A recent Huffington Post Headline read, LEAST PRODUCTIVE CONGRESS EVER. To some people—those who rely on government to solve their problems—that might seem like bad news. But to me it’s good. I think we already have too many laws. When I see a law, I see red tape that slows productivity. I think that every time Congress makes a new law, they should also take one away.
In any event, there is an upside to this bickering partisan Congress. Fewer new laws means less new spending, and the result is that as federal tax revenues have grown in recent years, our national deficit has been slowly shrinking.
Take a minute to study the table below, especially if you don’t consider yourself a “numbers person.”
Receipts is what the Federal government brings in, mainly through taxes. Outlays is what it spends. And the deficit is the amount by which those expenses exceed those revues in one year. Spending more than you earn is not something you can do for long in your own household account, and it’s not something a country should do for long, either.
But the U.S. hasn’t had an annual surplus since 2001, and the increases in spending beginning in 2009—to fight the financial meltdown—resulted in deficits vastly larger than any seen before.
Happily, those deficits are now shrinking, and if the government can stay dysfunctional long enough—and thus fail to enact new expensive laws—we may actually get back to a surplus again, which would be a wonderful thing for the world to see.