Celebrating a $1.3 trillion deficit?

posted at 2:20 pm on April 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

I had to check the date on this Washington Post article, just to make sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.  Apparently, the White House wants us to take seriously the notion that merely overspending by $1.3 trillion, rather than the projected $1.6 trillion, demonstrates their commitment to fiscal discipline.  The headline writer at the Post must be in on the joke, titling the report “Obama team points to smaller deficit numbers”:

The federal deficit is running significantly lower than it did last year, with the budget gap for the first half of fiscal 2010 down 8 percent over the same period a year ago, senior Obama administration officials said Monday.

The officials attributed the results to higher tax revenue and to lower spending than projected on bailing out the financial system. If the trend continues for the rest of the year, it would mean the annual deficit would be $1.3 trillion — about $300 billion less than the administration’s projection two months ago for 2010.

But by suggesting the deficit may have peaked, administration officials are taking a political gamble. If the favorable number does not hold up in coming months and the budget shortfall surpasses the $1.4 trillion recorded last year, voters in the November midterm elections could punish the Democrats for offering false hope.

False hope of what, exactly?  That the second Obama deficit and the fourth Democratic Congress deficit will somehow not exceed three times the size of the worst Republican deficit from 2001-6?  News flash to the Post and the White House: a $1,288,000,000,000 deficit still means that Congress spent $1,288,000,000,000 more than they had, just in one year.

Don’t get fooled by that 8% reduction argument, either.  The highest deficit from the Republican Congress came in FY2004 at $400 billion, which was far too high.  Democrats in Congress matched that in FY2008 and then quadrupled it in FY2009, the first budget Obama signed via the omnibus spending bill in March 2009.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid blocked from George Bush’s veto pen through continuing resolutions.  The math on 400%-8% is still  392% in the wrong direction.

The Post headline writer may get an award for keeping a straight face while performing his duties, but at least their graphics department manages to put this into perspective:

I’ve seen sales pitches before, but none this vapid and intellectually dishonest. Instead of Hope and Change, we’re getting snake oil and shell games.

Update: Quadrupled, not quintupled. My apologies for the error, which I’ve corrected above.


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I’m going to be sick….

ted c on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Spend all ya want: We’ll print more!

JamesLee on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Insanity.

UltimateBob on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Wow, what a saver he is.

ED, I hope you post this article as I believe it’s a big deal:

Massachusetts court rejects health insurers’ bid to raise premiums

deidre on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

..chump hope and chump change..

VoyskaPVO on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Hey couple this with the news that we only lost 34,000 jobs in the last quarter and you have a great news day! We are on the gravy train now.

Johnnyreb on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

This isn’t new. Obama and his cronies were actually out there a year ago talking about how their budget would halve the deficit within a few years. Upon closer inspection, the current deficit of $1.4 trillion was projected to be “only” $700 billion down the road and we were supposed to be giddy about this.

Doughboy on April 13, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Pelosi: I love numbers… they’re so exact… this, easily, could’ve been a 20 QUADRILLION deficit. But due to our proper governmental management and passage of the health care bill and unlike the previous 8 years under Bush, we’re only spent 1.3 trillion more than we have. Hooray for us.

Skywise on April 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM

LOL

My mistake!

It’s only a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit.

Silly me!

blatantblue on April 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Sarah Palin may cost 12 million…

Obama costs 1.3 trillion.

blatantblue on April 13, 2010 at 2:31 PM

The left, 2008:
Bush is driving the country bankrupt with the War on Terror! Grunt, growl, snarl, drool…..

The left, 2010:
How dare you question 0bama’s deficit spending, you racists!

UltimateBob on April 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Trillions of dollars save or created … or something.

MB4 on April 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM

So the White House thinks singing “Happy Days are Here Again” to a country more in a “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” mood is a good idea?

Robert Gibbs, you magnificent…

Slublog on April 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I’ve got a whole box of checks so I must have more money.

sdd on April 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Calling helicopter Ben.

MB4 on April 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

“This is what Change looks like!!”- President Obama, 2010

portlandon on April 13, 2010 at 2:33 PM

False hope of what, exactly?

Pixie dust, rainbows and unicorns…

SHARPTOOTH on April 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Creepy how right George Orwell was… Except in 1984, it was chocolate, not the budget.

BeantownModerate on April 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I’m going to be sick….

ted c on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Just be sure not to get sick until you have paid all your income tax.

MB4 on April 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Hope comes with a price tag.

blatantblue on April 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Part of the original numbers were based on certain things in Obama’s budget proposal that haven’t been – yet. If it is lower it is because some things were stopped by the Republicans and American public.

