Great news: America sets new record for monthly deficit spending

posted at 2:55 pm on March 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I must be getting old.  I can recall the days when an annual federal deficit of $223 billion was enough to send Democrats screaming to cable news shows about the profligacy of George W. Bush and his ruinous economic policies.  That seems so quaint these days as the Obama administration posts a record $223 billion deficit — for a single month:

The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers the Congressional Budget Office released Monday morning.

That figure tops last February’s record of $220.9 billion, and marks the 29th straight month the government has run in the red — a modern record. The last time the federal government posted even a monthly surplus was September 2008, just before the financial collapse.

The worst part is that this happened in the shortest month of the year.  Shouldn’t that make it more difficult to achieve?

One might think that this would make everyone more serious about looking for opportunities to cut spending.  According to The Hill, some people like holding Guinness records:

The hard-charging House majority will be faced with a historic choice this month: Compromise with President Obama, or roll the dice and shut down the government.

Where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his 87 Republican freshmen draw the line on spending will shape the entire 112th Congress. For now, the GOP and Obama are about $50 billion apart — and the clock is ticking.

Yes, the suspense is riveting, isn’t it?  If we put together the proposal from the GOP for cuts to the budget and added the total dollar value of the budget cuts proposed by Democrats, we’d get $72 billion in reductions over the next six months.  That would amount to about one-third of the deficit from last month.

We’re facing “historic choices,” all right, but so far neither party has gotten historically serious about addressing them.  The Republican cuts in this year are inadequate, but the very notion that Democrats won’t go any farther than $10 billion in cuts with monthly deficits surpassing $220 billion is not just inadequate, but insane.

Cato puts the entire issue into perspective in this video:


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Another historic, unprecedented first for our man-child president.

JammieWearingFool on March 7, 2011 at 2:57 PM

“Winning~!” – Barack Sheen

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Love the picture. He’s saying “I’ll drink to that, and hopefully, we beat that number next month”

Vashta.Nerada on March 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I can recall the days when an annual federal deficit of $223 billion was enough to send Democrats screaming to cable news shows about the profligacy of George W. Bush and his ruinous economic policies.

That is exactly what I was thinking when I read the title of the article. lol

jeffn21 on March 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

That seems so quaint these days as the Obama administration posts a record $223 billion deficit — for a single month

nothing to see here, move along
-lsm

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I’ve got you beat Ed. I remember the days of the debt and deficits under Jimmy Carter and all the hand wringing that went with it. 1980 deficit less than %60 billion.

bopbottle on March 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I am sure a diligent person can find our flagship retarded liberal newscasters criticizing Bush for an ANNUAL defeceit of $223 billion….wonder what they will say about our resident Muslim boy in the White House for doing the same in a MONTH?

cue the crickets……

SDarchitect on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

nice video…is there a typo at the end, the voice over said 3.8 trillion but the screen said 3.8 billion…

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I’ve got you beat Ed. I remember the days of the debt and deficits under Jimmy Carter and all the hand wringing that went with it. 1980 deficit less than %60 billion.

bopbottle on March 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Oops, $60 billion.

bopbottle on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

If we put together the proposal from the GOP for cuts to the budget and added the total dollar value of the budget cuts proposed by Democrats, we’d get $72 billion in reductions over the next six months.

Isn’t that off the 2011 budget that never was though? The GOP’s proposal for 2012 cuts are much larger I believe.

darwin on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

The plan to destroy the U.S. from within continues apace.

The Chewbacca Defense on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

do i get a blame bush in there somewhere from dear leader?

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

We’re farked.

Good Lt on March 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Well, Van Jones and Mikey Moore keep saying there is no money problem, all we have to do is steal it from the rich …

Note: “Rich” does not include Jones, Moore or any member of the democrat party or left.

darwin on March 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Winning The Future…with our money.

kingsjester on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

do i get a blame bush in there somewhere from dear leader?

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Hey, he inherited this $3 trillion budget deficit from Bush! /sarc

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Saw 3 of the freshman pubs on Huck’s show Saturday and they said they were shocked at just how bad they found the situation we are in when they got to DC. They said we aren’t being told the truth. No kidding.

Kissmygrits on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

So the question now becomes what will be the next record deficit by this administration between now and November 2012? Can we hit half a trillion in one month? C’mon, Barry! I know you got it in you.

Doughboy on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

I blame Bush. If his deficits had been bigger than Obama’s would look small in comparison. Bush didn’t spend enough.

Man, I think I could write for the NYT.

Rocks on March 7, 2011 at 3:06 PM

nope, there’s not a drop to be cut from the budget and to suggest otherwise would be alarmist and people may die.
signed,
xxoo
the dems.

joeindc44 on March 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Eventually, the interest payments will surpass the actual debt…

Good Times! Good Times!

