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  • Writer's pictureJack Alford

"Tax and Spend Democrats" Cut Budget Deficit in Half

I have been hearing Republicans rail about the "tax and spend" Democrats for as long as I can remember. But what the actual numbers show is that budget deficits usually increase under Republican presidents, and decrease when Democrats are in office. The Treasury Department recently released a report showing that the Federal budget deficit in 2021 was half of what it was the previous year -- the largest decrease in history -- as unusually high COVID relief spending declined, and unprecedented revenue was collected. This graphic from the Treasury Department shows the trend of deficits since the last surplus, during the Clinton administration.

(Source: U. S. Treasury)

Reminder: the Federal budget deficit is basically the difference between Federal government spending, and revenue collected, in a fiscal year. This figure is different from the national debt (borrowing to cover cumulative deficits), or the trade deficit.

Worth noting is that even before COVID, the budget deficit increased every year of the Trump administration, largely due to Trump's 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy (and the subsequent failure -- again -- of trickle-down economics), which created a shortfall in revenue.

So, the next time your crazy Fox-addicted uncle starts bemoaning the "Biden deficits," show him this graphic, and ask him to explain the pre-COVID deficit increases under Trump.

For more on this topic, see this CNBC article.

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