Charts of the Day: Deficits and spending

posted at 5:01 pm on October 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Via Instapundit, this is the chart to keep in mind when it comes to deficits and campaign promises.  It’s pretty self-explanatory, but pay close attention to the huge jump in deficit spending between FY2008 and FY2009 — and the very large gap between White House and even CBO estimates and reality (in gray) in FY2010-12:

A few things to bear in mind:

  • As Glenn Reynolds notes, the war spending began in FY2002 for Afghanistan and FY2003 for Iraq.  Also, the Bush-era tax rate reductions were fully implemented in FY2003, but probably had their full impact in FY2004.  The combination pushed deficits higher, but the economic growth generated by the recovery produced lower deficits each of the next three fiscal years.
  • The FY2007 budget was the last fully Republican budget, passed in 2006 before the midterm elections that gave Democrats control of Congress in January 2007.
  • The FY2008 budget was the last one signed by a Republican President.  In 2008 for the FY2009 budget, the Democratic majorities in Congress refused to produce a budget before the election and then passed a series of continuing resolutions that continued spending at FY2008 levels until Barack Obama signed the finalized FY2009 budget in March 2009.  There is one exception to this, though; Bush signed TARP in October 2008, which added $700 billion dollars in spending (in two tranches) and contributed significantly to the big deficit in FY2009.

Deficits are, however, one side of the equation.  Democrats argue that these massive (and sudden) budget imbalances are due to a revenue issue, specifically that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes.  They want to raise revenues to put us back to the deficit levels of the Bush era.  However, Heritage has another chart that’s not terribly new showing that the problem is (mostly) on the spending side of the ledger.  This shows federal spending, actual and projected, on a per-household basis in inflation-adjusted dollars for the last 47 years, and projected out along current trajectories for the next ten:

There are also a couple of things to keep in mind here, too:

  • The first big jump came during LBJ’s Great Society entitlement expansion program.  The rate of increase, though, was fairly potent during the phase from 1975-1990.  After that, it flattens out for more than a decade, thanks in part to the change of control in Congress and the continuing expansion of wealth during the Reagan boom.
  • In the early 2000s, the Republican-controlled Congress and George W. Bush began another steep increase in per-household federal spending, which continued long after the 2003 recession ended.
  • By far the steepest increase in the chart came in 2009, thanks to the bailouts and Barack Obama’s federal stimulus package.  In three short years, federal spending per household leaped upward over $5,000 per year from its previous high, or an increase of 21.3% in inflation-adjusted dollars.  Even at FY2012 levels, it’s an increase of over 15% from 2006.
  • By 2022, we will have increased per-household spending in adjusted dollars by 190% over just 57 years — nearly tripling spending. In FY2012, it’s grown 152%.  Median income in adjusted dollars in 1967 (the closest date I could easily find) was $42,056, which means that households have only increased median income in adjusted dollars by 19% over roughly that period of time.  That puts the rate of growth of per-household federal spending over that period at eight times that of the rate of growth of median income.

So, we don’t really have a revenue problem here, or at least not primarily a revenue problem.  We have a spending problem.  Most of that is almost certainly in Medicare and other health-care spending, and it’s certainly going to be the biggest problem in the next few decades.  Sequestration isn’t going to solve that.  We need to find a way to revamp our safety-net programs to truly reduce spending in order to rebalance the relationship between federal spending and household income.  We simply can’t get enough income to support that rate of growth — most of which has been funded by exploding deficits and national debt, the service of which will cost households in future generations even more in federal-spending growth.

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1.2 – 1.4 trillion in the red each year. Very consistent. It’s a balanced approach.

forest on October 7, 2012 at 5:04 PM

The $700B in TARP got paid back.

Where did that money go?

p0s3r on October 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Criminal.

Rational Thought on October 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

These type of charts are hankering to be thrown into Romney’s ads. And it illustrates the big election question: do we want an out of control trickle down huge govt, or not?

anotherJoe on October 7, 2012 at 5:12 PM

My mother is in a rehab facility right now because she fell and broke her hip. She has been there since August 28th, with no end in sight according to the people who run the place. They have sent her back to the hospital three times for tests to see if her gall bladder is okay, even though my father has told them she doesn’t have a freaking gall bladder any more. He (my dad) is the only one who seems to care that they are doing all these unnecessary tests. The rehab place, the doctor and the hospital are all perfectly okay with it. My mothers very caring doctor visited her every day while she was in the hospital, just stopped in to say hi! My dad found out he bills Medicare $90.00 every time he does that.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Here is another handy chart that I like to share with friends to show them how out of control Federal spening is:

http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/growth-federal-spending-revenue

wren on October 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM

It’s always “inflation adjusted.”
But we shouldn’t always adjust for inflation. Inflation is part of the problem, and part of what O is causing with his crazy print money monetary policies. Sometimes show the raw unadjusted dollar values to show the greater magnitude of the problems.

