You won’t hear much about it from the scandal-obsessed Washington press corps, but the federal deficit has been coming down dramatically.
How dramatically? In 2010, the deficit was 10 percent of GDP. The CBO reported this week it’s now down to 4 percent of GDP. The economy is coming back, the bailout money is being paid back to the treasury, and the austerity initiative – tax increases and budget cuts – is having its intended effect. Those cuts are hurting economic growth, of course, and unemployment is still way too high, but the Republicans in Congress demanded that cutting the deficit be a higher priority than creating jobs.
So Washington, despite or because of its partisan paralysis, succeeded. Suppose they’ll now offer congratulations all around and get on with the business of helping the private economy grow? Fat chance.