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Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

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Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Meade » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:56 pm

"Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office."
http://www.politifact.com/florida/state ... pledge-ha/
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Stella_Guru » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:33 pm

He's working on it. In fact the other day I heard him call it "our deficit."
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby gargantua » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:13 pm

He hid it behind the 250,000 jobs Walker promised.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Detritus » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:23 pm

I can't help re-reading the title as "In Russia, deficit halves you."
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby kurt_w » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:33 am

Yes, Obama said that the deficit would be cut in half by the end of his first term, relative to the 2009 deficit that he inherited. That didn't happen. From 2009 to 2012, the deficit declined from 10.1% of GDP to 6.9%, a 31% decrease. So, no, he did not live up to the pledge to cut the deficit by 50%.

On the other hand, that's the third-best record in the post-WWII era. Only two other presidents managed to cut the deficit by more during the equivalent period of their first terms (Clinton and Eisenhower).

In contrast, during the equivalent period of Reagan's first term, the deficit increased 87% as a percent of GDP. During Bush Senior's term, it increased 64%. During Bush Junior's first term, we went from surplus to deficit.

Perhaps more to the point, the deficit has in fact continued to shrink rapidly. With the spending cuts and tax increases over the past few months, the deficit is now running at an annualized 4.5% of GDP, or less than half of 2009.

Obama probably should not have made that pledge. Nonetheless, considering that the magnitude of the 2007-2009 downturn was significantly worse than we knew back in Feb. 2009, the pace of deficit reduction has been very, very fast:

The Rapidly Shrinking Federal Deficit

Of course, there are strong arguments that the focus on deficit-reduction and austerity has been counterproductive. It's quite possible that the economic outlook today would be stronger if we'd engaged in a more aggressive program of economic stimulus in the first few years after the collapse.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby kurt_w » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:12 am

Here's a graph showing the surplus/deficit as percent of GDP. Note that all three Democratic presidents reduced the deficit (Carter only insignificantly) while all three Republican presidents expanded the deficit.

Image

Data for previous years is from here. The CBO forecast is here. Note that each president's final budget covers the first three-quarters of the next president's first year (e.g., Clinton's final budget covered the first three quarters of 2001, while Bush's final budget covered the first three quarters of 2009).

For those who are curious, note that ARRA (stimulus) spending was approximately 1% of GDP in 2009, 2% in 2010, and 1% in 2011. In addition, a large fraction of that spending was in the form of tax cuts, not actual "spending" per se.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby kurt_w » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:22 am

It's also worth noting that the Iraq War has already cost the US far more than we've spent on stimulus spending to recover from the economic collapse. Even though all US troops have now been withdrawn from Iraq, the cost of the war continues to build, and will ultimately reach $6 trillion or so.

Mr Meade, who started this thread, appears to be a strong supporter of the Iraq War. It's difficult to reconcile support for useless Mideast wars, accompanied by massive tax cuts, with any kind of actual concern for the deficit.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Stella_Guru » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:51 am

President Obama has been magically successful advancing the agenda of the corporate elite while keeping a sizable base of apologists and courtiers coming back for more. All in all, a huge victory for conservative ideology and Wall St..
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby O.J. » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:58 am

How can someone that smokes so much weed be such a sourpuss?
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby DCB » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:01 am

kurt_w wrote:Obama probably should not have made that pledge. ...

Of course, there are strong arguments that the focus on deficit-reduction and austerity has been counterproductive. It's quite possible that the economic outlook today would be stronger if we'd engaged in a more aggressive program of economic stimulus in the first few years after the collapse.

This deficit hysteria nonsense has been (perhaps) the single greatest mistake of his administration.

In part, you can blame the Republicans for their incessant wailing about the horrible deficit (which they are about 99% responsible for). But Obama has fully embraced this nonsense too. Its nuts.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:02 am

kurt_w wrote:Mr Meade, who started this thread, appears to be a strong supporter of the Iraq War.

That's only because his ass was not on the line. He protested against the Vietnam War because he was draft eligible at the time. Kinda like Dick Cheney, who applied for many deferments during Vietnam but was an architect of the Iraq War.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Stella_Guru » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:06 am

O.J. wrote:How can someone that smokes so much weed be such a sourpuss?

I'm getting tired waiting for some of the cash to "trickle down" so I can afford to buy some more weed.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby O.J. » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:08 am

Stella_Guru wrote:
O.J. wrote:How can someone that smokes so much weed be such a sourpuss?

I'm getting tired waiting for some of the cash to "trickle down" so I can afford to buy some more weed.


Aren't you a farmer? They call it weed for a reason, ya know?
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby gargantua » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:09 am

Hey, where'd Meade go, anyway? Acting like Flanders does when he gets schooled.
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Re: Obama, where is deficit halving you promised?

Postby Michael Patrick » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:15 am

Henry Vilas wrote:
kurt_w wrote:Mr Meade, who started this thread, appears to be a strong supporter of the Iraq War.

That's only because his ass was not on the line. He protested against the Vietnam War because he was draft eligible at the time. Kinda like Dick Cheney, who applied for many deferments during Vietnam but was an architect of the Iraq War.


Or like Ted Nugent, who Baghdad Bob might have called "the mother of all chickenhawks."
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