, especially the GOP, who are stooges for the wealthy and big corporations, any talk about the deficit and debt reduction not including the repeal of those Reverse Robin Hood and Upward Wealth Redistribution tools known as the Bush 43 tax policies is simply hot air.

    1. James March 28, 2014

      why don’t Republican stop the welfare to Corporations ?

      1. ExRadioGuy15 March 28, 2014

        Because, James, the GOP’s main concern is upward wealth redistribution. The Bush 43 administration’s tax policies are proof of that fact, as they’ve sent $32 TRILLION upwards since 2001. And, that amount will rise to $33.5 TRILLION by the end of this year because most of those Fascist and Reverse Robin Hood fiscal policies are STILL IN EFFECT!

  4. JBLuvsCeltic March 20, 2014

    With all the “underspending” and underinvestment”, the federal government has managed to spend at least $3.45T in each of the last 5 years after never spending more than $2.98T previously.

    The only way President Obama “inherited” the FY 2009 deficit (actually $1.4T, not $1.6T) would be if he “inherited” the $0.8T ARRA.

    I’m glad you showed a chart depicting how weak this recovery has been – it sure hasn’t been due to government underspending. Remind me, what happened to marginal tax rates during the recovery from the 1981-82 recession?

    One wonders how the US leapfrogged civilizations with 1000’s of years head start from 1850-1950 with minimal government spending compared to today’s levels.

    1. Sand_Cat March 20, 2014

      One wonders why people like you have nothing better to do than spew Fox “facts” on sites such as this one.

      1. JBLuvsCeltic March 20, 2014

        I am here because I read articles from multiple points of view to minimize bias – you should try it.

        My “Fox facts” came from the notoriously right-wing, Tea Party nutcakes at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/historicals

        1. Sand_Cat March 20, 2014

          Fair enough. Why don’t you name a recent GOP president who did better?
          This admin inherited the damage done to government revenue, the economy, and the country in general by Bush. Also inherited two unfunded wars kept off the official budget by Bush, one of them a totally unnecessary waste of lives and money to feed W’s ego, the other pursued with ineptitude and failure to achieve its purported objective.
          The US leapfrogged tired and war-torn civilizations with “1,000’s” of years head start” by government-subsidized industries, tariffs and other protective measures restricting free trade, and had much higher tax rates, at least during the fifties, than those now. Plus, if you knew any history, you would know that civilizations having “1,000’s of years head start” have no advantage at all, and are more likely to be in decline.
          So what is your point in all this? It was Dick Cheney who said deficits don’t matter, and all those crying about them nowadays took him at his word and spent away – or perhaps you are the exception?
          Obama inherited a catastrophe from the criminals who preceded him and a core of zealots determined to cause him to fail no matter the damage to the nation.

          1. JBLuvsCeltic March 20, 2014

            Thank you for taking the time to respond at such length.

            FYI, I don’t hate the POTUS. I have great respect for him, but disagree with much of his fiscal agenda. I don’t hate Democrats. I married to one that is somewhat left of the POTUS politically. I am a social liberal.

            I hate the current political discourse – from both sides. I can’t believe the vitriol spewed on Twitter and various sites.

            I will debate people and respect their views. I will never insult them for beliefs that differ from mine.

            Question #1 is quite easy: Ronald Reagan, and it ain’t even close.

            A few stats for you from BLS, OMB, CBO, and the Dept of Agriculture.

            Comparing this point in the recoveries from the 2007-09 recession with the 1981-82 recession (before you say 81-82 wasn’t as bad, unemployment peaked at 10.8% v 10.1% for the 2007-09 recession):

            The Gipper first

            Cumulative GDP growth +18.5% v +6.7%

            Household Income: +4.3% vs -4.5%

            Payroll jobs: +11% vs +2.3%

            Long Term Unemployed: -49% v 11%

            Food Stamp Enrollment: -8% vs +34%

            Avg Weeks Unemployed: 15.2 vs 39.8

            Deficit as Share of GDP: 5.1% vs 7.3%

            And Reagan did it without a zero interest rate environment and a couple of trillion dollars of Fed easing.

            An interesting stat for you as I guess you have let the phrase “trickle-down didn’t work” slip from your lips at least once.

