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February 03, 2011

The "Clinton Budget" Fallacy [Fritzworth]

Yesterday on Facebook, a good friend of mine cited the Federal budget surpluses at the end of the Clinton Administration as an argument for higher taxes. I pointed out that if we had the same Federal budget as Clinton did, we’ve have a surplus, too. Then I put together this chart from a spreadsheet downloaded directly from a US Government website (Table 3.1), though the percentage growth and overage columns on the right are my addition.

Put simply, from 1999 to 2010, the US population grew by 10% and inflation reduced the value of the dollar by about 30%. Combine those two, and Federal spending should have gone up roughly 43% over that period. Instead, it went up 135%, or three times what it should have. Setting aside some of the bailouts, etc., that are in the budget, it’s still clear that almost every Federal line item went up at least twice what it should have during that period. Almost nothing (other than “general government”) grew a “mere” 43%.

I fully blame Bush and the 2002-2006 Republicans as much as I blame Obama and the 2006-2010 Democrats. The real question is whether the 2010 Republicans have the brains and the will to turn back the tide. ..fritz..

[Cross-posted and adapted from And Still I Persist]

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posted by Open Blogger at 09:06 AM

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