In his latest column, George Will cites to an article by economist, Jeffrey Dorfman, in which Dorfman refers to some interesting facts about the deficit. In the last year of the Clinton administration, which was the last time the budget was balanced, Dorfman points out that spending was $1.94 trillion and revenues were $2.10 trillion. If we had continued with the Clinton budget, adjusting for population growth and inflation, today’s equivalents would be $2.77 trillion in spending and $3.0 trillion in revenues.
But federal spending today is actually $3.76 trillion, which is $987 billion higher than the Clinton-era projection, while revenues are slightly lower, coming in at $2.67 trillion. Liberals today claim that the deficit problem is lack of revenue, but as Dorfman concludes, these numbers seem to be pretty good proof that spending is the real culprit. The fiscal cliff would replace the missing revenues, but we would still have a significant deficit due to the out-of-control spending. On many occasions, Obama has called for a return to Clinton-era tax levels, but he really needs to return to Clinton-era spending levels.