It’s falling — not only in dollars terms but, much more meaningfully, relative to the size of our economy. According to the CBO, the deficit Obama was handed by Bush as he took office four months into the 2009 fiscal year was 10.1% of our GDP. For the current year, a deficit of just 4% of GDP is projected — falling to 2.1% by 2015.
And if the economy gains strength — as it will if Republicans stop blocking the badly needed infrastructure investments that would put millions more to work — the deficit will fall still further as a proportion of GDP.
The deficit never needs to get to zero, let alone surplus, as it did for a bit under Bill Clinton. It need only be small in enough in most years — though not years of economic contraction when we should run a large deficit — that it expands the National Debt at a slower rate than the economy itself is expanding.
So I’ve got an idea. Now that deficit is in much more acceptable territory, let’s repeal the sequester. Let’s fix things not just for the Congressmen and their biggest donors whose flights home were being delayed, but for the neediest hurt by the sequester as well.
And let’s ramp up our investment in the infrastructure essential to our long-term well-being.
Have I mentioned that before?
With this quote as his launching point . . .
House Republicans desperately want to rid the world of the Affordable Care Act. On that, their sincerity cannot be doubted. But as both their budget and their health-care record show, they are woefully unprepared for a world in which they actually succeeded.
—The Washington Post
. . . Bruce McCall sketches out Republicare in a nutshell, here, in The New Yorker.
Have a great weekend!
Quote of the Day
In 1800, 75% of [an American's] working man's expenditures went for food alone. By 1850, that had dropped to 50%. Today it is a little more than 11%.~The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1996
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