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The Budget Deficit Is Shrinking Rapidly And Most Americans Don’t Know It

Economy Memo Pad Politics

The Budget Deficit Is Shrinking Rapidly And Most Americans Don’t Know It


The deficit is down 37.6 percent for the first 10 months of the 2013 budget year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But a new survey conducted by Google at Paul Krugman’s request finds that more than 50 percent of Americans think it’s still growing.

Last year the government spent $973.8 billion more than it took in for the first 10 months of the budget year. The deficit for the same period this year is $607.4. This year’s deficit is projected to be $670 billion.

As a share of gross domestic product, the deficit was recently as high as 10.1 percent in 2009, when the deficit was $1.4 trillion. It is around 4 percent of GDP, which means the deficit has been cut by more than half since then, in both actual dollars and as a share of GDP.

A poll in February found that only 6 percent of Americans were aware the deficit was shrinking. The new survey finds that a little over 17 percent of those polled know the deficit is shrinking, with only 8.3 percent giving the correct answer: that it has decreased by a lot.

Deficit poll

The perception that the deficit is still growing has been fed by Republicans including House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who recently said the deficit is growing and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who said last week that we have trillion-dollar deficits.

What’s causing the deficit to drop so drastically? Probably even too quickly?

Economic growth, lower spending, increased taxes, and windfalls from government-sponsored mortgage corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac brought on by the resurgent housing market.

Republicans are intent on keeping the so-called sequester in place, which will cut government spending by $85 billion, leading to the loss of up to 1,600,000 jobs. The government is only funded through September 30 and the debt limit will need to be raised soon after that. House Republicans have vowed to use both deadlines to demand even more cuts in spending, along with a delay in or defunding of Obamacare.

Photo: Medill DC via Flickr.com


  1. Dominick Vila August 13, 2013

    Deficits occur when expenses exceed receipts. They go down when the economy rebounds, unemployment goes down, and sales go up. The obvious reasons is that unemployment payments go down when people go back to work, tax contributions go up when people go back to work, and businesses pay more taxes when their sales and profits go up.
    This would have happened sooner if investment in infrastructure had taken place a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, that did not happen when some of our politicians decided that a weak economy and high unemployment was bound to help them win the White House and both chambers of Congress. In a nutshell, they undermined the welfare of the American people and deliberately delayed our economic recovery to improve their political chances.

    1. Robert Foy August 13, 2013

      Amen. And FACT.

    2. Eleanore Whitaker August 13, 2013

      I don’t see how foisting another half decade of hardship on top of the 8 years of Bush hardship was supposed to improve GOP political chances. If you look at what the GOP Bull Male Dominator Party is doing, you see they don’t really care about their constituents. Not when they have Koch billionaires and the Emperor Norquist whispering sweet nothings and promises of wealth and grandeur in their ears. So what the people want is of no particular interest to the GOP today. All they want is a population at their command.

      1. Chredon August 13, 2013

        They seriously thought they could blame it on the Democrats.

      2. Dominick Vila August 13, 2013

        Obviously that theory didn’t get them very far. Contrary to what they believe, most Americans can think and understand the difference between prudent fiscal management and smoke and mirrors.

        1. Sand_Cat August 14, 2013

          I think the point of this article is that a very great many Americans cannot understand the difference between reality and right-wing lies, and that if they are capable of thinking, they aren’t doing nearly enough of it.
          We’d all like to believe that what you say is true, but almost half the voters selected the incredibly inept and glaringly obvious con-man in the last presidential election, and supposedly more people “disapprove” of what they clearly don’t understand, the ACA. Other indications seem to me to show that things have gotten worse since then, to the point that a recent National Memo article says the GOP may win the “battle” in 2014, and tries to sweeten that frightening and bitter pill by saying they’re “still” losing the war.” I’ve got news: if they win the “battle” in 2014, they’re likely to do so much more damage and successfully blame it on the Democrats they the will have won the war for the next decade or so, anyway, especially given the tepid pace at which the Democrats undo such damage, even when they control the White House and both houses of Congress. We’re still not completely recovered from Reagan’s damage.

          1. Fern Woodfork August 15, 2013

            You Got That Right My Friend The Trickle Down Crap Ray-Gun Started Was The Start Of This Mess!!

      3. darkagesbegin August 13, 2013

        Lately I have been wondering what the republicans are gonna do when the Koch brothers die–which should happen within the next 10 to 15 years…

        1. Fern Woodfork August 14, 2013

          I Hate To Say This But The Sooner The Better!!

          1. Jon Savage August 30, 2013

            ditto ferm

      4. Terry August 20, 2013

        12 of the 20 wealthiest Americans are dimblecrats. Why do you morons always pick on the Koch brothers.

        1. Eleanore Whitaker August 20, 2013

          Get thee to a confessional honey bunny. The top five wealthiest Americans are not Democrats. Is lying through your right wing teeth the only way to stay wealthy?

          Take a good look at the 20 wealthiest Americans. How many are GOP…or are you too chicken to name them? Change your diaper Big Baby…Your can’t win an argument with lies. But, as always, when the right can’t admit the truth, they try to prove a negative.

        2. Jon Savage August 30, 2013

          were talking the billionares who want everything THEIR WAY OR NO WAY

    3. Wynstone August 13, 2013

      You have to take into account the investor class has gotten exceedingly good at reaping the the lion’s share of the gain from the recovery without sharing it with the wage earner. One way they could do that is by offering healthcare benefits, but they’re fighting that tooth and nail.

      The investor class is basically back to where they were before the downturn, but the worker has a long way to go.

      1. Dominick Vila August 14, 2013

        You are correct. That circumstance is the essence of our socio-economic system, which is designed to protect and advance the interests of the elite and give enough crumbs to keep the masses complacent. The theory is that if the wealthy get richer their success trickles down to those who, by default, become dependent on them for their survival. We often decry things like our international trade agreements when those accords don’t result and more and better jobs, ignoring that when our government negotiates international agreements the main objective is to help our corporations and investors, not the working class.

