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Man with shocked expression on his face
Yeah dude it's crazy, but it's true!
It's an indisputable fact: The budget deficit is getting smaller.

In fiscal year 2010, which was President Obama's first full fiscal year in office, the budget deficit was $1.3 trillion. In fiscal year 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will be $845 billion. That's a 35 percent decrease in terms of dollars, and it's even bigger—41 percent—if you're tracking the deficit as a share of the GDP. The percentage drop is even bigger—roughly 50 percent—if you start from fiscal year 2009, which overlapped the final year of the Bush presidency and the first year of Obama's.

But when Bloomberg News commissioned a survey asking Americans whether they believed the budget deficit was growing or shrinking, just six percent answered the question correctly. Ninety-four percent had no clue. And 62 percent actually thought it was getting bigger.

So the next time you hear a poll about how Americans think it's important to shrink the budget deficit, keep in mind that 94 percent of us don't even know that it's getting smaller.

(via Steve Benen)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics and Daily Kos Economics.

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Comment Preferences

    •  No shit, huh? (16+ / 0-)

      The lies just sit out there, unanswered in the way the American people get their information.  Those of us who read factual information (eg, not "news" websites, but go to the source of the numbers) know.  That looks to be about 6% of the population.  Everyone else?  Headlines and outrage only.

      I'm still trying to fight the "Obama signed 23 executive orders on gun control" myth that is STILL out there, even when you google it....you  have to go to the bottom of the 2nd page of results to get the actual, real, true answer to the query.

      David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

      by PsychoSavannah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:07:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But, but Romney told us that Obama made the defi- (5+ / 0-)

        cit bigger!  Who can we believe?

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:28:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Its simple, people confuse deficits with the debt (7+ / 0-)

        The (annual) deficits are indeed shrinking, but the (cumulative) debt keeps growing.  At best the debt grows at a slower rate, but unless we run an annual surplus, as happened at the end of the Clinton Administration, the debt continues to grow even as deficits shrink.

        It is a pretty elementary error, but most people who rail about "the deficit" really mean the cumulative national debt.

        The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

        by Mimikatz on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:22:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And wouldn't it be great (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl, PsychoSavannah, YucatanMan

          if we could get factually-based economics courses required in our high schools?

          Kids could easily learn the difference between debt and deficit by comparing it to family finances where people start putting less new debt on the credit card while they are paying off more than that amount each month.

          But everything is so politically charged now, even economics courses -- even personal finance management -- is so politically charged. You would be trying to teach  kids not to carry a lot of debt on a credit card while some of their parents are maxing out their cards for luxuries, and others are doing it to pay for food or rent.

          Financial life was simpler when I grew up in the 50's and 60's. While credit cards were becoming mainstream then, it seemed like it was more for marketing customer convenience than as an expressway to massive profits for banks and crushing debt for consumers.

          Once upon a time, banks were our partners in economic growth in America. Now we're just their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

          "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

          by gfre on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:50:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Education, as in teaching? Not in Texas (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gfre

            They made massive education budget cuts and then later discovered that due to accounting 'mistakes' they had a lot more money in the budget than they thought. The texas solution was cut taxes not give schools back the money. Teachers have to supply kids crayons I have heard in some schools. While to paraphrase gfre

             Once upon a time, State governments were our partners in economic growth in America and a good education was a given. Now we're just paying for the 1%'s 16th vacation condo in the Cayman Islands..

            Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

            by arealniceguy on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:40:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's terrible, but I'm not surprised... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PsychoSavannah

              It seems like the problem is a power differential, in both the corporate and public spheres.

              If you're in a position to take from someone else, you've got it made.

              If you don't have much money -- if you don't get to set your own pay, make your own rules, etc. -- then you're just someone to be taken advantage of. You're not worthy. If you WERE worthy, you'd have that money and power.

              I'm so tired of the crazy, the greed, the ignorance. The mountain just seems so damn high, and that rock is so hard to push.

              Oops. Excuse me while I go back to the bottom of the hill and get my rock going again.

              "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

              by gfre on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:38:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  What's best for me is not so good for US. (0+ / 0-)

            By that I mean that, while the best individual strategy for each family is to spend as little as possible and save in the bank as much as possible, investing as much of that in long term securities as possible, when more people do that it hurts the economy, because:

            (1) the economy is driven by consumer spending (also by business spending, of course, but the purpose of business spending is ultimately to sell more to consumers), so too many workers stashing away their paychecks for a rainy day (loss of a job, for example) CAUSES paychecks to be lost;

            (2) the extremely wealthy get to save and invest ALMOST ALL of what they earn, because even THEIR inflated level of consumer spending (yachts, multiple homes, airplanes or first class airfare, jewelry, etc.) represents a tiny fraction of their income;

            (3) money in "savings" earns interest, but far less of it if there are more funds "waiting" for an investment in real physical business to use them than there are physical businesses demanding funds to invest -- because of (1) above;

            (4) when the poor and middle class have no more to spend, even though they TRY to save some, and the rich can only buy so many high priced luxury goods, so that money is taken out of circulation, only ONE entity in the economy has both the means to spend and a mission other than the hope of future profits to motivate its spending -- government.  And what government spends MUST either come from deficits or taxing the wealthy.

            Since the wealthy are technically supposed to pay lower rates than in the past, and often find loopholes to pay NOTHING, they are no longer even giving as much to charities as they used to, when tax breaks for giving were an additional incentive (when charity itself is not enough).  But they would not suffer if they paid more in taxes, and they would not be "punished."  They would only be helping to invest in those common resources which help EVERYONE, including helping THEM to become richer in productive ways.  In the 1950s the marginal tax rate for the highest bracket was 90 percent (that is, 90 percent of the amount ABOVE a very high threshold, added to the tax on that threshold itself).  The wealthy and corporations were doing good, almost all except the poorest of the poor (and minorities who were, in a practical sense, almost "forbidden" to get well paying jobs by prejudice) were doing well also, and we were paying off WW2 while building a huge interstate highway system -- promoted by that "socialist" Ike!  Now that the effective tax rate on extreme wealth is down to 15 percent of what the taxpayer CANNOT hide -- and they get to hide so much -- investments (or even maintenance) in public infrastructure are not being made, and the wealthy are STILL screaming that they are overtaxed.

      •  Most of the people who (0+ / 0-)

        believe the lies only listen to or watch the source of the lies; Fox News (NOT).

        If you cannot get to the misinformed, you cannot change their view

    •  hard to blame democrats for the media (11+ / 0-)

      carrying water for the gop. republicans may have a messaging problem but they have a very willing party to carry it for them

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:09:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Dems have a handicap. (4+ / 0-)

        Doesn't mean they can't work around it, though.

        They just have to work harder and smarter than the Repubs.

        "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

        by Bush Bites on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:30:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is hard when... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pelagicray, orlbucfan, eXtina

          ...the media is a bought and paid for mass production propaganda outlet.

           Couple that with the damage the republicans (and many Dems) have done to the US public education system, and a nation of passive recipients of knowledge can't think their way out of mass media apparatus designed to maximize confusion and subterfuge.

          Educational experience based on non-consensual behaviorism is authoritarian mind control.

          by semioticjim on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:53:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Watering down public education has been a long (5+ / 0-)

            campaign on the right since the late 1960s and early 1970s. We now have a public more ignorant, worse, less capable of finding the facts and distinguishing fact from bullshit, than almost any other "developed" nation.

            I referenced a facet of that in a comment on bills trying to get ID and other such pseudo science into classrooms. The key part generally:

            New Scientist 2006 article "Why doesn't America believe in evolution?" with that damning graph putting us 19th down between Greece and Turkey. Yep, with my emphasis from that article:

            Religious fundamentalism, bitter partisan politics and poor science education have all contributed to this denial of evolution in the US, says Jon Miller of Michigan State University in East Lansing, who conducted the survey with his colleagues. "The US is the only country in which [the teaching of evolution] has been politicised," he says. "Republicans have clearly adopted this as one of their wedge issues. In most of the world, this is a non-issue."

            Miller's report makes for grim reading for adherents of evolutionary theory. Even though the average American has more years of education than when Miller began his surveys 20 years ago, the percentage of people in the country who accept the idea of evolution has declined from 45 in 1985 to 40 in 2005 (Science, vol 313, p 765). That's despite a series of widely publicised advances in genetics, including genetic sequencing, which shows strong overlap of the human genome with those of chimpanzees and mice. "We don't seem to be going in the right direction," Miller says.

            The intent is in my considered opinion to get us to the state I described elsewhere today:
            A confederation instead of a union. A plutocracy and "plantation society" even if industrialized rather than in the fields. Lots of unsubstantiated "pride" even for the poor white trash.

            You look at the agenda and that is where it leads. Right to the Ole Confederacy or modern banana republics.

            The modern "planters" (AKA the 1% and their kin) find that state just dandy—as did the oligarchs of places like Guatemala, Honduras and such.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:16:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Gee wonder why? (6+ / 0-)

    If only we had a real fourth estate - journalists who do independent research and report it - maybe 96% of us would not be misinformed.... DAMN murdoch and his minions.

    •  Even if every voter in the U.S. knew (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein, orlbucfan

      this, do we think the GOP would change their insistence on there being a debt crisis - or even a deficit crisis?  You think congress would stop insisting that we take drastic measures NOW to cut the deficit "for the future of our children?"  

      No, because the deficit is not the concern of the Republicans.  Their desire is the privatization of everything the federal government does that the moneyed interests could possibly profit from.    

      The CBO projections also show that the deficit will start to rise again around 2016, and the GOP would just glom onto that prediction.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:33:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another point that is worth mentioning (14+ / 0-)

    is that historically, decreasing the deficit has tended to negatively affect the country.

    The Federal Budget is NOT like a Household Budget: Here’s Why

    With the exception of the Clinton surpluses, every significant reduction of the outstanding debt has been followed by a depression, and every depression has been preceded by significant debt reduction. The Clinton surplus was followed by the Bush recession, a speculative euphoria, and then the collapse in which we now find ourselves. The jury is still out on whether we might manage to work this up to yet another great depression. While we cannot rule out coincidences, seven surpluses followed by six and a half depressions (with some possibility for making it the perfect seven) should raise some eyebrows. And, by the way, our less serious downturns have almost always been preceded by reductions of federal budget deficits.
  •  and Americans thought that the fiscal cliff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dodgerdog1, pamelabrown

    deadline meant the deficit would INCREASE if we went over the cliff.
    more Americans want defense spending to increase than want it to decrease. Only 24% want it to gown!

    you can hardly blame them for not knowing about the deficit. as stupid as the gop has been and how well obama is doing, the media is still doing a fantastic job of carrying water for them. any discussions about whether the media has a liberal bias should start and end there

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:08:09 AM PST

  •  Ignorance is the Republicans' #1 friend. (11+ / 0-)

    Hatred is the other.
    Or maybe it's the other way around.

    LaPierre. What is that.......FRENCH ???

    by jazzmaniac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:10:10 AM PST

  •  I would be surprised (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Rockydog, fayea, roadbear, pelagicray

    except 100% of my coworkers @ the SSA were clueless about the changes to FICA withholding.  And we needed to have college degrees just to take the civil service exams!  People just aren't paying attention, or else the ones who are paying attention, are paying it to the wrong things.  

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:10:28 AM PST

    •  when it's all the pundits will talk about, you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TRPChicago, NancyWH

      can hardly blame people for tuning it out

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:11:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, they swallow it and THEN tune out details. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orlbucfan, eXtina

        The GOP counters with - but the debt is still growing, year over year.

        Our good news about reducing the growth of the deficit gets lost - understandably - when we have to raise the debt ceiling year-over-year.

        I'm not trying to diminish the progress, for it is substantial. And most important, the GOP and the media ignore it, because it doesn't fit their message. But we should not fall into the same trap. News like Jed's is best accompanied by an acknowledgement of what our crazy-but-news-smart uncle at the dinner table will counter us with.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:27:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bet lots of them know all sorts of sports stats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan

      and celebrity gossip though. Think "Rome" and "circus" there.

      It appears manyt today, even college graduates, have only been through a job training program, know and are interested in only enough to do enough for income, obtain some entertainment and are otherwise brain stem operators. There is really no excuse, none, for this situation described in a comment days ago:

      Of course that assumes some interest and curiosity. All it takes to remain ignorant is a sluggish mind. We have a large population dumb as a bag of slugs in that respect. Incurious and willfully ignorant fits. Hell, a survey of 18 and 24 year olds in 2006 found many could not place the Pacific Ocean!
         Pinpointing North America on a Map Is a Breeze Nearly all (94%) young Americans can find the United States on the world map, and Canada (92%) and Mexico (88%) are nearly as familiar. Wide majorities can find bordering bodies of water including the Pacific Ocean (79%) and the Gulf of Mexico (75%). Trends from 2002 suggest that more young adults can pick out Canada and Mexico (with few signs of change for other countries). However, it is concerning that one in ten of those with up to a high school education cannot identify the U.S., and one in five cannot find the Pacific Ocean.
      Yeah, how just specially positive! That means 21% of young Americans could not locate the Pacific and 25% were lost on the Gulf of Mexico!

      Oh well, we know about 25-35% of the population is dumb as a bag of slugs politically too. Oh well, a whopping 56% managed to place the Alps in Europe. We can strut with pride.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:34:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Deficit and Debt (5+ / 0-)

    How much per year we're borrowing vs how much money this country has borrowed since George Washington....

    people don't understand that either......

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:10:36 AM PST

    •  Not since George Washington. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Rockydog, fayea

      The entire federal debt was paid off in 1835-36 under President Andrew Jackson, the only time in history the country has been debt free.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:43:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  heh Thanks followed by Panic of 1837 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe, shenderson, orlbucfan

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Panic of 1837

        The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis in the United States that touched off a major recession that lasted until the mid-1840s. Profits, prices and wages went down while unemployment went up. Pessimism abounded during the time. The panic had both domestic and foreign origins. Speculative lending practices in western states, a sharp decline in cotton prices, a collapsing land bubble, international specie flows, and restrictive lending policies in Great Britain were all to blame.[1][2] On May 10, 1837, banks in New York City suspended specie payments, meaning that they would no longer redeem commercial paper in specie at full face value. Despite a brief recovery in 1838, the recession persisted for approximately seven years. Banks collapsed, businesses failed, prices declined, and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Unemployment may have been as high as 25% in some locales. The years 1837 to 1844 were, generally speaking, years of deflation in wages and prices.[3]

        I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

        by JML9999 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:51:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  People don't understand that paying down the debt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe, orlbucfan, YucatanMan

        has repeatedly led to recessions and panics.

        Paying down the debt reduces the supply of money to private business and families. It's a good thing to do only when the economy is growing too quickly.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:04:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unpossible! Tax and spend Demmycraps! (3+ / 0-)

    Flag-burning!*

    [I actually saw a recent social network post describing Obama as 'flag-burning.']

    It is more important to be a confident and articulate speaker than to know jack shit about anything.

    by VictorLaszlo on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:10:36 AM PST

  •  Math? (0+ / 0-)
    just six percent answered the question correctly. Ninety-four percent had no clue. And 62 percent actually thought it was getting bigger.
    6% + 94% + 62% > 100%

    Maybe you meant the 6+94 to stand together? But that's not how it reads.

  •  Republicans are idiots. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, JML9999

    Yeah, we wanted the sequester but we didn't know what that meant!  Fuckers.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:11:53 AM PST

    •  what do you expect when you recall (0+ / 0-)

      that the ungodly invasion of iraq was hawked & sold to the American people by republicans waving NYT's Judith Miller's expose columns: "inside Iraq WMD factories" as substantive cause?

      ...this is afterall, only a little sequester, whatever that is...

      /snark-tagged justincase

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:46:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's getting smaller.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeathDlr73, Bisbonian, nextstep

    ....but it's still really huge.  That's why you won't hear dems touting the smaller deficit. I can remember people here freaking out over $500 billion deficit under bush jr.  The fact that its now ONLY $800somethng billion isn't something to cheer.

    I am not I implying it's obama's fault, but the shit still stinks...badly.

    GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

    by DawnG on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:11:57 AM PST

    •  The difference is... (5+ / 0-)

      ...that Bush wasn't running $500 billion deficits as a result of a narrowly-averted depression.  Instead, the majority of his deficits were the result of tax cuts and unfunded wars.

      Context does matter when discussing deficits.  And the context today is such that if we were to cut the deficit back to $500 billion, it would re-trigger a really nasty recession.

      Not that the economy was very good during the Bush years.  The fact is that the economy in the US has ranged between mediocre and awful since 2000.  And that's a bigger problem than the deficit...and what we really need to be finding a solution for.  I suspect that if we can figure out how to revive a healthy economy that's boosting everyone's fortunes, we would find that the deficit problem would mostly solve itself.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:31:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Regardless of the reasons.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....we have a massive deficit and at least one half of the federal legislative body with a vested interest in keeping it that way so they can beat democrats over the head with it.

        Like I said, it's not something to cheer over.

        Cat5 or cat4, a hurricane is still a hurricane.

        GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

        by DawnG on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:07:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Deficit could be solved in 5 minutes (0+ / 0-)

          if it was really that important...  Just make the rich pay their fair share and cut the military spending by 20% .  Don't let people pay 15% (or less) on millions in income.

          "The deficit" is a political hammer and an excuse to cut necessary funding of our government.  I remember when the massive debts ran up by Reagan seemed so huge.  Then during Clinton's term - poof! - deficits gone!  And Clinton really didn't do anything too dramatic to taxes or spending.
           

          •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

            In case you haven't noticed, the economy was a bit better during the Clinton years than it currently is.  That makes a big difference in reducing the deficit because a stronger economy means less need (and demand) for government safety net programs.

            At current deficit levels and with the current state of the economy, cutting military spending by 20% and taxing the wealthy at 100% wouldn't be enough to erase the deficit.  

            Note that this doesn't mean that reduced military spending and higher taxes on the wealthy (albeit, not 100%) aren't good policy -- but it does mean that your prescription for balancing the budget is wrong.

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:01:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Finally, somebody gets it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

      by Bisbonian on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:35:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  details, details (3+ / 0-)

      the entire national debt was around $800 billion  (now $16 trillion plus) when Nixon took us off the gold standard for international trade payment settlement (bretton woods) so he could accelerate that lovely war called vietnam.  Now we're supposed to be delighted that our annual deficit is 'only' $800 billion while the bankers who caused the disaster get off scot free with massive personal fortunes ... yea!  go usa, go usa

      "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:52:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be fair when asked that question many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hawksana, Whatithink

    Americans would probably think they were asking whether the total amount owed by the u.s. was getting larger, rather than what was happening with the budget deficit looked at on a year by year basis

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:14:52 AM PST

    •  This IS the reason most think it's getting larger (4+ / 0-)

      Because it is getting larger.  It's slowing, yes, but 94% are not technically wrong under a reasonable interpretation of the question.

      The much bigger issue is the number of seemingly intelligent people who argue that Obama has run up much more debt than Bush.  

      Joe Scarborough went on about that again this week.  Nobody asked Joe, "What should Obama have done differently - raise taxes? Make massive spending cuts in a recessing (and pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately)?  Both? What could he have done to avoid running up debt at the rate we did?"

      Then, ask what Congress would have done with what Obama should have proposed.

      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:25:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, orlbucfan

    ..been a radical drop in government employees under Obama.

    A few nights ago Rachel Maddow showed a graph of how the number of government employees had decreased dramatically under Obama.

    Which, of course, is a huge win for Republicans.

    Republicans hate government employees with a passion, so Obama obliges them with kicking government employees off payrolls en masse.

    The result?  Republicans are so thankful Obama has worked to denigrate government employees, Obama's approval ratings among Republicans is at an all time high. (snark)

    I'm worse at what I do best/ And for this gift I feel blessed. - Kurt Cobain

    by wyvern on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:16:00 AM PST

    •  The biggest reason this recovery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      is so drawn out and sluggish compared with other recessions since WWII, aside from the depth of this one, is that all the other presidents faced with recessions have expanded government and hired more public employees (Republicans and Democrats alike).  Obama is the only president who has actually cut the number of government employees, both federal and state, during and after a recession.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:57:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When will Obama/Biden/Dems tell the truth!? (0+ / 0-)

    About the deficit????

    •  What "truth" "about the deficit" do you want told? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pamelabrown, orlbucfan, annominous

      The growth of the deficit has been reduced. It is still growing, Yes, but the rate of growth is slowing, as Jed showed, rather dramatically.

      And there is no doubt that a more active and robust economy with more people at work will raise everyone's revenues, from employers to the US Treasury. Even conservative economists accept that principle.

      History teaches that the GOP's austerity demands did not occur in the Bush II years, as we began racking up huge war bills. Congress even lowered tax rates. Cheney promised the war would be paid from Iraq's oil revenues and the long-disregarded trickle-down economics was taken for granted, even though It. Does. Not. Uccur. But Gee, now born-again Tea Party Republicans raise their concern over deficits to an incessant harangue, shelving other matters and seeing to it that we lurch from one Congress-made faux crises to another. Crises that are easily resolved ... by not precipitating them!

      The truth is that the GOP must stay at a high level of abstraction as it talks about deficit and debt because when it comes to specifics, every public opinion poll that deals with specifics, not to mention plain good sense, shows the public does not want government services or "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare cut.

      Now, what truth about the deficit would you like to promote?

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:46:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        The deficit is an annual measurement. It has been shrinking under Obama.

