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Charts Of The Day: 111 Years Of Federal Tax And Spending

Tyler Durden's picture




 

With US Federal tax (mostly) and spending (far less) policy having become two of the key issues of the ongoing presidential debate, we wish to present to our readers 111 years of US revenue and spending data, both in absolute terms, and as a percentage of GDP.

Two things to observe:

  1. Between the passage of the 16th Amendment, which ushered in the modern Federal income tax, in 1913, and the end of WW I, the US somehow managed to exist with only 2% of Federal tax revenue as a % of GDP. Then the war ended, and it was all downhill from there, with Federal tax as a % of GDP first flatlining around 5-6% of GDP, and then after WW II, it found a new home just shy of 20%. One wonders what the new benchmark support for US Federal tax will be after the next global war.
  2. Spending, unlike taxes, have been far more erratic, and far larger on average, than Tax revenues. In fact, in the 82 years after 1930, there have been only 14 budget surpluses. Of note: the four years of Clinton budget surpluses between 1998 and 2001 were the first time Federal tax revenues surpassed spending since 1969. Judging by the recent explosion in government spending, which we doubt will ever be reduced to historical trendline again, the US can kiss the concept of budget surplus goodbye for ever.

Federal tax and spending in absolute dollars - 1900-2011:

Federal tax and spending as % of GDP - 1900-2011:

 

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Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:42 | 2870457 FOC 1183
FOC 1183's picture

But...who built this?  (good work Tyler)

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:43 | 2870460 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Don't bleme the Fed......they're only 99 years old......should have everything fixed once they reach 100.

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:52 | 2870485 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

When is our government going to start cracking down on offshore tax-free corporate accounts?? It is fundamentally immoral to deny politicians their fair share of your property. If politicians had been able to take this money, they almost certainly would have used it to pay down the deficit, which would have reduced the tax burden on ordinary Americans.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:56 | 2870505 ATM
ATM's picture

Why would a businesses operations, profits and losses that are already taxed in the country of origin also somehow be taxable in the US?

You're a dumbshit paid troll of the leftists cabal. Die already.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:01 | 2870523 Stackers
Stackers's picture

I suppose it is just coincidence that the green bars explode in size starting in 1971 ...........

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:10 | 2870565 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

We almost impeached the guy responsible for that.....but somehow he got away.....when he died we buried with honors.

 

We showed him who's boss.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:42 | 2870754 redpill
redpill's picture

OT: there a ZH story on this incident yet? http://www.cnbc.com/id/49333454

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:01 | 2871093 Boondocker
Boondocker's picture

ZH has been covering this for a year....

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:11 | 2871133 redpill
redpill's picture

In general, yes, but I'm referring to this specific algo.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:32 | 2870646 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

 

 

1971 ........ hmmmmm What. Could. It. Be... Let me go check with Ron Paul and I'll get back to ya ......

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:08 | 2870558 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

I don't care about the legal issues. I'm a moral philosopher - All I care about is whether an action is right or wrong. Is it right to deny politicians the right to redistribute your property? Is it right to trade with individuals outside of the geographical borders in which you were born? Who has more of a right to redistribute your property - the politicians within the borders of your birth, or those within the borders of your business? These are all fundamental moral questions that need to be discussed.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:19 | 2870596 jcpicks
jcpicks's picture

Morally, we're screwed.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:37 | 2870662 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Haven't seen any of that crap since the 50s.

 

Most readers here weren't even alive then.

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2871164 redpill
redpill's picture

'It may be necessary to use methods other than constitutional ones.'

-Bob Mugabe

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:20 | 2870601 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It's like fishing in a barrel for you. You real a bunch in every time.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:12 | 2871139 DRT RD
DRT RD's picture

"real" should be reel.  Sorry, I feel anal this morning!

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:47 | 2871296 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's alright. I don't get bent out of shape when somebody corrects my lack of thinking.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:21 | 2870605 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You haven't been funny for months.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2871190 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

"You aren't funny now, and frankly, you never were."

 

There, fixed it for you.

Wed, 10/10/2012 - 09:49 | 2874600 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

The mark of truly good satire is that average people get it, but morons dont.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:21 | 2870606 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

It's the concept of morality that needs to be discussed.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:24 | 2870612 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

when i read your posts MDB, i do it with a Latka voice in my head

i believe you are some sort of andy kaufman-esque political comedian

but not quite a bill hicks

 

+1

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:26 | 2870618 ultraticum
ultraticum's picture

Maoist Dumbass Bastard, how do you implement your "moral" system on people who recognize no "politicians within the borders of your birth"?

