Patterico's Pontifications

7/15/2019

WH Projects $1 Trillion Deficit This Year

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 3:46 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

WH projects $1 trillion deficit for 2019:

The White House projects that the federal deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year, the only time in the nation’s history the deficit has exceeded that level excluding the 4-year period following the Great Recession.

“The 2019 deficit has been revised to a projected $1.0 trillion,” the White House Office of Management and Budget wrote in its mid-year review.

As a candidate, President Trump had promised to not only wipe out the deficit, but the entire federal debt, which has surpassed $22 trillion.

The government fiscal year is over September 30, 2019. Still time for spending more money.

— DRJ

53 Responses to “WH Projects $1 Trillion Deficit This Year”

  1. Winning!

    nk (dbc370)

  2. Twittering about the state of our deficit and how to fix it would be the thing to do.
    Trump never should have signed the first omnibus.

    mg (8cbc69)

  3. The biggest and best deficit!

    Dustin (6d7686)

  4. 2. Show me a president who is willing to veto an omnibus bill on principle, and I’ll show you a president who has not a snowball’s chance in HELL of being elected.

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. What bugs me is the number of republicans that just gave up on this. We had the majority in both houses and the WH. ZERO effort to balance the budget. It’s a big issue for me. If neither party will do anything about i guess I’ll have to decide how to vote based on other issues I care about. Or vote split ticket. Dem President and GOP congress has had success at balancing the budget in the past….

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  6. > ZERO effort to balance the budget

    Of course not. Republicans only care about balancing the budget when they can argue that it’s more important to balance the budget than to allow Democrats to pass their programs; when the Republicans are in charge, tax cuts are more important than balancing the budget.

    Similarly, Democrats only care about balancing the budget when they can argue that it’s more important than allowing Republicans to cut taxes or increase military spending; when the Democrats are in charge, government programs are more important than balancing the budget.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  7. Similarly, Democrats only care about balancing the budget when they can argue that it’s more important than allowing Republicans to cut taxes or increase military spending; when the Democrats are in charge, government programs are more important than balancing the budget.

    I don’t even see that much. I see them pointing out the republicans are hypocrites, but that’s about it.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  8. What bugs me is the number of republicans that just gave up on this. We had the majority in both houses and the WH. ZERO effort to balance the budget.

    As I’ve pointed out countless times, you could eliminate every cent of non-defense discretionary spending, and it would not balance the budget. Ditto if you completely zero out the defense budget.

    Today, we are spending something like 1.5% of GDP LESS on non-defense discretionary spending than we were the last time the budget was balanced. And defense spending is a slightly smaller fraction of the federal budget now, and almost exactly the same percentage of GDP (3.0% of GDP in FY2000 vs. 3.3% today).

    The problem is that entitlements are eating 4-5% MORE of GDP than they did back then. And the current deficit is about … 4.7% of GDP.

    This graphic from the CBO is an excellent summary of the situation for FY18.

    There are only a couple realistic (and non-exclusive) options to significantly alter the budget trajectory:

    1) Raise taxes (or otherwise increase revenue somehow)
    2) Curtain and reform entitlement spending

    Cuts in discretionary spending are what everybody huffs and puffs about, but it is a red herring. Discretionary spending isn’t responsible

    As the linked article in the original post points out, it is very bad that the deficit continues to grow (in absolute terms, and as a fraction of GDP) during a time of full employment and fairly robust growth.

    Dave (1bb933)

  9. To say that Republicans “gave up on” balancing the budget suggests that was ever their intent.

    Gryph (08c844)

  10. I agree with you, we need to raise taxes and cut entitlement spending. When the debt is eliminated we can cut taxes.

    Time123 (80b471)

  11. If the deficit concerns you so much I am sure you will gladly demand your taxes be raised to pay for it.

    lany (d2575b)

  12. 11. No thanks. Considering that 95% of the government is superfluous and at least 80% is unconstitutional, I’ll accept having my taxes raised when you accept slashed spending first.

    Gryph (08c844)

  13. Every entitlements program is going to have to be means-tested, including Medicare and Social Security, or those programs absolutely positively will go bankrupt. Even if phased in without cuts to current beneficiaries or those (like me) about to enter, the safety net will go from being something that everyone benefits from to something only the poor and, maybe, lower middle class benefit from.

    Dems are running on Medicare for All. We can’t possibly afford Medicare as is for much longer, much less an expansion. GOP “reforms” that include preexisting condition protection of Obamacare are doomed before they’re even proposed.

    This is a matter of actuarial tables, the Census, and basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. And no one from either party is telling the truth about it.

    Beldar (a5097b)

  14. The Ponzi schemes are about to collapse, in other words.

    Beldar (a5097b)

  15. As for the health care system, the only salvation would be genuinely radical reform. Risk pooling could still be done, but salvation requires addressing soaring costs by reintroducing basic free market economics, including personal responsibility for bad choices. The notion that the “safety net” for the poor should cover things like motorized scooters and other benefits like those of current employer-provided Cadillac private group insurance plans is going to have to be abandoned.

