Friday, April 15, 2011

Rarely in the Black

Here's an interesting statistic, folks. Over the past 72 years (1940-2011), the Federal government has only run a budget surplus during 12 of those years. The other 60 of those years it ran a deficit. But what was really amazing was discovering (rediscovering, actually) that 4 out of those 12 years actually occurred during the Clinton/Gingrich reign (it kinda makes me wonder why Mr. Gingrich was so damn frigging hellbent on impeaching good old bubba - well, I mean, other than, you know......): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 (Bush's year but Bill Clinton's budget) - at a time of divided government, in other words................................................................................................And, let's see, what is it that we have now, people? Oh, yeah, more divided government! Now, granted, Mr. Gingrich didn't constantly have the tea party to deal with and everything but, still, IT HAPPENED - who in the hell says that it can't happen again? I mean, no/maybe?


Beach Bum said...

Gingrich, while a lying, married fuck who was carrying an affair while throwing stones at Clinton, was far more rational back then when it came to the running of government.

In a lot of ways I've come to view the mid to late 90's as the peak of the American nation with a combative but generally competent government much like how I have read about the reign of Marcus Aurelius around the 180's AD.

Because it sure as Hell appears we had our own Commodus after him with the house of cards becoming increasingly unstable as the years go by.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

While I agree that Gingrich has pretty much always been a dick, former President Carter made a very good observation about the Gingrich of today (you know, the one who's currently quoting Dinesh D'Souza), "The Gingrich of even 5-10 years ago would be horrified by what the Gingrich of today is saying."

dmarks said...

Truth 101 pointed me here. The budget figures (Treasury Dept) show the deficit always being positive during Clinton being in office. No surplus ever. The debt kept going up.

Beach: Clinton engaged in crimes and committed sexual harassment. Gingrich's affairs are irrelevant, and there's no hypocrisy involved (since there was no sexual harassment).

If Gingrich had sexually harassed his employees and committed purjury crimes, why of course there'd be hyprosisy.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Good call on the deficits, dmarks. What happened was that the "public debt" in fact DID go down. BUT, the "national debt" continued to go up. The reason for this is that Washington was borrowing money from the Social Security trust fund and applying it to the general fund. We DID have deficits those 4 years! No, maybe not as big as the preceding and subsequent years but, still, deficits.

w-dervish said...

Will said ...Washington was borrowing money from the Social Security trust fund and applying it to the general fund. We DID have deficits those 4 years! disagrees. They cite the CBO when they say "...even if we remove Social Security from the equation, there was a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and $86.4 billion in fiscal 2000. So any way you count it, the federal budget was balanced and the deficit was erased...".

Clinton ran a surplus... that's pretty much common knowledge. If it weren't true wouldn't Republicans be talking about it ALL THE TIME??

Gingrich cheated on his wife the same as Clinton... he sure as hell is a hypocrite.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The Republicans have a big stake in those surpluses, too, wd. I mean, don't they try to take credit (being that they were in the majority from '94-'00) for them as well?.........This is a complicated issue. It involves "public debt", "national debt" and "intragovernmental holdings". From the research that I've done, while the public debt indeed did go down for those 4 years, the total national debt did not. It went up. According to the U.S. Treasury, the national debt 9/28/1997 was 5.41 trillion. In 1998, it was 5.52 trillion. In 1999, it was 5.65 trillion. In 2000, it was 5.67 trillion. And in 2001, it was 5.81 trillion. And, while, yes, this is a significantly better trajectory than the Reagan/Bush 1 years, the overall national debt in fact did go up. There couldn't have been real surpluses.

w-dervish said...

Clinton ran a BUDGET surplus. I've never heard anyone claim that he began paying down the national debt. The issue isn't complicated at all.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Dude, how does the national debt go up? It goes up as the yearly deficits go up.

w-dervish said...

Will said... how does the national debt go up? It goes up as the yearly deficits go up.

I'm sorry Will, but you're wrong.

The actions of the Treasury increased the national debt. When they pay off treasuries, bonds, etc... they have to pay back the principal plus interest. Clinton's surpluses were less than the interest on the national debt. That is what caused the national debt to increase under Clinton.

In 1999 Clinton ran a 1.9 billion surplus but interest on the national debt was 353.5 billion. In 2000 Clinton ran a 86.4 billion surplus but interest on the national debt was 362 billion.

Clinton ran surpluses his last two years in office. This is a FACT. His surpluses didn't cover the interest on the national debt. That doesn't mean there were no budget surpluses!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Ah, so you're excluding the interest (sounds similar to jobs created or SAVED). But the debt did go up all four of those years; from 5.41 to 5.52 to 5.65 to 5.67 to 5.81.

w-dervish said...

Of course I'm excluding it. The interest on the debt Reagan/GHWB ran up should erase Clinton's surpluses? That makes no sense at all.

It also isn't doublespeak, as you imply. I'm surprised you didn't say that it sounds like *someone* arguing what the meaning of "is" is.

I didn't say the debt didn't go up. Obviously it did. But that didn't have anything to do with Clinton's final two budgets... The ones where he ran SURPLUSES.