Would that be through a monopoly on violent force perhaps?  I'm sure that also fits well in your "moral" view of the world.

Troll.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:00 | 2871086 csmith
csmith's picture

These are all fundamental moral questions that need to be discussed.

OK. Here's one:

Is it right to degrade individual initiative (via regulation and taxes) to the point of hopelessness?

Any society which values equality above freedom ends up with neither.

Sun, 10/21/2012 - 01:33 | 2907391 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

That's not moral or legal.

Is it right to deny politicians the right to redistribute your property?

The highest and most powerful right, of course it is right. Such redistribution is murder upon us all. Starting with our food supplies and shelter, moving on to any right to live anywhere or eat anywhere.

Is it right to trade with individuals outside of the geographical borders in which you were born?

Always. The right to trade is a human right no less important than the right to air and water.

Who has more of a right to redistribute your property - the politicians within the borders of your birth, or those within the borders of your business?

No one - anyone redistributing my property is a criminal due to be stopped using lethal force. You can take that one to the bank - it is a human right to deal death upon those who distribute the property of others without consent.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:26 | 2870621 M4570D0N
M4570D0N's picture

Your sarcasm meter is borked.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:26 | 2870620 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

Meh, you're trying too hard with this one.  You've had much better in the past, this one is too obvious.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:41 | 2870728 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

When is our government going to start cracking down on offshore tax-free corporate accounts?? It is fundamentally immoral to deny politicians their fair share of your property. If politicians had been able to take this money, they almost certainly would have used it to pay down the deficit, which would have reduced the tax burden on ordinary Americans.

ROFLMAO!

MDB, you are one of the best satirists on ZH.

Thank you for lightening my mood. ZH can be so damned depressing at times. Well, almost all the time.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:51 | 2870490 Monedas
Monedas's picture

With the Fed Ponzi we taxed the Socialist world to pay for it's military containment and re-education and demise !   I call that one of those snail on the thorn kind a thingy's !

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:58 | 2871078 VelvetHog
VelvetHog's picture

They've already fixed it (from their point of view).

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 21:44 | 2871903 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Waco, Ruby Ridge and Monica aside, the only sustained improvment is in the Clinton term... remind me again why we like to hate on peace and prosperity?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:46 | 2870464 darteaus
darteaus's picture

The conservative Republican controlled House of Representatives generated surplus budget that Clinton signed.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:51 | 2870478 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

I've got a signed copy of the blue dress. Bill did that.....and he'll do it again.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:59 | 2870483 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You are not familiar with "mark to fantasy" accounting are you?  That is correct hoewever, it was the GOP-controlled house that removed the last of the regulations on wall street and the banking sector.  Paving the way for MBS and derivative trading.

"Winning".  Execute ALL of them.  Neither political party is worth a shit. Start over.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:47 | 2870847 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

That is correct hoewever, it was the GOP-controlled house that removed the last of the regulations on wall street and the banking sector. Paving the way for MBS

What, are you an idiot? The first CDO's were issued in 1987 by Drexel. The House under Clinton didn't have to pave the way for MBS; they were already there.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2871105 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Wasn't talking about CDOs.  But stop right there, ask yourself, does it change the outcome or central point?  NO, prosecute the fucking fraud ASSHOLE.

We find ourselves here; "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood."

At least during the savings and loan (runup to CDO bullshit) crisis, some bankers went to prision.  

 

WTF?!?!  Did you have a fucking point dipshit?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:50 | 2870484 spankthebernank
spankthebernank's picture

Whooooosh....right over your head huh?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:52 | 2870491 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

It was either a 747 or a 757.....but in the heat of battle it didn't occur to me to count the engines.

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:07 | 2870551 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

Those planes took-off during the Clinton administration, but didn't "land" until Bush took office. Magic fuel?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:16 | 2870576 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Freakin Bush.......we just can't get rid of that evil bastard!

 

We sent in Seal team five......and those cats got smoked....and that's how Seal team six came into being.

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:50 | 2870486 tradebot
tradebot's picture

And Clinton was kicking and screaming when he signed it!

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:16 | 2870588 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

True, about as much as Bush Jr. when he signed TARP/TALF.  Several occasions when individuals from both parties could have stopped the madness.  My guess is that they did not want to end up like Kennedy.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:32 | 2871204 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

"Several occasions when individuals from both parties could have momentarily delayed the madness, after which it would have been amplified even more."