    Again, these are the economic realities, and nobody from either party is acknowledging them. Instead we’re pursuing this sort of collective madness in which we pretend that that which can’t go on, still will go on, and that the Ponzi schemes will always keep paying out. They won’t. These truths are politically unacceptable now, and the longer that remains true, the harsher the eventual reckoning.

    Beldar (a5097b)

  16. Trump is every bit as bad as, and probably worse than, Bernie Sanders in denying these realities and encouraging the continuation of the madness. They’re both ignorant scum, con men who don’t give a flying f@art about economic reality. I despise them both with the intensity of 1000 stars simultaneously going supernova.

    Beldar (a5097b)

  17. And no one from either party is telling the truth about it.

    I’m still sort of hoping one of the Democrats will take inspiration from Trump, and promise to make Canada pay for their big, beautiful universal health care system.

    (Their arctic air rapes and murders our lungs every winter – they’re not sending their best air, folks – and they are doing NOTHING to stop it from crossing their border and invading our country).

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. 17. But not enough to consider the damage Trump is doing to his nation and party irreversible.

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. As I’ve pointed out countless times, you could eliminate every cent of non-defense discretionary spending, and it would not balance the budget. Ditto if you completely zero out the defense budget.

    Indeed, and Trump has pledged that he would not touch entitlements, where reform is actually needed to cure our current structural fiscal imbalance. Entitlement reform was one of Paul Ryan’s major platforms, and you can see where his political career went.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  20. Indeed, and Trump has pledged that he would not touch entitlements, where reform is actually needed to cure our current structural fiscal imbalance. Entitlement reform was one of Paul Ryan’s major platforms, and you can see where his political career went.

    Dubya fought hard for reform too, and tried to reform Social Security by giving people equity in their retirement nest-egg rather than handing it over to the government.

    Unfortunately it’s always a lot easier to scare people than to help them.

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. Tax-payers need to show the gubmint loaded weapons stating – fix it turds.

    mg (8cbc69)

  22. Beldar, you’re very much correct. It’s like the automotive bankruptcies a few years back. Everyone could see the re-structuring that was needed. No one involved was willing to endure the pain of doing it until they know for sure there was no other way. Same thing here, the politician that lies and says they’ll give you better public benefits, a better national defense, cut your taxes and pay for it by taking money from the someone else is the one that wins. The last politician I thought actually believed in balancing the budget was Paul Ryan, but he wasn’t able to get it done unfortunately.

    Man i wish I could vote for Romney / Ryan again.

    Time123 (dba73f)

  23. I’m still waiting for the politician who says, and believes, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    The conservative approach should incorporate both cutting expenditures and raising taxes.

    John B Boddie (597cf5)

  24. I agree, it’s the entitlements. The worst item, IMO, is that taxpayers for old people to have gym memberships! And we’re $22 trillion in debt!

    Patricia (3363ec)

  25. 13. Beldar (a5097b) — 7/15/2019 @ 7:04 pm

    Every entitlements program is going to have to be means-tested, including Medicare and Social Security,

    That’s extremely destructive. Have you ever heard of marginal tax rates?

    And would you want to apply this also to K-12 education?

    Actually, you’ve got to get rid of means testing where it does exist.

    or those programs absolutely positively will go bankrupt.

    No, thery won’t. There’s always the alternative of bigger deficits.

    You can say that maybe there is a limit, but the United States Dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and there is no substitute. So it won’t cause inflation, and if it does that’s probably better than the alternative,

    People have been complaining about the deficit for over 85 years, and so far nothing bad has happened except maybe some inflation.

    This is a matter of actuarial tables, the Census, and basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. And no one from either party is telling the truth about it.

    A good number of people, especially from the Republican Party, have pointed out that all these projections are true only so long as economic growth remains at low levels. There’s nothing given about them.

    These projectins wouldn’t be the case if economic growth were to go back up to what it was in the 1945-1973 period.

    And another thing is the percentage of peole in the labor force (unfortunately, nobpdy is proposing anything to get this number back up, but means testing is away to get it lower..)

    Also some people have pointed out that we are in trouble if interest atates are allowed to rise, bt not so much if they stay very low. Donald Trump is actually very conscious of this.

    Some Democrats have pointed out that immigration grows GDP – the counter is – not that mchh, at levels we are accustomed to.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  26. Dubya’s case for allowing people to invest some of the Social security taxes had a fallacy. It was based on making two contradictory assumptions about economic growth: low with the status quo, but high if people could invest (because stock market returns in the very long run are proportional to economic growth.)

    He didn’t realize this.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  27. 24. John B Boddie (597cf5) — 7/16/2019 @ 7:08 am

    24.I’m still waiting for the politician who says, and believes, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    I;m still waiting for the politician who will not on;y act like there is indeed such athing as afree lunch, but prove it with intellectual rigor.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  28. Actually, you’ve got to get rid of means testing where it does exist.

    Means-testing for Medicare will be necessary, and it’s easy to implement. We can hold off on Social Security by raising the maximum income level.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  29. Means testing for Medicare will turn it into Medicaid, and result, in the short run, in peole fidning ways to give away money and in the long run, to people not saving, and not working..

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  30. I once challenged a “Trump intellectual” on the notion that Trump is more compassionate than other Republicans because he “won’t touch Social Security.” I said, “According to the actuaries, that means let them go bankrupt, doesn’t it?”

    No response. Because it was necessary to paint Trump as a moral hero, and those who even spoke of restructuring entitlements as cruel and hardhearted.

    The same “Trump intellectual” also spoke of the great virtue of caring more about the next generation than about ourselves!

    Radegunda (f133c3)

  31. This is directly the fault of Congress. And more specific… the voters.

    Not Trump… Not Obama… Nor any other past President. Any President would probably rather let the US default because of bad structural problems, rather than wielding the veto pen against bad budgets to force Congressional actions.

    In fact, the only way to fix this is if one party has the White House AND super majority in both the House and the Senate. Even then, it would be a dicey proposition because if internal factions. (see 2009-2010… Democrats wasted golden opportunities with 60 Senators and control of the House).

    There’s a reason that our founders empowered Congress with the Power of the Purse™. But the way our budgeting cycle is developed is asinine.

    We have programs that are automatically renewed w/o inputs from the current congressional sessions.

    Yes, the US Treasury is pulling in record sums of money…

    And it is accurate to say that we have a “spending problem”… but, more accurately we have structural problems that Congress refuses to address.

    Until Congress address these structural problems… our fiscal policies will likely tank at some point in the near future.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  32. “Trump intellectual”

    LOL

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. And it is accurate to say that we have a “spending problem”… but, more accurately we have structural problems that Congress refuses to address.

    You are right. But isn’t Congress itself one of the structural problems?

    And then you get pseudo intellectuals who say stuff like this

    When programs provide money it’s the opposite of sucking money up. No country goes broke from big programs, party because money sovereigns can only go broke by external debt, not in their own currency.

    This is where the “how are you going to pay for it” types on the right and left are so off base. Stephanie Kelton said the truest thing ever: “Money doesn’t grow on rich people”. They get their money from everyone else. The rich don’t fund all of us, we fund them, and net government spending funds us. I don’t counterfeit dollars, neither does Amazon or Missouri. I don’t issue “my own money”, there are no Droguli, and I don’t have the tax power to give them value.

    Spending for programs makes us rich. The idea of absolute cost, where the money for Medicare for all or the Green New Deal disappears after it’s spent, is ridiculous. All of the biggest benefits will have the biggest costs. Unspent dollars are not saved, they don’t exist. Nobody gets rich from undollars.

    [No one you would know. A member of that music forum to which I belong.]

    kishnevi (9ce8ca)

  34. Means testing for Medicare will turn it into Medicaid…

    I’m not seeing it. Retirees who make over $100K or $200K a year can afford to pay for their own health insurance.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  35. 32 — Of course Congress has to fix the problem, but “the president proposes, Congress disposes.” And certain Trump-boosters have held Trump to be morally superior to other Republicans because he won’t even push the issue with Congress, while legislators who at least have given the problem some serious thought have to be the meanies.

    It’s true that GOP legislators have largely been insincere (to put it mildly) on fiscal responsibility. But Trump has done a lot to take the issue out of the GOP agenda altogether.

    Radegunda (f133c3)

  36. Retirees who make over $100K or $200K a year can afford to pay for their own health insurance.

    So they put into irrevocable trusts to ensure that government pays for it.

    They already do this to get Medicaid to pay for nursing homes, etc.

    kishnevi (9ce8ca)

  37. I’m not seeing it. Retirees who make over $100K or $200K a year can afford to pay for their own health insurance.

    Perhaps, but what fraction of the cost of Medicare goes to people with that much retirement income?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s hard to imagine it would make a significant difference in the bottom line.

    Dave (1bb933)

  38. BTW
    completely OT, but wondering what Narciso thinks of this instance of enforcing our laws
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-immigration-officials-deny-residence-to-prominent-cuban-exile/ar-AAEni08

    kishnevi (9ce8ca)

  39. OT.

    Eleven Plus Fifty:

    https://uncrate.com/video/cbs-news-broadcast-of-apollo-11/

    “What moment- Man on the way to the Moon…” – CBS News Correspondent Walter Cronkite, Apollo 11 launch, July 16, 1969

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s hard to imagine it would make a significant difference in the bottom line.

