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A Hard Look At Reality: When Has The Federal Deficit Been This High?

Federal budget deficit since 1980A picture graph is worth 1,000 pages of congressional lawmaking.

The chart on the left was compiled by Bloomberg, and shows the budget surplus / deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.

I came across this chart this morning, and mentally did an overlay of historical events.  That led me to wonder what a longer historical perspective would show.

Deficits since the Civil War

I found the most interesting and interactive website to help me with this. The chart below shows the Federal Deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product since 1860.  You'll want to note some significant events that have taken place in our nation since that time, and overlay the events on the chart.

US federal deficit as a percentage of GDP since the civil war

The American Civil War

1861 to 1865

US Involvement in World War I

1917 to 1919

US Involvement in World War II

1941 to 1945

The First Gulf War

1990 to 1991

The Iraq War

2003 - 2009

And that leads me to wonder this: To what event will history attribute that blue spike on the right, a deficit never equaled except in a time of world war?

Back to that first chart...

From the TARP bill to the current legislation passed over the weekend under the heading "health care reform," it's apparent that none of the elected representatives we voted into office take the time to READ, EVALUATE, and UNDERSTAND the legislation they enact into law.

"There wasn't time," I've heard lawmakers say on CNN, "the crisis was so great that we had to act..." 

I beg to differ.

  • You can't run your real estate business like that. 
  • You can't operate your household like that. 
  • We ought not to let our representatives run our country like that.

The Voter Revolution

2009 to ...

 ___________________

I'm Mike in Tucson, and I blog here on the Active Rain Real Estate Network just about every day.

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Comment balloon 17 commentsMike Jones • November 12 2009 10:20PM

Comments

Very interesting!  They are obviously also not paying ANY attention to what their constituents want.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

Marchel,

Thanks for being the first to comment!  Just the reason to vote them out of office!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Amen! What eye opening statistics. Great site you found. And you are right - we couldn't run our home or business this way.

Posted by Kathryn Gorham, Emerald Isle NC Crystal Coast (Green Key Realty) almost 11 years ago

That picture make my Heart Ache!  I feel like a lamb on the way to slaughter.

Posted by Kathleen Frawley, South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404 (Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento) almost 11 years ago

Mike, you are a big graph person- and its a wonderful tool to follow how bad the situation is ...

Posted by Judy Greenberg, Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes (Coldwell Banker Long Grove) almost 11 years ago

Kathleen,  That may be because you we are. 

 

"it's apparent that none of the elected representatives we voted into office take the time to READ, EVALUATE, and UNDERSTAND the legislation they enact into law."

Mike,  That's because they don't live under the laws they make us live under.  There needs to be very short term limits.

 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 11 years ago

Doreen,

I'm in agreement with term limits, but not with the "sheep to slaughter" metaphor.  We (unlike the sheep) have a voice.  We VOTE.

Judy,

Thanks for having the courage to comment.  Now organize and VOTE!

Kathleen,

The biblical reference speaks about sheep being "dumb."  In the context, it means that they have no voice.  We do have a voice, each one of us.  WE CAN VOTE~go volunteer to help the campaign of someone in your district with whom you agree, and help get out the vote.

Kathryn,

I appreciate you coming by and commenting.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Boy the graphs really bring it home...we voted here in NJ and voted the incumbent out of office.  The sad thing is when polled, NJ voters said they didn't think anyone could fix our fiscal problems!  On the national level, we're in BIG trouble. 

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) almost 11 years ago

Mike,
That is very interesting.  Unless there are some big changes, it's going to be a rough ride!  Can we hang on?

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) almost 11 years ago

Mike:  We do have a voice through our Vote.  They may not listen to us right now but if Americans will remember all of this when they go to Vote, they will hear us then and I can't wait. 

Laura: I applaud you in New Jersey for voting out the incumbent!

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) almost 11 years ago

Mike,

I would think that we are paying our elected voices in DC to know / read what it is they are voting on to become law.  I would think that knowledge and action would go hand in hand.  FORGET THE KNEE JERK REACTIONS!!

There is always time to make sure things are done right!

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) almost 11 years ago

Mike, there is only one way cure our national legislators, Publicly Funded Elections

Our Senators and Representatives are dependent on special interests and big business for campaign money to gain and remain in office. 

I believe that Arizona implemented public funding for your state legislators, it is now time to take it nationally.

I agree it is time for a The Voter Revolution
Publicly Funded Elections will put us back in charge by severely limiting big money political influence.

Posted by Bill Ladewig, Experience Is Your Advantage (LoanOfficerSchool.com) almost 11 years ago

Some did vote for "change" but I agree, it's time for a real change and the voters can do it.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) almost 11 years ago

Hi  Mike, you're right the picture is worth more than the 1000 pages. 

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) almost 11 years ago

Mike - Isn't it sad that people know more about American Idol than they do about what is happening to our country?  Any economist with any credibility will tell you that you cannot spend your way out of a recession.  We are spending our way into oblivion.  This is not a Democrat issue or a Republican issue.  This is an American issue.  People have got to wake up, become informed and work to help elect responsible people to office.

Posted by Jane Penttinen, NMLS #222178 (V.I.P. Mortgage ) almost 11 years ago

Mike - I knew that's what the number equated to, but seeing those graphs makes me so mad... I will be at every election making my voice heard, and hope everyone else does the same. Voter turnout has been increasing in our area. Here's to 100% turnout at the next presidential election!

Posted by Karen Cooper, Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States (Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas) almost 11 years ago

Karen,

It's congress that's not reading their own bills, and the House of Representatives (a misnomer if ever there was one) is up for re-election next year.  As the Aussies, say, "Good on ye."

Jane,

Amen to that!  It's not a partisan thing, is it?!

Mary,

Thanks for stopping by; are you going to get involved in your local politics?

Teral,

Go get 'em!

Bill,

I'm for that!

Don,

You said it!

Donna,

I know I'm saying something right when the post gets hijacked!  Love it; thanks for commenting.

Cynthia,

Yes we can!  Yes, we will!

Laura,

Good job in NJ!  Now for 2010, let's keep up the momentum.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

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