The Corner

The Growing Deficit

Brian Riedl of Heritage emails:

  • The current debt ratio is *below* the post-war average, and even lower than the debt ratio in the booming late 1990s;
  • The portion of federal spending going to pay interest on the debt has actually *fallen* over the past two decades;
  • The 1997-2001 budget surpluses resulted from a (bubble-influenced) revenue boom and the end of the cold war, not because of courageous domestic spending cuts;
  • The 2002-2008 budget deficits would have occurred even without any tax cuts; and
  • The current $5.4 trillion public debt is minor compared to the $42.9 trillion in unfunded Social Security and Medicare hole.

More here

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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