Seriously. It has shrunk 3.1 percentage points since 2009. From the Investor’s Business Daily (via Ezra Klein):
“From fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012, the deficit shrank 3.1 percentage points, from 10.1% to 7.0% of GDP,” reports Investors Business Daily, citing figures from the Congressional Budget Office. IBD notes that that larger-than-expected returns from bank bailouts, slowing growth in Medicare costs, the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the $900 billion in already enacted Budget Control Act cuts also helped curb the deficit:
Which isn’t to say that the deficit isn’t a problem, but that this is a thing that is shrinking and outside of Paul Krugman (and the folks over at Erza Kleins’s place) it just seems that pundits, politicians and their media followers keep having on about how out of control it all is. When it is clearly and slowly on the mend.
The fiscal cliff is apparently one more good opportunity to try to scare the bejesus out of people with claims that just aren’t true.
Tags: Fiscal Cliff