            You can look this up on Census Table 690 at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/income_expenditures_poverty_wealth/household_income.html.

            In 1980 (before Reagan), 10% of US families had income >$100k in 2009 dollars. It 2009, it was 20%. The rate of increase was greater for blacks than whites.

            I will even grant you that part of that increase was due to the increase of women in the workplace.

            Still, pretty impressive.

            You make some decent points in your analysis. Government subsidies were rarely directed towards industries, but more for what was then known as “Internal Improvements”, i.e., infrastructure projects such as rail and canals, which certainly helped industry.

            Yes, there were tariffs, but enforcement was lax, especially across the US – Canada border. Even much of the oceangoing trade occurred without the government’s knowledge.

            I sure you know there was no income tax until 1913.

            Liberals like to cite the glory of the 1950’s and the 91% top rate. First of all, the US had 50% of the world’s productive capacity in the years following WWII. Europe and Japan were in ruins and China and East Asia were backwaters. The US produced 80% of the world’s cars in 1950 and was the world’s leading coal and steel producer. Labor could set its price because the world needed our goods.

            The 91% tax rate kicked in at $3.4 million of today’s dollars in the mid-50’s. When the majority of income was wages and business income and not capital gains, stock options, etc, NOBODY made that kind of money.

            History has shown that LOWER marginal rates bring in higher revenue. The much derided “Bush” cuts increased government revenue 44% from 2003 ($1.78T) to 2007 ($2.57T). Revenue grew similarly after the Reagan cuts. Of course, expenditure grew even faster.

            I know, revenue rose after the Clinton tax increase in 1993. Liberals rarely note it really exploded – as did the stock market – after the capital gains tax cut in 1997.

            I want to maximize revenue so our dysfunctional government can help as many people as possible. I believe the way to do this is lower rates and fewer loopholes.

            Enough for now. Thanks for sharing your points of view.

          2. Sand_Cat March 20, 2014

            I think there’s no way we’ll ever agree about much concerning Reagan.
            As for the discourse, I subjected one of our regular right-wing visitors – who at one time I thought might be reasonable – to a fairly long list of reasons why people like me aren’t likely to be very nice to people who come here spewing Fox talking points and insulting us, but somehow expect to receive hugs and kisses in return (his phrase), starting with the fact that the GOP or “conservatives” have been pretty much in charge for most of the last 30 years or so – all of it, to be accurate, since Clinton,Carter, and Obama only look like “liberals” compared to the insanity currently labelled as “conservatism” – yet they’re all enraged and convinced the country is going to hell minute by minute because of those damned “liberals.” Just about the last “liberals” I can remember would be the thoroughly lampooned and marginalized Dennis Kucinich, Russell Feingold, and maybe Rush Holt: the last of them will be gone after this year. Maybe Elizabeth Warren qualifies, or maybe she’s just another moderate conservative.
            For the figures on income increase, my understanding is that increase real income for most of us has been flat for years, while those at the top – partly as a result of the fiscal policies of Reagan and others, in my opinion – wallow in obscene amounts of money, skewing “average” income, many of them for doing nothing particularly productive – I’m not a fan of stock and currency speculation, among other things – and it seems to me that virtually none of their wealth has “trickled down” to much of anyone else, which is the reason I would say “supply-side” doesn’t work.
            You cite impressive figures, and at least it appears you’ve done your homework.
            Thank you for responding decently to my not-all-that-nice posts.

          3. Independent1 March 20, 2014

            But Reagan didn’t face an obstructionist Democratic party that claimed they would do everything in their power to see that he failed.

            The Dems back in his day were willing to work with him – not to purposely obstruct everything he did.
            The GOP governors and legislatures in GOP run states back in the 1980s didn’t purposely do everything they could to obstruct a rebound from the recession – as virtually every GOP state in America has done since Obama took office.

            The Dems back in the 1980s wouldn’t even have thought of using the filibuster in the Senate over 400 times over a 4 year period to kill every economic recovery piece of legislation that Regan wanted to try.

            The reason Reagan attained the numbers that you’re quoting is because the Dems back in the 1980s thought more of the country than the Democratic party and getting the next election victory dictated by a group of insane people called Tea Baggers.

