has posted a chart of the Federal Deficit from 1960 to 2002 with estimates for 2003 AND 2004. A chart is like a picture of a thousand words. Unfortunately Germer's chart is not the whole story. It represents statistics from a unified budget
which most politicians use, as did the Oregonian recently. As citizens, whose money it is that politicians spend, we should know what the GAAP
numbers for the deficit are. Two things, under GAAP accounting which is not based on cash but on accrual methods, there was no surplus during the Clinton years, and the deficits are tremendously bigger than the politicians want you to know. For example, if you spend $3,000 per month for living expenses that is Cash Accounting if you do not count the oil bill which comes once a year of $300, and the term life insurance bill of $900, and the car insurance of $600 per six months. Under an accrual method your actual living expenses per month would be $3,200 (300 + 900 + 600 + 600=2400/12 = $200 per month). That's important especially if you think your pay of $3000 is covering your nut. You end up going into debt to cover those extra expenses, just like the Federal Government does. If your debt goes up each year, you did not meet expenses, you did not run a surplus.
Please see Mover Mike Sept 8, 2004
The Alleged Budget Surplus During the Clinton Administration
and the follow up Mover Mike posted on Sept. 10, 2004
Follow up to Sept 8th's "The Alleged Budget Surplus During the Clinton Administration