My guess is that they did not want to end up like Keddafy.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:59 | 2870515 ATM
ATM's picture

Or Greenspan blew a bubble in tech stocks that increased government tax receipts via cap gains/income. Both the bubble and the congress limiting spending had a powerful effect on those perceived surplusses. Perceived because they were a phantom created by the Fed mostly through cheapened money.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:00 | 2870519 fuu
fuu's picture

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/craigsteiner/2011/08/22/the_clinton_surplus_myth/page/full/

"Notice that while the public debt went down in each of those four years, the intragovernmental holdings went up each year by a far greater amount--and, in turn, the total national debt (which is public debt + intragovernmental holdings) went up. Therein lies the discrepancy."

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:03 | 2870534 jpmrwb
jpmrwb's picture

Fuu,

You have it 100% correct. It is hard to have a surplus that does not subtract from the national debt. Surplus=lower national debt. The national debt did not decrease.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 22:01 | 2873280 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Clinton's moral compass aside, whether merely a postive cash flow or a true postive budget or whatever, being close to zero and never sending US boots on the ground anywhere sounds pretty darn good.  After the last 12 years of drunken sailors in port spending all their political capital as fast as they can,  take me back home to slick willy.  i now willingly forgive him his tryst(s) and dubious claims.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:02 | 2870530 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Too bad the Republicans in control back then didn't stay fiscally conservative. Too bad they didn't have a conservative president to collaborate with from 2001-2006.

Let's not forget to give credit where credit is due: the Democrats controlled the House and the Senate when budget deficits first exceeded $1 Trillion. Now that we no longer have budgets, it's hard to tell who to blame.

And I really don't get why anyone would give a negative vote to a dimple fact like that stated by darteaus. Perhaps they prefer convenient lies to inconvenient truths.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:27 | 2870623 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

social security, lock box, yada, remember?

surplus came from looting social security.period.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:50 | 2870474 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Have faith all ZH followers.  That which cannot be sustained, won't be sutained.  Prepare.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:50 | 2870488 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Nothing another ten or fifteen years of stealth 10%+ compounded inflation can't fix.

/sarc

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:54 | 2870499 kralizec
kralizec's picture

I think more taxes for all, more regulations for all, confiscation of pension funds and IRAs and higher government spending and monetization can right this ship and return us to unbridled prosperity for perpetuity.

/

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:08 | 2870557 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

We would see everything fixed if Congress, the President, and all the rest of the government employees were forced to participate in the same programs as the common folks, with no special benefits. Make them live with Social Security as the primary 'retirement' scheme, with no other retirement provisions. Make them subject to Medicaid, with no special government-funded plans.

And make being a Federal Reserve official a crime punishable by death. Well, maybe that's too harsh. How about a lifetime vacation in Gitmo?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:40 | 2870680 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Hmm...Religion of Peace meets Federal crooks...sure, I'm in, Gitmo it is, put it on PPV too!

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:13 | 2871149 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You might want to actually do some homework on how many people are contracters for the Federal government and how many of those paid by the Federal government actually have pension plans. You might be suprised to find that most are in 401k plans, but yes, let's make them all take the 401k route, right on up to the president.  Fuckers, all of them.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 09:56 | 2870503 machineh
machineh's picture

Federal spending baseline (% GDP):

Pre WWI: 3%
1920s: 5% (to pay down war debt)
1930s: 10% (for expanded federal programs during Depression)
post WW II: 20% (to pay for permanent welfare/warfare state)

The cancer is growing.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:01 | 2870522 cossack55
cossack55's picture

No sweat. Fukushima will provide all with proper radiation therapy.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:16 | 2870513 Darth Mul
Darth Mul's picture

This seems pretty clear, even to me, and I am fairly dumb {first to admit}.

 

I'd like some help though.  I don't understand what Krugman is saying here:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/fact-checking-financial-recessions/

 

I mean, is he saying...  'please disperse, there's nothing to see here,' and if so... isn't his point, such as he has one, sheer, unadulterated crazy-talk given the, for example, catastrophic loss in jobs/tax base, years of deficit spending, huge debt/debt to gdp, and an unstemmed flow of 'undocumented' economic migrants {notwithstanding the shrill cries of those who think mass unskilled immigration is always good.}, and the neocon/warmongering duopoly that Americans are far too ignorant and spineless to do anything about but watch TV and await their RFID chip?

 

Maybe I'm wrong, and Krugman is right , but with this one, I lack even the dim understanding that allows me to disagree with him.  I read it... but.... it just doesn't seem to make sense...  