            In other words, the reason Reagan succeeded in the creating those recession recovery numbers is because he got cooperation from the Democrats to actually spend more money than the previous 10 presidents combined in an effort to kick start the economy.

            If you want to blame someone for the sluggish recovery America has been through over the past 6 years, there’s only one place to look – the GOP!! And considering the unprecidented degree of obstructionism, in fact, an obstructionism that borders on TREASON! The fact that Obama has been able to get the recovery he has is nothing short of phenominal!!!

            Take you’re numbers and your opinion and stuff it!!! You’re nothing more than a right-wing wacko trying to pass yourself off as someone who has one ounce of common sense when you don’t

            Reagan is without question the worst president America has ever had!!!! He destroyed the very fabric of America in virtually every way possible!!!

          4. bhaggen March 21, 2014

            Last week you stated Baby Bush was the worst president America has ever had. Why should anyone have respect for Obama when he can’t even spell respect? And at a Aretha Franklin tribute to boot! On par with Bush!

          5. bhaggen March 21, 2014

            That’s all good, but what about foreign affairs? Don’t you think that Obama has FAR more skill & finesse in foreign affairs than the Gipper ever did? Red lines in the sandbox….Obama-3 vs Reagan-0 😉

          6. ThomasBonsell March 21, 2014

            Some facts about your beloved Ronald Reagan:

            Reagan started what you consider a spending problem by increasing spending, with help a GOP Senate and conservative House, by 69 percent. He blew the deficit out of the water by 188.6%. He was followed by George H.W..Bush who increased debt by 55.6% in four years,and George W. Bush who increased debt by 89%. Bill Clinton created a $62.9-billion surplus but increased the debt 35.6%. If you can’t explain how that happened, you shouldn’t be discussing the debt.

            Reagan inherited a debt as percentage of GDP at 31% from Jimmy Carter and shot it up tom about 70%.

            Reagan increased poverty of 11.4% under Carter to 15.1% at Bush’s end of term.

            Reagan was the best Republican since the Great Depression on job creation but he was worse than all Democrats. The Reagan-Bush team saw 18 million new jobs in three terms (6million per term). Carter had more than 10 million in one term, a 67% better performance that Reagan-Bush.

            Twenty-seven Reagan appointees wound up in prison, One Clinton appointee did. None for Obama.

            Reagan armed and trained what became the Taliban and al Qaeda.

            Reagan trained and financed massive murder of native populations in Latin America under the crap about fighting communism. How infants in diapers became Marxist scholars and needed to be slaughtered is a mystery to normal people, not so Reagan.

            Reagan allowed a subversive colonel working in the White House to steal millions of dollars of American armaments, sell them to the hostile Iran then steal the proceeds to finance fascist death squads in the Americas.

            Reagan sent American Marines into Lebanon, without Congressional approval, then cut and run after more than 240 of them were killed by terrorist bombers that Reagan never found.

            The man was a total disaster and one of the worst things to ever happen to this nation because he started the financial stupidity you try to blame on Obama.

            Incidentally, tax cuts do not produce more revenue. Inflation and population growth do.

    2. J Ascher March 20, 2014

      The federal government had a big hand in the industrialization and settling of the United States – it gave land grants to railroad barons, looked the other way from industrial malfeasance, and eagerly cleared out “Indians” for settlers.

    3. ThomasBonsell March 20, 2014

      Let’s see.

      In George Bush’s last spending plan, the fiscal year 2009 budget, spending was pegged at $3.518 trillion. Obama’s first budget was $3.457 (down), then $3.603T, $3.537T, and $3,345T. That should show you that after getting a grip on the Bush disaster, spending had been going DOWN. That’s not overspending. Last I saw is that Obama’s spending, adjusted for inflation, is 10 percent less than was Bush’s.

      Obama inherited a budget deficit of $1.55 trillion from Bush. Some off-budget surpluses lowered the spending deficit to $1.412 trillion. See, there is a difference between budget deficits and spending deficits. The latest estimate of a $514 billion budget deficit has not included off-budget surpluses, so the spending deficit will be much lower when those are figured in.

      What happend to the marginal tax rates in the 1981-82 recession is that when the deficit and debt got out of control, Reagan rescinded in 1982 most of the tax cuts (except not for the aristocracy). He raised the gasoline tax. the tobacco tax and the liquor tax. Then in 1983 he got a huge increase in the payroll tax. It was those tax increases that got him out of his recession.

