Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Federal Deficit is Down

You know the script; Obama's reckless spending will doom us all. Rein in the deficit, slash spending while we can, stop the federal government takeover. The perception of an ever-increasing deficit, abetted endlessly by Republican operatives, is what fuels teabaggers' visceral fear, of which they have many.

So it is interesting to see that the federal deficit is actually declining. OK, color me surprised, too. According to Bloomberg, the deficit was down 13% because of rising tax receipts. Does it need explaining that tax receipts go up when there is economic growth? And no, don't start that shit about how Obama raised taxes, because he didn't.

Bloomberg goes on to say that the still-large gap is "...down 13 percent from $103.6 billion in August 2009, according to a Treasury Department report issued today in Washington. The gap for the fiscal year that started in October was $1.26 trillion compared with $1.37 trillion last year at the same time."

At issue here is not just the decline, as welcome as that may be. I am not a deficit hawk, so I understand that the federal stimulus was always intended to be temporary and that Obama had no viable alternatives. Some want us to forget the magnitude of the steaming pile Bush handed Obama in January, 2009.

The primary take away on this story is that the right wing harangue against federal spending has been upended by the facts. Will this even register with teabaggers? It will be interesting to see how they respond, assuming they even hear it, as we head into the November elections.

And that is what makes this story doubly interesting. The mainstream news does not seem interested in covering it. Bloomberg, yes. But at other major sites, it is still crickets chirping. We'll see if that picks up in the next few days. Perhaps Republicans need more time to spin this one.

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