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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:02 AM

How often has the US Federal budget been in balance (or surplus)?

Seven times: 1817-21, 1823-36, 1852-57, 1867-73, 1880-93, 1920-30 and 1998-2001

We have also had six depressions, beginning 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1929



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Reply How often has the US Federal budget been in balance (or surplus)? (Original post)
PETRUS Jan 2013 OP
Make7 Jan 2013 #1
Igel Jan 2013 #6
randome Jan 2013 #2
Jeff In Milwaukee Jan 2013 #4
Jeff In Milwaukee Jan 2013 #3
PETRUS Jan 2013 #5
PETRUS Jan 2013 #7

Response to PETRUS (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:04 AM

1. So, balanced budgets cause depressions. QED. ( n/t )

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Response to Make7 (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:41 PM

6. Or depressions cause unbalanced budgets.

Without information on what caused the depressions, all we're left with is post-hoc reasoning instead of causality.

Interestingly, the "great recession" is billed as the cause of the currently wildly out-of-balance budget, and the recession in 2001 started before the budget cuts that knocked the balance began. The debate for the reason to cut the tax rate is only half-remembered. It started out as "we don't want the surplus to feed the beast" but then quickly morphed into "tax cuts = stimulus."

Nobody believes that tax cuts = stimulus any more. Even if that was the reason given for the temporary FICA tax cut and several other tax reductions.

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Response to PETRUS (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:04 AM

2. How often has a major corporation been in balance or surplus?

I laugh at the idea of Conservatives saying the government should be run more like a corporation. Well, most corporations borrow money and carry debt ALL THE TIME!

That being said, we do need to work on the deficit and debt before it becomes insurmountable.

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Response to randome (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:07 AM

4. The false "family budget" analogy...

Families try to pay off their bills (and mortgages) because at some point, people get old and can't work anymore. Governments don't retire.

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Response to PETRUS (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:06 AM

3. I thought Nixon did it once...

I could be wrong.

Just Googled -- Nixon did it in 1969 and Eisenhower did it in 1956 and 1957. Now some people claim that Nixon's balanced budget was really Johnson's economic policies, and that could be true. But it does appear there was a balanced budget that year, regardless of who gets to claim credit.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:14 AM

5. Maybe.

I got the dates from Dr. Kelton at University of Missouri-Kansas City, but I don't know her exact criteria/methodology.

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Response to PETRUS (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:14 PM

7. Economics is so boring...

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