  2. gmccpa August 13, 2013

    Well now. Let’s see..the GOP wants to continue the false perception that the deficit is increasing. But its actually decreasing. And most of the public is not aware. In fact…believe it is still increasing. Yea, sure…’liberal media’.

  3. A_Real_Einstein August 13, 2013

    Many Americans cannot differentiate between the deficit and the debt. Most Americans cannot define either and also think incorrectly that their taxes have gone up and we are still in a recession. Fortunately home values are increasing and they will no longer be able to deny our recovery.They will be relegated to talking about lower participation employment rates which were expected and are completely the function of demographics (graying of America) By the time Obama leaves office we will probably have a surplus which will help Hillary get elected and give the Dems complete control of both houses. We are witnessing the last gasp of the GOP.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker August 13, 2013

      Einstein…My taxes have gone up. Here’s how. When the GOP decided to pass their budget last year, I lost $160 a month in my paycheck. Multiply that by 12 months. To someone living on a 6-figure income $160 a month is peanuts. Home values are increasing only because banks have found new skankola to push loans on people who should know that a $400K is a life sentence. Now the plot of banks is not those fraudulent ARMs but a longer term, lower interest that increases at the end of the life of the mortgage. Then, instead of the interest decreasing as it normally would, these skanks are going to be insured they’ll get close to what the homeowner paid for the home in interest alone. As for those scam reverse mortgages, they are the next bank skankola to stiff Americans.

      1. A_Real_Einstein August 13, 2013

        If you are discussing the payroll tax holiday expiration then you are correct that your SSI taxes are higher than they were last year. However they are exactly the same as when Obama took office. Since you make less than 200k per year your federal income taxes may be lower due to some of the tax credits that were passed as part of the 2009 stimulus. Regarding home values, they are increasing due to supply and demand. There are a lot of qualified buyers like myself in my local market (Phoenix) but very few properties available. The majority of new loans and refis are traditional 30 year mortgages that require high FICA scores , full documentation and plenty of money down. The 5 and 7 year arms are far and few between and still require 10% down , full documentation and high scores. I am not aware of anyone offering Interest only loans or reverse amortiztion. I know I am in the business. So in spite of very tight credit market, home values in my market are increasing at more than 10% per year and expected to continue. Personally I like reverse mortgages for individuals who need extra income in retirement and do not priortize leaving a lot of assets for their heirs. For many who lack resources it is the only way to tap into their home equity. In the end it is difficult to deny a recovery when your largest asset is increasing by double digits with no end in sight, yet.

        1. Eleanore Whitaker August 14, 2013

          You obviously do not live in NJ. For every federal tax dollar New Jerseyans pay,we get a return of 61 cents. Compare that to the same dollar paid in Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee…Alaska gets $1.72 for every dollar they pay. Texas is No. 2 in porkery…$1.67 for every dollar they pay. NJ also pays those tax subsidies that end up for Big Oil in Alaska and Texas.

          As for housing and supply and demand. Get real. You can buy all the homes in NJ you want…You just need to be able to afford a $30,000 down payment and homes sell in NJ at an average of $450K. Older homes sell for around $350K. There are plenty of homes for sale in NJ. Why? Property taxes. I’ve lived in NJ all my life and property taxes are the reason most people leave the state. I’ve lived in my home 47 years. Bought it when I was 21..do the math. The taxes in 1966 at time of purchase were $350/yr. Now? $5,370/yr. I’m fed up with the rich getting rich for no reason other than their wealth entitlement attitudes. You can force Americans of the Middle Class to struggle and live in hardship for so long before they get the picture that they only live to work and work to live and not much else.

          I paid over $3700 last year in income taxes. My salary is under $40K. Don’t tell me I pay lower taxes. What about a lower salary losing $3700 and taking a far greater bite out of income than your $200K losing $10,000 in incomes taxes don’t you get?

          I love the glib BS of the hotsy totsies with all the moolah. I’m also fed up with the lies of the rich. They want the Middle Class to earn less, pay more and get little bang for the incomes they earn…all so the $200K wealthheads can never worry about how much they spend? Get real. That kind of wealth entitlement attitude breeds revolt. If revolt of the Middle Class is what your wealthheads want…revolt is what you’ll get. Read your history if you think that’s an idle threat.

    2. Chredon August 13, 2013

      Having a surplus didn’t help Gore get elected.

      1. gmccpa August 13, 2013

        That’s true..but don’t you think this is a different time? The GOP didn’t go berserk about deficits back then. And the Tea Party didnt even exist. Nor did they have “Marxist, Commie, Kenyan” in office. If, (and this is a big IF) there were to be surpluses the next few years, the GOP would have a huge problem spinning it their way. Not to say they wont try…and some will buy into it. But, by their own admission, they have little interest in actually governing, so taking credit for it will not be easy.

        IMO…same with Obamacare. If its even mildly successful…or not a total train wreck, as they claim….the GOP/TP will be looking pretty ridiculous. (or should I say more ridiculous)

        1. Chredon August 13, 2013

          If we have a surplus, the GOP candidate will, like Bush, advocate lowering taxes in order to “put that money back in the hands of the citizens who will spend it more wisely and productively than the government.” The Democratic candidate should say that we need to use this money to shore up Social Security and pay off the debt. But that’s exactly the argument that both sides made in 2000. Will Hillary be able to say “Well, we did it their way last time, and look where it got us!”

          1. gmccpa August 13, 2013

            Oh, no doubt they will try their usual route. (its basically all they ever have anyway) But, after all the rhetoric, it will not be easy to sell. And Hillary is already a better positioned candidate than Gore was.

          2. Chredon August 13, 2013

            A better-positioned candidate than the VP of a popular President at the end of an eight-year economic boom?

            Oh, wait. Gore actively distanced himself from Clinton to avoid the smell of the Lewinsky scandal. He never effectively took his fair share of credit for the great things that happened under Clinton. The GOP may not have used Monicagate to get Clinton out of office, but it effectively prevented Gore from winning it.

          3. gmccpa August 13, 2013

            Not sure of your point. Both of your statements are correct. But I dont see how that makes Gore better positioned.

            The Democratic party is holding their breath hoping Hillary will run. And Bill Clinton is now extremely popular..which will definitely help her. Demographics have changed, which should benefit Democrats. Republicans are divided…and many of them quite whacky. So, yes..she is better positioned.

          4. plc97477 August 17, 2013

            Actually when the counting was finished in florida, it turns out that gore won the state. Just saying.

          5. Chredon August 22, 2013

            Not true. After the recounts, Bush won by about 500 votes. But that doesn’t consider how many people were turned away from the polls for one reason or another in places like Broward County. Nor does it consider the impact of the butterfly ballot, which some experts say could have caused several thousand votes for Gore to have been thrown out. So, really, it all depends upon how you counted it – but when you count it the way Gore requested that it be counted, Bush still won.

          6. Jon Savage August 30, 2013

            she already was Pres without the title r u kidding Me????
            + she was sec of state who running against her can say that?

      2. Elisabeth Gordon August 14, 2013

        …that election was stolen…remember?

        1. Fern Woodfork August 15, 2013

          Twice!! 🙁

        2. Wayne Boling August 20, 2013

          yes it was, and it will be stolen again, the reperbs are nothing but god dam cry babies, and cheaters. Not once have I heard anything sane from a goper, teapartiers will be knocked off one by one, people are pissed at the tea goppers and reperbs, I follow alot of polotics, and i see a great chance of McConnell losing in Kentucky, If the reperbs think they will get the Senate control, in 2014, it will be done by cheating , the house will be up for grabs, its the American people that can and must change the house and Senate, they all say they will take the Senate back, thats a red flag, maybe a little cheating going on?If you live in a bubble, long enough you forget what the real world is like yes Obama hs dropped theDeficits are going down, but just wait until 2016 Hillary will run and win, watch the reperbs shoot themselves in the head and cry, bet on it people

          1. Elisabeth Gordon August 20, 2013

            ….and, the more they spew their insane rhetoric, the more reasonable voters flee from their camp….keep talking TEA (Threatening Everything American) party and keep spewing your hatred and derision for everything this country was founded upon…..2016 will look EXACTLY life 2012! yippee!

    3. Germansmith August 13, 2013

      And the tooth fairy will bring me money because I took a tooth out.
      Please Eisteeen, do not forget to write to Santa, I am sure he will bring you the Tutu you have always dream off.
      Hillary may win because Republicans will go in the circular firing squad mode and shoot each other down and end up with another lousy candidate like Santorum or Cruz or any other crazy dude from Texas.
      After Obamacare and all the spending and investments Obama wants to do (I am not against the investment, I think it must be done) a surplus is not in the cards

    4. Elisabeth Gordon August 14, 2013

      …from your keyboard to God’s ears!

  4. Germansmith August 13, 2013

    This is most ridiculous article I have ever red.
    We either have a surplus or a deficit. We are either borrowing money or paying our debts back.
    So the amount of money we need to borrow this year is a little less than the one last year, but we are still borrowing….and therefore the deficit is still GROWING, maybe not as fast…but still GROWING. Because we still spend more than we collect….
    If it was not for the Sequestration it would probably continued to grow at the same rate or faster than before and wait after the beginning of the year when the feds start to pay for Obamacare subsidies (or credits whatever language conscious democrats want to call them).
    Talking about absurd spin on reality !!!!

    1. Megumi Yuuki August 13, 2013

      Wow.. are you really that Dumb? How can LESS mean MORE? It must be that Republican Math at work.

      1. Germansmith August 13, 2013

        Do you know about dictionary.com?
        Try find the meaning of the word “deficit” , them read article again and try to them comprehend who is the dumb one, sweetie.

    2. WhutHeSaid August 13, 2013

      The deficit is not the same thing as the national debt. Deficit = income – expenses (a negative result is deficit, a positive one surplus) Debt = money borrowed to cover deficit spending. The deficit is shrinking, but the debt won’t shrink until we cross from deficit to surplus and start paying down the loans.

      1. FT66 August 13, 2013

        You got it wrong on Deficit. Deficit means you spend over and above the required limit.
        On Debt, it is not necessary that you use money to cover the over-expenditure. You borrow money to spend on anything and you are required to pay it back.

        1. WhutHeSaid August 14, 2013

          No, I didn’t get it wrong. A deficit just means you spend more than you earn. As for debt – what did you think we were borrowing money for? To pay for deficit spending, of course. We aren’t in the habit of borrowing money just because we like to pay interest on loans.

          1. FT66 August 14, 2013

            I do think we borrow money in order to meet our requirements. If it is about paying back for over-expenditure (deficit), the country can’t survive. Nothing will be done at all.

    3. gmccpa August 13, 2013

      Here we go…living proof of comment above by A_Real_Einstien….”Many Americans cannot differentiate between the deficit and the debt”.

    4. A_Real_Einstein August 13, 2013

      The sequestration had a very small impact on the deficit. Most of the impact is a result of higher tax revenues due to an improving economy. Spending is actually going up but revenues are increasing faster. you may want to learn the difference between the deficit and the debt for your next post. This article is extremely accurate. Turn off Fox news and educate yourself.

