Thursday, April 28, 2011

US Deficit Spending Update

I'm sure you all remember my famous post about political parties and spending from late 2009.  I wanted to update it with whatever additional data was available.  I mentioned before that I had found a nice spreadsheet with all the data but lost it, and couldn't find it again.  The good news is that I found that spreadsheet again.  The bad news is that the data didn't match.  Further inspection revealed that the data prior to 2004 did match, but that the 2004 and later data didn't.  I checked the 2003 spreadsheet and, sure enough, the numbers I had for 2004 and later were the 2003 estimates.  My fatal mistake was in using data from some random website as opposed to the GPO website.  This was because I was too lazy to get the data from a bunch of individual spreadsheets.  Who ever could have guessed my laziness would come back to haunt me?

My previous spreadsheet showed FY2009 as having a 9% deficit (i.e. we spent 9% more than we took in).  In reality it was 67%.  As you might guess, that's the worst it's been since WWII.

As far as the new data goes, there are some interesting things to note.  First is that the actual numbers were better than the estimates (up to 2008).  In 2007 the deficit was 6.3%.  Looking at the change in revenue and spending in 2008 and 2009 makes it clear how it went from 6.3% to 67% in two years. There was a 9% and 18% increase in spending for those two years (average being about 6%).  This was coupled with a 2% and then a 17% reduction in income.  The other interesting thing is that 2010 saw a 1.75% reduction in spending from 2009.  That is the first time the Federal government spent less money than a previous year since 1965.

2010 is the newest data available (FY2011 ends in sept 2011).  I've included the 2011 and 2012 estimates (labeled this time).

The (updated) data is here:

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