File:Deficits vs. Debt Increases - 2009.png

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English: U.S. Total Budget Deficits vs. Debt Increases

Description & Source Data

This chart shows how the reported budget deficit often quoted in the press is increasingly not reflective of government spending in excess of tax receipts, which is indicated by debt increases. There are two primary categories of differences: thumb|Comparison of Deficits to Change in Debt 2008

  • "Off-budget" amounts: There are certain categories of receipts and disbursements which are included in the budget process, but are (counter-intuitively) called "off-budget." The primary item is Social Security. During 2007, the "Off-budget" surplus was $183 billion, which lowered the "On-budget" deficit of $638 billion to the "Total Deficit" of $455 billion. This total deficit figure is the amount often reported in the press; such amounts are illustrated by the blue bars in the chart.
  • Supplemental appropriations: These amounts are authorized for payment via legislation outside the annual budget process. Examples are the costs of the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars (about $750 billion total since 2001), the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (about $170 billion), and earmarks (about $20-$50 billion per year).
Since the debt went up about $1017 billion during 2008, that means $379 billion (1017-638=379) were non-budgeted expenses or outside the annual budget process.
Source I (Farcaster (talk) 17:59, 17 October 2009 (UTC)) created this work entirely by myself.
Author Farcaster (talk) 17:59, 17 October 2009 (UTC)


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