      1. Germansmith August 13, 2013

        Try find it out the actual meaning of the word “deficit” Einsteeeen
        The only thing I watch in Fox are The Simpsons
        Revenues have increase only 279 billions over last year same period mostly due to taxes paid by the oil, gas companies (you know, the “BAD Guys”) We still spend 607 billions more than we collected.
        Try thinking instead of labeling people

      2. idamag August 14, 2013

        That is a given. The higher employment the smaller the debt.

    5. BillP August 13, 2013

      I didn’t realize that the article you “read” was actually “red” in color. Mine was in black and white. The article was talking about the annual deficit not the overall debt.

      1. Germansmith August 13, 2013

        Try typing fast while you work.(if you work)…..I can see you are a anal retentive personality….your peers will love your attention to detail

        1. BillP August 13, 2013

          No I don’t work, I collect unemployment, welfare, SNAP and whatever else I can apply for. It allows me to buy a 55″ tv and have a 2yo car along with gold teeth. I see in your world paying attention to details like the facts is considered to be a characteristic to be avoided. You don’t seem to comprehend that the deficit is being used for an annual value, if you take in $10,000 but spend $11,000 in a year you will have a “deficit” of $1,000. You may already have a debt from prior year(s) that this deficit will add to. I’m not typing too fast for you am I?

        2. DurdyDawg August 13, 2013

          So your typing fast, like your trying to meet some deadline? Nobody’s around to tell you to hurry up or get quota.. Could it be because you have to do it in order to keep up with your flashing thoughts?

          In any case, I give you this bit of advice:

          1. Germansmith August 14, 2013

            Point taken. I have to produce and pay taxes during the day…my apologies to those that can focus entirely on just writing a blog.
            Just one question
            How many languages can you speak, read or write? I can do 3

          2. BillP August 14, 2013

            None of them very well as is apparent. Speaking a number of languages doesn’t make one intelligent just multi-lingual.

          3. DurdyDawg August 15, 2013

            So, what your saying is your blogging while putting in your eight (or so) hours? You must have a very understanding boss or are you doing all this covertly.. ready to blame a co-worker if you get caught? And as far as your bragging, isn’t that just peachy.. “I can speak more languages than you!” I’m an American, I’m not obligated to be a multi-linguist and your pop, can he beat up my pop? We’re not talking about being able to talk like a Mexican or Frenchman.. we’re talking, can they even understand you when you scrawl in their language? As for doing my blue collar duties, I’ve already paid my dues as I gave enough into S.S. to make sure you won’t become a street person when your old and gray.. Actually I think the problem is your simply full of yourself, convinced that what YOU say should be law.. Sorry to pop your bubble wanker. And furthermore, I’m thinking:

          4. plc97477 August 17, 2013

            A show hands, how many care?

    6. charleo1 August 13, 2013

      Whether or not one believes the sequester is helping the debt, or making it
      larger, depends largely on which economists they are listening to. Since the
      Sequester has, or will cost, between an estimated 500,00, or 1.5 million jobs. Jobs that will not be contributing taxes to the Federal coffers, but will carry the strong possibility of further draining Federal, and State assets, though public assistance programs, that might not have been necessary. Or unemployment benefits, that would not have been necessary. Or it’s contributing to the overall weak demand, that has, more than any other single factor, (including the public debt,) added to the slow economy, since it’s technical recovery. That’s what the economist who are economists by trade will tells us. While, if one listens to the other, “economist,” who are not really economist, but like to play them on T.V. Like Bill O’ reilly, Sean Hannity, or Joe Scarbourgh. Those folks will tell you Obama’s economic policies have been an utter failure. That yes, the economy was in bad shape when Obama took over. But he’s made it even worse! And so, reading articles like the one above, they will tell you, “It’s the most ridiculous article, they’ve ever read.” Obviously, having missed Sarah Palin’s latest twitter.

    7. Lynda Groom August 13, 2013

      You are confusing deficit and debt. The deficit for fiscal year 2012 was about $1.1 trillion dollars. In the next couple of months when fiscal years 2013 ends the deficit will be $670 billion. Don’t let fear and distrust cloud your judgment. Facts and figures do indeed matter.

      1. Germansmith August 13, 2013

        Not unless now Democrats have a new dictionary

        Do not let your blind support for the Democratic Party cloud your knowledge of the English language
        As per dictionary.com Deficit is
        1-the amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount.
        2.the amount by which expenditures or liabilities exceed income or assets.
        3.a lack or shortage; deficiency.
        4.a disadvantage, impairment, or handicap: The team’s major deficit is its poor pitching.
        5.a loss, as in the operation of a business.
        If we spend more than we collect (read the article) is still a DEFICIT and yes increase the debt as well
        We still spend 607 billions more than we collected in revenues….therefore DEFICIT is still growing

        1. gmccpa August 13, 2013

          Its only ‘growing’ if the previous deficit was less than the current deficit. Which it is not. You looked up the wrong word. Look up the definition of ‘growing’. That may help.

          1. BillP August 13, 2013

            He doesn’t like when you use facts to agrue a point. I tried using deficit as annual amount and debt as an ongoing amount. It’s similar to what you wrote but I don’t think he will understand it.

          2. docb August 14, 2013

            If the right can’t remain willfully ignorant their heads explode..They Get Luntz and tubby Thomas’s group to write their talking points for them and then they NEVER do anything but regurgitate verbatim! No original thought.

            Like 2 year olds they put their hands over their ears and mew LA LALALA. …to keep them from hiding in the closet all the time!

        2. Lynda Groom August 13, 2013

          You are still woefully confusing deficit spending and the national debt. This is not Democratic blind support, or for that matter Republican. It is simple mathematics and the basic understand of how your government collects and spends the nations revenue. You need to take a little time to research these matters. Such as the fact that in the 76 years since 1940 there have only been 12 years that the Fed has been in surplus. From fiscal 1969 until 1998 there were in fact NONE. The last one was 2001. Deficit spending by the United States has been taking place since the country began. These are simple and basic facts of life of how government works. This is how our government pays to protect the homeland and all of the rest of services under the Fed.
          From your last comment is very clear that you are still having trouble grasping the difference between deficits and debt. When you finally get it, by all means comment further.

