Since Washington and the mainstream press corps are pretending that our deficit woes are the result of a roughly equal blend of excessive federal spending and insufficient federal taxation, let’s review the evidence. According to official government figures published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in fiscal year 2008, the federal government took in $2.524 trillion and spent $2.983 trillion. So the federal government, then under the leadership of President George W. Bush and a Democratic House and Senate, was spending well beyond its means. For every $6 that it had, it was spending a little over $7 — an unsustainable course. At the end of fiscal year 2008, our national debt was a $9.986 trillion (see table S-9) — and rising.
In the 50 months since — again according to official CBO tallies (see here and here) — the federal government has proceeded to make the profligate federal government of 2008 look downright frugal. Over that 50-month span — all of which has coincided with Democratic control of the Senate and the vast majority of which has coincided with President Obama’s control of the executive branch (the House has been split roughly evenly between Democratic and Republican control) — the federal government has taken in $9.365 trillion in tax revenue, and it has spent $14.749 trillion. So for every $7 it has taken in, it has spent a little over $11.