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The Myth of the Clinton Surplus
http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16 ^ | October 31, 2007 | Craig Steiner

Posted on 11/26/2012 4:14:39 PM PST by all the best

Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus. This is then used as an argument to further highlight the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government under the Bush administration.

The claim is generally made that Clinton had a surplus of $69 billion in FY1998, $123 billion in FY1999 and $230 billion in FY2000 . In that same link, Clinton claimed that the national debt had been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years, presumably FY1998, FY1999, and FY2000--though, interestingly, $360 billion is not the sum of the alleged surpluses of the three years in question ($69B + $123B + $230B = $422B, not $360B).

While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it's curious to see Clinton's record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.

Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury (see note about this link below) website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government's fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton's budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here's the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets:

(Excerpt) Read more at craigsteiner.us ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: clinton; clintonsurplus; debt; deficit; sourcetitlenoturl; surplus
The government can have a surplus even if it has trillions in debt, but it cannot have a surplus if that debt increased every year. This article is about surplus/deficit, not the debt. However, it analyzes the debt to prove there wasn't a surplus under Clinton.
1 posted on 11/26/2012 4:14:45 PM PST by all the best
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To: all the best

I’ve been told by a couple of liberal friends that private governmental debt doesn’t count. Of course that’s only possible if you acknowledge that there is no social security trust fund.


2 posted on 11/26/2012 4:19:28 PM PST by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: all the best
Sadly, the last time the National Debt was reduced from one fiscal year to the next was the fiscal year ending December 31, 1960. That was Dwight Eisenhower's last year as President. The National Debt decreased 3 times in the 8 years that Eisenhower was President. It has NEVER decreased since then.

Proof that some guys can play golf and find time to do their job.

3 posted on 11/26/2012 4:21:46 PM PST by Bernard ('He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else' - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: all the best
The Myth of the Clinton Surplus, Part II
4 posted on 11/26/2012 4:28:17 PM PST by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: all the best

Clintons = LAIRS


5 posted on 11/26/2012 4:39:03 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: all the best

“Man Made Disaster”; “Workplace Violence”: ‘th nation is going over the cliff....” “Romney’s rich and doesn’t care....” “Obama not racist”.....it was a video that caused the deaths of four Americans.....whatever trash the MSM repeats and repeats becomes fact when it is really fallacy and it makes no difference that America’s credit rating is no longer respected that her word is no longer respected, that her products are no longer 1st or 2nd, third is fine with the idiots public school, and colleges/universities graduates produced...the MSM is anti-American...they love Obama and he can do no wrong regardless how reckless or almost treacherous to our nation and her Constitution this man is....the Socialist/Communist Obama is their man in the White House.


6 posted on 11/26/2012 4:47:21 PM PST by yoe
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To: freekitty

That’s probably insulting to cavepeople. I’m sure they have nice homes.


7 posted on 11/26/2012 4:57:21 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (They may take our lives... but they'll never take our FREEDOM!)
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To: all the best

8 posted on 11/26/2012 5:02:54 PM PST by WVKayaker ("Mitt Romney couldn't keep up with lies and spin of Barack Obama" - Sarah Palin 10/24)
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To: all the best
Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus.

People listening to Noot Gingrich several months back would have heard the same thing. Unfortunately, the last year this nation saw a surplus was in 1957.

9 posted on 11/26/2012 5:18:45 PM PST by Hoodat ("As for God, His way is perfect" - Psalm 18:30)
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To: FReepers; Patriots; FRiends


Some make more than one donation
Many make none
Have YOU contributed?


10 posted on 11/26/2012 5:22:42 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: all the best

The national debt increased by 1.3 Trillion under Clinton, although by today’s standard that’s not so bad and we can thank the Gingrich/Kasich Congress for at least keeping it somewhat in check. Still, the Clinton surplus is a myth.


