Wednesday, September 08, 2004


The Alleged Budget Surplus During the Clinton Administration

The alleged budget surplus during the Clinton Administration is really starting to bug me. In The Oregonian of Wednesday September 8, 2005 on page A5 is a chart of Federal Budget deficits from 1982 to a projected 2004. It shows that starting in about 1997 to 2000 that the US ran a surplus of up to $236.4 Billion dollars, and both Democrats and Republicans agree with this number because its source is the Congressional Budget Office. What bugs me? Below is a chart of the Public Debt (

Prior Fiscal
09/03/2004 $7,366,776,167,570.79
09/30/2003 $6,783,231,062,743.62
09/30/2002 $6,228,235,965,597.16
09/28/2001 $5,807,463,412,200.06
09/29/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86
09/30/1999 $5,656,270,901,615.43
09/30/1998 $5,526,193,008,897.62
09/30/1997 $5,413,146,011,397.34
09/30/1996 $5,224,810,939,135.73
09/29/1995 $4,973,982,900,709.39
09/30/1994 $4,692,749,910,013.32
09/30/1993 $4,411,488,883,139.38
09/30/1992 $4,064,620,655,521.66
09/30/1991 $3,665,303,351,697.03
09/28/1990 $3,233,313,451,777.25
09/29/1989 $2,857,430,960,187.32
09/30/1988 $2,602,337,712,041.16
09/30/1987 $2,350,276,890,953.00

It shows more debt every year. Yes, there is a slowing of the increase from 1999 to 2000, but we still owed more money each year. The debt doubled from $3.665 Trillion in 1991 to $7.366 Trillion in 2004; 13 years! Using the rule of 72, that means that debt has been compounding at a rate of at least 5.5% per year.

In order to show a surplus our government borrows from Social Security to make up the difference. Suppose you have a child of 16. The grandparents gave her $50,000 for college, which she keeps in the bank. In addition she/he gets a job at Nordstroms selling shoes and manages to save $500 a month while going to school. Now you as a parent make $4,000 per month and spend $5,000. You can go into debt by a $1,000 per month or you can borrow from your childs bank. If you take out $1,500 per month, you could say you are running a surplus of $500 per month. But in the bank account are your IOU's mounting at $1,500 a month. Now, it goes without saying, the average family would not run their finances this way. Not only would it piss off the grandparents, but I can see a lot of sleepless nights for the parents.

We are being lied to about the deficits and the amount of debt by both sides and we should demand openness.
For a look at the amount we owe go to:
Hit the refresh button as often and as fast as you like and watch it grow!!

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