Wasn't there a budget surplus recently?

I hold it against Bill Clinton that I don’t have any healthcare coverage, but presidents break promises. Still, I think that the worst thing he did was get a blow-job from an intern,who could blame him? Correct me if I am wrong, my memory is not good, but didn’t we have a budget surplus when he left office in 2000, four years ago. Now we have an enormous debt. Is it solely because we have made war against a country that really didn’t do anything to us or is something else involved. I’m not an economist but I want to know.

You probably missed it but there was a recession after the dot com bust and several billion dollars in lost assets when some maniacs drove planes into some buildings somewhere. I think it was in the news.

Certainly the two wars didn’t help either, for various reasons including the instability they caused in the market (wars generally drive the market down) as well as the fact that oil prices skyrocketted which also kept the economy sluggish. You may not know this but when the economy sucks you don’t generally get surpluses…


Federal Budget Deficits/Surpluses from the Congressional Budget Office:

FY1991 - ($269.3 Billion)
FY1992 - ($290.4 Billion)
FY1993 - ($255.1 Billion)
FY1994 - ($203.3 Billion)
FY1995 - ($164.0 Billion)
FY1996 - (107.5 Billion) FY1997 - ( 22.0 Billion)
FY1998 - $ 69.2 Billion
FY1999 - $125.6 Billion
FY2000 - $236.4 Billion
FY2001 - $127.4 Billion
FY2002 - ($157.8 Billion)
FY2003 - ($375.3 Billion)

Actually, I seemed to recall that we never actually had a Suplus in the last 10 years, but rather a “Projected Surplus”.

Which basically means, if the economy keeps going as good as it is, then we will have a suplus. But it didn’t and we don’t.

I thought we had a projected surplus as well, but I guess what we had was a surplus in the present and future projections.

So by the end of this fiscal year, that surplus will be wiped out entirely and then some. (The projection for this year something like $400B, right?)

Of course, you forgot to mention tax cuts coupled with a large increase in nonmilitary discretionary spending.

The new conservative ideal: We cut taxes and spend like a drunken sailor… :smack:

…and then we blame the Democrats!

Well, as its the Congress that authorizes the spending and sets the budget, I’d say they had something to do with it too…unless its your contention they stood shoulder to shoulder in opposition to the large increases? IS that your contention rjung?

BTW, there are actually good reasons WHY spending went up (thus why there were deficits instead of surplus’s) during that period that had nothing to do with the war in Iraq.

Overall, though I say to the Republicans and the Democrats…a plague on BOTH your houses.


Well, since Republicans controlled both houses, I think you’re on pretty shaky ground. But I would like to know what “good reasons” you have that (nonmilitary) spending rose at a higher rate than under Clinton… (“It was Ted Kennedy, I tell you!!”)

Of course, I suppose all those bills Bush vetoed helped a lot to curb this out of control spending. :rolleyes:

Those same Republicans controlled both houses under Clinton. They getting credit from you for the boom?? Or did they just decide suddenly to go off the deep end when Bush rolled into town? Fact is, there ARE some good reasons why revenews went down and deficits went up if you’ve been paying any kind of attention to the news in the last 3 years.

I’m not cutting Bush et al any slack here btw…much of the reason for those big deficits are foriegn adventures like Iraq (though I agreed with Afghanistan) and the tax cuts that haven’t stimulated the economy the way he predicted. But some of the problem was the economy nose diving (you know, that whole dot com bust thing), and American getting kicked in the nuts on 9/11 certainly didn’t help matters.

Bush gets his share of the blame, no doubt…However Congress has to step up and take their part of the responsibility as well…and ya, that includes the Democrats. Republicans might controll the Congress (by a narrow margin btw) but if the Democrats were united against spending increases (which they weren’t…they mainly supported them as well) they wouldn’t happen…there are enough Republicans that would vote against the party line to ensure that.

I know it was difficult to detect, but there was that whole ‘Home Land Defense’ thing going on. That wasn’t exactly a ‘military’ expenditure, and it was massive…Perhaps you heard of it? Security at air ports? ring any bells?

I don’t recall the Clinton administration facing the same sorts of things…perhaps I missed it? From what I recall of the 90’s we had peace (or at least the illusion of peace) and a booming economy…no worries.

Its ridiculous to compare the Clinton administration vs Bush on this score IMO…its comparing apples to oranges. Bush took over when the economy was already slumping. Shortly after that there was 9/11 and the economy again took a major nose dive from which we still haven’t really recovered…just look how skitish the market has been. Oil prices went up and thats always going to effect our economy since everything depends on it. Oil most likely would have gone up reguardless of the war in Iraq, but certainly said war hasn’t helped any (and realistically its hurt the price of oil world wide).

Not only has the government had to create an entire new department to try and protect the homeland (you know, all that air port security and port authority shit) but they have had two wars to fight…AND do it while our economy is in the tank. And you are asking why there is a deficit? lol.

Now, you may not agree that fighting those wars was smart (I certainly don’t think Iraq was very bright, though as I said I agreed and still agree with what we did in Afghanistan), but its stupid to say “well, there was a surplus under Clinton, what happend to it” as if the past 3 years didn’t occur. Were you under a rock perhaps??


Or if you’re xtisme, you blame the Democrats, Congress, AND 9/11 - anything but Bush. :rolleyes:

That is, actually, one of the main things I had against Reagan and have against G.W. Bush. I’m on the leading edge of Generation X. As a result, in the 80’s, I kept reading projections regarding Social Security which had it running out of money right around the time I became eligible for it. Under Clinton, I actually started to hope I might get something out of the government program I’ve been paying into for over half my life. Now I’m back to what I call “the Generation X Retirement Plan”: Work until you die; die fast. By the way, I do save for my retirement, or I did until I was laid off, then had to take a job with significantly less pay before my unemployment ran out. As soon as I can make ends meet again, I’ll go back to setting some aside.


Sudanese aspirin factory, Chinese Embassy, Marc Rich, Patty Hearst. Yup, the hummer was the worst. :eek:


Um, when FDR initiated it, the retirement age was set at 65. The average life expectancy for men was 62. Do the math.

So, you’re suggesting that the Democrats simply close their eyes to massive, unwise tax cuts and advocate cutting education, Medicare, highways, and homeland security spending? In other words, you’d like the Democrats more if they were more conservative than Republicans?

Hee hee, I like this game! Personally, I’d like the Republicans more if they recognized that massive tax cuts for the rich is an unwise fiscal policy in a time of war. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I’d also like the current President more if he hadn’t started an unjustified war, if he were pro-choice, and cared about the environment.

When FDR initiated it, my paternal grandparents were in their thirties, and my maternal grandmother was in her twenties, I think. The first two individuals made it into their nineties, and the last one’s only a few weeks from making it there herself, despite enjoying her cigarettes. Granted all three were in a different country at the time, but still, sir, you do the math. It would appear neither my physical life nor my working life is half over yet, and remember, I started working before some of our younger members were born yet. I might even be older than you. :wink:


Wrong again…I blame the Democrats, the Republicans, Congress, the Senate, 9/11 AND Bush. You always fail to get this. They are all factors in why we have a deficit, and unlike you I realize that politics really doesn’t come into it…they are all to ‘blame’, as they all factored in. You can continue to try and paint me as a closet Bush supporter all you like bro…but that doesn’t make it reality.

I’m suggesting no such thing. I was pointing out (trying, appearently unsuccessfully) the realities of the situation, namely that there were events that caused the deficit, and not all of them can be laid squarely at GW’s feet, and that its pretty asinine to scratch your head and wonder why there is a deficit when there was a surplus under Clinton. Certainly some of those factors can be put squarely at GW’s furry feet (and I don’t hesitate to do so)…I wonder why that part of my message never seems to get through…

To answer the latter part of this quote, I’d like it if BOTH parties would get their frigging spending under control. Ya, I’d advocate cuts in education (well, privatizaition of eductation), medicare (same). Highways I think are part of the public responsibility so I’m not advocating cutting them, nor homeland security per se, though I think it could be done more efficiently.

Well, we disagree on cutting taxes obviously. I’m in favor of cutting taxes pretty much across the board and thinning out government substantially…IMHO we don’t need such a bloated and top heavy government. I agree that it doesn’t seem the wisest thing DURING a war, but I can understand that Bush et al was trying to stimulate the economy during a slump, and while I might not agree with the timing I can understand WHY they did it. I totally agree with you on your point about Bush starting an unjustified war in Iraq, I don’t really care if he’s pro-choice as long as he doesn’t actually act on his quasi-religious belief…and I’m of mixed feelings about the environment.


Ah, no.

The president proposes the federal budget and has it introduced in the House by a member of his party. At that point Congress manages the budget as it sees fit, passes the mangled version for the president’s signatures.

Yes, I said signatures. The budget is not a single bill but (IIRC) 13 separate appropriation bills.

So, what are the odds that Bush pardons Ken Lay on his way out the door next January?

Kudos for longevity in your family. I’m almost reluctant to point out that I said the average life expectancy was 62. My parents died in their 50’s, so never saw a penny. See how averages work?