anotherJoe on October 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Democrats argue that these massive (and sudden) budget imbalances are due to a revenue issue, specifically that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

If you give them (Republicans/Democrats) more money…they will spend it. There is no self control in Washington. The politicians are too dependent on buying votes with public money to ever change their behavior.

sharrukin on October 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Obama after the debate: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A4mw1vMCAAAEQjm.jpg

davidk on October 7, 2012 at 5:23 PM

The incessantly childish blaming of Bush, is just red meat for the uninformed and lazy! It’s easy to blame someone who the Enemy media, reviles and created a BS meme, in order to get the public against the Republicans. The astounding part is the lack of effort on the part of the Republicans, to humiliate the media for their falsely created stories. This continued cowardice on the part of the eSTAB-lishment Repubs, is not acceptable to their base and one of the many reasons, they are being voted out, wherever possible.
Update for those following:How to take on the Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 7, 2012 at 5:23 PM

davidk on October 7, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Heaven help me, but my first thought was, it shouldn’t hurt since I hear he’s used to that.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM

bayam! Come out and play!

Del Dolemonte on October 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Hey, let’s give Egypt and North African countries even more money to support terrorist states. Now there’s a wise use of our taxpayer and borrowed Chinese funds.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/after-arab-spring-salafists-are-building-influence–at-polls-and-at-gunpoint/2012/10/06/a3590e48-0e10-11e2-bd1a-b868e65d57eb_print.html

Philly on October 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Here is another handy chart that I like to share with friends to show them how out of control Federal spening is:

http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/growth-federal-spending-revenue

wren on October 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM

When I saw that, the question that came to mind is, “Why are we giving the Federal Goverment $2,500,000,000,000 in the first place?”

davidk on October 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Heaven help me, but my first thought was, it shouldn’t hurt since I hear he’s used to that.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Look out!

davidk on October 7, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Aw, man….jimmah and his buds at Habitat for Humanity built that house!

Tim_CA on October 7, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Hey this is from the Pittsburg tribune

http://battlegroundwatch.com/2012/10/07/pittsburgh-wins-16-14-on-last-second-field-goal-why-you-care/

Conservative4ev on October 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

A trillion dollars.

davidk on October 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Bush signed TARP in October 2008, which added $700 billion dollars in spending (in two tranches) and contributed significantly to the big deficit in FY2009.
======================

Lets Review,and after Pelosium got the Republicans onboard,
she decided to go to the well,and slit,Team Reds throat!!

Going back to the 700 Billion Dollar Bailout,Nancy
also was trying to reach out…………………..

with a political sword that is!!
================================

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Floor Speech Before Bailout Vote
September 29 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=en&v=VMLo7i38D58

canopfor on October 27, 2010 at 8:17 PM

canopfor on October 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Shame on anyone who could look at that chart and decide it’s a good idea to vote for the incumbent. Because when they do they are essentially giving their fellow Americans, their own families, and generations to come a big giant middle finger and an expletive deleted.

scalleywag on October 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM

$16,000,000,000,000 +

davidk on October 7, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Hey this is from the Pittsburg tribune

http://battlegroundwatch.com/2012/10/07/pittsburgh-wins-16-14-on-last-second-field-goal-why-you-care/

Conservative4ev on October 7, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Again, yeah Steelers!

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM

My mother is in a rehab facility right now because she fell and broke her hip… My mothers very caring doctor visited her every day while she was in the hospital, just stopped in to say hi! My dad found out he bills Medicare $90.00 every time he does that.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Sorry to hear about your mother, Night Own. But that seems nice of her doctor, and I don’t know if $90 is out of hand for that, but it highlights the problem with govt running health care. If private industry was running the show (I mean free industry that is not just a quasi-govt utility type operation), to get quality up and costs down, they would have systems to deal with the need for personal contact from the doctor, but consider the cost also. Perhaps in many cases extra visits by a nurse or other (inexpensive) practitioner would be almost as good as a doctor visit, and save a huge amount of $. Yes, effective systems would be in place. They would always be thinking about quality and cost. With Medicare, it seems that often quality and cost are just side issues. People, though often well-intentioned, are, at best, just going through the motions. At worst, as with unneeded tests etc, they are purposely doing things to drive up the costs (in ways which wouldn’t fly in competitive private industry). And this is Medicare. Imagine Medicaid. What a nightmare. And Medicaid is what Medicare will become under Obamacare. Scary.

