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  #81  
Old 03-31-2010, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by One Armed Gimp View Post
The National Debt went up every year under Clinton, thus no surplus. I know some people don't agree with this, but that's how the US Treasury tracks national debt.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO. As I said before, surplus is a budgetary term, debt is a net worth term.

A SURPLUS means you EARN more than you SPEND.
A DEFICIT means you SPEND more than you EARN.

Debt doesn't come into that equation at all.

CREDIT is when people owe YOU money.
DEBT is when you owe OTHERS money.

Yes the DEBT went up (and our net worth went down), but we ALSO HAD A SURPLUS (the fedgov brought in more REVENUE than it had EXPENSES) under Clinton.

Two distinct, separate terms. They both have to do with money, but they're DIFFERENT MEASUREMENTS.
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  #82  
Old 03-31-2010, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JSUCamel View Post
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO. As I said before, surplus is a budgetary term, debt is a net worth term.

A SURPLUS means you EARN more than you SPEND.
A DEFICIT means you SPEND more than you EARN.

Debt doesn't come into that equation at all.

CREDIT is when people owe YOU money.
DEBT is when you owe OTHERS money.

Yes the DEBT went up (and our net worth went down), but we ALSO HAD A SURPLUS (the fedgov brought in more REVENUE than it had EXPENSES) under Clinton.

Two distinct, separate terms. They both have to do with money, but they're DIFFERENT MEASUREMENTS.
I guess my problem then is that if we had a surplus, but didn't pay off any debt with it because our debt increased, what good is crowing about a surplus? Or am I still misunderstanding something?
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  #83  
Old 03-31-2010, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
I guess my problem then is that if we had a surplus, but didn't pay off any debt with it because our debt increased, what good is crowing about a surplus? Or am I still misunderstanding something?
First of all, I'm not crowing -- I'm pointing out that "the surplus is a myth" is itself a myth. It's not true. There WAS a surplus and it's misleading to say there wasn't just because the debt didn't go down. Second of all, like SDog pointed out earlier, it's better to have a surplus and not pay off debt than to have a deficit and still not pay off debt.

I won't argue that the debt didn't increase -- it clearly did -- but if you look at this link (from cbo.gov: http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc1087...icaltables.pdf) you'll see that except for 2000-2001, Clinton's final year in office and Bush's first year in office, the national debt has gone UP every single year since 1970. 1998 was the first year that the government recorded a budget surplus (69.3 billion dollars) since at least 1970.

So the national debt went up. So what? Status quo. What wasn't status quo was the budget -- revenues exceeded expenses. Furthermore, according to the CBO, the "intra-government holdings" have gone up every year since 1970, too.

To say that the surplus is a hoax is flat out wrong. To say that the national debt going up and the intra-gov't holdings going up cancels out the surplus is misleading, because both of those numbers have gone up every year since 1970.

So I guess my point is... what use is crowing about how the national debt and intra-gov't holdings went up during Clinton's administration, when it also went up during Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr's administrations?
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  #84  
Old 04-01-2010, 02:21 AM
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Apropos of no specific argument, I found this comic and it made me chuckle.

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  #85  
Old 04-01-2010, 04:11 AM
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Awesome.
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  #86  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by JSUCamel View Post
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO. As I said before, surplus is a budgetary term, debt is a net worth term.

A SURPLUS means you EARN more than you SPEND.
A DEFICIT means you SPEND more than you EARN.

Debt doesn't come into that equation at all.

CREDIT is when people owe YOU money.
DEBT is when you owe OTHERS money.

Yes the DEBT went up (and our net worth went down), but we ALSO HAD A SURPLUS (the fedgov brought in more REVENUE than it had EXPENSES) under Clinton.