      Have you been well reminded?

      1. JBLuvsCeltic March 20, 2014

        GB’s last budget request was just over $3.0T – http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2009-PER/pdf/BUDGET-2009-PER.pdf. The POTUS always asks for more than he knows he’ll get. Look at Obama’s budget docs for recent years.

        Do you actually think “Obama’s spending” is what Obama wants to spend?You can’t deride the GOP for austerity and, in the same breath, applaud Obama for spending restraint.

        GB never submitted a budget that was voted down 97-0 by his own Senate.

        1. ThomasBonsell March 21, 2014

          I know how the system works.

          I get my information from the Office of Management and Budget, the most unbiased source there is.

          So what I wrote is the exact truth. Try some yourself.

    4. Independent1 March 20, 2014

      You do realize clueless one, that Obama has been the smallest spending president since Eisenhower – Obama has averaged 1.4%/yr budget increases over 5 years compared to Reagan and Bush 2 both averaging 8% and higher/yr; and even Bush Sr averaged 5.6%/yr budget increases EVERY DAMN YEAR!! ALL OF THEM!!

      Not only that, but Reagan almost tripled the debt in 8 years from a little under 1T to 2.9T- spending more money than all the presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Carter COMBINED!!!

      And then Bush Sr. promptly increased the 2.9T in debt to 4.7T in debt over 4 years; while Clinton held spending down but the debt increased to 5.6T over 8 years primarily due to INTEREST!!

      And then, the King of Debt took over and promptly more than doubled the 5.6T he inherited to 12.3T which included the 1.4T that he passed to Obama!! And not only did he pass 1.4T to Obama, he passed him an economy loosing more than 800,000 jobs/month, with hundreds of companies already having gone bankrupt, including several financial industry companies that had been in business for over 100 years, along with an auto industry on the verge of bankruptcy, and millions of homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure AND a stock market that had plummetted all the way down to around to DOW of $6,600 – a stock market that had lost virtually 50% of its value.
      Interesting how that stock market is now up by $10,000 isn’t it?? A market that basis itself to a good degree on cofidence in the economy – despite how sluggish it might be – a market that is now way higher than at any other time in history.

      And isn’t it interesting that the auto industry that was on the verge of bankruptcy, has been earning profits over the past couple years that it NEVER REALIZED UNDER BUSH!!!

      And isn’t it interesting that the guy in office that you’re trying to denigrate has guided a very difficult economy in the fact of the worst political opposition in history to where more jobs have been created in the past 5 years than Bush Jr created in 8 years!! Isn’t that kind of intersting??

      And isn’t it interesting that despite the GOP BS about Obama not allowing drilling of oil on public lands, that more drilling on public lands has actually been done over the past 3 years than during any time that any GOP president was in office?? Enough drilling of oil and fracking of natural gas that the US may overtake Russia as the largest producer of fossile fuels on the planet within a year or so???

      When are you going to wake up!!!

      1. JBLuvsCeltic March 20, 2014

        OMG – The “Obama is the smallest spending president since Eisenhower” spiel. That has been discredited by so many economists – and anyone who can count – that I never thought I would see it again.

        I’m sorry. I can’t read past that. President Obama has presided over the 5 biggest spending years in our history. Yes, I credit him with most of FY2009 which includes the $0.8T ARRA.

        1. Independent1 March 20, 2014

          More lies!! That hasn’t been discredited by anyone.
          No One takes a 1.4T budget in 2009 and reduces it to 680B 4 years later without being the smallest spending president in decades.

          You are nothing but a lie producing machine. Go soak your head somewhere and stop making up lies!!!

          1. JBLuvsCeltic March 21, 2014

            Ah, the usual reply when presented with inconvenient facts – “You’re a liar!”.

            Believe it or not, we read many of the same articles. I read the analysis where the author credited 90% of the debt to GOP administrations. He took some generous leaps to come to that conclusion.

            Please produce something for me that says President Bush signed into law the $0.8T ARRA that made up some 60% of the FY2009 deficit. then I’ll credit the FY2009 spending and deficit to him.

