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InsiderOnline Blog: November 2012

Some Deficit History

From Jeffrey Anderson:

From December 1941 to August 1945, the United States of America joined the other Allied powers and fought against the Axis powers in Europe and the Pacific, during the greatest and most destructive war in all of human history. Victory required the complete dedication of the American citizenry, as well as an extraordinary amount of deficit spending to fuel the war effort. According to official tallies from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), deficit spending spiked more than 13-fold from 1940 to 1943, remaining at that soaring new level through 1945. By the end of the war, the American and Allied cause had emerged triumphant, liberating hundreds of millions of people from tyranny. But along the way, we had (quite understandably!) racked up staggering and unprecedented sums of deficit spending.

But it was nothing compared to deficit spending under President Obama.

In fact, under Obama, the federal government has already racked up almost twice as much deficit spending — in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars — as it did during all of World War II. According to the White House OMB, we ran up $1.8 trillion in real (inflation-adjusted) deficit spending during fiscal years 1942-45. According to figures from that same source, the Treasury Department, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), we’ve now run up $3.4 trillion in real (inflation-adjusted) deficit spending under Obama — in less time than it took us to fight World War II. [The Weekly Standard, November 1]

We generally agree that with the view that deficits are just an indicator of another problem: Too much spending. The above comparison is one heck of an indicator.

Posted on 11/01/12 07:50 PM by Alex Adrianson

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