        3. charleo1 August 14, 2013

          Your attitude on public debt is not based on any economic
          theory. It is something the opposition to Obama have glommed
          onto for political expediency. Debt is bad, cutting debt is good.
          Easy talking point, doesn’t wash. The Right is continually praising private business over government. Sam Walton was
          at one time millions of dollars in debt. I don’t think anyone
          would try to make the point he was reckless as a business
          person. He borrowed to invest. Something the Right has decided is just awful when the government does it. Now, they have so completely misinformed their base as to the necessity of Government to continue to support those investments that have created millions of jobs in the past. They have us stuck on zero, with this stupidity. The negativity is astounding coming out of the Right Wing. They should be ashamed. Or crawl in the
          bathtub they want to drown the Federal Government in, and
          open up a vein, and just end it all. And let the Country get back
          to prosperity.

          1. Germansmith August 14, 2013

            If we all go and cut our veins because of the way the country is going, who is going to pay the taxes to reduce the deficit ? Medicaid, food stamps or disability income recipients? fast food workers?
            No I prefer to sit and wait until you, Pollyanna have to swallow your words and admit you were WRONG.
            Please keep in mind that I would not be upset if you guys end up being correct, because I love this country and had a chance to prove it many times. I just do not see this country going to prosperity until the manufacturing sector recovers (other than more government workers, jobs that paid well enough to rebuild the middle class)
            Is not a government’s job to create jobs (unless we are talking about useless bureaucrats hanging around just enough to collect a full pension). It is the government’s job to have a legal frame and tax incentives to encourage businesses to create jobs that actually produce something and to make sure to encourage those businesses to do it in the US and that they pay their employees a living wage.
            I am not Republican expecting Obama to fail, I am expecting him to learn from Johnson and Clinton who sat down with their opponents and negotiated and managed to control their own party giveaway tendencies and get things done.
            I am a centrist concerned that one party is looking to block progress and the other is more concerned with excuses and winning elections that actually doing the right thing for the country.

          2. gmccpa August 14, 2013

            Which opponents? The Republicans themselves cannot negotiate with each other. They have internally divided themselves into RINOs and Wackos. (Their own words..no Democrat ever called anyone a RINO) They have fractured their own party..with the sole goal of defeating Pres Obama. Once their admitted agenda failed….they turned on each other. Boehner cannot negotiate on behalf of his majority…they have no respect for him. The Republican House will not abide by Republican Senators. At this point…who could he possibly have meaningful negotiations with?

          3. Germansmith August 14, 2013

            Your enemies are divided and that is a problem???
            That should make it easier to split their vote and agenda
            He does not need the Republicans to go along…he just need a few additional votes. I am sure that if he appease the RINOs (who probably have already piss off the wackos) it may be a win/win situation…the problem is Obama is not a hands on kind of guy and Pelosi and Reid are not Tip O’Neil, they are actually kind of unpleasant.

          4. gmccpa August 14, 2013

            No, it does not make it easier. A group needs a spokesperson. Otherwise, you negotiate..and then, the other side can not..or will not deliver. Its not a win/win situation for anyone…especially the country.

          5. Germansmith August 14, 2013

            Obamacare was passed when a couple of Republican senators when along with it. Then the Dems had control of the House (they loss it afterward)
            You will not get Boehner to go along , but maybe you can peel a few reps to get a vote on something…but you have to wine and dine people and rub elbows, something Obama is not inclined to do.

          6. Jan Civil August 20, 2013

            Evidently he did, and got Obamacare through. You’re contradicting yourself now. This shows us only the one thing, you don’t like Obama.

            “The Democrats had control of the House” but ‘was passed with a couple of Republican senators went along’? Which story are you going with? The GOP required a supermajority in the Senate! Your ‘control of’ is meaningless here.

          7. plc97477 August 17, 2013

            Have you ever heard of the hasert rule?

          8. Jan Civil August 20, 2013

            You’re just digging in with this display of your ignorance and partisanship, after trying to paint yourself as ‘centrist’. Pelosi in particular gets things done. The people that find her ‘unpleasant’ are typically right wing reactionaries.

            You’re just telling us stories, you aren’t addressing issues, ‘Obama is not hands-on’ is bullshit.

            Another case of someone that isn’t actually competent posturing online. As if you know how to govern. Do us all a favor and step back and take an honest look at what actually happens.

          9. charleo1 August 14, 2013

            I’ll agree with you. I love the Country as well. As far as who
            will pay the taxes? Common sense would suggest the people
            with the money has to pay them. I also don’t believe it makes any sense to use so much energy driving down wages to please the WalMarts, and Home Depots. And then complain
            in such a vicious, ugly way, about a welfare state their own
            policies are contributing to. Every bit as much as the poor.
            After all, the poor has no lobby in Washington. Heck, they
            don’t even show up to vote aganist their own best interests.
            The rural Whites take care of that for them. Yes, there must
            be tax incentives. That’s one way to keep a Capitalistic market in balance. But that’s not what’s been happening. First, a Country must have a tax system that both punishes behavior that costs the Country money. Like outsourcing.
            And rewards businesses that create good paying jobs, with some benefits, here in this Country. However, at this time for the corporations it’s all gravy. The poor, and Middle are tapped out, so the Government gets stuck paying the tab, Now, they’re slamming the government for running deficits. Well, who’s policies are actually creating the deficits?
            As far as Pollyanna thinking goes. Nothing is as Pollyanna as
            claiming tax breaks creates enough economic activity to
            offset the loss in revenue, plus increase the money coming
            in to pay the Country’s bills. I would invite those people who
            believe this, to go to Walmart, to the calculator isle, buy one,
            and use it. And, I’ll say the same back to you. I would gladly
            be wrong, to think there are the same type of men in Congress, Johnson, Clinton, or any other President has ever
            negotiated with. They refuse to vote for their own legislation,
            if Obama says he likes it, and send it to him, and he’ll sign it.
            Just how does one work with people who think more of their
            job, than their Country. That’s the way I see the world.
            Money=Power=Responsibility. I’ve seen plenty of the first
            two out of the GOP. But very little of the last. And there’s a
            price tag attached to that kind of behavior. Who do you feel
            the debt owed should be sent to?

          10. Jan Civil August 20, 2013

            ‘It’s the government’s job to create tax incentives for business’ is ideology. “it isn’t the government’s job to create jobs” is the other part of that ideology. This is centrist? No, this is right wing talking points, this is pure ideology. It *is* the government’s job to promote the general welfare of the United States.

            It will be hard to grok what upsets you about ‘the government creating jobs’ in rational terms. It must occur to one that it is a violation of some received and unexamined first principle, unless you have some issue with ‘more jobs is a good thing for the country’. The government can stimulate the economy, provide upkeep to the infrastructure and in this way, promoting the general welfare in a two-fer, doing its job and creating jobs.

            You are failing to address reality in a number of ways. You have a notion apparently that a deficit is unexpected, and you are evidently resistant to knowledge on this count.

            I don’t think you know what you’re talking about with ‘lessons from Johnson and Clinton’. I think your history is deficient and distorted. ‘Obama making excuses’ is absurd.

        4. Sand_Cat August 14, 2013

          OK, so the annual deficit is shrinking, which means the total debt is growing more slowly each year, and which is what everyone here but you understands is the “deficit” we’re talking about. I guess by what appears to be your logic, since we can’t eliminate the whole thing in one year (crashing the fragile economy and guaranteeing future deficits in the process), I guess we shouldn’t bother to even try, because people like you will continue to scream how evil we are and oppose every measure taken. So what the hell, why don’t we make the deficit this year TWO TRILLION instead of 607 billion.
          So tell me, if one’s credit card debt gets higher than one likes, the solution is to go ahead and max the thing out?
          Really, Germansmith, we often disagree, but I never thought you were an idiot.

    8. docb August 14, 2013

      Perfect example of the criminal fiscal illiteracy of the right! LOL!

  5. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh August 13, 2013

    Once again the Republicans are proving that they never allow “Facts” to get in the way of their “Truths”.

    1. sigrid28 August 13, 2013

      The party that “will not be dictated to by fact checkers” insists the deficit is not shrinking.

  6. charleo1 August 13, 2013

    Articles such as this are of little surprise to those who have been watching economic trends, for really the last couple of years. Remember the encouraging jobs numbers that came out at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2012? The ones that had the, “experts,”
    across the Right Wing, papers, radio, T.V. and the blogosphere, debunking the Department of Labor statistics? Even former CEO of GE, Jack Welsh, who of all people, surely knows better, was on several channels of network television, publicly questioning Labor’s report as being skewed by the President, or his reelection team. Well, they’re back! I see we’ve already picked up a couple of deniers already on this board. Who are no doubt, taking their lead from Fox, Limbaugh, and others. Who are Stationed along the Right Wing’s, multi layered, propaganda front line. Geared for a quick response, and designed to knock down any of these politically damaging
    reports of good economic news. Before they cause any breakouts of critical thinking among their hard core political base, they have literally spent several fortunes, carefully, misinforming.

  7. John Brown August 13, 2013

    We’re still spending $670 BILLION more than we are taking in a year, and you find that comforting? Where the h#ll is your brain?

    1. Oarboar August 13, 2013

      Just curious: Where were you when Bush was blowing up the budget?

      1. Oarboar August 13, 2013

        No answer from John Brown. Why am I not surprised?

    2. Mortalc01l August 13, 2013

      So you don’t think that shrinking the budget deficit is a good thing? Would you like it to increase, is that what you’re saying?

      If it’s shrinking at a hugely fast rate, how much faster would you like to see it shrink, for this to be good news as you see it? Just curious what rate would satisfy you?

      1. John Brown August 13, 2013

        I will be happy when we start shrinking the National Debt. We’re still going the the hole. If you know business, that’s operating in the red and you can’t do that forever. In real business, your banking relationships will finally cut you off.

        1. gmccpa August 13, 2013

          However, in real business, business results are compared on a year to year basis. Just like the deficit. And when there is a 37% change in the right direction…its considered very positive. Additionally, its totally unrealistic to compare a business borrowing money to the US borrowing money. The US dollar is the standard currency….we print it and we control its value. No business can make that claim. Plus, the manageability of the debt is measured as a percent of GDP…so its not even necessary to ever reduce it. The GDP could, in theory, grow to a point where even a $15 trillion debt is not substantial.

          Actually, this works in the real world too. Just ask someone who purchased a house in 1960 and had a ‘huge’ mortgage obligation of $15,000 or $20,000. That same mortgage now..on that same house, would seem insignificant.

        2. Lynda Groom August 13, 2013

          The shrinking of the national debt is still many decades away. Did you look at Ryan’s budget? His proposal ignores the national debt for several decades as well. The debt ceiling is a red herring used to instill fear in the uninformed.

    3. Chredon August 13, 2013

      Yes, I find it comforting that we are only borrowing $600 billion this year as opposed to the $900 billion we borrowed last year or the $1.2 trillion we borrowed the year before that. If we can maintain this rate of revenue growth while keeping spending from ballooning, we can get to a surplus and start paying off the debt – like we did under Clinton, before Bush got hold of the tax code and sent us into spiraling debt in order to provide tax relief to billionaires.

