The Myth of the Clinton Surplus

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    The Myth of the Clinton Surplus​




    By: Craig Steiner
    October 31, 2007


    Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus. This is then used as an argument to further highlight the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government under the Bush administration.

    The claim is generally made that Clinton had a surplus of $69 billion in FY1998, $123 billion in FY1999 and $230 billion in FY2000. In that same link, Clinton claimed that the national debt had been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years, presumably FY1998, FY1999, and FY2000--though, interestingly, $360 billion is not the sum of the alleged surpluses of the three years in question ($69B + $123B + $230B = $422B, not $360B).

    While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it's curious to see Clinton's record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.

    Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury (see note about this link below) website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government's fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton's budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here's the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets:


    (Excerpt)

    Read more:
    The Myth of the Clinton Surplus
     
  2. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    If it's a myth, it's because Bush destroyed it.
     
  3. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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  4. BreezeWood
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    BreezeWood VIP Member Supporting Member

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    that's a myth -
     
  5. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Our myth beats your myth. Just compare Clinton's popularity to Bush's. :D
     
  6. BreezeWood
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    BreezeWood VIP Member Supporting Member

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    its a myth he is not supporting the Republicans.


    the Democrats raised taxes and balanced the budget - the Republicans lowered taxes and started an unfunded Iraqi war.
     
  7. J.E.D
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    J.E.D What's tha matta?

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    Myth? Somebody should tell Bush, because that's the reason he gave for handing out checks to every taxpayer.
     
  8. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury (see note about this link below) website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government's fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton's budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here's the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets:


    Fiscal

    Year Year Ending National Debt Deficit
    FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
    FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
    FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
    FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
    FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
    FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
    FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
    FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
    FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion ​



    As can clearly be seen, in no year did the national debt go down, nor did Clinton leave President Bush with a surplus that Bush subsequently turned into a deficit. Yes, the deficit was almost eliminated in FY2000 (ending in September 2000 with a deficit of "only" $17.9 billion), but it never reached zero--let alone a positive surplus number. And Clinton's last budget proposal for FY2001, which ended in September 2001, generated a $133.29 billion deficit. The growing deficits started in the year of the last Clinton budget, not in the first year of the Bush administration.
     
  9. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Then why was the debt clock turned off and why do CONS keep referencing it now, if it's wrong?

    Turn back the debt clock - Sep. 7, 2000
     
  10. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    The national debt rising or falling neither confirms nor contradicts the existence of a surplus. Republicans and conservatives who understand the fiscal accounts don't make the argument that there wasn't a surplus. See my above thread for an explanation.
     

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