anotherJoe on October 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

We have a spending problem.
=================================

I bet,Hopey has a grocery list,of more spending,if gawd-forbid,
he gets a second term!!

canopfor on October 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM

IIRC most of the tarp money was paid back with interest. Of course the $100 billion that the UAW…er GM got has not but the big banks have. That would of course make the spending in the Obama years only worse.

jukin3 on October 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Maybe we need to start a boycott against all the movie stars and hip hop artists and celebrity supporters who think it’s a good idea to give the empty chair four more years to make this graphic even more nightmarish than it is now. Don’t see their films, don’t watch their crappy tv shows, don’t buy their cds, perfumes, clothing…nada. That’s what I’m going to do, compose a list of all his supporters and refuse to support any of them.

scalleywag on October 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………

Romney at Fla. rally: ‘Now I’m optimistic – I want you to know that great days are ahead.’ – @NBCPolitics

49 secs ago from firstread.nbcnews.com by editor

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/07/14278024-romney-gets-personal-at-florida-rally?lite?ocid=twitter

canopfor on October 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Does that chart include what he plans to spend on contraception for Sandra, or cradle to grave care for Julia?

scalleywag on October 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM

canopfor on October 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM.

Why the hmmm? What is your thought?

Conservative4ev on October 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

This picture is freaking awesome

Where’s Mitt

gophergirl on October 7, 2012 at 5:54 PM

canopfor on October 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM.

Why the hmmm? What is your thought?

Conservative4ev on October 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

this.
….?

looks pretty innocuous to me……maybe a tad inelegantly phrased….but what are we missing?

Tim_CA on October 7, 2012 at 5:56 PM

anotherJoe on October 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Thanks, but my point was that this whole experience has been nothing but a picture of waste, from her doctor to the hospital to the rehab place. Because it’s paid by Medicare, they are all trying to get as much out of this as possible before they let her go home. I don’t hate the medical profession, but this has been amazing to witness.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Rule number 1 of charts – label the stupid thing.

If copied/pasted into something else, it should stand on it’s own in terms of definition and scale, not have to rely on context.

imho

Midas on October 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM

There’s also the matter of accounting for who is really responsible for the federal government’s spending increases in the last four years.

ironman on October 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Shame on anyone who could look at that chart and decide it’s a good idea to vote for the incumbent. Because when they do they are essentially giving their fellow Americans, their own families, and generations to come a big giant middle finger and an expletive deleted.

scalleywag on October 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM

…I look at that chart and am just as livid at every Republican in the House and Senate!…every fluking one of them!

KOOLAID2 on October 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Ed,

IIRC TARP was an even 700 billion, however only $350bil of it was spent during the end of 2008(FY2009) budget year, and Obama spent the other $350bil during early 2009 bailing out Gov Motors, etc.

That chart should have 2009 split to show who signed what spending by what president during that 2008/09 period. It would demonstrate to the libs who really boosted the spending.

Ronaldusmax on October 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Where is all the money going…?

… When you “spend“, that usually means you “buy” something.

What are we “buying“…?

Seven Percent Solution on October 7, 2012 at 6:04 PM

O/T Conspiracy nutjobs over at the WAPO at it again.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/after-arab-spring-salafists-are-building-influence–at-polls-and-at-gunpoint/2012/10/06/a3590e48-0e10-11e2-bd1a-b868e65d57eb_print.html

Salafist influence in Libya is accentuated by the proliferation of weapons held by hundreds of independent militias that operate beyond the control of the new central government. While not all are religiously motivated, groups such as Ansar al-Sharia have used thinly veiled threats of force to advance their agendas.

Sharia must be the only reference for the constitution,” said Hani al-Mansouri, a spokesman for Ansar al-Sharia. “We keep watch and we put pressure on the government.”

The group has gone underground since its barracks in Benghazi were overrun last month by Libyans demanding greater government control of the militias. But before it did, Ansar helped stage a number of pro-sharia protests, as well as a military parade in June that many residents described as intimidating.

“God made the causes of this revolution, forced the tyrant to flee, and it is God who prepares what will happen soon. Trust him,” he told followers. “Do not be bait in the hands of these players.”

That rhetoric is resonating with many young people, including those who participated in the revolution.

