The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Don’t Stop Thinking About . . .


Presidents always get too much credit for good economic times and too much blame for bad economic times.  After all, the world’s largest economy has its own momentum.  And, it changes direction and speed like an aircraft carrier – S – L – O – W – L – Y.

In 2007, we were running a huge budget deficit, about 10% of GDP.  That was significant as much research have shown 10% is often a “point of no return” beyond which a nation slides into the economic abyss, like Greece.  By 2014, that annual budget deficit was down to 3%. which is below the average deficit since the 1980s..  This was a huge improvement, primarily because the GDP has increased so much since 2008.  (While the deficit has decreased from a trillion dollars per year to “only” $488 billion now, it is expected to begin increasing again next year, as the financial burden of the “boomers” begins straining our government resources, forcing future generations into debt.)

This improvement was also helped by the process known as sequestration, which set arbitrary dollar limits on discretionary spending, seriously damaging our military preparedness.  Just as an alcoholic must hit bottom and admit his limitation before improvement can be made, Congress recognized and accepted its own uselessness and inability to compromise on a budget by imposing the arbitrary spending limits of sequestration.  (Unfortunately, entitlements like Social Security and Medicare are not subject to spending caps.)

So, let’s just celebrate our success, even if the cause is a little disappointing.

Just as Fleetwood Mac sang about “don’t stop thinking about tomorrow,” don’t stop visiting this website: 

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