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The Incredible Shrinking Deficit
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May 18, 2013, 05:19 PM
 
You might have been too busy worrying about Benghazi, The IRS, or the AP this week to notice, but there's some positive news for a change:

US Budget Deficit Shrinks Far Faster Than Expected
U.S. budget deficit shrinks faster than expected to $642B, CBO says - UPI.com
2013 deficit estimate lowered to $642 billion | Fox News

The CBO has revised it's projected calculations of the budget deficit, slapping $200 billion off of its last projection (made after the Sequester cuts were accounted for). From what I can tell, this comes from three sources:

1) Increased revenue
2) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doing better generally and being able to repay more of their loans
3) A general reduction in costs for Medicaid (although this has more effect in subsequent years).

You would think that we would be shouting this good news from the rooftops, but for some reason, the story is getting buried everywhere. What gives? Are we really that obsessed with the Scandal Of The Day that we can't acknowledge good news when it happens?
     
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May 18, 2013, 09:23 PM
 
Yeah, but Bill Ayers...
     
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May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM
 
The president stood under an umbrella!!!!!!!111!!!!
     
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May 19, 2013, 12:13 AM
 
I'll take good budget news where I can get it. And you're right, I hadn't heard a word about this.
     
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May 19, 2013, 12:35 AM
 
It's all finance gimmicks. If you just take the increase in National Debt, it's a much bigger number than the official deficit. More and more items are put "off Budget", to make the administration look better.

-t
     
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May 19, 2013, 12:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's all finance gimmicks. If you just take the increase in National Debt, it's a much bigger number than the official deficit. More and more items are put "off Budget", to make the administration look better.

-t

So you're saying that the so-called non-partisan CBO is in cahoots with Obama?

That's quite the accusation.
     
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May 19, 2013, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So you're saying that the so-called non-partisan CBO is in cahoots with Obama?
Where did I say that ?
Quit making up shit.

-t
     
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May 19, 2013, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's all finance gimmicks. If you just take the increase in National Debt, it's a much bigger number than the official deficit. More and more items are put "off Budget", to make the administration look better.

-t
No doubt, there are plenty of off-budget items. But let's focus on this change. As far as I can tell, none of the $200 billion change in this budget projection came from simply moving money off-budget. Can you identify any?

If there's any trick at work here, it's the one that only Fox was helpful enough to point out: there were enough wealthy people worried about tax increases in 2013 that they moved income into 2012, which accounted for the increase in tax receipts. But that sounds like conjecture to me, we won't know for sure until the 2013 returns are in.
     
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May 19, 2013, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's all finance gimmicks. If you just take the increase in National Debt, it's a much bigger number than the official deficit. More and more items are put "off Budget", to make the administration look better.

-t
Indeed, more creative accounting than substance, unfortunately.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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May 19, 2013, 04:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
No doubt, there are plenty of off-budget items. But let's focus on this change. As far as I can tell, none of the $200 billion change in this budget projection came from simply moving money off-budget. Can you identify any?
.
I haven't spend all that much time on it, but my guess is that the data is ambiguous at best. The government s not interested in clear, comparable numbers.
All you can do is look at goalposts (like national debt) to figure out that there are shenanigans going on.

-t
     
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May 20, 2013, 02:17 AM
 
Why dont people just believe tings I say like they do government?

please brothers and sisters, send me $5000 for an investment. I am making this available only to democrats because I love yous and want to help your cause. Republicans Im sorry but you are all jus too greedy and rich for me to do business with you. There is a secret that I never told you before... I am a king of a jungle in a Nijerya. I have trillions of dolar locked in a tree guarded by spirits in the jungle. Tey demand I pay them $5000 to unlock the money. Please Dont investigate my income, the bank will says Im broke. But it's not true now because I said I moved all my debt off budget; and I said I moved 100 trillion surplus on budget. Just send me the spirit fee and I will make you all trillionares. I will even bailout the US government, and give you citizenship to Nigeria, the greatest country in the world.. out of the goodness of my heart.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”
     
Dork.  (op)
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May 20, 2013, 10:28 PM
 
Where did you find that awesome picture of Abe?
     