      1. Lynda Groom August 13, 2013

        Lets not forget Bush’s last budget shortfall of $1.4 trillion.

      2. idamag August 14, 2013

        If your income was the same as 1950 and inflation made It so you were going further and further in the hole would you not seek a way to increase your income. Todays’ tax rates are 1950 rates for the real tax payers and below any previous rates for the wealthy. So if we can’t buy a pound of beans for the same price as 1950, we need more money. It is 2013. Raise everyone’s taxes.

  8. Bill Mohon August 13, 2013

    Once again, The GOP strives to “un-inform” the masses – They just refuse to allow Obama or the Democrats any credit for deficit reduction

    1. DurdyDawg August 15, 2013

      That’s because it belonged to them!! Remember what Mitten’s said one day when he thought only his butt sniffers were listening? ” When I’m elected, I won’t have to do anything to improve the deficit as it will take care of itself”.. Time does that when you refuse to use an international credit card to start two wars, knowing when the bill comes due it will be somebody else’s problem. Even with all the dead ends and road blocks from conservatives, things are still slowly coming together.. Imagine how well we would be off if congress would simply decide to work with one another.

  9. jeffromac23 August 13, 2013

    But wait the debt we owe will never be paid off because the Republicans think that any surplus in the federal budget should be immediately given back to the taxpayers by way of a tax cut. So how can we ever pay off the debt if instead of paying off some of our debt with a surplus we give back via a tax cut. This was the reasoning behind th so called Bush Tax Cuts.

    1. Lynda Groom August 13, 2013

      That indeed is one of the ironic ideas in the world of the GOP. Bush had the chance to put that surplus toward the debt, he and his party decided that two major tax cuts were better for their owners than paying down the debt. Ever since I’ve had to laugh every time one of their leadership starts spouting off about deficits and debt. They really have no shame.

      1. DurdyDawg August 13, 2013

        That’s because those cuts helped the rich.. I received $45.00 the second time (nothing the first), how much did you receive ? I heard rumors, No! Nightmares that the wealthy profited very well over this gimmick.

    2. idamag August 14, 2013

      not the taxpayers. The so-called Job creators who pay little or no taxpayers. Oh, Bush did give tax rebates, but they were piddling compared to what Wall Street got. When we got ours, I thought, “Mu vote isn’t for sale for $600.

  10. bikejedi August 13, 2013

    Obama’s Tax Increases and the Sequestration cuts have only slowed the growth of the Deficit but it is a start . Unfortunately Obama was not happy that the GOP called him on his plan for the Sequestration Cuts . Obama thought ( WRONGLY ) that the GOP would never accept the military cuts involved in the Sequeatration but when Obama would not come to the table to negotiate in over a year and a half the GOP had no choice . The unfortunate thing is that Obama got all butt hurt over the fact that the GOP had the gall to call his bluff and take him up on the Sequester so he punished Americans . The FAA cuts were done just to punish and harass people who have to fly for a living and the Whitehouse emails proved that the they directed Govt Dept’s to make Americans pay for these Sequester cuts . We also had our Summer Air Shows cancelled as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fell victim to Obama’s immaturity . We also had Whitehouse tours cancelled for the school kids …But don’t worry Bo Flies for free …On his own Private Ospry and the Obama’s are going on ANOTHER VACAY OKAY .

    1. idamag August 14, 2013

      You are very immature and therefore are making a fool of yourself. There have been no tax increases. The FAA cuts were the result of the forced sequester. And in case you didn’t notice, when congress couldn’t get home because of cuts to the FAA, they promptly exempted the airlines from the cuts. The sequester is a bully way to try and force Obama to do everything the teabalans want.

      1. bikejedi August 15, 2013

        Indeed ..You are very immature and you are making a fool of yourself . The Sequester was Obama’s baby and he said at the time that anyone trying to go around it would face his veto pen . That is until the GOP agreed with Obama who would not come to the bargaining table in over a year and a half and took him up on his own idea . So don’t put the cart in front of the horse it is Obama who then acted like a petulant child and decided to punish people in America who are the producers and mostly don’t vote for him . Out of spite he cut Whitehouse tours and the military were forced to cut the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds …but that’s ok because most Dems and Liberals hate the military and don’t go to air shows . I have been told by my Liberal friends here in the Chi that ” Air Shows are a Conservative thing just like the 4th of July “…and that was a direct quote from a local Chicago Alderman . They didn’t accept Obama’s sequestration plan to try and force Obama to do anything other then what he promised and that was to make cuts . He of course will take credit and get the credit for the cuts from the low information people who support him and don’t realize that without those GOP ” obstructionists ” ( hahahah) he wouldn’t have made ANY spending cuts ….yes immature and misinformed indeed

  11. SecretCommie August 13, 2013

    People routinely confuse the debt and the deficit. The latter is retreating from it’s 2009 ASTRONOMICAL high, yet the debt continues to increase. This is a cheap, worthless post that attempts to capitalize on, rather than explain the difference.

    1. Oarboar August 14, 2013

      Don’t bother ducking. The point went waaaay over your head.

      1. SecretCommie August 21, 2013

        Oh I see. Wait… what? Save that quip for when it applies.

    2. Sand_Cat August 14, 2013

      Hey, welcome back.
      Can’t disagree too much with you so far, except I guess I missed how the article intends to capitalize on, rather than explain the difference between deficits and debt.
      First, just about everyone here, including you but excepting Germansmith, seems to know the difference already. One would expect that in an article intended for fairly intelligent, informed, and educated people, it should not be necessary to define every word used, nor should failing to do so be characterized as “cheap, worthless.”

