America's Deficits: Some Historical Perspective America's Deficits: Some Historical Perspective
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America's Deficits: Some Historical Perspective

by Andrew Price

February 5, 2010
Earlier we posted a chart showing historical trends in the U.S. budget over the last 50 years. Here, to go with it, is a chart showing America's surplus and deficit, year by year. As Cliff Kuang notes, the "balanced budget" is a rare thing indeed:
It's only happened in eight of the last 80 years. Virtually every politician talks about it. Only Clinton seems to have done it-and here, his administration was massively aided by the dotcom bubble, which artificially raised tax revenues for a brief period.
And we are running a pretty high deficit right now, for a slew of reasons that includes the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bailouts, and the stimuli.
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America's Deficits: Some Historical Perspective