11 posted on 11/26/2012 5:24:42 PM PST by ScottfromNJ
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To: all the best

Wow, goes to show you how much the media, and Billy Jeff, love to lie about how things were, much less are. I wonder what Billy is spending his time doing nowadays, hope he’s actually working, for a change!!!


12 posted on 11/26/2012 6:30:55 PM PST by Morpheus2009
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To: all the best

None the less the fiscal situation at the end of the Clinton/Republican partnership was INFINITELY better than it’s been in the 12 years since.


13 posted on 11/26/2012 7:03:23 PM PST by DManA
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To: all the best

If we survive the Obama years, the left will try to tell us how great it was. We can’t let them.


14 posted on 11/26/2012 7:04:11 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (bahits.com)
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To: all the best

I’m pretty sure that Bush41 and Bush43 used the same accounting methods (essentially, treating the Social Security System’s excess of revenues over expenditures as an offset to the deficit of the non-Social-Security portion of the government).

The linked article says “While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush....” but doesn’t elaborate. The answer is that the deficits reported under both Bushes would have been even higher if Social Security had been accounted for separately.

I understand the author’s focus on the claims about Clinton. It’s misleading, though, if it gives the impression that this accounting method is solely a Democratic subterfuge. It was pioneered by Republicans.


15 posted on 11/27/2012 12:19:02 AM PST by Eagle Forgotten
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To: Eagle Forgotten
It was pioneered by Republicans.

Au contraire!

It was pioneered by none other than LBJ, who was responsible for merging the "government operations budget" with the "Social Security budget".

It was his way of funding two wars: The War on Poverty and Viet Nam. Both of which he botched...badly.

16 posted on 11/27/2012 12:51:59 AM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA; Ignorance on parade.)
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To: all the best

Those books he cooked were so delicious demRATS ate every bit of it.


17 posted on 11/27/2012 1:39:54 AM PST by clearcarbon
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To: WVKayaker

That plot ends in 2007 — the peak is now twice that height.


18 posted on 11/27/2012 1:46:18 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Cincinatus
That plot ends in 2007

I used that one because it shows this Clintoon myth. I posted the full graph on a couple of other threads...

A few trillion here, a few trillion there... well, we know!

19 posted on 11/27/2012 2:05:24 AM PST by WVKayaker ("Mitt Romney couldn't keep up with lies and spin of Barack Obama" - Sarah Palin 10/24)
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To: andyk
I’ve been told by a couple of liberal friends that private governmental debt doesn’t count. Of course that’s only possible if you acknowledge that there is no social security trust fund.

I've had similar conversations. I usually have to do Rush's "for the folks in Rio Linda" deal and explain that they are saying that the government's debt to them doesn't matter - how will they feel if they don't get their Social Security and other paid-for benefits when the time comes. . .

20 posted on 11/27/2012 5:54:36 AM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: ScottfromNJ
Clinton inherited the “Peace Dividend” from the Reagan/Bush policies that helped collapse the Soviet Union. Clinton was able to drastically shrink the military and funding for intelligence services. The period of “peace” also opened up new markets for American business including the former USSR.
21 posted on 11/27/2012 10:20:59 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: okie01

I think you’re correct that Social Security was put “on-budget” under LBJ. I don’t think that played a significant role in funding Vietnam or the War on Poverty, though.

Back then, Social Security was essentially a pay-as-you-go system. It didn’t accumulate significant surpluses that could be borrowed for other purposes. That change came in 1983. At that time the FICA tax rate was increased for the specific purpose of building up a huge surplus that could be used to fund Baby Boomer retirements decades later.

It was only after 1983 that putting Social Security “on-budget” had a significant effect on the government’s annual reported surplus/deficit.

Of course, we’re nearing the point when, even in economic boom times, Social Security will show a net deficit, as it draws down the Trust Fund so as to maintain benefits. When that happens, the President, whether a Democrat or a Republican, will be strongly tempted to separate out the Social Security budget, because that’s what will make the “official” figure for the federal budget look better.


22 posted on 11/27/2012 2:28:46 PM PST by Eagle Forgotten
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