Two distinct, separate terms. They both have to do with money, but they're DIFFERENT MEASUREMENTS.
I don't think you are following me here, most of that surplus claimed is the money they "borrowed" from trust funds (Soc. Sec., Federal Retirement, Military Retirement, etc.). How can you borrow money and claim the borrowed money is a surplus?
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  #87  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by One Armed Gimp View Post
I don't think you are following me here, most of that surplus claimed is the money they "borrowed" from trust funds (Soc. Sec., Federal Retirement, Military Retirement, etc.). How can you borrow money and claim the borrowed money is a surplus?
That's what "stop loss" is for, isn't it? If you do not allow soldiers to retire, then Military Retirement won't have to pay out. Did I just discover the real reason behind the Iraq War?
  #88  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JSUCamel View Post
First of all, I'm not crowing -- I'm pointing out that "the surplus is a myth" is itself a myth. It's not true. There WAS a surplus and it's misleading to say there wasn't just because the debt didn't go down. Second of all, like SDog pointed out earlier, it's better to have a surplus and not pay off debt than to have a deficit and still not pay off debt.

I won't argue that the debt didn't increase -- it clearly did -- but if you look at this link (from cbo.gov: http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc1087...icaltables.pdf) you'll see that except for 2000-2001, Clinton's final year in office and Bush's first year in office, the national debt has gone UP every single year since 1970. 1998 was the first year that the government recorded a budget surplus (69.3 billion dollars) since at least 1970.

So the national debt went up. So what? Status quo. What wasn't status quo was the budget -- revenues exceeded expenses. Furthermore, according to the CBO, the "intra-government holdings" have gone up every year since 1970, too.

To say that the surplus is a hoax is flat out wrong. To say that the national debt going up and the intra-gov't holdings going up cancels out the surplus is misleading, because both of those numbers have gone up every year since 1970.

So I guess my point is... what use is crowing about how the national debt and intra-gov't holdings went up during Clinton's administration, when it also went up during Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr's administrations?
I wasn't singling you out about crowing. It's like it was Clintons crowning acheivement and it basically meant nothing.

As far as the rest, you're right. I have no argument with any of that. I don't even have an argument about the surplus other than "what's the big deal, yo?"
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  #89  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
I was singling you out about crowing. It's like it was Clintons crowning acheivement and it basically meant nothing.

As far as the rest, you're right. I have no argument with any of that. I don't even have an argument about the surplus other than "what's the big deal, yo?"
Only because the GOP led Congress refused to even consider paying down the debt with it.
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  #90  
Old 04-01-2010, 08:42 AM
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I don't think you are following me here, most of that surplus claimed is the money they "borrowed" from trust funds (Soc. Sec., Federal Retirement, Military Retirement, etc.). How can you borrow money and claim the borrowed money is a surplus?
I don't really follow, and I don't really know where you're getting that information. According to the CBO chart, Revenues, Intra-Gov't Holdings, Social Security, and Medicare are separate columns. Revenues were up, holdings went up, Soc. Sec. went over budget in 2000 (29 billion over)...

As near as I can tell, you're just pulling numbers out of your ass.
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  #91  
Old 04-01-2010, 09:15 AM
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Only because the GOP led Congress refused to even consider paying down the debt with it.
Oh...well that makes all the difference then. I'm sure that when I look it up, the dems were united in voting to pay off the debt with it.
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  #92  
Old 04-01-2010, 09:33 AM
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In the nearly 235 year history of the United States only in 4 years ... that is Four years... has there been no national debt. 98% of the time the nation has been in debt... the nation started $75,463,476.52 in the hole... you might say thats not a big deal. but that is $5,280,000,000,000.00 in todays money
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  #93  
Old 04-01-2010, 10:06 AM
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my above post should have said I wasn't singling you out. It's fixed now
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  #94  
Old 04-01-2010, 10:13 AM
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Oh...well that makes all the difference then. I'm sure that when I look it up, the dems were united in voting to pay off the debt with it.
You're not supposed to fact check it, you're supposed to respond with another partisan attack.
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  #95  
Old 04-01-2010, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JSUCamel View Post
I don't really follow, and I don't really know where you're getting that information. According to the CBO chart, Revenues, Intra-Gov't Holdings, Social Security, and Medicare are separate columns. Revenues were up, holdings went up, Soc. Sec. went over budget in 2000 (29 billion over)...

As near as I can tell, you're just pulling numbers out of your ass.
If have I a budget of $100, and bring in money through my job and then borrow $25 from my mom, then spend the $100 budget and have $15 left over, is that a $15 surplus?