How much is this number influenced by the new ObamaCare taxes that won’t be spent until 2014?

Shell games. All shell games.

PastorJon on April 13, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Like getting beaten with a wooden baseball bat instead of aluminum.

Bishop on April 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

I’ve seen sales pitches before, but none this vapid and intellectually dishonest. Instead of Hope and Change, we’re getting snake oil and shell games.
=———————————–
2008 Hope and Change

2010 HopeLessNess and ChangeLessNess

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Just think, way way back in 2006, the deficit was about $170 billion. I wonder what it will be 4 years from now?

Terrye on April 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Pshuh.

Call me when it gets all the way down to $1.25 trillion.

Then we’ll REALLY be on our way out of this mess.

Good Lt on April 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I expect Katie Couric to provide an in depth sotry at this major savings program from the Obama administration.

ButterflyDragon on April 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

The Dems reduced their projected deficit buy almost as much as the largest Republican deficit… Wait…

The remaining deficit projection is still more than 3 times that largest (R) deficit.

Somehow this is good news?

Sinner on April 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

The Dems reduced their projected deficit buy almost as much as the largest Republican deficit… Wait…

The remaining deficit projection is still more than 3 times that largest (R) deficit.

Somehow this is good news?

Sinner on April 13, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Yeah, but at least they gave everyone free health care….wait, you mean it’s not free? And we don’t get it for 4 years?

Doughboy on April 13, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Pshuh.

Call me when it gets all the way down to $1.25 trillion.

Then we’ll REALLY be on our way out of this mess.

Good Lt on April 13, 2010 at 2:36 PM

20 quadrillion dollars! They SAVED us from a 20 Quadrillion dollar deficit… don’t you understand!?!? Pshuh indeed.

I live in Bizzaro world… I swear…

Skywise on April 13, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Spend all ya want: We’ll print more!

JamesLee on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

+1.

The only question now, I think, is when and where the train jumps the tracks. I don’t see anyone with the will to apply the brakes.

Dark-Star on April 13, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Got this today:

Repeal Everythin?
Alden –

It started the moment we passed health care reform.

Mitt Romney said, “the act should be repealed” and Michael Steele announced that Republicans would make “every effort” to do so. Yesterday, Rep. John Boehner said that it’s still their “number one priority.”

But now we’re learning that their ambitions don’t stop there. Last week, Newt Gingrich promised a conference of conservatives and tea partiers that Republicans “will repeal virtually everything” passed by Congressional Democrats and President Obama.

That’s the new goal for the GOP — win this fall, then roll back all that we’ve accomplished.

This is the next phase in our fight for change, and our challenge is two-fold: First, spread the facts about how these reforms are improving lives. Then, win in November, so they won’t get a chance to undo everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Please chip in $5 or more to help us win the fight.

If Republicans get their way, they’ll roll back everything we’ve done to lower taxes, create jobs, ensure fair pay for women, and restore funding for stem cell research.

To win this fight, we’re building the top rapid-response team in politics, putting talented organizers on the ground in all fifty states, and running hard-hitting ads to expose the Republican agenda.

We’ll show that we have the strength to take on the tea party, Republicans, and special interests who are teaming up to repeal all that the President and Democrats in Congress have done with your help.

Please donate $5 or more to help Democrats defend the progress we’ve made:

https://my.democrats.org/FightRepeal

Thanks,

Governor Tim Kaine
Chairman

Alden Pyle on April 13, 2010 at 2:42 PM

But by suggesting the deficit may have peaked, administration officials are taking a political gamble. If the favorable number does not hold up in coming months and the budget shortfall surpasses the $1.4 trillion recorded last year, voters in the November midterm elections could punish the Democrats for offering false hope.

No problem – they’ll just say they Inherited this false hope from Booosh!

Chip on April 13, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Meanwhile,

Dr Evil in 1 million Dollars

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKKHSAE1gIs

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Does this mean the deficit went down 3000%?

Chip on April 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Obama inherited a mess to be sure. The Republicans aren’t really to be trusted when they say they will reduce spending. I don’t believe they will. (I did not vote for Obama and will likely vote R – but with my eyes wide open.) I fear our republic is doomed.

Sheerq on April 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM

The Audacity of Democrat Doom and Gloom!!

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Yeah, we’re $1.2 trillion in the hole. But the good news is I just saved a bundle of money on car insurance by switching to Geico.

Daggett on April 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Spend all ya want: We’ll print more!

JamesLee on April 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Worked for Germany and Zimbabwe!

