94 Percent of Americans Don’t Know: Deficit Getting SmallerBy
At the Maddow Blog, Steve Benen examines the results of a Bloomberg News poll. Respondents were asked, “Is it your sense that this year the deficit is getting bigger or getting smaller, or is it staying about the same as last year?”
A 62% majority believe the deficit is getting bigger, 28% believe the deficit is staying roughly the same, and only 6% believe the deficit is shrinking.
In other words, in the midst of a major national debate over America’s finances, 90% of Americans are wrong about the one basic detail that probably matters most in the conversation, while only 6% — 6%! — are correct.
For the record, last year, over President Obama’s first four years, the deficit shrunk by about $300 billion. This year, the deficit is projected to be about $600 billion smaller than when the president took office. We are, in reality, currently seeing the fastest deficit reduction in several generations.
Daily Kos Senior Policy Editor, Jed Lewison reshuffles that data:
In fiscal year 2010, which was President Obama’s first full fiscal year in office, the budget deficit was $1.3 trillion. In fiscal year 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will be $845 billion. That’s a 35 percent decrease in terms of dollars, and it’s even bigger—41 percent—if you’re tracking the deficit as a share of the GDP. The percentage drop is even bigger—roughly 50 percent—if you start from fiscal year 2009, which overlapped the final year of the Bush presidency and the first year of Obama’s.
A shame it’s so long until Thanksgiving. Those tidbits would make make crunchy appetizers for your tea party relatives.
[h/t Dave Johnson]