Intra-Government Holdings, as I have said, is money the Government borrowed. If that went up and total national debt went up, how do we have a surplus? They borrowed money and use it to help pay the budget and public debt. How is left over borrowed money a surplus.

I understand that budgeting and indebtedness are 2 different things, but since when does increased borrowing help you have a surplus? Woohoo, budget surplus. On paper it looks good, but in reality they spent more than they took via taxes and such and filled in the difference and then some by borrowing.

Clinton didn't leave the nation any better off, or even on course to pay of our debt as some claim. He left the country the same way presidents have for decades before him, with more debt, increased spending and a bunch of people to parrot about saying he did this or that for the economy.

I think Reagan did good things, but he left the country the same way as listed above. Same with Bush's Sr. and Jr.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:16 AM
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If have I a budget of $100, and bring in money through my job and then borrow $25 from my mom, then spend the $100 budget and have $15 left over, is that a $15 surplus?
How many times do I have to say this? Yes, it is a surplus, because you budgeted $100 and you brought in $115. Budgets don't care where the money comes from -- it's revenues minus expenses. That's it. It's not revenues minus debts minus expenses.

Your debt went up $25, though. Oh, and you borrowed too much.

Quote:
Intra-Government Holdings, as I have said, is money the Government borrowed. If that went up and total national debt went up, how do we have a surplus? They borrowed money and use it to help pay the budget and public debt. How is left over borrowed money a surplus.
I'd like to see some numbers and some sources, if you don't mind. You keep saying these things, but you haven't even remotely bothered to back them up with actual facts, and my searches haven't turned up anything that has hard data. All I can find are "Clinton fucked us over!" and none of the articles link to any data whatsoever.

So as near as I can tell, you're still pulling this stuff out of your ass.

Here's some data for you (source: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy05/hist.html):

(in millions)
Year - Gross Fed. Debt - Total Held by Govt -Total Held by Public
1998 - 5,478,189 - 1,757,090 - 3,721,099
1999 - 5,605,523 - 1,973,160 - 3,632,363
2000 - 5,628,700 - 2,218,896 - 3,409,804
2001 - 5,769,881 - 2,450,266 - 3,319,615

As you can see, the national debt went up by about 100 billion per year from 1998 to 2001. Total debt held by the Gov't (which I'm going to assume is your borrowing money) goes up by about 150 billion per year. But then the total amount held by the public went down by about 132 billion per year. The two virtually cancel each other out (the total net debt went up 22 billion per year because of intra-gov't holdings).

However, the national surplus went over by $265 billion in the 1999-2000 fiscal year, well more than any increase in debt held by the government.

Contrast that with the next four years

(in millions)
Year - Gross Fed. Debt - Total Held by Govt -Total Held by Public
2002 - 6,198,401 - 2,657,974 - 3,540,427
2003 - 6,760,014 - 2,846,570 - 3,913,443
2004 - 7,354,657 - 3,059,113 - 4,295,544
2005 - 7,905,300 - 3,313,088 - 4,592,212

During Bush's first term, the gross federal debt went up by nearly 600 billion dollars per year -- that's six times what it went up during Clinton's last term. The total debt held by the government went up an average of 200 billion dollars per year -- that's $50 billion more than during Clinton's last term. The total debt held by the government went up an average of 380 billion dollars per year -- that's three times more than during Clinton's last term.

I really, honestly, truly fail to see why you're supporting this view of yours that the surplus was a hoax, when I've demonstrated a few times that it clearly wasn't. You're either applying your own definitions to what a surplus is (and misleading yourself and others), you're making up facts (or think you know facts that aren't really true), or you're just being stubborn and defensive because I'm pointing out that you're wrong. I don't know which one it is. I'm just trying to point out that a surplus is a budgetary term and is a surplus regardless of the amount of debt.

Quote:
I understand that budgeting and indebtedness are 2 different things, but since when does increased borrowing help you have a surplus?
When you bring in more than you spend, that's surplus. When you spend more than you bring in, that's deficit. I think I've mentioned this before. Borrowing is one way of bringing in money.