We will establish the Islamic dream, which is a caliphate state. We have a book to spread our ideas and a sword to defend the ideas,” said Bilel Chaouachi, a 26-year-old theology graduate student in Tunis, who said he lists Osama bin Laden among his spiritual leaders.

PappyD61 on October 7, 2012 at 6:08 PM

We have a spending problem

la la la, i can’t hear you
-dems and lsm

cmsinaz on October 7, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Poor Paulie Krugman had his getalife handed to him this morning on ABC.

First up:

In the roundtable discussion on This Week, Peggy Noonan’s analysis of last week’s debate lead to a heated exchange between Paul Krugman and Mary Matalin.

“We will look back on it as a historic moment in this election,” Noonan said of the debate. “It upended things. This is what it it upended: Barack Obama was supposed to be the sort of moderate, centrist fellow who looked at Mitt Romney, this extreme strange fellow. By the time that debate was over, Mitt Romney seemed a completely moderate, centrist figure who showed up as mitt Romney the governor, not as Mitt Romney the candidate.”

“Except that everything he used to prove his centrism wasn’t true,” retorted Krguman.

When Noonan called that criticism “unjust,” Krugman responded, ““When you say my plan covers pre-existing conditions when it doesn’t, and when your own campaign has admitted in the past that it doesn’t, what do you say? That’s amazing.”

At that point, Matalin told Krugman, “You have mischaracterized and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan Plan on medicare from the efficiency of Medicare administration to calling it a voucher plan, so you’re hardly credible on calling someone else a liar.”

And as NB’s Noel Sheppard just posted:

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made a fool of himself on ABC’s This Week Sunday.

Seconds after claiming “The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat out untruths,” Krugman called factual misstatements by President Obama during Wednesday’s debate “minor fudges”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/10/07/krugman-makes-fool-himself-press-just-doesnt-know-how-handle-flat-out#ixzz28ecdzij2

Del Dolemonte on October 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

…I look at that chart and am just as livid at every Republican in the House and Senate!…every fluking one of them!

KOOLAID2 on October 7, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Sure a lot of them don’t deserve another term either, but if you vote for the clown in chief, you’re just assuring the economic graph goes off the charts. And not in a way that will be kind to any of us.

scalleywag on October 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Yes, I can relate. I used to feel a bit sorry for health providers because Medicare doesn’t pay the rates that private insurance does. Believe me, they have found many ways to make up that difference and then some.

a capella on October 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Since 1960 only two times in history has the unemployment dropped by 5 percentage points in a two month span.

The first was in 1984 under Reagan (May & June) – rate went from 7.7 to 7.2. Total jobs created during this 2 month span was 680k. GDP for the most recent quarter was a whopping 8%.

The only other time (in OVER 50 years) is right now under Obama (Aug & Sep) – rate went from 8.3 to 7.8 Total jobs created during this 2 month span was 250k. GDP for the most recent quarter is 1.25%.

Think about that again… In 50 years (starting with Kennedy), only twice has the UE rate dropped by 5 percentage points in a 2 month span. And we are to believe that one of those times is happening right now, 1 month before the election – when Obama needed to get to EXACTLY 7.8 (to be even) – all with a backdrop of anemic economic conditions?

This is a massive scandal.

kevinkristy on October 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM

If 2010 hadn’t seen Republicans taking over the house that peak of 09 would have friends, a lot of friends.

Let the libs have the same kind of control they had in 08 and 09 the anarchists would have a ball and they would come from everywhere in the world to burn our cities down.

Speakup on October 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

This November we have to take away the National Credit Card from Obama. Its like having your drunken brother-in-law asking to use it for just four more years.

Uniblogger on October 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Where’s PokeyGumby to tell us to FOLLOW THE TREND?

Electrongod on October 7, 2012 at 6:39 PM

So, if our actual deficit spending has been way more than the White House and CBO estimates every year for the last 4 years, and their estimates are increasing, we can expect actual $2 trillion per year deficits if Obama is re-elected?

Since 1960 only two times in history has the unemployment dropped by 5 percentage points in a two month span.

The first was in 1984 under Reagan (May & June) – rate went from 7.7 to 7.2. Total jobs created during this 2 month span was 680k. GDP for the most recent quarter was a whopping 8%.

The only other time (in OVER 50 years) is right now under Obama (Aug & Sep) – rate went from 8.3 to 7.8 Total jobs created during this 2 month span was 250k. GDP for the most recent quarter is 1.25%.

