Given that the US has suffered under the effects of 9-11 (Clinton turned down extraditing bin Laden - see previous posts) , major business bankruptcies (due to Clinton signing law in 1994 which allowed businesses to overstate assets), three devastating hurricanes, a global war on terror that's been brewing 30 years (which Clinton did NOTHING because it wasn't popular) .... the US has done amazingly well economically under the Bush economic policies.
BTW Clinton didn't balance the budget or create a budget surplus .... the debt ceiling was raised so he perpetuated yet another lie.
"U.S. deficit falls to $319 billion
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Citing a surge in tax revenues, the federal government on Friday posted a deficit of $319 billion in fiscal 2005, down $94 billion from the previous year's record.
Administration officials said the new Treasury figures vindicated President Bush's economic policies.
"Lower taxes and pro-growth economic policies have created millions of jobs and a growing economy has swelled tax revenues over the last year," said Treasury Secretary John Snow, in a printed statement. "While deficits are never welcome, the fact that we finished [fiscal] 2005 with a much lower-than-expected deficit is encouraging news."
Fiscal 2005 ended on Sept. 30.
Critics noted that deficits are expected to persist for years to come and that spending related to Hurricane Katrina is likely to drive up red ink significantly in the current fiscal year.
The deficit was the third-highest on record in dollar terms. As a proportion of the economy, which most economists say is the most relevant measure, the Treasury Department noted that the gap was equal to 2.6% of gross domestic product, slightly above the 40-year average of 2.3%. The 2004 deficit was equal to 3.6% of GDP in fiscal 2004, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The data showed that receipts in fiscal 2005 totaled $2.154 trillion, up from $1.880 trillion the previous year. Spending also rose, with outlays totaling $2.473 trillion in fiscal 2005. Spending totaled $2.293 trillion in 2004. Read the Treasury report.
A Treasury official said the fiscal 2005 budget figures included around $4 billion in hurricane-related spending, a small chunk of the more than $60 billion approved by Congress in the immediate wake of Hurricane Katrina. Most of that spending is expected to take place in fiscal 2006.
The White House's Office of Management and Budget early this year projected the fiscal 2005 deficit would total $427 billion, which would have been a new record in dollar terms. In its last estimate, in July, OMB projected a deficit of $333 billion.
Total 2005 revenues came in $15 billion higher than the OMB's mid-session update in July, with almost $13 billion attributed to higher-than-estimated corporate income tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.
Individual income taxes were $927 billion, around $2 billion less than estimated in the mid-session report.
The size of the federal tab for the post-hurricane cleanup and rebuilding effort is yet to be determined. Some lawmakers have estimated the total bill could top $200 billion, while others have argued it's unlikely to be that high.
Regardless, analysts say the deficit is already likely to climb in fiscal 2006.
Analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston on Friday upped their estimate of the fiscal 2006 deficit by $30 billion, to $395 billion. They now see fiscal 2007 posting a deficit of $477 billion.
Lawmakers return Monday from a weeklong recess. The Senate and House are both scheduled this month to push legislation designed to wring around $35 billion in cuts in mandatory spending programs over the next five years.
The White House repeated it would seek additional cuts.
"We must also redouble our efforts to reduce unnecessary spending elsewhere in the budget to help offset recovery costs and keep us on track of meeting the president's gal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009," said Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten, in a written statement.
Top Republicans have also said they will press ahead with measures designed to extend some of Bush's first-term tax cuts, which would reduce revenues by around $70 billion over the same period.
Economist Kathleen Stephansen of Credit Suisse First Boston argued in a research note that any savings wrung out of mandatory spending programs may be outstripped by larger-than-expected costs of measures already in the pipeline, such as the Medicare prescription-drug benefit that will be fully implemented in 2006.
The Bush administration the deficit will be reduced to $260 billion by fiscal 2009, fulfilling Bush's pledge to halve the gap from the White House's preliminary estimate of a $521 billion deficit in fiscal 2004. The White House's long-term projections, however, don't account for the ongoing costs of military operations in Iraq or Afghanistan and don't estimate total hurricane-related spending.
In September, the government ran a monthly budget surplus of $35.76 billion, up 45% from the same month in 2005 and in line with the forecast from the Congressional Budget Office of $36 billion."