DangerHighVoltage on April 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

To win this fight, we’re building the top rapid-response team in politics, putting talented organizers on the ground in all fifty states, and running hard-hitting ads to expose the Republican agenda.

They’re going to expose the Republican agenda to repeal all these entitlements? Cool, free marketing.

Daggett on April 13, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Some college-aged guy came up with a fabulous 1:38 video illustration to ‘splain Obamanomics to the brainwashed 52%’ers.

Fishoutofwater on April 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

the perfect song for the Obama admin

http://tinyurl.com/ylp9r96

Doctor Zhivago on April 13, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Prime example of pure media corruption….would’nt you say???

PatriotRider on April 13, 2010 at 2:52 PM

whither the trolls?

CurtZHP on April 13, 2010 at 2:55 PM

The officials attributed the results to higher tax revenue and to lower spending than projected on bailing out the financial system. If the trend continues for the rest of the year, it would mean the annual deficit would be $1.3 trillion — about $300 billion less than the administration’s projection two months ago for 2010.

Note the outright lie – tax revenue is lower, not higher.

Also note that the adminstration projection from two months ago was off by 18%.

Vashta.Nerada on April 13, 2010 at 2:59 PM

whither the trolls?

CurtZHP on April 13, 2010 at 2:55 PM

CurtZHP:Well,WroughtWall is probably finding a way to
screw PM.Harper,Grow Fins is probably being
serviced near a log,by the river bank!!

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I’ve only kicked my dog 13 times this year. I had predicted that I’d beat my dog 16 times. I’ve reduced by overall dog kicking vs. my estimate, so I’m really doing great..at kicking my dog less.

elect me!

DrW on April 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

O/T
========
Top of the News Hour,right after Rush…..

Bi Bi has just announced all Israel’s outside Isreal that are vacationing to immediately return to Isreal!?

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

“This is a great day in America”

Harry Reid

jukin on April 13, 2010 at 3:05 PM

they’ll still pin the blame on w

maroons, the lot of them

cmsinaz on April 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Sounds like a warning of possible terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula.

JERUSALEM – Israel issued an “urgent” warning Tuesday to its citizens to leave Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula immediately citing “concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai.

cntrlfrk on April 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM

“Whaddya mean overdrawn? I can’t be overdrawn, I still have plenty more checks!”

Akzed on April 13, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Some college-aged guy came up with a fabulous 1:38 video illustration to ’splain Obamanomics to the brainwashed 52%’ers.

Fishoutofwater on April 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Fishoutofwater: Seen that one a while back,hammers home the
point quite well!

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 3:16 PM

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM
————————————
Sounds like a warning of possible terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula.

JERUSALEM – Israel issued an “urgent” warning Tuesday to its citizens to leave Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula immediately citing “concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai.“

cntrlfrk on April 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM

cntrlfrk: Thanks for link,It sounded more urgent on the
radio!:)

canopfor on April 13, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Brought to you by those believers who think cash comes out of a chickens hind end as eggs.

capejasmine on April 13, 2010 at 3:33 PM

they’ll still pin the blame on w

maroons, the lot of them

cmsinaz on April 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

And some people still believe it. Maroons, and brain washed brain dead morons. They go together like milk, and cookies.

capejasmine on April 13, 2010 at 3:34 PM

why don’t we just cut out all the deficit spending?

I bet the tax receipts are down for the year.

tarpon on April 13, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Yeah, I read that aricle this morning and was dumbfounded. Amazing the spin that some reporters will buy.

Chuckles3 on April 13, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Is this like when my wife spends $400 at Costco?

SAVINGS!

juanito on April 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM

juanito on April 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Exactly right!!!! The three purses and four pairs of shoes my wife bought WERE ON SALE! So, she totally saved our budget like $250! Whew!

search4truth on April 13, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Yeah, we’re $1.2 trillion in the hole. But the good news is I just saved a bundle of money on car insurance by switching to Geico.

Daggett on April 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM

+1

Who is John Galt on April 13, 2010 at 4:10 PM

So far the debt has increased by $917 billion in FY 2010, Oct 1, 2009 through April 12, 2010.

Dasher on April 13, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Of course, nobody bothered to read the March 2010 Monthly Treasury Statement. The highlights of the bad news:

- Individual income taxes for FY2010 are down from FY2009 ($393,506 million this year versus $429,701 million last year)
- Corporate income taxes are also down compared to last year ($53,969 million versus $56,236 million)
- Total receipts are down correspondingly ($953,896 million versus $989,712 million)
- And the kicker – the current projected FY2010 budget deficit according to the Treasury Department – $1,555,582 million (or if you prefer, $1.556 trillion).