        The debt continues to grow, at a slower rate (because of the shrinking deficit).

        •  I shoulda said "rate of growth in the deficit"? (0+ / 0-)

          Or, "rate of annual growth in the deficit."

          To be accurate, I believe you're correct. Moreover, if I'd have specified "rate of growth," it wouldn't have bogged my comment down any.

          But that underscores the problem I was addressing. It would be best to be luminously clear and accurate to a fault, but then it makes even more sense to anticipate the pushback response. We should be prepared to confront knowledgeable arguments from the other side(s). After all, the back-and-forth call-and-challenge is what we Kossacks demand from the MSM ... and rarely get, because they are (1) unprepared and/or (2) ill-suited journalistically to do so, and (3) oops, we're running out of time and jeopardizing ideological balance if we don't stay shallow.

          All that said, thanks for your observation.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:23:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're still wrong (0+ / 0-)

            The rate of annual growth in the debt has been reduced.

            The deficit has been reduced. The deficit is not growing; it's shrinking.

            The debt and the deficit are not the same thing.

            •  Do you always correct your friends? (0+ / 0-)

              And so assiduously? Do you see how the basic point might get lost in such precision?

              Mea culpa ... I suppose.

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:34:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not unless they spout untruths (0+ / 0-)

                in a political discussion. Then all bets are off.

                The basic point might get lost in such precision? No, the basic point is lost when you use two noninterchangeable terms in an interchangeable way.

                Conflation of the debt and deficit is precisely why 94 percent of Americans don't know the budget deficit is getting smaller.

                •  OK, but you'll have to set more than my one ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... comment straight to get any traction for your precision.

                  I think you're being harsh to suggest I was "spouting untruths." My original points were valid and still are, but they might get lost in the thicket of your corrections.

                  And there is no doubt that a more active and robust economy with more people at work will raise everyone's revenues, from employers to the US Treasury. Even conservative economists accept that principle.

                  History teaches that the GOP's austerity demands did not occur in the Bush II years, as we began racking up huge war bills. Congress even lowered tax rates. Cheney promised the war would be paid from Iraq's oil revenues and the long-disregarded trickle-down economics was taken for granted, even though It. Does. Not. Occur. But Gee, now born-again Tea Party Republicans raise their concern over deficits to an incessant harangue, shelving other matters and seeing to it that we lurch from one Congress-made faux crises to another. Crises that are easily resolved ... by not precipitating them!

                  The truth is that the GOP must stay at a high level of abstraction as it talks about deficit and debt because when it comes to specifics, every public opinion poll that deals with specifics, not to mention plain good sense, shows the public does not want government services or "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare cut.

                  2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                  by TRPChicago on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:17:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  waddaya know? (0+ / 0-)

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:23:29 AM PST

  •  Republicans, teabaggers, racists, birthers, gun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miqewalsh, orlbucfan

    fetishists and all the others that have drunk the kool-aide have no use for any stinkin facts!  Facts, we all know, have a liberal bias.

    So what if the deficit got smaller and 62% think it's actually getting bigger?

    So what if 92% of Americans want full background checks for every firearm sale? We know you are confiscating every gun just by doing that!

    So what if everyone knows Obama was born in Hawaii? We KNOW he wasn't!

    Ignorance has always been part of both political parties, but Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have made ignorance a MUST for all Republicans, and sadly many Americans (including some Democrats) drink their kool-aide.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:27:16 AM PST

    •  something familiar about all this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DefendOurConstitution

      It doesn't even feel like willful ignorance any longer; it's more like a desire for purity.

      They reject facts that don't fit with their beliefs.

      They reject compromise as a dilution of their ideals.

      They reject the presence of non-RW "Christian" religions, as if the very presence of an alternative weakens their own faith.

      They reject the smallest bit of government working on behalf of it's citizens as full-blown communism.

      It's almost as if they believe even one drop of difference spoils everything.

      Damnable cowards, all of them.

      FOX NEWS: post crock ergo propter crock

      by miqewalsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:00:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's always Obama's fault (0+ / 0-)

    Something about it all rolling uphill.

  •  The Come the Fact Checkers (5+ / 0-)

    Like CNN who always think there has to be two sides to every political story and they post some bullshit about both sides are wrong.

    The statistics but if they ever get traction guys like Jack Welch will come out and say they cooked the books..and..like the job's numbers CNN and MSM will report that as a position. Pulling something out your ass is not an argument, it's bullshit.

  •  Yeah, people are always surprised when I tell them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, roadbear, orlbucfan

    Then I follow it up by saying "if the economy was going well, we'd be knocking down the deficit even faster."

    then they usually quit saying we need to cut government.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:29:15 AM PST

  •  Another thing worth pointing out from that survey (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, roadbear, orlbucfan

    In that survey you linked to, right below the question about the federal deficit:

    "Which of the following approaches is more likely to be successful in growing the U.S. economy and creating jobs?

    Spending cuts and tax cuts will give businesses more confidence to hire: 44

    Government spending in infrastructure, education, and alternative energy will create jobs: 49"

    I understand that for a lot of Americans, the budget deficit is a convoluted subject. However, they're still sharp enough to realize how we should really be addressing the economy.

  •  Deficit is down due to tax increases mostly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpamNunn, nextstep

    Yes, it is down.  But not for lack of spending.  Or, any belt-tightening on the part of this bloated behemoth we call our federal government.

    Most of the reduction was from increased taxes, budget caps that kicked in and reduced projected interest.  All good things.

