Speed Reads


Obama is on track to leave a budget surplus

Obama is on track to leave a budget surplus

Bill Clinton left the presidency with a budget surplus. And although the first five years of Barack Obama's presidency have featured high (but falling) deficits, it's starting to look like Obama could do the same.

For the first time since the 1950s, federal spending is lower than it was four years ago:

[MKM Partners]

As Mike Darda argues:

The fiscal deficit has been falling by an average of 1.5 percentage points per annum since peaking in late 2009. If this trend continues, it would imply a balanced budget during 2015 and a fiscal surplus in 2016. [AEI]

Obama leaving office with a balanced budget would come as a big shock to those who have compared the U.S. to crisis-stricken countries like Greece, or claimed that Obama is spending like a drunken sailor.

But that is exactly what the U.S. is on trend to do. (h/t James Pethokoukis)