President Obama’s proposed FY2013 federal budget

I’m busy at work, and cannot add any commentary yet. This chart compiled by the editor, from Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2017 and Table 1.2—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-) as Percentages of GDP: 1930–2017.

Update: I have added two calculation functions to the chart, one for surplus (Hah!) or deficit as a percentage of total spending, and one for GDP growth by percentage.


  1. Mr Editor, as a corralary and expansion to your given table, I offer this from the WaPo, which breaks out the proposed budget submitted by the President.

    You can see that this budget decreases the deficit to under a trillion, $0.8 trillion, which has us moving in the right direction on the deficit.

    You can click on any box to see the history of the income and expenditures in any category. Note that the box size is also proportional to the amount in that category.

  2. Actually, $0.901 trillion, since you want to put it that way. But the problem is still that the President wants to spend too much. He projects ever-increasing tax rates, as is noted by the percentage of GDP he anticipates taking in taxes, to the levels in the latter part of the Clinton Administration. At least with those higher taxes in the late 1990s, the budget was balance, and even had a modest surplus; resident Obama wants to raise taxes on the most productive Americans again, but he wants to spend so much more that he keeps projecting huge deficits.

    Why? I should have included this in the chart, but neglected to do so, the calculation function which shows the President’s projections for GDP growth. For FY2012, the President projects a growth rate of 4.3% (derived from dividing his projected FY2012 GDP, $15,601.5 billion, by FY2011′s $14,958.6 billion, and subtracting 100%, yielding a projected growth rate of 4.298%), 4.7% for FY2013, 5.0% for FY2014, 5.95% for FY2015, 5.95% for FY2016, and 5.75% for FY2017. In other words, he is projecting solid and sustained growth, yet wants to spend a greater percentage of GDP than in President Clinton’s first budget, FY1994, as we were emerging from a recession. In FY2002 and FY2003, coming out of September 11th and the bubble collapse recession, and with wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, President Bush was spending less, as a percentage of GDP, than President Obama wants to spend at a time when he has projected continuing solid growth, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be over. That’s more than just irresponsible; that’s utter madness.

    Now do you understand why I am so opposed to tax increases? If tax increases were actually going to be used to balance the budget and pay down the national debt, they would be unpleasant but still understandable and tolerable. But President Obama wants to increase taxes so that he can continue to spend profligately, to spend far more, as a percentage of GDP, than we were spending in a time of relative prosperity and balanced budgets.

    The President’s budget has taken from you the claim that we have to stimulate the economy to improve it, and can then reasonably cut back on spending. He is telling us that the economy is going to be growing, at a steady and sustained rate, yet he still wants to spend at stimulus levels. In the recession of FY1991 and FY1992, we spent 22.3% and 22.1% of GDP, respectively; President Obama wants to top that spending for years in which he projects solid growth. In the depths of a serious recession, when unemployment reached 10.8%, in FY1982 and FY1983, we spent 23.1% and 23.5% of GDP; President Obama wants to spend that kind of money in a year when he projects 4.7% growth. With stagflation and Vietnam, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we weren’t spending the kind of GDP percentage President Obama wants to blow in years he projects solid growth. In Jimmy Carter’s worst years, with the “misery index” over 30%, we weren’t spending as much as President Obama wants to spend in a time of solid growth and low inflation.

    There is no way you can call that reasonable, no way you can call it responsible.

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