            Of course the deficit has come down. Increased taxes, spending restraint, near zero interest rates and multi-trillion dollar Fed stimulus can do that.

            I don’t hate the POTUS and I don’t hate Democrats. I have voted for many of them in the past, including for POTUS, Senator, Governor, and Representative. You seem to have that hate thing going and that’s fine if it works for you.

            I disagree with the POTUS on many of his fiscal policies, and agree with him on many of his social policies. I think he is a good man who has a different vision of America from mine. I believe America achieved its preeminent status in the world largely on the genius and initiative of its people, and it is those same qualities that will bring it forward. I’ll be a fan if he takes up much of Rep Camp’s tax reform proposal.

            I am not sure how you thought we got here, but you and the POTUS believe it is government that will bring us forward. Surely, government has a role. I just believe it is subordinate to the role of the people it serves.

            Certainly the stimulus was necessary given economic conditions when Obama took office.

            Here’s an inconvenient fact for you: From the beginning to end of Reagan’s presidency (which included a recession that brought unemployment to 10.8%), the economy created 15,963,000 jobs.

            From the beginning of Obama’s presidency to the present, the economy has created 2,725,000 net jobs – the slowest recovery in postwar history. Sure, you’ll blame the intransigence of the GOP – while crediting the POTUS with the slow growth in spending. But history has shown that the deeper the recession, the stronger the recovery. Not in this case.

            And while we are speaking of obstruction, what about the Senate? Many bills have passed the House – OK, they’re not bills you like – and died in the Senate WITHOUT A VOTE. What is Reid afraid of? These bills would certainly fail in the Senate, why not bring them up for a vote? Is he afraid some might actually pass and the POTUS be forced into veto? Or is he afraid to put a nay vote on the public record of those Senators who hope to be re-elected?

            I must go. My very liberal wife – who loves me anyway – wants the computer.

            Try to tone down that hate and the insults.

          2. Independent1 March 21, 2014

            I’m calling you a liar because you’re coming on the NM pretending to be a nice guy with your offhanded comments when you’re anything but. You’re as much a nice guy as patholical lying snake oil salesman Mitt Romney. Quoting facts that aren’t actually lies but are misrepresented when you know full well they’re a bunch of BS.
            For example, trying to compare America’s worst president ever Reagan, job creation record against Obama by using the growth in actual people employed when you know full well that the job creation environment between the last quarter of the 20th century and the 1st 14 years of the 21st century are light-years different.
            Reagan was in office during the technology boom when the country was creating service sector jobs like crazy – and in realiy, Reagan’s job creation during the period was nothing more than average at best. Even Carter, who everyone denigrates as a bad president, was in office during a time when the number of people in America employed grew by almost 11 million in 4 years – basically what happened during Reagan’s 2nd term (after growing only by 4 million during his 1st term).
            And what you didn’t point out is that Clinton absolutely trounced Reagan’s job creation by the number employed during his 8 years going up by almost 23 million. But then guess what happened. Americas 2nd worst president ever took office and the Dot Com era busted such that during Bush’s 8 years there was actually a negative jobs employed of about 13,000 jobs over his 8 yeas.
            And guess why there was a negative 13,000 jobs even though almost 8 million were created during 2001 to 2009? Because at the end of the 20th century a guy named Mitt Romney founded a company called Bain Capital which started a boom in others going around pirating companies via leverage buyouts, stripping many of them of their assets and pension monies and shipping American jobs overseas such that during Bush’s 8 years and even up til he ran for President, Romney was setting the most unAmerican example of any supposed American I know – deliverately buying out companies, trashing them and sending American jobs overseas almost as fast as companies could create jobs in America.
            Which is why, although over 8 million jobs have been created since Obama took office FAR MORE THAN REAGAN CREATED IN HIS 1ST 4 YEARS!! The actual number of employed in America has gone up by only around 2 million.
            You’re nothing more than a snake in the grass truth distorting snakeoil salesman like Romney.
            And deserve no pleasantries from me!!!

          3. JBLuvsCeltic March 21, 2014

            Calm down. Take a deep breath.

            You likely believe your hysterical, hate filled, and insulting rant will elicit a similar response from me. As with most of what you’ve said in this discussion, you would be wrong.

            I’ll limit my final response on this subject to one thing.

