Some Deficit Perspective: It Might Be Awful, But at Least It's Also Unprecedented


From the Christian Science Monitor:

To put some context on a new estimate that puts this year's federal deficit at $1.8 trillion, consider this: That amount had never been spent by the federal government in a single year until 2000, let alone borrowed.

That's right. As the decade began, the US government spent $1.8 trillion in a year for the first time. Now it's poised to spend that much in excess of its tax revenues.

The Treasury released the latest figures Wednesday, showing spending of about $3 trillion in the past 10 months, and revenues of only $1.74 trillion…..The fiscal position will remain difficult, since baby boomers are already starting to retire in a wave that will grow more costly in coming years.

But don't worry–they are only doing this because they have to. They'll stop soon. As soon as they can:

The soaring deficits have raised worries among foreign owners of US Treasury securities including the Chinese, the largest holder of such debt. President Barack Obama's economic team sought to reassure the Chinese during high-level talks last month that the administration is committed to reducing the deficits once the current economic and financial crises have been resolved.

[Hat tip on link: the indispensable Rational Review.]