Think about that again… In 50 years (starting with Kennedy), only twice has the UE rate dropped by 5 percentage points in a 2 month span. And we are to believe that one of those times is happening right now, 1 month before the election – when Obama needed to get to EXACTLY 7.8 (to be even) – all with a backdrop of anemic economic conditions?

This is a massive scandal.

kevinkristy on October 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Looks like that should be 0.5%. It’s obvious that the unemployment numbers aren’t reality. If we had an honest or competent media, it would be a massive scandal.

talkingpoints on October 7, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Get rid of the practice of baseline budgeting for starters. Make every program prove its budgetary need. Quit rewarding the practice of 4th quarter “training seminars” and “banquets” at exotic locations just to use allocated monies up. When the Ag dept is advertising for food stamp recipients, that need isn’t as great as stipulated, cut that program. And on and on and on.

Republicans need to grow a pair and stand up to all of the pandering to the media. Be the grown up, cut spending, eliminate duplication of effort and waste. Find all the programs that don’t work or that are obselete and eliminate them.

Sweaty Deacon on October 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Where’s PokeyGumby to tell us to FOLLOW THE TREND?

Electrongod on October 7, 2012 at 6:39 PM

…don’t encourage it anymore E g !

KOOLAID2 on October 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Where’s PokeyGumby to tell us to FOLLOW THE TREND?

Electrongod on October 7, 2012 at 6:39 PM

…don’t encourage it anymore E g !

…..whoever engages it first…is having genital grabs wished upon them!

KOOLAID2 on October 7, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I see jesus in that sink hole.

tomas on October 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM

the CBO isn’t good at estimating $hit. there’s another fed beaurocracy we can nix.

maineconservative on October 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Thanks, but my point was that this whole experience has been nothing but a picture of waste, from her doctor to the hospital to the rehab place. Because it’s paid by Medicare, they are all trying to get as much out of this as possible before they let her go home. I don’t hate the medical profession, but this has been amazing to witness.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I didn’t mean to gloss over some of the blatantly wasteful practices you describe with your Mom’s care under Medicare. And indeed, it does sound that it is simply INCREDIBLY wasteful. And perhaps the doctor stopping by daily was just a means to bill the $90, not a sign of caring. I meant to agree with you, to say that govt run healthcare is by nature very inefficient and ineffective, and your example, shows how shockingly true that often is.

anotherJoe on October 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Yes, I can relate. I used to feel a bit sorry for health providers because Medicare doesn’t pay the rates that private insurance does. Believe me, they have found many ways to make up that difference and then some.

a capella on October 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

I guess it’s just another way to turn us all into criminals.

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM

anotherJoe on October 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I hope I didn’t come across as combative! Thanks for the clarification- LOL

Night Owl on October 7, 2012 at 7:51 PM

HotAir.com — Guaranteed Soft & Squishy™ Or Your Money Back

FlatFoot on October 7, 2012 at 8:51 PM

There is one exception to this, though; Bush signed TARP in October 2008, which added $700 billion dollars in spending (in two tranches) and contributed significantly to the big deficit in FY2009.

However, Senator Obama voted for TARP, and President Bush only requested the second half of the TARP money because President-elect Obama specifically asked him to, saying that it would be “irresponsible” not to!

“I felt that it would be irresponsible for me, with the first $350 billion already spent, to enter into the administration without any potential ammunition should there be some sort of emergency or weakening of the financial system.”

- Barack Hussein Obama II
January 13, 2009
U.S. Seeks Rest of Bailout Cash

Bush got all the blame, but Obama got half the money!

ITguy on October 7, 2012 at 11:35 PM

This November we have to take away the National Credit Card from Obama. Its like having your drunken brother-in-law asking to use it for just four more years.

Uniblogger on October 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM

An anecdote about Obama and credit cards:

As the plane leveled, Obama told his wife and advisers about his previous trip to a Democratic convention, in 2000. He had booked a last-minute flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, where an airport Hertz car-rental counter denied his credit card.

I doubt we’ll ever know the reason for the credit card denial, but it appears they had the financial means to keep their credit card in good standing.

The Obama’s 2000 Tax Return shows gross income just over $240,000.00.

If you extrapolate the story of his personal credit card to his current and possible future use of the National Credit card, just saying …

Xiphos on October 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM

A definitive essay on how to answer the fallacy of

“Trickler Down” Theory and “Tax Cuts for the Rich”

Thomas Sowell should be either the Secretary of the Treasury, or a White House speech writer.

Freelancer on October 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM