Political Animal


April 15, 2014 10:02 AM Deficit Still Stubbornly Declining

By Ed Kilgore

If this is a painful Tax Day for you, then at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that the revenues to which you contribute are offsetting spending a bit more effectively than in the recent past, as noted by Bloomberg’s Derek Wallbank:

The U.S. government’s deficit will fall to $492 billion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a steeper drop than originally predicted from $680 billion in fiscal year 2013.
The 2014 deficit will be 2.8 percent of the economy, according to CBO, almost 32 percent below fiscal year 2013, when it was 4.1 percent. The deficit will shrink again in fiscal 2015 to $469 billion….
“This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the deficit has declined as a share of GDP since peaking at 9.8 percent in 2009,” CBO said in a report released today. The 2.8 figure as a percentage of gross domestic product is lower than the 3.1 percent average of the last 40 years, CBO said.

Yes, there remains a long-term deficit problem, mostly attributable to medical inflation. But it’s nice that this is one tax day when deficit scolds will mostly fall silent.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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