      Second, in view of the constant drumbeat from the other side to the contrary, it really isn’t terribly exploitive to point out that the other side is lying, and that besides they own a heavy share of the blame if not all of it, for the ASTRONOMICAL level of the deficit in 2009 and for the fact that it has not been reduced at an even more rapid rate.
      Third, I believe that – at least in recent history – deficits and the total debt have both increased more rapidly under Republicans than under Democrats.
      Finally, your watermelon picture really isn’t terribly appropriate here (if it ever was anywhere) since this isn’t an environmental site; “the green tree has red roots” was never a true statement, and was, if I recall properly, coined by the former Nazis of the German “conservative” parties, while at least one user of the term “watermelon” for those who’d prefer not to be poisoned by their own countrymen claimed it originated with a Hungarian, a refugee from another bastion of Fascist mass-murder prior to its “liberation” by the Soviet Union, a fate hard to characterize as totally undeserved.

      1. SecretCommie August 21, 2013

        “One would expect that in an article intended for fairly intelligent,
        informed, and educated people, it should not be necessary to define
        every word used…”

        I was talking about the survey, not the article. The survey queried average Americans, presumably.

        “Second, in view of the constant drumbeat from the other side to the contrary…” Ah – we’re a victim of our political opponents saying bad things about us. When has THAT ever happened before?

        “Third, I believe that – at least in recent history – deficits and the
        total debt have both increased more rapidly under Republicans than under Democrats.” Recent Presidents yes, not when you look at who controlled congress, which appears to be more important.

        My watermelon picture follows me around on Disqus – I post mostly on Grist. But what of it – you the picture police?

  12. DurdyDawg August 13, 2013

    “The Budget Deficit Is Shrinking Rapidly And Most Americans Don’t Know It”…

    That’s because their too busy bitching about a black man being in the white house and chugging down the lies that GOP keeps spewing about the dreaded black man in the white house, meanwhile those that understand both what Obama is trying to accomplish (and no, it is not to destroy America as the brain dead is doing a good enough job of that) and what the pubs and t-peers are trying to do to oust him will be enjoying a better world when the idiots stop interfering with progress. One day many years from now, even his worst enemies will have to acknowledge that Obama had the best interests of America while he was in office but unfortunately that will be too late as well as mote but of course they will want to get on the band wagon in any case just as I can recall how a large population of voters despised JFK then jumped on the band wagon and held him in the highest regard after he was assassinated.. Friggin’ hypocrites.,

    1. plc97477 August 17, 2013

      Let’s hope we don’t need an assassination to help people see how great Obama is.

  13. one_veteran August 14, 2013

    In 2000 we had a surplus, suggestions were to pay down the debit, A person running for President (I won’t mention who) said “give it back to the people”. Upon being (appointed/elected) one of his first moves was cut taxes (mostly for the “well off”).
    Starting two Unfunded wars (Vietnam 2 & 3) we won’t get into, and the impact on our debit.

  14. Lucien August 14, 2013

    Deficit is not synonymous to debt….

  15. Lucien August 14, 2013

    Deficit like others have clearly stated occurs when your expenditure exceeds that of your revenue. Debt on the other hand is monies borrowed which maybe used for Capital Expenditure or Revenue Expenditure. In my opinion borrowing should only be for huge capital projects.

  16. Hug & Bleed November 23, 2013

    Below are five talking points that Fox & the rest of the right-wing media spits out daily. Below them are some come backs that all have sources not listed but can easily be googled!

    1. The ACA is not really about insurance company
    profits, it is about adding many more jobs to the federal payroll

    2. About making insurance companies fail so the
    government can take over the industry and create a “single-payer”
    system – i.e., socialized medicine.

    3. Your money will increasingly go to more and more
    taxes. It is the middle class who will suffer most. Obama and the Democrats
    know full well that there is absolutely no way to fund their constant spending
    without hitting the masses of middle class Americans big time.

    4. Go read the budget on the White House website.
    Obama is starting to hit the middle class in his budget with proposals to cut
    COLA rates to seniors and military retirees by using “chained CPi”.
    Obama’s budget proposal also increases the Medicare Part B deductible, raises
    Medicare co-pays, initiates co-pays on home health care visits, and adds a new
    Part B premium surcharge equal to about 15 percent of the average Medigap
    premium for beneficiaries who purchase Medigap policies. These all hit the
    lower and middle classes big time.

    5. If you took all the income of those making $1
    million or more, you would only cover 2..5 to 3 months of spending. Heck,
    People making over $112K a year pay $950B in taxes. Based on IRS data, if you
    took HALF the income of everyone making $112K or more a year, that would only
    NET $800B more income from taxes, leaving us still with a deficit of $500B annually.

    Since 2010 healthcare cost has gone up only
    1.3%, the lowest ever.

    Adding jobs for votes is from an ultra-conservative
    mind only. Liberals only act & are motivated for the common good, a
    progressive movement, green clean energy, higher wages, etc..

    NYT: The top 400 taxpayers paid an average
    federal income tax rate of less than 20 percent.

    Top 1 percent had an average (AGI) of $202
    million, paid less than 20 percent.

    With AGI in
    2009 of at least $344,000, affluent but hardly superrich taxpayers, paid on
    average just over 24 percent.

    one is paying close to the actual top marginal rate.

    The deficit is down 37.6 percent for the
    first 10 months of the 2013 budget year, according to the Congressional Budget
    Office. But a new survey conducted by Google at Paul Krugman’s request finds
    that more than 50 percent of Americans think it’s still growing. (Thanks Fox)

    Last year the government spent $973.8
    billion more than it took in for the first 10 months of the budget year. The
    deficit for the same period this year is $607.4. This year’s deficit is
    projected to be $670 billion.

    The part about the COLA, that the
    republicans want proves he’s not a flaming socialist.

    (He better not touch SS or Medicare, just
    make the wealthy pay what they are supposed to pay!)


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