    But, please.. we keep seeing these "deficit cuts" figures going forward over ten years as if this administration was cutting spending.  They are not.  Spending still increases.

    •  What tax increases are you referring to? (0+ / 0-)

      Tax increases before Jan 2013? Were there tax increases prior? Because the growth of the deficit was down for 2012.  So, please clarify your claims.

      So far as fed govt spending is projected to grow over the next decade, that growth is tied to expected increases in health care costs ("bloated behemoth"?).  In general, progressives think that privatization leads to consumer gouging (particularly in this era of Grammian-McCainian deregulation), explaining why health care costs have grown out-of-scale to the rest of the economy.

      That's why so many of us progressives support Medicare-for-all.

      What's your position on privatizing Medicare?  

      •  Tax revenues increased since the bottom (0+ / 0-)

        of the recession.

        People need to be more precise when talking "tax increases" or "tax decreases" to indicate if they mean total revenue, tax rates or changes in the calculation.  They are quite different from each other.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:48:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tax receipts are not the same as tax increases (0+ / 0-)

          Respectfully, your point you try to make to me is not reflected in the comment you uprated:


          Deficit is down due to tax increases mostly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ..., nextstep

          Yes, it (deficit) is down.  But not for lack of spending.  Or, any belt-tightening on the part of this bloated  behemoth we call our federal government.

          I can see Grover Norquist uprating this comment!

          It's reasonable to ask for clarification. I hope the original commenter will clarify.

          •  I took tax increase in this instance to mean (0+ / 0-)

            Tax revenue increases.  It was also the reason I went on to say the we should be more specific than saying tax increase.

            I updated the other comment for being correct about the reason for the deficit decrease.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:38:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Tax revenue increased.. (0+ / 0-)

        but FY 2012 did not see a reduction in deficit.

        FY 2012 had a deficit of $1.3 Trillion dollars

        FY 2013 - mostly because of the newly enacted taxes and the upcoming sequestration, will see a projected deficit of $900 Billion dollars.

        Now, perhaps since I am using Fiscal Years it might seem off to you, but that's really the only way to get accurate data for gov't spending and revenues.

        •  So, are you a deficit hawk? (0+ / 0-)

          I've asked you to disclose your political views, in fairness to the dKos community, since you've accrued TU status.

          While budget deficits and long term government debt are not desirable (some progressives argue that they may be desirable but I don't take that positions) Keynesians tend to view them as necessary evils during periods of recession and depression. What do you think?

          •  Yes.. it should be apparent I am a deficit hawk! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annominous

            I think I have made that quite obvious around here.

            I think it robs future generations of services they could have had had they not been paying off our debt.  Or, burdens them with taxes to do the same.

            That's not to say I don't think we should be spending.  I have said many times.. if we want services at a certain level, we ALL should be wiling to pay the taxes to provide those services.  Europeans do.  Middle class and even lower middle class are taxed at rates Americans would scream about - but they realize to get the benefits, they must all pay for them.

            As far as Keynsian ideas go.. I'm for government deficit spending for major projects - infrastructure, etc. - true investments.

            What I do NOT think we should be spending borrowed money on is day-to-day services.  If we want to spend money on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and wars - we should be willing to fund them with increased taxes.

            •  OK thanks for disclosing that (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, it's obvious that you are a deficit hawk.

              Were you concerned about Bush's deficit during Bush's time in office? Were you a deficit hawk then?

              If so, were you vocal in your opposition to Bush's deficits? If so, can you point to any protests you made during that era?

              •  Yes.. I was against paying for wars (0+ / 0-)

                on borrowed money.  That is most especially egregious.  If you want to wage war, you should be willing to pay for it.

                Protests?  I don't do protests.. much too busy, especially ten years ago.

                •  Are you a registered as a democrat? (0+ / 0-)

                  Are you here to elect more and better democrats?

                  •  Are you? (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't particularly like your third degree.

                    There is no party registration in Illinois.

                    I vote Democratic most of the time.  I rarely vote in primaries as there is no point here in a red part of Illinois that most of the time doesn't even bother to put up a Dem candidate against the R's.  

                    I do not feel I have to pass your particular purity test.  So, I won't be answering any more of your probing questions.

                    Perhaps you should read:  DailyKos FAQ

                    Who posts here?
                    The quick answer is "anyone who wants to". There are a wide variety of people writing diaries and comments on dkos. They include elected politicians, candidates hoping to become elected politicians, experts in a range of fields, and active bloggers from around the net. The vast majority of writers, however, are ordinary citizens interested in talking about and participating in the political process. The majority of people posting here fall on the liberal side of the US political spectrum, however people of conservative views are welcome to come and debate. If you are polite, you will be treated politely. Unfortunately, there are some people who post comments or diaries with the sole purpose of provoking others. These people are called trolls. Some tips and techniques for dealing with trolls are described below.
  •  Thank you for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, orlbucfan

    I really need to keep a text file or three in my documents folder with stuff like this. When I get really, really bored I sometimes wade into the comments sections of CNN or Yahoo News and try to sprinkle reality around a bit (fact fairy, that's me). The ignorance is deep out there...

  •  I'm shocked, shocked! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, roadbear

    And did you know there is gambling going on at Rick's?

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:38:55 AM PST

  •  What's really pathetic (4+ / 0-)

    is that so many Democrats think that cutting domestic spending during a deep recession is something to brag about.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:39:06 AM PST

  •  Stop it with the damn deficit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, orlbucfan

    I can't the stid bullshit I hear on this.  It has the same feel as the manufactured war with Iraq.

