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Is the Deficit Really Falling?

Will the Fight for Debt Control Slow Down in Washington?

More money is coming into the Treasury, the government is spending a little less, the unemployment rate is slowly moving down, and Wall Street is doing great. And the cherry on top: Last Thursday, the once-embattled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they would return a combined $66.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury. ABC World News

So are things looking better for the economy?  It sort of looks like it.

I have to imagine it has something to do with the tax increases and the forced government spending cuts (thanks to sequestration), but does that mean we are good now, especially for the future?  Not likely.  I fear that if the economy is looking like it is starting to turn around, that the pressure for Washington to get their financial house in order doesn’t start to fade.

There is a debt ceiling fight on the horizon (again) and some Republicans are hoping that will force the conversation about tax and entitlement reform.  …we can only hope.

In a report at the beginning of May, the Congressional Budget Office said that the federal budget deficit in the last seven months of 2013 is $231 billion less than it was in the same period a year ago.  That’s hard to believe, but it must be true it’s the CBO!  …Mostly the reduction in the budget deficit has to do with collecting far more tax revenue after the payroll tax cut and the Bush tax cuts for high income earners were allowed to expire.

For the month of April, the government actually ran a surplus of $112 billion. That’s right, a surplus!

To report this as good news just blurs the fact that it is a gigantic deficit and a $112 billion surplus is like finding a penny on the ground. Republicans have made it clear that in exchange for a debt ceiling increase (which I don’t think should be allowed) they’ll ask for concessions that could jump-start deficit reduction.

The problem is if the deficit continues to be reduced, albeit by a comparatively miniscule amount, there is no doubt that the Republicans are going to have a fight on their hands when it comes to getting congress to reign in the entitlement spending.

It seems to me that no matter the party, the politicians in Washington don’t really care about fixing the economy as much as they are about keeping their jobs (by keeping their constituents and special interest groups happy) and pushing their agenda.

I don’t feel like the elected politicians in Washington look at their positions as servants to the country as was originally intended by our Framers.  It’s possible that if there were term limits for congress and no life-long benefits, we might get people who are interested in serving and making our country better, and weed out the “professional politicians”

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