The myth that a surplus during the Clinton administration was a myth.

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Iriemon, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Iriemon
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    Iriemon VIP Member

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    Ever since I started posting here, I've seen in a number of threads with posts from a number of different people who claim that the budget surplus during the Clinton administration was a "myth," and that in fact there was no surplus.

    The "fact" that there was no surplus under Clinton has been "proved" here "over and over and over" according to some like DiamondDave, who as of late taken to neg repping me for even asserting otherwise.

    I don't know who was debating this point before I got here, but if it was "proved" over and over that a surplus under Clinton was a "myth" they weren't very knowledgeable. Or they get their information for the Murdoch "news" outlets.

    So this thread is to settle the matter once and for all.

    Those who claim that the surplus during the Clinton administration was a "myth" can use this opportunity to prove me wrong. And since it apparently has been proved "over and over and over" again to have been a myth it shouldn't be too hard to prove it one more time.

    +++

    Here' *my* proof that there was in fact a surplus:

    The Congressional Budget Office is a non-partisan office that keeps budget records for Congress. You can see CBO reports on historical actual budget information in its website here:

    http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9957/...bles09-web.XLS

    Table 1 reports summary budget information, including two measures of the deficit (or surplus). "Total" includes SS surplus tax receipts (and has commonly been used by the Bush administration to measure deficits), and "on-budget" does not (and is therefore the more accurate measure, IMO, since SS taxes are not supposed to be used for general Govt expenditures). Because SS taxes have produced a surplus (about $200 billion) the last couple years, the on-budget surplus is lower than the "total" surplus (and conversely, the on-budget deficit is greater than the "total" deficit).

    Follow the table down to the year "2000" and in the third column you can find that the "on-budget" surplus for 2000 was $86.4 billion. In 1999, there was a $1.9 billion surplus. You can see in the next column that the "total" surplus figures are even larger.

    The U.S. budget does not include every expenditure -- for example, it has (prior to Obama taking office excludes "non-permanent" expenditures like the Iraq war. By excluding such things, the Bush administration was able to make the deficits look less severe. In 2006 and 2007, for example, the Bush administration claimed deficits of significantly less than $500 billion, while the US Govt actually had to borrow more than $500 billion in each of those years.

    So looking at actual borrowing of the US Govt gives another picture of the deficit. For example, last year, the Govt borrowed over a trillion dollars, which is one way of measuring the size of the deficit Obama inhereted.

    Did Clinton have a surplus using this measurement?

    You can access the total debt of the US Govt from the Treasury Department's website, here:

    Debt to the Penny (Daily History Search Application)

    Total debt of the US Government:

    12/31/1999 $5,776,091,314,225.33
    12/29/2000 $5,662,216,013,697.37

    The total debt of the US Govt decreased by $114 billion during 2000, Clinton's last year in office.

    Showing a true surplus.

    +++

    So to DiamondDave or anyone else who claims the surplus under Clinton was a "myth," here's a chance to present the "proof" that has been shown "over and over and over" that this surplus is a just a "myth".
     
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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  2. Iriemon
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    Iriemon VIP Member

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    No one?
     
  3. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    i agree with you, and have also posted CBO as my source...and yes, the budget has been greatly misunderstood....and it is simply not true that Clinton did not have a surplus when measured by the same means every president has been measured on balancing the budget....because he DID have a surplus according to those measures.

    He, along with his Congress....reduced the huge deficit he inherited, every year he was in office...
     
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  4. Iriemon
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    Iriemon VIP Member

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    The CBO, the official bipartisan agency in Congress reporting on the budget (and that many conservatives have referred to frequently regarding the current budget) reports there were surpluses. And the total debt decreases by over $100 billion in Clinton's last year.

    Yet I hear over and over that the surplus was a "myth". So I don't get where the claim there was no "surplus" comes from, other than Murdoch outlets I mean.

    Thus this thread.

    So far, none of the several people that claimed the surplus was a "myth" which has been according to some proved over and over here have shown up. It's telling.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  5. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    oh, you will get a response, from divecon and diamond dave for certain! patience is a virtue! :)

    they just are not online now....!

    they honestly believe that clinton didn't have a surplus based on opinions which they have read on the subject, so i don't think you will get far with them on this!!!! hahahahaha!
    ....even with the OMB statistics... :eek: I don't know what else to tell ya, except that someday, it may sink in with them...???

    Because I believe, that they believe, they are being honest on the subject, I usually just agree to disagree on the subject....but that's just me....it took a bit of arguing and debating the subject before i resided to this position and have just resorted to praying that they will see the truth someday! :D

    Good luck on your part though....maybe you will succeed?

    Care
     
  6. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    Again

    Understand that the budget runs on the fiscal year, not december to december... also understand that total government spending is debt held by the public PLUS INTERGOVERNMENTAL SPENDING... there was no year, whatsoever, where Clinton had a surplus.. when he claimed to have a 200BIL surplus, he in fact had almost a 20BIL total deficit... and that was WITH the huge cuts he had to national defense, etc....

    Yes.. he did not have 100's of billions extra spend in those years.. but he did not have the surplus that he, you guys, and other lefties falsely CLAIM to have had....

    It is indeed a myth and an outright lie...

    The numbers are there.... they are irrefutable
     
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  7. DiamondDave
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    Plus understand that the last budget that was run by Clinton was not 2000, but indeed 2001.... just as Bush's last budget is indeed this year and not last year
     
  8. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    They keep changing the way they compute the budget, folks.

    We ran the entire Iraqi war OFF budget, for christ's sakes. Doesn't get any weirder than that , does it?

    We don't know ANYTHING because we cannot believe anything anyone tells us anymore.

    How many years while most of us found our purchaing power evaporating at 10 or 20% a year, while they weretelling us that there was no inflation or a mere 2 or 3%??

    How many years have they been lieing to us about the actualy number of people who couldn't find enough work, while they told us there was almost no unemployment?

    Nothing we are being told now is not SUSPECT.

    NOTHING!
     
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  9. Truthmatters
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    The CBO also credits the majority of those surpluses to the 1993 budget reduction act signed into law without one single R vote.
     
  10. DiamondDave
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    I do not think in any way that Bush or any congress during Bush's administration did a good job with the budget or how they handled the budget with the war budget reporting.... but that is not the point here.. the point and the fact is that there was never any Clinton term surplus PERIOD, even though the false claim is always STILL being brought up
     

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