Some good news. The deficit has fallen precipitously.
New Treasury Department figures confirm what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in the spring: the budget deficit for fiscal year 2013 will be dramatically lower than it was the past four years. The government recorded a $148 billion deficit in August, 22.5 percent smaller than in the same month of 2012, and is on track to total a $642 billion annual deficit when the fiscal year ends on September 30.
Meanwhile, Congress has already enacted $2.4 trillion worth of austerity measures in the past two years, nearly all of it in the form of spending cuts. Those policies have helped push deficits to their current lows. The fiscal austerity that has helped drive the deficit down has also undermined economic growth, not just in 2013 but for years to come. Cuts to education programs, safety nets, infrastructure investments, and research programs will actually cost the country far more down the road than they save today. The falling deficits and lowered debt-to-GDP projections give the country room to enact targeted spending measures that would kick the economy into the sort of higher gear it needs to bring unemployment back down to pre-recession levels.I’m sure this will change the conversation and Republicans will now agree to some stimulative spending to help still struggling Americans.
Oh, I forgot. The above is good news only if you’re not interested in completely defunding the government.