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Economic slavery.

it’s reparations.

ted c on March 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM

They said we aren’t being told the truth. No kidding.

Kissmygrits on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Beck tells it … no wonder they hate Beck.

darwin on March 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM

And there were only 28 days in February. Imagine what they could have done with 3 more days of spending.

forest on March 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Obama administration posts a record $223 billion deficit — for a single month

…it’s for the children.

Rocks on March 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Clearly Bush’s fault.

ButterflyDragon on March 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Tonight we drink! For tomorrow, we golf.

meanwhile, Rome burns.

ted c on March 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Hey, he inherited this $3 trillion budget deficit from Bush! /sarc

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

You use the sarc tag, but he has been blaming Bush to this day. He and his cronies still claim he “inherited” a $1.3 trillion deficit. He doesn’t say how exactly that happened or even what budget year he’s referring to, but he’s used that line repeatedly.

Doughboy on March 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Economic slavery.

it’s reparations.

ted c on March 7, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Well, won’t the people receiving reparations eventually have to pay reparations to the people enslaved to pay them reparations?

darwin on March 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Has it gotten that bad, that the Obuttheads now have to HIRE people to attend their parties?

Seriously though….where’s the outrage liberals? If you don’t have any over this one, then you can no longer deny what you are. Inane hypocrites!!! Every d@mn one of you!!!

capejasmine on March 7, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Did I say “spending”? I meant “investing”. The government only spends money when it cuts taxes.

forest on March 7, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Precedent WTF!

(but don’t anyone suggest that he is deliberately trying to destroy the country – that would be nutty conspiracy stuff)

turfmann on March 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

The worst part is that this happened in the shortest month of the year. Shouldn’t that make it more difficult to achieve?

Nothing, which requires ineptness, is beyond this administrations grasp.
This was easy, now ruining our foreign policy, that took some skill, and destroying what little energy program we had, that was more difficult…but running up a huge spending bill? Piece of cake for these fools.
I am a little disappointed, they let the unemployment drop below 10%…but one heck of a MoTown party…

right2bright on March 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Love the picture. He’s saying “I’ll drink to that, and hopefully, we beat that number next month”

Vashta.Nerada on March 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Yeah…. that photo depicts Teh One’s attitude to our inevitable economic doom:

“Bottoms up, guys! Well Done!”

UltimateBob on March 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM

The trend line is still downward, and it’s accelerating.

Skandia Recluse on March 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM

What’s amazing is the government spent more money in a month than we owe as interest for the federal debt in a year. That is absolutely insane.

mizflame98 on March 7, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Definitely a WTF moment.
Obama has that “tiger’s blood” just like Charlie Sheen

J_Crater on March 7, 2011 at 3:14 PM

‘All is well’

-lsm

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:15 PM

There’s a simple solution—print more money!

Rovin on March 7, 2011 at 3:15 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9uuPza41Uw

Hold on to your butts!

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Rovin on March 7, 2011 at 3:15 PM

yeah, that’s the ticket :)

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Easiest way to tax the middle class is inflation. Almost as silent as a VAT.

a capella on March 7, 2011 at 3:16 PM

If Obama suddenly announces he’s taking up the violin, I would immediately run to the hills at top speed!

pilamaye on March 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Pfffft. Simply tax every American and every business entity at 100% and boom, a major dent in the deficit.

You have to think in liberal, wing dings.

Bishop on March 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

President Obama announced Monday that military trials will resume for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, saying the tribunals are an “important tool in combating international terrorists.”

Wouldn’t it had been easier to just keep Bush for a 3rd term.

J_Crater on March 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I am working on preparing my federal income tax right now but taking a needed break. I am ticked.

Andrew Stiles reports further at NRO’s “The Corner”:

Not exactly breaking news these days, but the Congressional Budget Office announced on Monday that the United States ran a $223 billion deficit in the month of February, the largest monthly deficit in history, up from $221 billion in February of last year. Before that, the previous record (in 2009) was $194 billion.

The federal government continued its record-setting streak of 29 straight months in the red, having last posted a monthly surplus in September 2008, just before the economy tanked (and the artful influx of borrowed stimulus funds kept unemployment levels below 8 percent).

As noted in the Washington Times, the GOP’s proposed $61 billion in spending cuts is about 27 percent of the monthly deficit, while the Democratic plan — $6 billion — is just 3 percent of that figure.

