“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, February 05, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

US federal budget, 2008 - $2.9 trillion (submitted 2007 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2007 - $2.8 trillion (submitted 2006 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2006 - $2.6 trillion (submitted 2005 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2005 - $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2004 - $2.2 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2003 - $2.1 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2002 - $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)
US federal budget, 2001 - $1.8 trillion (submitted 2000 by President Clinton)
US federal budget, 2000 - $1.8 trillion (submitted 1999 by President Clinton)
US federal budget, 1999 - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1998 by President Clinton)
US federal budget, 1998 - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1997 by President Clinton)
US federal budget, 1997 - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1996 by President Clinton)
US federal budget, 1996 - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1995 by President Clinton)

Year to
30 September

U.S. Govt Debt
US$ billions
1910 2.6
1920 25.9
1930 16.2
1940 43.0
1950 257.4
1960 290.2
1970 389.2
1980 930.2
1990 3,233.3
2000 5,674.2
2005 7,932.7
2006 8,506.9


  1. It looks as if federal spending has increased 60% over six years and there has been a 50% increase in the "on budget" federal debt at the same time. I guess Keynes was right.

  2. It's the Trillions in off budget obligations that will be coming home to roost.

    The Iraq War being instructive in that regard. The Federals will have cycled nearly a $ Trillion $ USD through Iraq, in five years, with barely an economic ripple.

    So a $13 Trillion USD unfunded liability may not be as great as it appears. Besides the Supremes have Ruled, the Federals do not really owe Social Security benefits, to anyone.

    So it's is not a "real" liability.

  3. From Cap Gain at Kudlows

    BRIAN WESTBURY SAYS: "...When January budget data comes out this week, our models predict that tax revenues continued to surge and the federal budget will show a surplus of more than $40 billion.

    This would pull the budget deficit on a 12-month moving average basis below $200 billion for the first time since September 2002 - a massive reduction from the peak deficit of $455 billion in the 12-months ending April 2004.

    Tax revenues were $2.479 trillion in the 12 months ending in January 2007, a $255 billion increase from the 12 months ending in January 2006. Tax revenues have surged for almost three consecutive years now, ever since the tax cuts of 2003 stimulated a strong economic recovery.

  4. Barring a Really, Really Big Dust-up in the ME we will probably reach "Balance" in the Unified Budget in 08'

  5. Something I Predicted over at Kudlows in 05', I might add.

    How's that for being ahead of the curve?

  6. Something you need to keep in mind. The Really "Important" metric, DEBT "SERVICE" TO GDP, Actually, "Fell," last year, and will "Fall," again, this year.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Another reason, rufus, to further discount the possibility of covert military operations against Iran.

    Prosperity in the Homeland is going to be of paramount importance come '08.

    If it is to be a "Long War" then the successful hand off of Presidental Authority should become the mission of primary importance, from here on out.
    Or become the crowning item on the Administrations list of slow cascading failures in TWAT.

  9. I'm assuming you meant "overt," but, yeah I agree, "NOBODY WANTS "WAR" WITH IRAN!"

    Something else, remember that those low budget numbers in the 90's were on the back of "Defense." A hollowed-out Military, No Missile Defense, No F-22, No F-35, etc.

  10. Not enough trigger-pullers, etc.

  11. To neatly complement Deuce’s thread, see TigerHawk:

    Defense Spending and GDP


  12. Overt was, should, have been the word.

    The Administration talked up a mountain, produced a molehill.

    Afraid of the ramifications of reality.

  13. Let’s see, you are the government of Kenya and you have in custody jihadist foreign nationals, arrested upon illegally entering your country while fleeing the forces of the lawful government of Somalia, upon whom same jihadists had waged an unlawful war, so, what do you do, what do you do?

    1) Turn the scumbags over to the government of Somalia.

    2) Tell the State Department to “bite it.”

    Two American Muslims Arrested in Kenya Fighting for Somalia

    From LGF

  14. Old, old, Old Market saying, "Sell on the Trumpets, Buy on the Cannons."

    Only one question: Are those Cannons we hear (Warner thinks so,) or Trumpets?

  15. BTW, as regards the original post. You need to be aware that all of those "unfunded liabilities" doomsday scenarios rest on Very pessimistic Growth Projections.

    If we grow our economy anywhere near our fifty year average of 3.3%, all of that goes away.

  16. Oh my god, there's so much worthwhile information here!