Memo: To B Bradford

Somebody by the name of B.Bradford emails me

Regarding your blog entry about the “Alleged Budget Surplus During the Clinton Administration” I just wanted to bring some facts to your attention.Firstly, you are not using adjusted dollars, therefore you are incorrect including inflation in your
measurement. A better measure would be to use debt as
a percentage of GDP.
(Note to Bradford: No where in my post is there any mention of inflation or adjustment for inflation and as for percentage of GDP See chart below)

Secondly, even today the White House (under the Republicans) states that there was a surplus:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2002/guide04.html
(Note to Bradford: I am not responsible for the stupidity of the Republicans, besides it is in their interest to confuse you.)

Thirdly, measures of public debt are NOT the same as
measures of national debt. Some debt is
intragovernmental holdings via the Federal Reserve.

If your webpage was to use adjusted dollars, or
preferably percent of GDP you’ll find that in fact the
debt did, as the White House says, decrease due to a
surplus.
(Note to Bradford: If total debt as a percent of GDP goes down, it means that GDP is rising faster than debt growth and does not mean that the budget is in surplus.)

So I hope you’ll correct, or at least amend your
information as it is currently incorrect.

Thanks,
B. Bradford

So, B Bradford I checked your link and, though the date shows to be August 30, 2006, the funny thing is the numbers look like they were prepared by the Clinton Administration or the Bush Administration prior to 9/11. It shows “Debt subject to legal limit” as 5,592 in 2000, with estimates of 5,588 in 2001, 5,627 in 2002, 5,688 in 2003, 5,749 in 2004, 5,822 in 2005, and 5,881 in 2006. It further states

Federal borrowing involves the sale, to the public, of notes and bonds of varying sizes and time periods until maturity. The cumulative amount of borrowing from the public—i.e., the debt held by the public—is the most important measure of Federal debt because it is what the Government has borrowed in the private markets over the years, and it determines how much the Government pays in interest to the public.

In other words it says we should only worry about the amount the Fed has to pay in interest to the public, not the government.

Now that’s just nuts. For example, let’s say that you have credit cards and mortgage, but you also decide to set up a college fund and actually put aside money every month in a “lock box” in your home for the kids college. You as the man of the house see all that money pile up. It is just sitting there and you need a new boat. So you borrow money for the boat from the “lock box”.

Next year that money is just sitting there and you want a new flat screen so you borrow that money from the “lock box”. Comes time for college and the “lock box” is bare and you say not to worry. The debt to the “lock box” is not the same as debt to the bank and the mortgage, because it is money we owe to ourself. Never mind the kids don’t get to go to college. B Bradford, we now owe over $8 Trillion and we must pay the interest on the Federal debt of $8 Trillion.

The facts are there was no surplus in the Clinton years. The Federal debt went up each year while he was in office. Not by a lot, but it still went up:

09/29/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86
09/30/1999 $5,656,270,901,615.43
09/30/1998 $5,526,193,008,897.62
09/30/1997 $5,413,146,011,397.34
09/30/1996 $5,224,810,939,135.73
09/29/1995 $4,973,982,900,709.39
09/30/1994 $4,692,749,910,013.32
09/30/1993 $4,411,488,883,139.38
09/30/1992 $4,064,620,655,521.66


Source: Office of Management and Budget 2006

B Bradford Budget Surplus Clinton Administration national debt Mover Mike

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