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May 20, 2013, 10:32 PM
 
Heheh yeah, that's Abe alright!
     
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May 21, 2013, 01:28 AM
 
Good news will be when they start to pay down the national debt with what would otherwise be considered a surplus. Of course, knowing the mentality in Washington, they'd probably blow it all somehow.
     
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May 21, 2013, 06:30 PM
 
I sort of remember someone mentioning, about the time the economy tanked hard in 2009 or so, something like "this is going to hit the deficit pretty hard because with fewer people working and companies going out of business, tax revenues are going to fall badly for a while." The whole issue of "this is the (insert your non-favorite party name here)'s fault!!!1!!" is either diversionary or ignorance; of course the national debt will go up when the economy plummets, and of course when the economy recovers it will go down. The real news here is that it is shrinking faster than expected because the economy is doing better than expected. And nobody is going to go on Meet the Press and say "well yeah, we did blame X for the increase in the debt, but we were wrong."

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 22, 2013, 08:12 AM
 
Do we have a track record established on the credibility of these estimates? In other words, this is not a jobs report or a report on real economic growth, it's a projection. Yes, housing has returned and some folks have realized gains before the tax increase in 2013, but there have been many CBO estimates and projections, how closely do they align with reality historically?

A recent study analyzes the dichotomy between CBO estimates and reality to find that anything beyond one year is unreliable and they were consistently biased in the direction of underprojecting the size of the deficit or overprojecting the size of the surplus.

Still, horrible annual deficits of greater than $600 billion is better than tragic at over $1 trillion. Let's watch and see how that number changes as laws continue to change, market behaviors continue to change, the labor market continues its slump with more people bailing the work force, and the affects of tax rates.
ebuddy
     
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May 22, 2013, 12:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I haven't spend all that much time on it, but my guess is that the data is ambiguous at best.

-t
That explains a lot.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
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May 22, 2013, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I sort of remember someone mentioning, about the time the economy tanked hard in 2009 or so, something like "this is going to hit the deficit pretty hard because with fewer people working and companies going out of business, tax revenues are going to fall badly for a while."
I remember people saying that too; people making excuses for the ones they support to dig us deeper in debt. Yes, both parties are guilty, but the dems are many times more guilty.

So what do you think has contributed more to the debt; the slowing economy / less tax revenue; or trillions piled on trillions of bailouts for corporations, stock-market manipulation and unemployed... and food stamps, energy stamps, smartphone stamps, cable/internet credits and whatever else they give people for free? The list is too long at this point in history for me to do it all in a post.


The whole issue of "this is the (insert your non-favorite party name here)'s fault!!!1!!" is either diversionary or ignorance; of course the national debt will go up when the economy plummets, and of course when the economy recovers it will go down.
Im going to hold you to this one
The real news here is that it is shrinking faster than expected because the economy is doing better than expected. "
I think the real news here is that we can't really take the numbers or anything government says anymore to mean anything considering how out of control this off budget on budget manipulation has become. All we can really look at at this point is whether the net debt is going up or going down for the long term.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”
     
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May 22, 2013, 03:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by OldManMac View Post
That explains a lot.
Care to elaborate, or are you just being an ***hole ?

-t
     
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May 22, 2013, 06:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Care to elaborate, or are you just being an ***hole ?

-t
Sure, I'll elaborate. You made a statement that you haven't spent much time on it, yet you [b]guess[/] the numbers are ambiguous. If you haven't spent time one something, then don't guess about something you know little of.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
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May 22, 2013, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by OldManMac View Post
Sure, I'll elaborate. You made a statement that you haven't spent much time on it, yet you [b]guess[/] the numbers are ambiguous. If you haven't spent time one something, then don't guess about something you know little of.
If you cared to read the WHOLE thread, you would see that my initial statement and assessment (net debt increase does not match lower deficit) has NOTHING to do with spending much time on anything or not.

I was merely responding to a question, and the answer to that question does not invalidate my initial remark. Are you done being a smartass ?

-t
     
   
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