Federal Budget Deficit

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
csstudent's picture
csstudent
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 22 2008
Posts: 48
Federal Budget Deficit

I'd like to ask a question about the US federal budget deficit.  I'm posting it in this section because I think it's an example of making a number appear not as bad as it really is.

I've read in a lot of news articles recently about the possibility of a 1.2 trillion dollar fiscal year 2009 projected deficit.  These articles typically mention that fiscal year 2008 deficits were 455 billion.  Here's one example: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aECC6Y15OhwQ&refer=home

However, when I look at the actual values for fiscal year 2008, it is just under a trillion dollars(what's a few billion between friends anyway??).  The government's fiscal year 2008 ran from October 1, 2007 until September 30, 2008.  You can look at the actual numbers here: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np .

How did they come up with the 455 billion dollar figure when the numbers that they actually post are more than twice that figure?

Thanks. 

mpelchat's picture
mpelchat
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 10 2008
Posts: 214
Re: Federal Budget Deficit

Try 3 times the figure, looking at the Treasury data on date 12/31/2008 and subtract from the number on 1/1/2008 our debt grew $1.489 trillion

 $1.489 trillion

These guys are either so "@#$%^" unintelligent that they do not know what information is available to the public -or- more likely, these guys beleive we are so unintelligent not to check what they are telling us.

 

 

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Federal Budget Deficit
mpelchat wrote:

These guys are either so "@#$%^" unintelligent that they do not know what information is available to the public -or- more likely, these guys beleive we are so unintelligent not to check what they are telling us.

How about both? But you forgot a third option as well. An arrogance so unbridled and absolute as to render reality moot. Lying through our teeth to the public, doesn't matter. They can't do anything anyway.

mpelchat's picture
mpelchat
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 10 2008
Posts: 214
Re: Federal Budget Deficit

Well put. I just get this horrid feeling they take these times to get their own selves and there friends in the best positions while putting us in a worse one. rich get richer, poor get poorer.

csstudent's picture
csstudent
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 22 2008
Posts: 48
Re: Federal Budget Deficit

I think I figured out the reason for the discrepancy between what was published and the numbers from the Treasury Department's web site.

I was reading this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123457407865686565.html and the following paragraph caught my attention:

"Officials say the budget blueprint to be released this month will also attempt to make public the full extent of the dire fiscal situation, by not repeating some of the accounting used in crafting President George W. Bush's budgets. Recent budget blueprints excluded from deficit projections the long-term costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those budgets also didn't include the cost of preventing the alternative minimum tax -- instituted in 1969 to ensure the rich didn't escape taxation -- from hitting the middle class."

If you exclude the cost of wars and assumed you'd collect the AMT instead of passing yearly patches for it then I could see the discrepancies between the two sets of numbers.  I'm not an accountant, but it seems like this is very Enron-like though. 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments