Archive for surplus

U.S. Posts $53B Budget Surplus in December #BlameObama


ray of sunshine

Sigh. Yes, once again, Fox Biz is forcing me to bring you positive economic news, this time about a budget surplus.

I'm so sorry. I know how you thrive on negativity, and there's plenty to go around, but every once in awhile, a ray of sunshine breaks through. Damn you, economic recovery, damn you!

And because I know how you insist on relying on Fox to bring us the most accurate news bulletins and stories evah, I feel obligated to share their email alerts whether you like them or not.

Of course, we all know that all of the upticks in the economy are due to Republican lawmakers and their insistence on austerity and cuts, cuts cuts, right? Just ask all the unemployed, the families living in poverty, and Big Corporate America.

Okay, time to end the snarkitude, because I'm making myself nauseous:

The federal government posted a budget surplus of $53 billion in December, compared to a $1 billion deficit in the same month in 2012. The fiscal year-to-date deficit is running at $174 billion, down by 41% from the same period the year prior.

blame obama Bush's fault smaller


VIDEO: Bobby Jindal and disrespect for transgender people all in one Sunday. Somebody talk me down.



It's time for Blood Pressure Crisis Sunday! Today's blood pressure crisis was brought on by a Meet the Press (surprise!) segment with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and a subsequent and unrelated MSNBC interview with a member of the military.

Frankly, I can't bring myself to re-watch the Jindal interview, so I'll post it without the usual transcript excerpts. If you can make it through the entire thing, you'll see why I was so exasperated:

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In short, Jindal did nothing but lie and exhibit his usual hypocrisy. He was asked a direct question about the state of the Republican party, but he refused to respond, instead going off on his usual "privatize and de-unionize" education speechifying, couching his argument in gauzier terms that the non-political junkie might misinterpret in his favor. His idea of the American Dream is a countrywide enforcement of the bigotry and corporate goals of the GOP-- or as he called it "the stupid party."

He also blamed President Obama for wanting to shut down the government. Seriously.

And said we have a deficit problem. Seriously.

chart maddow budget deficit 2013 shrinkingMemo to GOP: Federal deficit shrinking at surprising rate, long-term debt stabilized for next decade 

And in a Politico op-ed today, Jindal blamed racial inequality on minorities being too proud of their heritages

Did I mention that phony, self-serving, privatization-happy, voucher-school-loving creationist Bobby Jindal now most unpopular GOP governor in U.S.? Great choice of spokesperson, GOP. Way to go.

Following Meet the Press was Weekends with Alex Witt sans Alex Witt (I can't find the video). The host interviewed a member of the military (apologies for not catching his name, rank, and serial number, but I was listening from another room and popped in only long enough to scream at the Tee Vee Machine). They were discussing Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who was just sentenced to 35 years in prison and announced his intention to transition from male to female.

Putting aside the arguments over whether the military prison in Fort Leavenworth should accommodate her for now, I was struck by the blatant insensitivity and apparent bigotry of the guest. His attitude screamed, "Manning casually decided to be a girl on a whim, tough luck freak, now enjoy your time in the slammer."

No, "sir," actually Manning has long struggled with gender identity, identifies as female, and has "felt that way since childhood."

How about respecting that instead of belittling and willfully making false assumptions, "sir"? Even if he broke the law, he's still a human being. How about educating yourself instead of perpetuating ignorance and misinformation, "sir"?

The increasingly deteriorating discourse and dearth of challenges to what passes for informed commentary fed to viewing and listening audiences are not only infuriating, they're scary... and they are harmful to democracy.

blood pressure


U.S. budget surplus biggest in 5 years; federal deficit is down 32% so far this fiscal year


chart budget deficit shrinks 4 year low Steve Benen Maddow Blog Oct 2012

If Fox Biz says it, it must be true. Via an email alert:

The U.S. federal budget surplus came in at $112.9 billion in April, up from $59 billion in the same month in 2012. The government is running a $488 billion deficit for fiscal 2013, down from $720 billion in a comparable period in fiscal 2012.

And via Market Watch:

It was the first monthly surplus since January and the biggest monthly surplus since the $159 billion budget surplus of April 2008.

