Friday, October 17, 2008

Budget deficit in 2008 surges to all-time high

Note: the budget deficit (or surplus) is the amount we add (or subtract) from the national debt, in a year.
updated 8:56 p.m. ET, Tues., Oct. 14, 2008

WASHINGTON - The federal budget deficit soared to $454.8 billion in 2008 as a housing collapse and efforts to combat the economic slowdown pushed the tide of government red ink to the highest level in history.
$454.8 billion is about $1516/person

The Bush administration said Tuesday the deficit for the budget year that ended Sept. 30 was more than double the $161.5 billion recorded in 2007.

It surpassed the previous record of $413 billion set in 2004. Economists predicted a far worse number next year as the costs of the government's rescue of the financial system and the economic hard times hit the nation's balance sheet.
Some analysts believe that next year's deficit could easily top $700 billion, giving the next president a formidable challenge.
when Bush took office in 2001, the budget was in surplus with projections that total surpluses over the next decade would reach $5.6 trillion.
"The eight years of this administration will include the five biggest budget deficits in history," said House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C. "The resulting debt will be passed to our children and grandchildren."

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said the national debt had climbed by more than $1 trillion while Bush was in office and "the next president will inheriting a fiscal and economic mess of historic proportions."
Responded on October 17, 2008 1:54 AM
James K. Galbraith, Professor of Economics, University of Texas

(To see the part I have copied below, you have to click "Read More" at the end of Galbraith's comment)

I was at the Peterson Institute the other day. There I heard a very good panel discussion of the financial crisis, featuring Fred Bergsten, Adam Posen, Morris Goldstein and others. All agreed that the deficit would exceed one trillion dollars next year.
one trillion dollars = $1,000,000,000,000
which is $3,333/person


Our national debt is about $34,000 per person.

See my earlier post at

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