October 9, 2014

CBO Says Deficit Is Smaller, but the News Isn’t All Good

The Congressional Budget Office released its latest deficit report, and, at first blush, the news seems good. “The federal government ran a budget deficit of $486 billion in fiscal year 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates – $195 billion less than the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2013, and the smallest deficit recorded since 2008. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit – at an estimated 2.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) – was slightly below the average experienced over the past 40 years, and 2014 was the fifth consecutive year in which the deficit declined as a percentage of GDP since peaking at 9.8 percent in 2009.” But the deficit has declined during these years because Democrats pushed it so high – quadrupled it, in fact. $486 billion is still real money, and deficits will soon return to near $1 trillion, CBO said, especially as entitlements drive debt. Barack Obama’s massive 2013 tax hikes played a role in this year’s smaller deficit, bringing in enough additional revenue to offset more spending. But those tax hikes also slow economic growth, leading to larger deficits in the long run. More…

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