It’s Jobs, Not the Deficit

The deficit for FY 2013, which ended on September 30, was $680 billion.  To economists, what matter is not the amount of the deficit, but what percentage of GDP it represents.  In this case, it’s 4.1% of GDP.

For FY 2009, the deficit was 10.1% of GDP.  So the deficit has fallen by more than half.

Right now, our most immediate concern is (or should be, GOP) jobs, not the deficit.  Yes, we have longer-term deficit problems, but the most important thing to do now is not to make those future deficits worse by failing to create jobs.  To the extent we do that, we generate more tax revenue and we reduce demand for unemployment benefits, Medicaid, and food stamps, so the government automatically gets more and spends less without cutting the safety net or raising taxes.

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6 comments on “It’s Jobs, Not the Deficit

  1. danielfee says:

    But according to Fox News Obama lied because he said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. So were they right because it took a year longer? Not really, technically the FY’s end Sept 30th, so this was the end of Obama’s fourth FY. FY 2009 was Bush’s last budget year. My right-wing brother tried to argue that the deficit came down because of the sequester cuts that the Republicans adopted. You mean those sequester cuts that a few months ago the Republicans were saying was Obama’s idea? They can’t keep up with their own BS. Too funny. 🙂

    • Poor you, with a right-wing brother. That makes for an unpleasant Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      • danielfee says:

        We don’t normally do the holidays together, but during football season we go to the same sports bar to watch the Buckeyes. The funny thing is that when he first moved to FL we bought a house together and lived with each other for years. He knew nothing about politics. Then he met a Cuban girl, married her and moved to Miami. So now he hangs out with all the old Cubans in Miami that have hated the Democrats ever since Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs. Next thing you know he is repeating all of the right-wing non-sense. One day after a few beers while watching the game he started in on how Reagan was the greatest president ever. Then I reminded him he lived with me during the entire time of the Reagan administration and that he did not follow politics at all and couldn’t tell me a thing that Reagan was doing during that period. That shut him up. 🙂
        Today’s little back-and-forth was on Obamacare. He was telling me all the problems with the ACA. I asked him if had gone on the website yet. Of course not, because according to him it doesn’t work. Funny, I have gone on the site, opened an account and started researching my available options. I asked him if he was aware that in Florida we could chose from 140 +/- plans. Of course he didn’t. So then he switched to at his work they have started hiring only part time workers because of the ACA. Of course he gets his insurance through his employer, has very limited options, and hasn’t even visited the website. But he is an expert about everything related to Obamacare. It is so much fun trying to talk to these right-wingers.
        I don’t know if you have looked into what you have available, but what I have found so far is that my wife and I could get a platinum level plan for about 21% less than we are paying now. But it might be even better if I keep my current plan and we get hers through the exchange. So I will keep researching.

      • Now I understand! He’s in the Cuban bubble.

      • That’s what love will do to you.

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