Business Review Board / October 14, 2016

Bigger Deficits and More Economic Woes Ahead

As the deficit grows, economists predict recession within four years.

The problem with Keynesian economics is paying off the massive accumulation of debt resulting from the government’s deficit spending when the promised economic growth spurt never materializes. The Congressional Budget Office has released its revised deficit estimate for fiscal year 2016 — the deficit grew by $149 billion from the previous year to a total of $588 billion. Deficit spending in 2016 amounted to more than was spent on the military budget and just under what was spent on Medicare. So much for Barack Obama’s promises of getting the debt under control, as the yearly deficit is estimated to increase to a trillion dollars a year by 2022.

And all of that spending didn’t do a thing to spark economic growth. Indeed, as the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression continues to limp along at the paltry average of only 2.1% growth since 2009, there are new concerns of a coming recession within the next four years (as if we ever truly exited the last one). The Wall Street Journal’s recent survey of economists puts the odds of a looming recession at 60%. Meanwhile, real unemployment remains about twice what media headlines depict. With Hillary Clinton promising even more government spending and increasing taxes and Donald Trump’s promise of renegotiating trade deals and raising tariffs, the prospect of either candidate preventing an already weak economy from sinking back into recession seems unlikely. Unfortunately, for many Americans, the economic outlook continues to look rather bleak.

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