$6.2 trillion: A decade of deficits
May 12th, 2011
04:43 PM ET
12 years ago

$6.2 trillion: A decade of deficits

New York (CNNMoney) - We're swimming in debt, but it wasn't always like this.

In 2001, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would run a surplus of $5.6 trillion over the ensuing decade.

That didn't happen. Instead, we racked up deficits of $6.2 trillion, a swing of $11.8 trillion, according to a new analysis from the CBO released Thursday.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS

    Bush went on a spending spree. He took a surplus and turned it into a deficit. When Osama waged war on us, he stated one of the missions was to bankrupt the country. And that dummy Dubya fell right into the trap. 2 unfunded wars, an unpaid for RX drug plan and massive spending in defense. Thanks alot Dubya.

    May 12, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Today, the national debt stands at more than $14 trillion, and Washington is gearing up for a brawl over the debt ceiling, which will have to be raised sometime this summer.
    ...and what's the brawl about? Democrats do not want to have controlled spending included as a part of an increased credit limit. But they do want to raise taxes. So they plan to continue the spending binge. At least for their final 2 years in office. Republicans are fighting to get spending in control and not raise taxes. We are still working to get the economy up and going and to reduce unemployment. Raising taxes everyone knows hurts both efforts.

    May 12, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. one voice

    Dubya had a plan and it worked: 8 years of making the rich richer and tank the economy so bad that NO Democrat could ever turn the Country around in 3 or 4 short years. Repeal the "Citizens United ruling" so that We have a level playing field and the American Taxpayer may have a chance at the "American dream".

    May 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Charlie in Maine

    To blame, in order: #1 Bush Error Tax Cuts (the only time I have ever regretted voting for Obama was when he let those puppies be extended) # 2 War in Iraq. #3 Wall Street greed.
    You can't eliminate #3, #2 is on it's way and #1 would make a nice issue for the campaign.

    May 12, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. OneMoreTime

    Explain this Mr. Financial Guru Paul Ryan. "The Bush Tax Cuts are the biggest cost on the revenue side....with a tag
    of 1.6 trillion. They account for the bulk of lost revenue" Was this done under you Mr. Indiana Governor, President
    Wannabe, Mitch Daniels?
    ConservaFASCISTS finishes the list. The Garden Path the Republicans want to take us down AGAIN, is filled with
    thorns, and thorns hurt!

    May 12, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. obama victim

    Bush ran up hude deficiets......Barry promised "change" so he promptly spends even more......so how is that workin' out for ya??

    May 12, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. bored voter

    The main problem is that most in Washington don't know the value of a dollar. I want to see a congressman drive themselves around. Get their own lunch. Learn to live below their means. Most of us could probably do a better job than those in office the problem we have is that we don't have the extra money to.

    May 12, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Patrick from Minnesota

    Thank you George W. Bush, except not really...

    May 12, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Jilli

    It appears that most folks don't really understand what "raising the debt ceiling" means. They seem to believe that it is tied to future spending, when it's actually tied to money we've already spent. We still have to pay our obligations.

    May 12, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. B

    This is what happens when you put people like Bush & Co. in charge of a SURPLUS and let him loose with his buddies for eight years and Americans vote them in – Twice – without even looking at what is transpiring in the meantime !

    The whole thing is an indictment of American Greed, NO Regulation,or Oversight, and the consequences we now all enjoy.

    May 12, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Patrick from Minnesota

    Four, go retake high school economics. You will learn all about taxation and budgeting.

    May 12, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Bill

    Hey four and the door – Intersting that you do not raise the fact that under the GOP, we had two un-funded wars and continued unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy ("the Bush tax cuts) These were (and are) GOP policies. Funny I did not hear any republicans screaming about the billions that these added to our deficits. You should start shoveling what you are peddling. The GOP has about as much cedibility on the economy as the man in the moon. And voters know it.

    May 12, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Numbers guy

    Well, it was a decade of extravagance.

    Property taxes were great money makers for the states, stocks were showing great profits, and borrowers could pay for everything on lines of credit. Yes, Bush's tax cut fiscal policy didn't help the mess and probably should have ended back in 2003, when the Dot Com recession had subsided and tax increases were necessary to curb people's expenses. It's an issue with modern politics and the American people themselves that we have this massive multi-trillion dollars deficit as long as people want more without thinking about the future; the politicians must go with it.

    I am not a Bush apologist, far from it; he should have made the change in fiscal position from a cash and credit expansion policy to a reductionist one despite what people wanted, but then he would have lost the election as credit started being cut back with people not able to buy more houses, cars, and electronic stuff they wanted.

    Yeah, Individuals still think they are taxed too much even today and are probably right due to lower income, but love it or hate it, sometimes taxes have a reason in their madness. During periods like the 2000's, we needed taxes to give people a splash of cold water.

    Also, Democrat deserve equal blame as well, because the house of cards wasn't merely set up by Republicans. As early as the 1990's, Democrats had removed restriction on the Glass-Steagall Act preventing derivative trading on Housing and mortgages. Everything is connected in the modern world, once speculation pushes prices up and create imaginary revenues, more people buy, banks offer more incentives hoping to cash in, and government collects revenue through taxes. If the government creates tax cuts to reduce collection; it merely opens up the flood gates for banks, mortgage businesses, and people to spend without thinking.

    May 12, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. one voice

    Just like Wisconcin was on pace for a surplus until Scott Walker on His 3rd day in office gave huge tax breaks to the Mega-rich and Corporations, then turning around and blaming Unions for the budget defecit. CREEP

    May 12, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Mikey

    ...and that is the Bush legacy, along with the GOP controllled congress for the first six years of his Presidency.

    I know, the truth doesn't mesh with the conservative mythology. When your theory doesn't match with the facts, you are supposed to reassess your theory, not attempt to alter the facts.

    May 12, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. OneMoreTime

    @Four/Door – I just don't understand how you think the Republicans want to "control spending" after reading this
    report. The refusal to acknowledge any responsibility is beyond my comprehension. Just for starters, did you
    not read, or do you just refuse, to accept the harm the "Bush tax cuts" have done, will do and not to mention that
    NO jobs of any significance were created. I don't want to argue, but I really don't understand your thinking.

    May 12, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Mikey

    @ Numbers guy – Wasn't Glass-Steagall modified by Gramm-Leach-Bliley??? Aren't Gramm, Leach, and Bliley all Republicans??? How did that become a Democratic Party effort?

    May 12, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. juliei4

    Please, please don't take the tax cuts and subsidies from big oil and other multi billion corporations showing record profits. Please, please don't put the taxes back on the wealthiest of Americans. Please, please don't cut the defense department, after all we have two wars going on. Please cut my medicare and social security instead. I'll probably get over it real fast since I won't be able to afford to go to the doctor's any longer.

    May 12, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    Hey four and the door – Intersting that you do not raise the fact that under the GOP, we had two un-funded wars and continued unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy ("the Bush tax cuts)
    Hey Bill...The Bush tax cuts were for everyone. And the higher incomes still pay higher tax rates and most of the taxes in the US. And American tax rates are among the highest in the world, for both individuals and businesses. But Obama wants more. Imagine that. Wow that guy can spend!

    May 12, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Numbers guy

    For the Glass-Steagall Act repeal

    The final bill was passed with 90-8 in the Senate with one abstaining, Bill Clinton signed it into law. The Democrats did not stand their ground.

    It's a tragedy, honestly, but if the Democrats back in the 90's had taken the initiative to stand their ground and Bill Clinton Vetoed, then the wild ride of derivative mortgage trading would never have become such a huge problem today.

    Was it the Republican party that proposed it? Yes, but a majority of the Democratic party also supported it back then too.

    Why would Democrats not share the blame?

    May 12, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |