The fact that this is considered positive news about the deficit demonstrates how doomed we really are:
The budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2013 dropped to $680.3 billion, the government reported Wednesday — the first time in five years the shortfall has been below $1 trillion.
Both the Obama administrations and congressional Republicans cited their own cost-cutting efforts.
The deficit “is now less than half of what it was when the president took office,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in a statement.
It remains the fifth-largest deficit in history, but the lowest since a $458.6 billion figure in 2008.
Among the reasons: A growing economy, the end of a temporary Social Security tax cut, higher tax rates on wealthy Americans, and the series of across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.
Mitch McConnel is eagerly claiming credit (pardon the pun) for the good news, saying the reductions are due to sequestration. Perhaps Obama will suddenly stop blaming the Republicans for sequestration and point out that it was his idea.
But the boasting is pathetic. This kind of thing is what we have expressions like, “That’s better than a boot to the head, but..” Sure, it is wonderful that we haven’t rushed further into debt. But that doesn’t change the fact that we are horribly over-extended. Each year’s deficit has accumulated. We are still paying interest on the deficit from 2008, from 2009, from 2010, from 2011, from 2012, from this year, and from all the years’ deficits previous to 2008.
USA Today doesn’t mention the fact that we are legally obligated to many trillions of dollars more than the current official national debt in social security, Medicaid and other entitlements. We don’t have that money. We will never pay the national debt.
In the meantime, despite USA Today’s pretense of economic growth, the debt accumulated from all those yearly deficits drags on our economy and scares off investment.
Besides all that many politicians are openly talking about getting rid of sequestration as if it is too much of a hardship for poor starving government.
Make this a mantra and scream it, tweet it, comment it, and facebook it.
“The year the US deficit is negative is the first year we can have hope for our nation’s financial future.”