    No there is no mushroom cloud coming.

    Please explain to us budget hawks

    If the deficit is so bad why aren't interest rates getting higher?

    Has there been even one problem with treasury auctions?

    How exactly does a tbill bond holder own this country?

    Why isn't inflation climbing?

    Where is the dollar devaluation?

    This is a manufactured crisis.  It's the austerity that is making everything worse.

    We need jobs.  Many of them should be in employee owned businesses - either sall business or cooperatives.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:45:23 AM PST

  •  Please. The national debt is increasing. (0+ / 0-)

    The national debt gets smaller when you spend less than you take in in a given budget year.  I can hardly get excited at news that we are borrowing less than we did last year.    This year's budget deficit may be smaller, but the national debt is still increasing.  

    Only the Chinese find this to be good news, and I ain't a Chinese banker.    

    Many hands make light work, but light hearts make heavy work the lightest of all.

    by SpamNunn on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:46:15 AM PST

  •  deficit per year is not the same as total deficit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faito

    This was how the question was phrased in the survey: "Is it your sense that this year the deficit is getting bigger or getting smaller, or is it staying about the same as last year?"

    Does that mean "the deficit in the yearly budget" or "the total deficit as of this year"?  I suspect the question is insufficiently clear and the results are misleading as a consequence.

    All the Republican mouthpieces have to do to counter this is to say "we're more in debt than ever before -- look at the debt ceiling".  

  •  Anybody verify these stats? Haven't had time (0+ / 0-)

    myself.

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:47:49 AM PST

    •  As a percent of GDP (4+ / 0-)

      The deficit has been decreasing.

      Meanwhile in the euro zone where there is forced austerity several nations such as Spain have seen their deficit increase.

      Bottom lie is that austerity makes everything worse.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:53:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Understand, but I'm talking about how they (0+ / 0-)

        computed the revenues and outlays to come up with the projected deficit.  These new figures are somewhat different from previous projections.  
        Doesn't matter anyway I guess.

        "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:57:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Deficit is not a problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, orlbucfan

    Okay budget Hal's.  make your case.  Exactly what problem is the deficit causing

    Inflation?

    High interest rates?

    Dollar devaluation?

    What?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:49:18 AM PST

  •   Personal debt is growing (0+ / 0-)

    Most Americans believe our government debt and deficit are getting larger is because their personal  debts and deficit are getting larger. Hardship in our society is growing.

  •  So why isn't good money... (0+ / 0-)

    going to publicize this very widely?

    It takes away the entire rationalle for the sequester AND the Democratic party.

  •  We Need a Graph (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a nice graph of historical deficits:

    http://www.davemanuel.com/...

  •  Wait, will it decrease because of the sequester (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    law?

    The CBO says:

    "If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $845 billion."

    "current laws" = "stupid sequester law", right, or am I missing something?

  •  yeeegads. (0+ / 0-)

    I would have been one of the people saying "staying the same."

    I didn't know it's getting smaller!  How could I not know that?!?!

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:56:51 AM PST

  •  The deficit getting smaller is not a good thing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, orlbucfan

    It means fewer dollars are flowing into an economy that's already plagued by some sort of congestion. How else explain that the rate at which dollars move through the economy keeps decreasing to a level not seen since they started keeping records in the 1950s?

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/...

    Congress needs to stop dicking around and rationing our currency in a vain effort to punish the nation for electing the wrong people.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:57:58 AM PST

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      Reducing debt is opposite of what we need right now.  We still need lots more good paying jobs.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:20:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Splitting hairs about deficit or debt total (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan, Egalitare

    is akin to political whack a mole. Opponents just use whatever is most convenient, it's not about the substance of the argument themselves.

    They'd like to say, "Oh, look at the large deficit, that means gov't spending is out of control"

    Now that's not possible, so now it's "Yeah, the deficit is shrinking, but the total debt is still rising, as long as there's still a deficit. That's the real problem."

    None of this is the real issue: Overall, the economy is still doing poorly, and the people responsible don't want to take the blame.

  •  Is unemployment getting smaller? (0+ / 0-)

    whatever the answer, that should be the question.

    Who the f**k cares about the deficit compared to jobs.

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:10:40 AM PST

  •  Raise taxes, stupid! (0+ / 0-)

    That is the odd thing about the debate -- the deficit is a policy construct.    If it really mattered, we could either raise taxes or inflate it away.    

    It is bizarre that even us progressives have been blinded by years of anti-tax rhetoric.    Our taxes are historically low, the top rate used to be near %90 (take that, Mitt Romney!)

  •  In the Tampa Bay Times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan, Catte Nappe

    this week came the some of the most delicious irony of the last year.

    For four years Republicans have claimed the recovery was being held up by wasteful spending.

    Then, the Republicans lost Florida.  Panic has set in.

    And so, scared for their lives, our idiot governor has reversed himself on education spending, accepting more medicaid from Obamacare, and come out for more early election hours.

    But most revealingly:

    Gov. Rick Scott was in Jacksonville on Tuesday to tout the proposed budget as an economic tool. He estimates the $917 million increase in spending from this year will help create 500,000 jobs, one-third related to highway construction — employment opportunities that would be on line as he gets ready for re-election in 2014.

    While Scott claimed credit for the budget, about two-thirds of it is the work of regional metropolitan planning organizations staffed with local elected officials, and port and airport authorities that he only partly controls through appointments. But the proposed transportation plan, which will be included in the larger $74 billion budget bill during the upcoming legislative session, reflects a consensus among lawmakers and local leaders that an increase in transportation spending will spark the economy.