Quote:
Woohoo, budget surplus. On paper it looks good, but in reality they spent more than they took via taxes and such and filled in the difference and then some by borrowing.
First of all, you haven't demonstrated this at all. Second, even if that's true, so what? Like you said, every other administration has done the same.

It doesn't change the fact that we had a budgetary surplus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sei'taer
I don't even have an argument about the surplus other than "what's the big deal, yo?"
From someone who stands on the side of fiscal conservatives, I find this to be highly hypocritical. How do you save money if you're spending more than you bring in?

If this were a company, you wouldn't buy stock in it. You wouldn't want to work for a company that couldn't make a profit.

Let's say a construction company has to borrow $5 million to get equipment and labor to build a building. They build the building, budgeting $10 million. They go over budget by $1 million dollars -- i.e. they spent $11 million (a deficit of $1 million). Is that a good thing?

No, of course not. How can they pay off that debt if they're losing money?!

To answer your question, the big deal is that no other administration in the last 40 years has had a budget surplus. NO OTHER ADMINISTRATION. This proves that if Congress and the President and his administration were so inclined, they could produce surpluses and EVENTUALLY PAY DOWN THE DEBT.

But if they keep spending more than they bring in (winding up with a deficit), then the debt will ONLY GET HIGHER.

So that's why it's a big deal. It's a big deal, because it's at least a chance at ever paying off this national debt. You would think fiscal conservatives would be all for that, but apparently you guys would rather just keep going further and further into debt by having deficit after deficit after deficit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davian
Only because the GOP led Congress refused to even consider paying down the debt with it.
Dude, you're not helping.
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Last edited by JSUCamel; 04-01-2010 at 11:35 AM.
  #97  
Old 04-01-2010, 11:23 AM
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  #98  
Old 04-01-2010, 11:31 AM
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Ok...now I get what your saying.

If I buy a car and finanace the 20 grand and make payments of $400 a month, then bring home $600 a month, bank the $200 then I am carrying the debt for the car but I have a surplus of $200 for the month because I am paid up on my debt. Right?
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  #99  
Old 04-01-2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
Ok...now I get what your saying.

If I buy a car and finanace the 20 grand and make payments of $400 a month, then bring home $600 a month, bank the $200 then I am carrying the debt for the car but I have a surplus of $200 for the month because I am paid up on my debt. Right?
Well, that depends on the budget. If your budget doesn't include paying off the debt (say the loan is interest free for six months), then yes, you have a surplus. Your net worth is still 20 grand (ish) in the hole, because you owe that debt, but in a purely budgetary sense, you have a surplus.

Net worth is assets minus liabilities. In this scenario, your assets are your $600/month and your liability is the $20,000 grand.

Your budget is concerned with revenues minus expenses. Your revenues are $600/month and your expenses are whatever you have to pay that month (usually bills, but in this case, your car payment and possibly loan payments, if monthly payments are required).

Now some months you may budget house repairs, and that $200 would go toward the house repairs (and you'd have a balanced budget -- you budgeted $600 and spent $600). One month you may need to buy an anniversary gift for your wife, and that $200 would go toward the gift (again, balanced budget). Some months you may budget paying down the debt, in which case you put the $200 toward the debt (balanced budget again).

If your wife (hypothetically) gets a boob job, and it costs $10,000, then you have a $9,800 deficit (you spent more than you brought in).

The amount of your debt is unrelated to whether you have a budgetary surplus or not. It's purely a matter of revenues minus expenses.
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  #100  
Old 04-01-2010, 12:03 PM
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Looking at the line for 1998 from the CBO chart, you will see that we carried On-Budget deficit of -29.9 billion dollars. They then used Off-Budget revenue (Social Security) to supplment the remainder and then some and came up with a surplus.

Now fine, you want to argue that borrowing is ok. My question then would become, if they are going to include Off-Budget revenue, why not include Off-Budget expenses?

When you make a budget for your household, everything is included. That is not the case with the government. The Federal Budget does not include all the money that the government spends. And I am not saying that Clinton is the first one to do this, not by a long shot, but they used it to their advantage (again though, he is not the first). Government spending did not go down, revenues didn't jump to the point of being able to cover all the expenses, they did the same thing every presidential administration has done and that is pull some gimmicks.
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