He and the Democrats should be punished severely if the fiscal outlook is no brighter in a year's time. But for now, the following remains true (just don't expect Pajamasmedia to let you know):
Now let's fast forward to the end of fiscal year 2009, which ended on September 30. According to CBO, it ended with spending at $3,515 billion and revenues of $2,106 billion for a deficit of $1,409 billion. To recap, the deficit came in $223 billion higher than projected, but spending was $28 billion and revenues were $251 billion less than expected. Thus we can conclude that more than 100 percent of the increase in the deficit since January is accounted for by lower revenues. Not one penny is due to higher spending...
I continue to believe that the Republican position is nonsensical. Final proof is that the previously cited CBO report shows total federal revenues coming in at 14.9 percent of the gross domestic product in FY2009.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, one has to go back to 1950 to find a year when federal revenues were lower as a share of GDP. For reference, revenues averaged 18 percent of GDP during the Reagan administration and were never lower than 17.3 percent - 2.4 percent of GDP above where they are now.
I think there are grounds on which to criticize the Obama administration's anti-recession actions. But spending too much is not one of them. Indeed, based on this analysis, it is pretty obvious that spending - real spending on things like public works - has been grossly inadequate. The idea that Reagan-style tax cuts would have done anything is just nuts.
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