    "It creates jobs," said the chair of the House transportation appropriations committee, Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater. "The construction industry was one of the most hurt by the economy. This is a way to get it going again."

    Got that - spending on infrastructure creates jobs!!!

    Who knew!!!!
    http://www.tampabay.com/...

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:26:14 AM PST

    •  Yeah, but ole Retch Scott is still (0+ / 0-)

      very unpopular in this state. I just hope the Dems put up something halfway decent for a change next year. T and R!!

      Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

      by orlbucfan on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:56:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Dems in DC (0+ / 0-)

    and the so-called 'liberal' pundits in the MSM have always, always sucked at messaging. (By contrast, GOPers are great at messaging and at staying on message, even when the message is nonsensical.)  

    When Dems point out that the massive deficits are mostly due to W's disastrous tax cuts and to his disastrous, unfunded wars of choice, and to a massive, messy, complex financial crisis that began before BHO ever set foot into the oval office, the Cons cry and whine and scream about blaming Bush, and then the Dems, cowed, back off.  (I do realize that BHO has continued the tax breaks and in some cases enlarged the war effort, and he has done a lot to kick the can down the road regarding this economy and the Fed's continual, irresponsible pumping of money into it, but I'm sure you take my point.)

    Dems should be crowing that the deficit is shrinking about 50% faster than it did in the laste 90s, when unemployment was around 5% and and tax revs were quite high...

    Right now the budget hawks are winning the PR war, even though there is no evidence that anything good comes from slashing the deficit faster than 1% of GDP in any given year.

  •  Budget deficit getting smaller (well yes and no) (0+ / 0-)

    Over the years I have learned to look at things from a holistic stand point. When dealing with numbers and our federal government, there is no end of tricks used. To most of us we have a budget. However, with the federal government there is a budget and an off budget set of receipts and outlays. While it is true our budget deficit is getting smaller, it also true that the total deficit does not show as good a result. (source whitehouse.gov OMB Budget for FY 2013, Historical tables pages 22-23.)

    2008 -0.456 Trillion
    2009 -1.413 Trillion
    2010 -1.293 Trillion
    2010 -1.300 Trillion
    2011 -1.327 Trillion
    2012 estimated 0.9 trillion (time will tell)

    •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

      Actually the total deficit shows a better result.

      The off-budget receipts and outlays actually are running a surplus.

      The main goal of my comment is to get people to question any comment or fact given by our political leaders (does not matter which party).

    •  As a percent of GDP it is getting smaller (0+ / 0-)

      The numbers are out there.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:21:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jed, We don't know if deficit is larger or smaller (0+ / 0-)

    The Bloomberg question was:

    Let’s turn to the federal budget deficit. This is the amount the government spends that is more than the amount it takes in from taxes and other revenue. Is it your sense that this year the deficit is getting bigger or getting smaller, or is it staying about the same as last year?
    We will not know what this fiscal year's deficit is until about Oct 2013.  

    CBO puts the actual deficit for fiscal 2012 at $1.1 trillion see http://www.cbo.gov/...

    Having a forecast for the year right now is not the same thing as knowing the actual final result.  

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:08:44 AM PST

  •  Obama admin/Dems need an ed campaign (0+ / 0-)

    about this...
    and about that Obama has lowered taxes.

    They need to tell people. They need to have talking points and recruit serrogates and put them out on all the shows.
    They just do not organize these things, it seems.

    And the Republicans with their false message? They have an entire TV network pushing their message.

    Can't we at least do Something coordinated and strategic around messaging? Surely the Obama admin sees this kind of data?

  •  Getting smaller? (0+ / 0-)

    You're nuts, plain and simple.  The deficit is a monster that never stops growing.

    How could it?  War is expensive.  With all these stupid wasteful wars going on, sending troops here, sending them there, building more drones, increased security, foreign aid to this country, foreign aid to that country, etc., how could it be getting smaller?  Oh, and let's not forget all the freebies to illegal aliens.  After all they are human beings and we have to be humane.  Pardon me.  After that last sentence I can really taste my own bile.

    If it is and the reason it is is because the government prints money as needed then there will be a huge financial explosion.  It's inevitable.

    Remember all money in and of itself is worthless.  It's just paper.  I wipe my ass with paper daily.  Money is only as good as the country that backs it.

  •  That's What Happens When You (0+ / 0-)

    go to Faux Noise for your information... Even MSM tap dances around that fact.

  •  94% (0+ / 0-)

    Of commenters on KOS probably don't know the difference between a federal budget deficit and the national debt.  

  •  Don't tell them... (0+ / 0-)

    that the deficit is getting smaller, they don't want to know that.

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    by JohnnieZ on Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 03:55:06 PM PDT

  •  Fox News (NOT) at its (0+ / 0-)

    worst.  They are the purveyors of the teabag republicans misinformation campaign.

  •  Budget Deficit (0+ / 0-)

      I can tell you one thing American's are one hell of a gullible people. Imagine 94% doesn't know the Deficit is getting smaller they only believe that Obama needs to be out of office. I think that these people are in need of a Brain Enema maybe that will flush out all the shit they have kluging up there brain's. Theses same people will never vote for Hillary even if she were the Saver Himself. I can't say all of them but a lot of them are starch Republicon's for sure.
     

  •  94 percent of Americans don't know the budget defi (0+ / 0-)

    ...And 100% of those don't even know WHAT it means!

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