 

Bueller? 

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:21 | 2870602 centerline
centerline's picture

Krugman is profoundly wrong.  At this point, it is painfully clear to those of us who have watched him and others like Steve Keen that Krugman is either an egomaniac who has backed himself into a corner or is towing the line for the TPTB.  I think it is the latter.  But, I have come across many MMTers and other types that are beyond reason.  They think they see "God" in the details and can't be talked off the edge of the cliff with even simple reasoning.  As if a social science can be reduced to double-entry accounting and simplistic models.  One day I believe we will look back (assuming we haven't gone all Mad Max or nuked each other) and the practice of "economics" as we know it now will be thrown into the dustbin of history alongside alchemy.  It really couldn't happen quick enough in my opinion.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:07 | 2871115 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

Hard to argue against it would have been worse and it could have been better had w done more. Great stance to have because no one can ever prove you wrong. Only retort no it wouldn't have. But sorry his nobel peace prize trumps your second place showing in the softball throw. 

For me the only argument is from a moral standpoint. It could have been worse? You mean we could have given the bankers average 600k bonuses rather than 300k average? only a year after they exposed there companies to risks that would completly have bankrupted their companies had it not been for government largesse?

 

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 15:54 | 2872353 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

You are not wrong. Krugman is not right, Krugman is as wrong as it possible for a human to be - the only reason he has a job or a Nobel prize is his willingness to lie eagerly and often.

He has found for himself a comfortable ideological niche in which it is literally impossible for him to be wrong, ever, because he can always say "the government should have done more" or "it could have been worse" --- he is dealing in hypotheticals which have no relevancea to reality and are not falsifiable, he is an embarassment to economic "science" and that's really fucking saying something. The reasons he is wrong are thus: 1) He claims lack of aggregate demand is the root of the problem and 2) he claims fiat money has intrinsic value. On point one, the only actions he can prescribe are to print money and to destroy economic goods (yes, really). On point two, the only actions he can prescribe are ... to print money and to destroy economic goods. He erroneously implies money-printing stimulates aggregate demand which as if by magic cures all economic woes, and he erroneously implies that demand destruction creates value or "pulls demand forward".

If Krugman was honest, in accordance with his economic theory, he would propose carpet-bombing of the entire United States and burning of all inflammable goods because hey, people are going to want their destroyed stuff repaired or rebuilt or replaced, and that's aggregate demand! What this lying piece of shit does not tell you is that all the money spent replacing things would otherwise have been saved, earning interest, and eventually spent on something else, perhaps a capital good capable of creating value for its owner.

Krugman is a pathological idiot as regards money. By his own admission, more money equals more wealth, less money equals less wealth. One can infer that he cannot distinguish between a money economy - where the exchange scrip has no value and is universally fungible - and a barter system - where the exchange medium is the valued product or service and is not fungible in any way. 

The reason he's saying "it's all good, but the government could have done more" is obvious: anything else would discredit the voodoo religion called Keynesianism on which Krugman's entire academic and professional life is founded.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:00 | 2870520 jpmrwb
jpmrwb's picture

Tyler,

One small comment. Bill Clinton did not have a budget surplus. If you look at the US debt for those years you will see that it increased each year. You cannot have a debt increase if there is a budget surplus in any year. The debt would have decreased by the amount of the surplus. Love your website and keep up the excellent work.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:11 | 2870570 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

When it comes to the US government, math is the least of its worries.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:51 | 2870720 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Government math makes my brain hurt......but i am a blondie.

 

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:54 | 2870572 Darth Mul
Darth Mul's picture

In fairness to Tyler - the economic lingua franca of Very Serious People is a dialect of Newspeak.

That is, there was a surplus in the same way, for example, the Social Security Trust fund "exists" and has "assets," or, in the way Slick Willy "did not have sexual relations with that woman."

 In a similar vein, I plan to tell my credit card company that they actually owe me some money, as the TV I bought for my wife constitutes "intra-household debt" which combined with the fraction of its cost I actually paid, leaves me firmly in the black.

Reminds me of a cute little family of tax shelters lots of Ivy League accountants and lawyers had to really go to the bullshit well to obfuscate - dump offsetting long and short options into a partnership, claim the step up in basis but not the loss because the loss was TBD {and so 'inchoate'} then transfer the stepped up basis in a partnership to the S corp... the cost of the option pair was netted of course so you paid no where near what your claimed basis was, but since you sell your interest in the partnership at a huge loss {i.e. the real value without the step up in basis} - voila - significantly reduced or negative tax liability, all based on accounting/legal tricks and fictions.... 

 

I can only imagine what goes on with the really, really clever crooks...

 

Apropos of little, Lewinsky is threatening a new book in which Bill's penchant for cornholin' tossin' salads will get some ink.

 

I kinda wish she'd just disappear into fat air...

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:28 | 2870628 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Just because you get a raise, that doesn't mean you pay off your credit cards.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:33 | 2870652 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

you didn't get a raise, you bought your cigars on the wifes credit card

shifty

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:42 | 2870664 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Will you be my fund manager?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:04 | 2871097 Crtrvlt
Crtrvlt's picture

That is correct.  What i can't wrap my ahead around is the relationship between a budget and the actual debt increase via treasurydirect.  I think when they mentioned surplus, it's in relation to the budget vs tax revenues.  The difference may come from off-balance sheet items that still need to be financed.  Case in point-in Bush's last fiscal year (oct 08-oct 2009) the deficit was 1.4 trillion, but according treasurydirect, the debt increased by about 1.8 trillion during that time period.  So maybe it's some combo off off-balance sheet items (like the wars until 2009) and additional spending bills throughout the year (like stimulus).   

 

When it is claimed that Clinton paid down the national debt, that is patently false--as can be seen, the national debt went up every single year. What Clinton did do was pay down the public debt--notice that the claimed surplus is relatively close to the decrease in the public debt for those years. But he paid down the public debt by borrowing far more money in the form of intragovernmental holdings (mostly Social Security).

http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2871125 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Agree.... the "surplus " was a plain vanilla debt shift to a different credit card.

http://mises.org/daily/542

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:09 | 2871114 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

I'm pretty sure those claiming surplus ignore the effect of compounding interest on the national debt.

 

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 12:38 | 2871482 redd_green
redd_green's picture

Nope!   And Im no Clinton fan.     When I ask this question, I get blank stares:   If the USA never had a year with federal budget deficit, would we have a national debt?   

 

The answer: yes, of course.   We have a debt backed monetary system.  It is the 'elastic' monetary system that the folks at Harvard and Yale are so proud of.     Watch "The Money Masters", they introduce the subject in a light way that even I could understand.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:54 | 2870525 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Fractional Reserve Distilling !     A gallon of free mountain dew from the Scottish fog (ocean bio-mash cooked in the Carribean and trickled down on some rocky crags),  a fistful of wheat and chaff swept off the miller's floor and not fit for making bread, a fingernail of yeast from doing an under the kilt scrotum scratch (a scrotch) , free fermentation, distilled using low grade peat from the bogs, condensing it in old radiators, aging it in a cave in used and reused barrels, bottle it and sell it for $100 a filth ?  And you Socialist scum complain because the Fed copied an age old tradition in the banks ?  

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:04 | 2870527 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:03 | 2870528 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

But as usual the "surplus" does not take into account the off balance sheet obligations of the government. Clinton had a positive cash flow, no more, no less.

It's like booking a "profit" when you collect an insurance premium, but not taking on a offsetting reserve that will reflect what happens when the insurance pays out.

The current present value of the obligations of the Federal Government is estimated by the CBO to be 220 trillion and rising at a rate of 11 trillion a year.

Enron did honest accounting in comparison to the Feds.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:04 | 2870536 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Don't worry Tyler after the next global war there won't be enough of us left to worry about it. For those that are left there will always be barbaric relics for a medium of exchange.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:28 | 2870622 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

"111 Years Of Federal Tax And Spending"

111 Years of Societal Theft and Siphoning

there, fixed

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:41 | 2870724 Alex Lionson
Alex Lionson's picture

Spending is good, particularly if it helps poor people to make ends meet... or wait people are not so poor

From Reuters

Ferrari seized in food stamp fraud case

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/26/us-usa-foodstamps-idUSBRE88P1K320120926

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:51 | 2871033 dizzyfingers
dizzyfingers's picture
October 9, 2012
Mexican Point of View of Obama's Presidency
Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:53 | 2871064 Village Smithy
Village Smithy's picture

Especially in light of the second graph all talk of whether or not the economy, employment, housing etc. is improving is pointless. Any "improvement" is directly attributed to the huge gap in government spending vs. revenue. Until that gap starts to shrink all improvement is just so much smoke.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 10:57 | 2871074 resurger
resurger's picture

Am moving to death star wtih Jessica Beil.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:03 | 2871099 fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