The CBO pointed out that simply cutting waste from the budget will come nowhere close to fixing the budget shortfall, saying that significant cuts to programs and/or higher taxes will ultimately be required, and will almost certainly be painful. “Fiscal policy cannot be put on a sustainable path just by eliminating waste and inefficiency,” CBO officials said in a presentation before the National Association for Business Economics. “The policy changes that are needed will significantly affect popular programs or people’s tax payments or both.”

Is it time to bring out the pitchforks and descend on DC before too long?

onlineanalyst on March 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Wouldn’t it had been easier to just keep Bush for a 3rd term.
J_Crater on March 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Dubya didn’t give white liberals the chance to pat themselves on the back by voting for an honest-to-gaia “negr0″ (ht: Reid).

Bishop on March 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Count it!

rogerb on March 7, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Everyone…I’m pissed off as well…but when will the “common” voter ever get wind of this! We are up on this stuff because we seek it out and follow these issues. The MSM simply doesn’t report this. Do you think this will be the lead on ABC/CBS/NBC tonight! Hell…I’m still waiting for the uproar in gas prices that hounded Bush when those prices started to approach $3.00. Another day in paradise!

SPGuy on March 7, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Pfffft. Simply tax every American and every business entity at 100% and boom, a major dent in the deficit.

You have to think in liberal, wing dings.

Bishop on March 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Heh, don’t think that hasn’t crossed their minds.

In fact, their actions (forget about their words) indicate that is their mindset.

Chip on March 7, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Someone posted a link to the national debt clock on another thread. Just for fun, I looked at it…and promptly threw up in my mouth. And these idiot politicians are arguing over a couple billion here and there. None of them will ever try to fix our problem.

search4truth on March 7, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Is it time to bring out the pitchforks and descend on DC before too long?

onlineanalyst on March 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I just got a call from the “Young College Republicans” or something like that, looking for a donation. They said they have 250,000 members ready to go.

Knucklehead on March 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM

QE to Infinity….

PatriotRider on March 7, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Obama is doing his best to cut back; note that only one of the Jonas Brothers performed at the White House’s Mototwn Tribute concert February 24. That saved, like, $2 billion right there.

saint kansas on March 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Hey…it’s only paper…

PatriotRider on March 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM

10 Economic Disaster Stories the Leftist Media is Hiding From You

mudskipper on March 7, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Good article. Scary stuff.

9. Meredith Whitney is right about the coming municipal defaults.

Not only is she right, she’s super hot.

UltimateBob on March 7, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Do I have to keep posting this? The guy just thoroughly disgusts me.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006

Paul-Cincy on March 7, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Sorry. Meant to quote everything below the first line of my post.

Paul-Cincy on March 7, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Yes, we have had some “glitches” in the economy recently, but very competent people are very busy fixing all of those problems. So instead of being obsessed with our “economic problems”, you should all just relax and have some fun.

Baseball season is getting ready to start and all month fantasy baseball leagues are going to be forming. Now is a great time to join one. A new season of Dancing With The Stars is going to begin shortly, and this cast looks like the best one yet. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have been wonderful additions to American Idol this season. Did you see the dramatic unveiling of the “final 13″ on Idol the other night? It was great television. A new Matt Damon has just come out and Justin Bieber just got a new haircut.

Life in America is good.

PatriotRider on March 7, 2011 at 3:35 PM

9. Meredith Whitney is right about the coming municipal defaults.

Not only is she right, she’s super hot.

Unfortunately, she’s also married to one John “Bradshaw” Layfield of WWE fame.

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 3:38 PM

All part of the plan…

The trolls are noticeably absent from this thread, hmmmmmmmmmm.

SoxNation on March 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Unfortunately, she’s also married to one John “Bradshaw” Layfield of WWE fame.

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Seems like a pretty smart guy. I wonder if he contributed to her research.

UltimateBob on March 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Unfortunately, she’s also married to one John “Bradshaw” Layfield of WWE fame.

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Seems like a pretty smart guy. I wonder if he contributed to her research.

UltimateBob on March 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Layfield’s smart enough, but I think that her research is separate from anything he does.

IIRC, they met each other through him being a guest on various financial shows early in the 2000s when he wrote his investment book and was doing the rounds to promote it.

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM

So, there was the ex-state senator himself at the Fontainebleau Resort before more than 400 adoring supporters Friday night. “We love you,” one shouted. And Obama replied, “I know you do.”

And this is why nothing will be done…

right2bright on March 7, 2011 at 3:49 PM

We’re facing “historic choices,” all right, but so far neither party has gotten historically serious about addressing them. The Republican cuts in this year are inadequate, but the very notion that Democrats won’t go any farther than $10 billion in cuts with monthly deficits surpassing $220 billion is not just inadequate, but insane.

We need an Obamacare waiver from this debt.

