Recently at Budget Deficits for Dummies or, How I learned to stop worrying and love $1.4 trillion


The U.S. budget deficit for fiscal year 2009, which ended in September, was a record-shattering $1.4 trillion, equal to about 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product. In case you're wondering, the previous record had been set in…2008.

$1.4 trillion dollars is a lot of money and it's hard to get your mind around that figure. One way to appreciate the sum is to think of it in terms of all the things that you could buy with that dough. The budget deficit, for instance, would pay for more than 1.2 billion nights at Rep. Charles Rangel's vacation condo in the Dominican Republic. And that's just for starters.

Don't worry if you have trouble doing the math, because you'll get another chance next year. The Obama administration has just released its estimate for the fiscal year 2010 budget deficit. The number? Another $1.4 trillion.

Approximately 1.30 seconds. Written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie.

NEXT: The Way to Sesame Street

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. 1.30 seconds? I don’t have time to sit through that. Can someone please summarize it?

    1. Sorry, I only hung in there for the first 400 milliseconds. After that, it started getting old.

  2. Another way of looking at that figure: the GDP of Africa = US federal budget deficit.

  3. $1.7 trillion.

  4. This picture pretty much sums it up:

    1. Incoming lame attempt at trollish snark!

    2. This is all the fault of the Democrats. I’m sure our latest assclown of a troll, Ray Butlers, will back me up on this.

  5. Good to know. Clearly this is entirely the fault of Democrats, right? You People (r) kill me.

    1. And none of it is the fault of Democrats, right? You kill me.

      When do Obama and the Democrats take responsibility for anything?

      1. That’s a really stupid question. If you want to know the answer, you’d have found it already. Notice I didn’t say whose fault it was. I only suggested that only Democrats will be blamed by the usual suspects. Be careful what you assume.

    2. I know! I slay ™ me!

  6. The $1.4 trillion is the baseline Bush deficit with the “supplemental” wars honestly accounted for and added into the total. Bush had been more than dishonest before.

    In fact, this number is for the 08-09 fiscal year which began on Oct 1, 2008.

    I know these facts will upset the Bush nut-huggers but I feel they should confront a little truth now and then.

    1. A little truth for: Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which added billions to the deficit. He used TARP funds to buy Chrysler and GM for the UAW. Also adding to the deficit.

      Get back to watching MSNBC.

    2. I’m not sure if you were around here a year ago, but most of us were plenty pissed off at sorry-ass, worthless George Bush for passing the TARP bailout, the biggest con job in the history of the world.

      Bush had nothing to do with the stimulus package passed in February though, so I’m not sure what the lefties’ bullcrap excuse will be a year from now though when the FY09 deficit ends up being nearly as big as the FY08 deficit.

      They may want to cash in all their leftover Bush Derangement Syndrome chips at the cage now. Like an old unused gift card, their value is going down a little with each passing month.

  7. Any chance in the future you guys can host all the videos you produce? Some of us are in countries that block YouTube so it’s hard to see everything.

  8. Your article is very interesting, I have introduced a lot of friends look at this article, the content of the articles there will be a lot of attractive people to appreciate, I have to thank you such an article.

  9. Hey you know what would be really fucking lame? Re-posting the same bits over and over again on H&R. That would be FEPICFAIL

  10. A trillion here, a trillion there. Pretty soon, you’re talking about a lot of money.

  11. Hmmm. I think I’ve seen this before.

    1. I feel like a kitten. Discovering its tail again. And again. And again. And again. HEY WHAT IS THAT FOLLOWING ME!!

  12. You know what H&R needs more of? Einst?rzende Neubauten, that’s what.

    1. Hit & Run leftists! What would you be willing to kill people to implement?

  13. Raise all taxes 10%. Cut all spending 10%. Implement Pay-Go with this new baseline. That will balance the budget in the medium term.

    Don’t like my plan? Tough. It is designed precisely to piss everyone off. That is exactly what we need.

    Indeed, if I were King of America, this plan would be my second decree…right after implementing the death penalty for failure to switch to the metric system.

    1. The metric system? Really? Mass slaughter for a system of weights and measures?

    2. So I can assume that you’re going to pay an extra 10% on your taxes next April regardless of whether this plan is implemented, right, Chad? That’d be mighty principled of you.

    3. Shit! What was the name of that thing that Chad’s brain needs? I’m drawing a blank.

    4. Needless to say, that would not begin to fix the problem.

  14. Chad’s brain needs a good fuck-starting to work properly. Have patience with him.

  15. At what point will counterfeiting no longer be illegal?

    1. When the hundred dollar bill has less value than the paper it’s printed on?

      1. Maybe if we use sufficiently high-tech paper we won’t need a return to the gold standard.

  16. At what point will this deficit bullshit no longer be blamed on some “inherited” other bullshit?

  17. When will Republicans stop complaining about deficits? When there’s a Republican in the White House.

  18. Ray Butlers,
    You must be new around here. When Bush was president, all the hate and vitriol at this site was directed at him and the Republicans’ stupid policies, right up to the very end. I can assure you that all the Obama/Democrat hatred here is purely because it is deserved, not because of some hidden Republican agenda of

    1. Not new. I said “Republicans”. I said nothing about hidden agendas.

  19. Ray Butlers, you’re right, Republicans tended to be silent on the fact that GWB wass the biggest spender since LBJ.

    But libertarians, have not. you just haven’t been paying attention. Or, maybe as NAL suggests, you’re new.

    Or maybe, you’re just an asshole.

    1. You should watch the name-calling. I said “Republicans”. I said nothing about Libertarians. Paranoid much?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.