"Of note: the four years of Clinton budget surpluses between 1998 and 2001 were the first time Federal tax revenues surpassed spending since 1969"

 

One of the more often repeated lies.  The debt has gone up every year including under Clinton:

09/30/2010     13,561,623,030,891.79
09/30/2009     11,909,829,003,511.75
09/30/2008     10,024,724,896,912.49
09/30/2007     9,007,653,372,262.48
09/30/2006     8,506,973,899,215.23
09/30/2005     7,932,709,661,723.50
09/30/2004     7,379,052,696,330.32
09/30/2003     6,783,231,062,743.62
09/30/2002     6,228,235,965,597.16
09/30/2001     5,807,463,412,200.06
09/30/2000     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

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

Silver For The People

http://www.brotherjohnf.com/

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2871163 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

There is a difference between the annual budget and the deficit.  That's where people get confused and duped.  I can spend less than I earn one year (annual budget) so I have a budget surplus, but that doesn't mean I've paid off my house and credit card debt (deficit).

Having said that, however, we all know the Clinton "surplus" is a lie anyway.

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:13 | 2871147 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture

WILE E. COYOTE...

Here comes the overdue Wile E. Coyote sell off.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-24/market-analysis
http://trader618.com

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:19 | 2871162 Monedas
Monedas's picture

The Socialist World are third world pikers !  We defeated them with a more agressive, more virulent strain of Socialism .... the Fed ! Chavez and rest still don't know what hit 'em ! Socialist on Socialist "financial violence" .... more fun than Black on Black violence ! How's them Iranian Rials workin' out fur ya ?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:17 | 2871165 Olympia
Olympia's picture

The end of the world is near.

When Barack Obama announced the US (2010) national budget for this year, we experienced unprecedented feelings. Never before had an imperialistic power moved them to pity. This is unthought-of. This year’s deficit is estimated to be $1.6 trillion and its foreign debt has gotten completely out of hand. It hits numbers that only mathematicians and astrophysicists knew existed few decades ago. There is no space for these numbers in the electronic boards so it is driven to add new elements on them.

 It all started with the big crisis of 1929. The American economy reached a deadlock because of its social "pathogenesis"; a deadlock that led it to economic crisis in a different - faster- pace than the rest of the industrial forces of that time. Important decisions had to be made - mostly social - and the Whites didn't like that, especially the Whites' rulers, the Anglo-Saxons.

 

www.eamb-ydrohoos.blogspot.com/2010/02/ten-plagues-of-pharaoh.html

Authored by Panagiotis Traianou

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 11:24 | 2871188 franzpick
franzpick's picture

OT: The current charts of the day are au and ag down $13 and 40c in 45 minutes.  Another raid?  News?

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 12:44 | 2871503 redd_green
redd_green's picture

The GDP now contains, if you can believe it, the rent you would have paid yourself if you didn't own the house you do own, but rented it instead.     So, I ask you: how useful are any graphs or statistics that show anything "relative to the GDP"? 

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:12 | 3025191 bperkins2104
bperkins2104's picture

And, of course, the budget "surpluses" were only surpluses in the fantasy world of government accounting. Were they to account for the increase in NPV of unfunded liabilities, those surpluses quickly disappear. And, even for those who are mathematically challenged (99.9% of Americans, or, more accurately, whatever percentage of Americans do not read ZH) or who otherwise might dismiss this simple reality for whatever reason, the point can still be made that the reported budget surpluses were, in fact, nothing of the sort, since the "official" National Debt still increased during those years above and beyond the stated surpluses. This can easily be verified without the use of a calculator by simply spending two minutes on the Treasury Department's website. In doing so, you will not only discover the truth, but you will also be spared the time and agony of having to listen to the verbal diarrhea being emitted from the mouths of politicians and their media lapdogs regarding the financial state of the U.S. Government, both past and present.

The reality is that the last time the National Debt decreased on a year-over-year basis was in 1957. It has gone up every year since then. This means that, for the past 55 years, every promise made by every politician that's held elected office - save for Ron Paul - has been an empty one, which is why politicians nowadays only reference the accumulated debt in passing, while any and all promises or statements put forth in conjunction with the term "reduction" (or any of its synonyms) are made with respect to the deficit. The words "deficit" and "debt" are used interchangably without any regard to the differences between the two, and the confused public continues to fall for it hook, line, and sinker, not realizing the simple fact that even if the deficit is reduced, the debt will still continue accumulating. 

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