Roy Rogers on March 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM

the Obama administration posts a record $223 billion deficit — for a single month:

I guess now we know what he meant by ‘B+’.

percysunshine on March 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

nice video…is there a typo at the end, the voice over said 3.8 trillion but the screen said 3.8 billion…
cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

3.8 trillion equals 3,800 billion. I think that’s what it said.

Buy Danish on March 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Pfffft. Simply tax every American and every business entity at 100% and boom, a major dent in the deficit.

You have to think in liberal, wing dings.

Bishop on March 7, 2011 at 3:17 PM

They’re stupid, not crazy.

What does concern me is a resurgence of the idea of taking over private pension plans, and replacing them with a government-run “guaranteed income” plan, ala Tom Harkin and that loon from The New School economics department.

All that money sitting there in those juicy accounts is going to be very tempting to the redistributors.

iurockhead on March 7, 2011 at 4:06 PM

The trolls are noticeably absent from this thread, hmmmmmmmmmm.

SoxNation on March 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Of course they are. They love that this is happening.

Are you better off today than you were 2 years ago?

ted c on November 1, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Yep.

crr6 on November 1, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

The Republican cuts in this year are inadequate, but the very notion that Democrats won’t go any farther than $10 billion in cuts with monthly deficits surpassing $220 billion is not just inadequate, but insane.

And this is a surprise why?

chemman on March 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Obama: Crashing our economy using the Cloward–Piven strategy.

Roy Rogers on March 7, 2011 at 4:52 PM

I’ve got you beat Ed. I remember the days of the debt and deficits under Jimmy Carter and all the hand wringing that went with it. 1980 deficit less than $60 billion.

bopbottle on March 7, 2011 at 3:01 PM

IOW, Carter2 blows in 10 days what Jimmah blew in a year!!! And that was just 31 years ago.

AH_C on March 7, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Paul-Cincy on March 7, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Paul, do you have a link handy for that speech. I’ll search it later if not. I’d love to have that little diddy at my finger tips. Thanks for posting.

skeedro on March 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Is this another of those “Unprecedented” moments in the Obama presidency? Odd, it’s not being trumpeted by the MSM.

GarandFan on March 7, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Is it time to bring out the pitchforks and descend on DC before too long?

onlineanalyst on March 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Funny how some comments don’t get filtered.

SirGawain on March 7, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Buy Danish on March 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

thanks, it wasn’t computing for me…

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I am sure a diligent person can find our flagship retarded liberal newscasters criticizing Bush for an ANNUAL defeceit of $223 billion….wonder what they will say about our resident Muslim boy in the White House for doing the same in a MONTH?

cue the crickets……

SDarchitect on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

something sorta like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9PbMwQLPdM

NY Conservative on March 7, 2011 at 5:49 PM

The worst part is that this happened in the shortest month of the year. Shouldn’t that make it more difficult to achieve?

While that would seem to be logical, it is not the case. February is unique in having very low net tax collections due to a lot of people grabbing their refunds as early as possible while those who owe wait until April to make their payments. Hence, it is almost always the worst month for government finances.

The Treasury’s Monthly Treasury Statement, due out on Thursday, is going to be “interesting” reading, especially if it matches the CBO’s preliminary numbers.

steveegg on March 7, 2011 at 6:15 PM

10 Economic Disaster Stories the Leftist Media is Hiding From You

mudskipper on March 7, 2011 at 3:18 PM

There is a lot of merit in every one of those ten points. I know that my grocery dollars are not buying as much. Just the other day, celery was selling for $3.99 in PA. I almost croaked at the price.

onlineanalyst on March 7, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Is it time to bring out the pitchforks and descend on DC before too long?

onlineanalyst on March 7, 2011 at 3:19 PM
Funny how some comments don’t get filtered.

SirGawain on March 7, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I’m considered a reliable source. Being ethical has its priveleges.

onlineanalyst on March 7, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Great news: America sets new record for monthly deficit spending

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.

rukiddingme on March 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

OBAMA is the Wrecking Ball, turned lose on America (I thought at first), now I realize he’s busy wrecking more than just our economy and industry. He’s taking out parts of the Western World as well.

Is it accidental or purposeful?

PappyD61 on March 7, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Watching Cavuto with some liberal 30 something gal claiming if we have another 362 billion dollar stimulus, it would create 8.2 million jobs. I don’t understand why Cavuto didn’t fall on the floor laughing. He is way too nice. Let’s see now, a trillion dollars produced nothing, but don’t worry now that we have as she put it a “short term deficit problem” 362 billion will magically create 8.2 million jobs. And she was serious!

Mr_Magoo on March 7, 2011 at 11:36 PM

The Treasury confirmed the new deficit record today at $222,500,000,000.

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 8:10 PM