            You speak of my misrepresenting facts. Yet you somehow include the job losses from the 81-82 recession in Reagan’s while excluding the 09-10 losses from Obama’s.

            I can cherry pick data too.

            From the enactment of the 2nd “Bush” tax cut (check the Senate vote on that one) in May 2003 to the end of 2007, the economy gained 8.2 million jobs. Federal revenue jumped 44% from ’03 to ’07 – how is that possible with lower rates?

            I’m out of here. Back to my life of being a lying snake oil salesman who pretends to be a nice guy.

          4. Independent1 March 21, 2014

            By all means – throw out another worthless analogy as you depart. The issue isn’t whether or not the Bush Tax cuts resulted in increasing Federal Revenues but rather, how much did the tax cuts actually hold back the increase – without the tax cuts the revenue increase during the period you site may have been over 50% rather than only 44%.

            And that’s because the revenue increase had very little to do with the tax cuts and far more to do with the fact that the economy was recovering from the 2001-2003 recession and the fact that the Bush Administration looked the other way as financial institutions started creating very risky investment vehicles that allowed the housing industry to put people into houses they couldn’t afford – all of which allowed the economy to run amok as the housing bubble went wild – which started crashing down like a house of cards in late 2007 and ended in the greatest recession America has seen since the Big Depression – which was helped by Coolidge allowing the economy to run amok in the late twenties with lax regulations and Hoover being totally inept in trying to deal with the recession Coolidge’s like Bush’s failed policies created…

            You need to see this article that busts the myth that tax cuts increase tax revenues:


        2. Bodine666 March 25, 2014

          Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are not accredited economist. Someone needed to inform you of that since you clearly don’t have a clue.

          If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth. Look at every conservative in the country and you will clearly see that is a fact. Conservatives believe every lie told to them because they want it to be true. That is how it works. Fortunately the rest of the country knows better. We don’t buy into the lies that you hold up and cherish.

          Saying something doesn’t make it true, except inside the conservative bubble. That is the refuge of the most illiterate and ignorant group of people on the planet. Fortunately for the rest of the world that group consists mainly of old white men, and they are rapidly dying off. So there is some hope for the planet after all.

    5. James March 28, 2014

      AND all the 1000’s of 10 + year of Contracts that Bush signed in 2006 don’t exist and are not enforceable ???

  5. ThomasBonsell March 20, 2014

    Justin Wolfers could have also argued that government spending has also been used to prevent recessions.

    After periods of growth the economy will slow down on its own and could slip into recession if this slowing isn’t addressed. That’s why every Republican administration since World War I has suffered recessions, some more than once, while Democratic recessions have been rare. Republicans address pending recessions by cutting taxes for the aristocracy or government spending. Cutting taxes didn’t work three times in the 1920s; it didn’t work for Ronald Reagan, who inherited a struggling recovery seven months after a recession ended, and it didn’t work for Baby Bush, who inherited a struggling economy slowing down after more than eight years of robust growth.

    One of the Democrats’ recession came after FDR listened to right-wing whining and cut government spending in 1937. Four years of rapid growth were immediately reversed and the nation went back into the Great Depression. He realized his mistake in 1938 and again increased government spending, getting the nation back on the track to recovery. George Bush the Daddy helped get out of his recession by accepting tax increases, and Bill Clinton got more increased taxation on the aristocracy and the nation was off to its best period of sustained economic growth in history. FDR had better growth numbers, but not the uninterrupted length of growth.

    There are lessons to be leaned here: increased government spending can prevent recessions, and end recessions; reduced spending can be harmful; tax cuts for the aristocracy do no good, but tax increases do much good, and government intervention is the key.

    So it seems a conservative “mind” can learn no lesson and a progresive mind can do well but is afraid to remind voters of that.

  6. James March 28, 2014

    U.S. Debt climbs higher and higher BUT Oil Companies do not stop getting WELFARE while they make Billions in Profits each QUARTER !!!!

  7. voltaic June 1, 2014

    Standard GOP fiscal policy of feed the rich and starve the poor and middle class. While your article is excellent and shows the folly of GOP economic policies, the right wing nut jobs still scream cut more and go to war! GOP voters seem destined to vote against their own interests and the interests of America. Ignorance is not bliss……


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