One more thing – the only significant reductions in expenditures are in TARP and Homeland Security.

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

How did I miss this the first time? The FY2010 deficit-to-date is $651,602 million, far higher than the FY2009 deficit-to-date of $589,802 million.

I think I’ll be taking the “punish the Dems for offering false hope” for whatever is left in my bank account.

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Dasher on April 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Very interesting. Figures TurboTaxTimmy would game the system.

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Did he “cut” the deficit by re-spending the TARP money and claiming that it was Bush who spent it, not him?

munseym on April 13, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Did WaPo question why the Democrats are not going to vote on this year’s budget (due THIS month), casting it aside because it’s an election year? mmmmm?

TN Mom on April 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Sheerq on April 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM

There have been a number of Presidents that inherited financial messes like Obama. FDR, Carter, Reagan and Obama are ones that come readily to mind. FDR turned a recession into the great depression. Carter turned Nixon’s nonsense into stagflation and a 20% + misery index, Reagan turned Carter’s mess into one of the longest running recoveries in history and it looks like Obama is trying to create a great depression also. Given that Reagan helped pull us out of a mess like Obama supposedly inherited I have no sympathy for Obama and his policies.

chemman on April 13, 2010 at 5:05 PM

How did I miss this the first time? The FY2010 deficit-to-date is $651,602 million billion, far higher than the FY2009 deficit-to-date of $589,802 million billion.

I think I’ll be taking the “punish the Dems for offering false hope” for whatever is left in my bank account.

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM

FIFY. There is a big difference between million and billion.

chemman on April 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM

FIFY. There is a big difference between million and billion.

chemman on April 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I almost said this too, until I noticed it is 589,802 million which is 589 billion. 1,000 million = 1 billion.

Who is John Galt on April 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM

FIFY. There is a big difference between million and billion.

chemman on April 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Since I simply pasted from the Monthly Treasury Report, which uses millions, it’s not a difference. Do note the presence of a comma instead of a decimal point.

I almost said this too, until I noticed it is 589,802 million which is 589 billion. 1,000 million = 1 billion.

Who is John Galt on April 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Thanks for the bailout </pun_bad>

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Don’t get fooled by that 8% reduction argument, either… The math on 400%-8% is still 392% in the wrong direction.

Egad, how much math do lawyers have to take in college (that’s rhetorical, my fiance is in law school so I know the sad answer). If something quadruples and then drops 8% from the peak it’s not 400 – 8 = 392, it’s 400 – (8 * 400)/100 = 368.

I’m more interested in how being 8% in the first half of 2008 translates into an almost 20% better performance for the entire year. I don’t have the numbers in front of my but I thought Q2FY10 was running worse than Q2FY09. Q1FY10 was of course far better than the absolutely dreadful Q1FY09. Oh well, I need to find the numbers.

jarodea on April 13, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Since I simply pasted from the Monthly Treasury Report, which uses millions, it’s not a difference. Do note the presence of a comma instead of a decimal point.

I almost said this too, until I noticed it is 589,802 million which is 589 billion. 1,000 million = 1 billion.

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Hey now, he could be from one of those European countries that has commas and decimal points backwards.

jarodea on April 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 4:11 PM

For the triple post win, those were the numbers I was thinking about. Don’t know how I missed them reading through the comments, but yeah I don’t see how the overall deficit is supposed to be 20% lower. That would mean the second half would have to see the deficit 34% lower than last year’s (which is over $300 billion less). We’ll see I guess.

jarodea on April 13, 2010 at 5:56 PM

“Deficit, shmeficit…who do you guys think will win on American Idol?” – Signed, A Sheeple

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 13, 2010 at 6:32 PM

chemman on April 13, 2010 at 5:05 PM

I don’t think I was sympathetic to Obama, just stating a fact.

Sheerq on April 13, 2010 at 6:58 PM

For the triple post win, those were the numbers I was thinking about. Don’t know how I missed them reading through the comments, but yeah I don’t see how the overall deficit is supposed to be 20% lower. That would mean the second half would have to see the deficit 34% lower than last year’s (which is over $300 billion less). We’ll see I guess.

jarodea on April 13, 2010 at 5:56 PM

To be fair, the revenues for February and March 2010 were ahead of those in February and March 2009. However, I suspect that’s due more to high-income filers jumping the 2010 tax curve because the February/March 2010 FICA/SECA revenues are less than those from February/March 2009. We’ll see if revenues for April and especially May are ahead of last year’s. Somehow, I doubt it, even with the first of the Bush tax cuts already expired.

steveegg on April 13, 2010 at 11:49 PM