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deficit politics

July Deficit Lower

09 Aug 2012
Posted by Stan Collender

Whether you're inside or outside the beltway, you always have to be careful about saying that something is "only" $71 billion.

Nevertheless, the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office that the July federal deficit was $71 billion, $58 billion lower than the July 2011 deficit, is one time when the word "only" is appropriate.

Through the first 10 months of fiscal 2012, the overall deficit is $125 billion less than the $1.1 trillion in the same period last year. 

The real question is whether this is good or bad news.

Politically, the latest CBO numbers indicate that the 2012 deficit will be substantially lower than 2011 but will still exceed $1 trillion. That means that the red ink will still be a campaign issue.

Posted by Stan Collender

Two reports over the past two days by the most credible organizations that do budget analysis prove that, no matter what they say publicly, congressional Republicans don't actually give a damn about reducing the federal deficit or lower government spending.

Each report shows that, for the GOP, the deficit not only comes in no better than second every time, it's not really a serious consideration.

The first report, produced by the excellent analysts at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and released on Monday, shows that last August's GOP-induced fight over raising the debt ceiling increased federal borrowing costs, that is, spending on interest, by a minimum of $1.3 billion. Here's the money quote:

Posted by Stan Collender

As I explain in my column from today's Roll Call, the fiscal cliff isn't all bad.

Posted by Stan Collender

Whatever you want to call it -- heartburn, anxiety, agita -- the GOP's got it and, as my column from today's Roll Call explains, it's getting steadily worse as the October 1 deadline for a continuing resolution gets closer by the day.

Need for October CR Creating Serious GOP Angst

By Stan Collender
Roll Call Contributing Writer
July 17, 2012, Midnight

There’s increasing nervousness on Capitol Hill these days about the one thing that has to be done on the budget before voters go to the polls.

Posted by Stan Collender

As I explain in my column published in today's Roll Call, the next few months should be a pretty humbling experience for all those on Capital Hill who have been insisting that fedreal spending is the problem and claiming that there's massive support for cutting it.

Americans Are Realizing They Don’t Really Like Cuts

By Stan Collender
Roll Call Contributing Writer
June 26, 2012, Midnight

There’s about to be a big change in the federal budget debate. In the end, the big winner will be the part of the budget that supposedly is so unpopular — federal spending — that a candidate for office this year cannot currently say he or she supports it without risking massive political condemnation and reprisals.

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