U.S. Budget Deficit - Good or Bad?

Essay by scoobyprincessHigh School, 11th grade September 2005

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Spending, financed not by current tax receipts, but by

borrowing or drawing upon past tax reserves." , Is it a good idea? Why

does the U.S. run a deficit? Since 1980 the deficit has grown

enormously. Some say its a bad thing, and predict impending doom,

others say it is a safe and stable necessity to maintain a healthy

economy. When the U.S. government came into existence and for about a

150 years thereafter the government managed to keep a balanced budget.

The only times a budget deficit existed during these first 150 years

were in times of war or other catastrophic events. The Government, for

instance, generated deficits during the War of 1812, the recession of

1837, the Civil War, the depression of the 1890s, and World War I.

However, as soon as the war ended the deficit would be eliminated and

the economy which was much larger than the amounted debt would quickly

absorb it.

The last time the budget ran a surplus was in 1969 during

Nixon's presidency. Budget deficits have grown larger and more

frequent in the last half-century. In the 1980s they soared to record

levels. The Government cut income tax rates, greatly increased defense

spending, and didn't cut domestic spending enough to make up the

difference. Also, the deep recession of the early 1980s reduced

revenues, raising the deficit and forcing the Government to spend much

more on paying interest for the national debt at a time when interest

rates were high. As a result, the national debt grew in size after

1980. It grew from $709 billion to $3.6 trillion in 1990, only one

decade later.

Increase of National Debt Since 1980, Monthly Amount.


12/31/1980 $930,210,000,000.00 *

12/31/1981 $1,028,729,000,000.00 *

12/31/1982 $1,197,073,000,000.00 *

12/31/1983 $1,410,702,000,000.00 *

12/31/1984 $1,662,966,000,000.00 *

12/31/1985 $1,945,941,616,459.88...