We learned about a month ago that the U.S. budget deficit for the most recent fiscal year fell to $1.089 trillion, $200 billion smaller than it was last year, and nearly $300 billion smaller than when President Obama took office.
For many on the left, the news was discouraging – the deficit should be going up, not down, as we invest in job creation and economic growth. For the right, the complaints stayed the same – the deficit that exploded under Bush/Cheney was still too high. But regardless of ideology, the fact remains that there’s been an enormous drop in the size of the deficit in the first half of the Obama era.
How enormous? Matt Yglesias flagged this item from Investors Business Daily noting a tidbit that’s generally ignored in the larger political debate over the nation’s finances: “Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.”
As the political world obsesses over the ongoing debt-reduction talks, I hope it’s not too much to ask that policymakers remember that the deficit is already shrinking at an aggressive pace.