Government Spending

What's Wrong With This Fiscal Picture?

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Just how screwed is the U.S. fiscal situation? And how unwilling is the White House to even attempt to fix it? Take a look at these two discrete passages from the Congressional Budget Office's brutal analysis of the president's budget proposal:

First, the revenue side:

As a share of GDP, revenues would average 18.7 percent over the next 10 years under the President's budget, compared with 19.9 percent in CBO's baseline projections.

OK. So maybe the president overstated projected revenue. Is that so bad? Well, compare those numbers to the spending side of the equation:

As a percentage of GDP, outlays would average 23.5 percent over the next decade under the President's budget—well above the average of 20.8 percent seen over the past 40 years.

Notice how they don't match up? Even accounting for the higher revenues the White House hopes to bring in under its rainbow-and-unicorns economic growth assumptions, the federal government is still projected to spend far more than it brings in. I'll have more on the president's budget proposal tomorrow.

Watch Reason.tv's budget chef with Nick Gillespie:

NEXT: Candidate Obama Says President Obama's War Is Unconstitutional

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  1. Congressional Budget Office? Is that thing even still around?

    1. It’s all Presidential Decree and War Powers Act now, biotchez!

  2. I want those two minutes back!

  3. If we rolled back spending back to 2004 levels, there would be a surplus.

    Just how did the nation manage to pay for two wars and a giant domestic policy with 2004-era spending?

    1. By taxing the shit out of its citizens

  4. So maybe the president overstated projected revenue.

    18.7 < 19.9

    1. Yeah, Suderman’s hatred of math is exceeded only by his hatred for alt text.

      Learn from the kid, Pete! Go to Josh, he will show you the way.

  5. OK, I get the running gag with the leather jacket, but really? REALLY?

  6. We do NOT have a fiscal crisis in this country. No fiscal crisis. None. We do not have a fiscal crisis in this country. We have a revenue crisis. Revenue. A revenue crisis. Not spending. Appropriating. The Republicans are refusing to appropriate needed revenue from their billionaire buddies and are instead attempting to balance state budgets on the backs of the unions, the teachers, the poor. The reallyreallyreallyreally poor.

    1. It isn’t a spending crisis or a revenue crisis – fiat currency in this country has no intrinsic value. If it were a simply monetary issue, then the government could simply print the money to pay for such things as healthcare, as even though “the rich” may have a lot of wealth, they still consume a tiny amount of healthcare. Yes, rich people have done a great job skimming off the top of fed-inflated currency, but taxing them really doesn’t do anything special other than increasing the number of dollars chasing goods and services. From a monetary standpoint, more taxes on the rich is equivalent to printing money – it doesn’t solve anything.

      The more relevant question is, do the underlying physical resources exist in our society to make good on the promises made? Are there enough doctors to take care of the sick? Is there enough food being produced? Is our productive capacity decaying or being renewed?

  7. Reason is very disappointing. Look at the CBO website yourself or the GPO which has the President’s budget proposal (and interesting historical info) and then notice that their GDP growth projections are way too optiomistic. Last year the Feds spent about $3500 billion and collected about $2000 billlion (from memory). Trimming a little fat won’t do squat. And spare me your dumb complaints about war spending. If we didn’t spend a penny on wars and DOD next year, we’d still be short many hundreds of billions of $.

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