Out of Control Spending

The Treasury Department announced today that the nation’s borrowing needs have reached a 7-year low for the current quarter of the year and, if projections hold, the next quarter will be lower once again.

via Bloomberg

The U.S. Treasury said its borrowing needs this quarter declined to the lowest level for the period since 2007 as stronger economic growth boosts tax receipts.

Treasury plans to borrow $192 billion in the July-September period, about $22 billion more than it projected three months ago, with an end-of-September cash balance of $150 billion, the Treasury said today in Washington. Next quarter, Treasury plans to borrow $187 billion, with $140 billion in cash Dec. 31.

The reduced borrowing need is at least partially attributed to GDP growth of 4 percent between April and June, which is a far cry from the beginning of the year when a harsh winter (not Obamacare) snuffed out growth.

While it was not achieved without sacrifice, I still believe robbing the Republican party of their deficit talking points, adopting them as his own, was one of the smartest moves of the Obama presidency. Not just for his administration but the next one as well.

The next administration will have no financial roadblocks to implement their mandate because of the groundwork of President Obama. And yes, I assume the next administration will be Democratic. Have you looked at the field of Republican hopefuls lately? It’s even more hopeless than their 2008 and 2012 fields were.

  • muselet

    You’re probably right about the next president, although there is a non-zero probability that one of the Rs will eke out a win. Not a happy thought, that.

    Regardless of who’s the next president, I fully expect the Rs to do a sudden 180, declare that the shrinking debt—which is of course shrinking only because of their brave, eight-year fight against the evil tax-‘n’-spend Kenyan usurper—means taxes are too high and repeatedly force votes on *ahem* “Tax Relief” which, purely by coincidence, would primarily benefit high earners. The Sabbath Gasbags will stroke their chins and declare this to be a brilliant economic strategy, Wall Street will come up with a new way to torpedo the world economy, Ds will cower in fear of Grover Norquist’s army of the damned, and a couple of years later we’ll be looking back nostalgically at the Great Recession as The Good Old Days.

    I hope I’m wrong.


    • FlipYrWhig

      See, in light of what I was saying earlier, I think the surprising rhetorical triumph of the Obama years has been not so much defusing “the deficit” as increasing awareness of the idea that higher taxes for upper-income people are “fair.” Rich people are getting away with lower taxes, and you and I are who they’re playing for suckers! I think that’s now a widely popular sentiment. Democratic politicians, as usual, are the last to know that they have a winning hand to play.

      • muselet

        I don’t necessarily disagree, but until our glorious news media—especially the Sabbath Gasbags, who hold great and inexplicable sway among the Villagers—recognize reality (not necessarily embrace it, just recognize it), Ds will live in fear of the dreaded Tax And Spend label. What the public believes/feels/thinks (delete according to taste) is … well, not irrelevant, exactly, just not terribly important.

        Would that things were different.


  • FlipYrWhig

    I still believe robbing the Republican party of their deficit talking points, adopting them as his own, was one of the smartest moves of the Obama presidency

    Good thought, except that the Republicans have continued to say all the same nonsense about “the deficit” regardless of the size of the actual budget deficit. Why? Partly rank stupidity. Partly confusion between deficits and national debt. Largely, though, because a huge number of the people who get angry about “the deficit” use that word to mean “welfare spending.” “Obama increased The Deficit” is a more dignified way to say “Obama gave free stuff to dark-skinned people and we’re the ones who foot the bill.” Same (il)logic by which people can say that Obama raised their taxes, even though he almost certainly lowered them. It just _feels_ real because LOOK WELFARE BROWN CHILDREN OBAMAPHONES WHITE HOUSE GARDEN!

    So if it robbed them of their talking points, it would be only among a small sliver of NY-to-DC wonks, IMHO.

    • JMAshby

      I disagree. I can’t even recall the last time deficit talk was assigned any weight or taken seriously. Deficit hysteria was all anyone talked about between 2010 and 2011. They may still talk about it from time to time, but it’s no longer a serious area of concern. The deficit polls very low among chief concerns.

      • FlipYrWhig

        The reason why it was talked about between 2010 and 2011 was due to a coincidence, which was that the deficit, i.e. the shortfall in annual revenue compared to spending, got all mixed up with “the deficit” ™, big payoffs to moochers and looters that wreck the economy. So Democrats and centrist pundits started kicking around ideas about reducing the budget deficit, but Republicans never really mean that. IOW, sometimes in DC deficit means deficit, but a lot of the time it’s a weird dog-whistle.

        Sure, if you give people a list of things to choose as problems, they won’t choose the deficit or “the deficit.” But that’s because it blends into other things, like “spending.”

        The crazies STILL include “the deficit” and “the budget” in their litany of complaints about Obama. And they mean “welfare.” They think they’re being polite/clever, but that’s what they mean. Listen for it.