    The 75th percentile of household income for those over 60 years old is around $80,000 to $90,0000. The current population of Americans over 60 is 20% of the total or 65 million, and that percentage is increasing every year as our population ages. This means that over 16 million people in that age bracket can afford to partially or fully pay for their health insurance. The average cost of healthcare for those over 65 is $19K per year. Assuming half that cost is no longer subsidized for the top 25% and that Medicare covers half of those costs, the savings is $75 billion a year, which is not chump change. Total Medicare payouts in 2017 were over $700 billion. It won’t solve Medicare insolvency, but it’ll help.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  41. I thought about posting on that for you, DCSCA, but the articles I found weren’t that good. Want to find some for me?

    DRJ (15874d)

  42. It won’t solve Medicare insolvency, but it’ll help.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5) — 7/16/2019 @ 9:26 am

    I agree. We should do it, but I am also sure that some (not all) will find workarounds.

    DRJ (15874d)

  43. Thanks for the numbers Paul.

    Being a “glass half empty” kind of guy, to me it sort of highlights how hard it is to move the needle – I think there would be an enormous political backlash to reduce the budget deficit by even ~7.5% (which is what a $75B savings represents in $1T budget deficit) with a manifestly sensible proposal like the one you outline.

    Dave (1bb933)

  44. 4. Gryph (08c844) — 7/15/2019 @ 5:41 pm

    Show me a president who is willing to veto an omnibus bill on principle, and I’ll show you a president who has not a snowball’s chance in HELL of being elected.

    There was George H. W. Bush in 1990 (not actually his principle, but Reagan’s) but then in 1995, Bill Clinton vetoed the continuing resolution and managed to blame Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.

    And then ran commercials about it – way before the election – but avoided the New York, Washintgon and one other television market (I think Los Angeles) so that the Republicans would not know what had happened to them.

    To prevent anyone from clarifying the truth – that he had narrowed the differences but then refused to negotiate although he had taken Newt Gingrich along on the flight back and forth from itchak Rabin’s funeral, instrea playing hearts with New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman – – he arranged for the New York Daily News to publish a political cartoon showing Newt Gingrich as a crybaby on the front page, and then Congressman Charles Schumer went on the floor of the House wit a big placard treating like that was some kind of news story.

    But there was no principle here.

    Trump also refused to sign an omnibus spending bill for awhile, until Nancy Pelosi took away his invitation to deliver a State of the Union message in Congress until he did.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  45. Unspent dollars are not saved, they don’t exist.

    There are no unspent dollars. They get deposited in banks and lent out.

    It’s unlent dollars that don’t exist.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  46. 32. Which means never.

    Democrats excoriated Nixon in 1970 for trying to restore fiscal sanity after LBJ. Democrats seized Congress and “lesson learned,”–no republican has ever again tried to do what Nixon did. Democrats will oppose it. The voters will punish it.

    Congress then stripped Nixon of the impoundment power, which about the last vestige of presidential budget control.

    Since then, GOP control of all 3 branches has resulted in “0” budget fixes. Probably going to be a hard landing sometime.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  47. @42. DRJ- there’s so much being piped out now on Apollo 11 it would be difficult to choose any one piece. I highly recommend watching the video link I posted in #40. It’s long– 4 hours or so [I just watched it through]- mainly as it is the complete CBS News launch broadcast from the morning of July 16- complete with Arthur C. Clarke, Wally Schirra, Spiro Agnew, LBJ and other world events of the time– even the TV commercials, sports and wether reports from the day– so you do get a very real sense of ‘the way it was’ back on that hot, humid morning in July– which is how Cronkite would have wanted it.

    Will probably rework my own posting from July 20th a decade ago- little has changed; although much to the astonishment and delight of our family, in one of the many TV documentaries being telecast across the cablers, a brief fragment of film has surfaced containing both myself and my brother, among others, greeting the Apollo 1 crew at the U.S. Embassy in London. For 50 years we had absoluitely no idea any film of the event existed and we’re in the process of contacting the production firm to track down the source.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  48. ^Apollo 11 crew – typo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. What a special memory for your family, and how exciting to get to re-live it by seeing it on film.

    DRJ (15874d)

  50. @50/51. DRJ- That Pathe piece was the newsreel report of their visit to London- 10/14/69, but not the source of the film clip fragment [it’s only a few seconds] checked that already– apparently the source is not Pathe. We suspect it’s a USIA or State Department media source as it was film from inside the Embassy lobby– or a personal film clip made by staffer of some kind but we’re trying to track it down through the production company.

    We’ were totally gobsmacked by seeing it. But yes, it is exactly how we remember it. And yes, it made both of us feel quite old. LOL

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  51. 48 — great story.
    51 – thanks for the clip. What a joy to watch.

    Radegunda (f133c3)


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