Tax receipts were $407 billion, up 28% versus April 2012 [...]

Some see the government’s improving finances as affecting a potential debt deal between President Barack Obama and Republicans. “With the deficit plunging, support for entitlement reform — which looked so promising in early April — has clearly faded,” wrote Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group in a note on Friday.

Gee, taxes were raised, unemployment is down, and the world didn't end.

bikini graph May 2013 private sector

Everybody say it with me now: Blame Obama.

blame obama Bush's fault


Quickie- U.S. January budget surplus $3 billion


Basic CMYK

No clue what this means in economic terms, but it sounds good.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. government ran a budget surplus of $3 billion in January, the Treasury Department reported on Tuesday, the first monthly surplus since September 2012. The surplus was driven by a 16% increase in revenues compared to January 2012, including from the expiration of a temporary payroll-tax cut at the end of 2012. For the first four months of fiscal 2013, the U.S. ran a deficit of $290 billion, $59 billion less than the same period in fiscal 2012. The government's fiscal year runs from October to September.


U.S. government posted a budget surplus in April, the first in more than 3 years


It's a good thing Willard Romney is such an economic wiz, because President Obama is making everything so much worse!

Oh wait.

Via Bloomberg:

The U.S. government posted a budget surplus in April, the first in more than three years, as tax revenue climbed and spending dropped.

Receipts topped outlays by $59.1 compared with a deficit of $40.4 billion in April 2011, the Treasury Department said today. Economists projected a $35 billion surplus, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. It was the first surplus since September 2008 and the biggest since April 2008.

This is the first good news in a long while that the rising tide of tax revenues may be starting to lift as the economic expansion nears the three-year mark from the end of the recession,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said before the report. “The economy is growing again, but we can’t grow our way out of these trillion-dollar deficits.”


Forget the Scary Headlines: Social Security Has More Than a $2.7 Trillion Surplus


Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my buddy Mark Karlin:

Get ready for the pro-Paul Ryan austerity headlines that will predict an imminent demise of Social Security. On April 23, the Social Security Trustees Report for 2012 is expected to be released [...]

But an advance analysis of the report on the financial status of the program, posted on NiemanWatchdog, argues that "last year's report projected that at the end of 2011, Social Security would have an accumulated surplus of around $2.7 trillion, which it now has. This year's report will show that it will be even higher at the end of 2012." [...]

According to the commentary by Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, "without any Congressional action, Social Security will continue to pay benefits to America's eligible working families for decades; and that with modest legislated increases in revenue, it will continue to pay those benefits for the next century and beyond." [...]

Instead of carrying the water for a manufactured political agenda, journalists should attend to reporting on the real crisis: older Americans are facing the increasing likelihood of falling into a much lower standard of living. [...]

The one percent who want to cut Social Security to enhance their own lined pockets of greed should be shouted down when the Trustees Report is released.

Please read the rest here.


"How did we get from a budget surplus at the beginning of Bush’s presidency to deficits?"


Via First Read:

So how did we get from a budget surplus at the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency to deficits and debt as far as the eye can see? Here’s a quick timeline: the Bush tax cuts (2001), 9/11 and the Afghanistan war (2001), the Iraq war (2003), more tax cuts, the unpaid-for Medicare prescription-drug benefit (2003), the financial collapse and economic downturn (2008), the Obama stimulus (2009), and the two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts (2010). Then you add the aging Baby Boomers to the whole mix. Back in 2009, the New York Times calculated that 37% of the deficits were due the economic downturn, 33% were due to Bush’s policies, 20% were due to Obama’s extensions of Bush’s policies, and another 10% were due to Obama’s policies like the stimulus.

Bush tax cuts, Bush wars, more Bush tax cuts, Bush's Medicare plan, Bush's financial collapse. Do we sense a common thread here?

Let's add all that up:

37% of the deficits started during Bush's term + 33% to Bush's policies + 20% due to Bush policies that Obama continued = 90% Bush policies.

10% were due to Obama's own policies.

Of course, according to Jon Kyl, 90% = 3%, so Bush is only 3% responsible for the mess we're in.

And that was not intended to be a factual statement.