Do the math

Don’t blame it on the tax cuts.

The Treasury Department reports that the federal deficit since the fiscal year began Oct. 1 has reached $530.9 billion.

Revenue is up 1.8 percent to $2 trillion, but spending grew 7.6% to $2.57 trillion.

Someone might want to tell all those Democratic presidential candidates that the tax cuts are not the problem. It’s the spending, stupid.

Lisa Benson cartoon



5 comments on “Do the math

  1. Rincon says:

    Your article is all well and good, but it’s not very complete. Nevertheless, it did say that, “The deficits have increased following congressional passage in December 2017 of a $1.5 trillion tax cut promoted by President Donald Trump as well as a boost last year in spending on domestic and military programs.” We agree that more spending is bad, and that the Republicans are spending like drunken sailors, but your advice is to the DEMOCRATIC candidates? Wow! Wouldn’t want to criticize our team, would we?

    I do also have some question regarding the conclusion that the tax cuts actually increased revenues, it’s possible that, for 7 months, that might be the case, but I don’t like cherry picked data, so I just went to the source. Referring to the White House tax tables ( Table 1.1):

    Firstly, note that there are on budget and off budget figures. This distinction was not made in the article cited, but I believe off budget refers primarily to Social Security. Let us look at the rest of government first.

    On budget receipts for 2015 = 3,249,887 million; for 2016 = 3,267,961. The tax cut was passed in 2017, and the receipts for 2018 = 3,329,904

    The 2015 receipts were 3,446,427 in 2018 dollars; the 2016 receipts were 3,403,313. According to the White House Web site, tax receipts for 2018 DROPPED from 2015 and 16 when adjusting for inflation, despite the fact that receipts should have grown since our GDP and population grew, as they normally do, and that we had optimum conditions for the best case scenario regarding tax receipts. Had even a mild recession occurred, our tax receipts would be down the toilet. So no, even in good times, the tax cuts failed to pay for themselves. One could argue that it’s the tax cuts that prevented a recession, but I would respond that, while goosing the economy might indeed have that effect in the short term, it is an extremely poor long term strategy. You can’t goose it forever. Besides, if we fail to pay off any debt during the best of times, when do you propose to pay it? Never, I assume. Welcome to Third World economics 101.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thomas recent wrote an article castigating democrats for telling only part of the story about the lower tax refunds people were getting and now here he is telling only part of the story about the impact the Dotards tax cuts have had on federal revenues.

    And by “part of the story” I mean the misrepresentation part. Revenues have most definitely decreased as any person would tell you if they weren’t constantly being propagandized by the people that benefited so greatly by that propaganda and their supporters.

    I don’t get it.

  3. Rincon says:

    Sorry Thomas, but I can’t get into the WSJ Web site without subscribing, but I wouldn’t trust it anyway because it’s their editorial page. While their news coverage seems reasonably accurate, their opinion page is all over the place. I’ve caught several egregious bits of fake news from them over the years. In particular, I remember a global warming op-ed which showed a graph from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which disagreed with other information that I knew was solid, so I checked it out. At the time, the OISM consisted of a one man operation out of Cave Creek, Oregon, if I remember correctly, which also sold materials to help survive nuclear war. Hardly a reasonable information source for a world class newspaper – and the information was dead wrong at the time and still is.

  4. Steve says:

    In February they ran a piece claiming revenues were negative….

    Statistics, right?

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