Friday, August 31, 2012

U.S. federal budget deficits


Persons debating issues connected with the U.S. government’s deficits and debt may find this chart informative. The economic downturn, bailouts, and recovery measures are responsible for less than a third of the debt. More significant are the Bush era tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (both funded entirely off budget, i.e., with debt).

Stopping the spiraling federal deficits that drive this exploding national debt is a moral issue. Future generations do not benefit from non-investment expenditures such as entitlements and unnecessary wars. Today’s taxpayer should fund those costs. As the graph vividly shows, imposing limits on future government spending is important but far from a total solution. Unless the U.S. fixes it tax system, debt will continue to spiral. Thankfully, the war in Iraq is over; the war in Afghanistan may end in the next couple of years.

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