For much of the 1980s, the government's annual receipts and outlays grew at a similar pace. Then, from 1992 to 2000, with the cooperation between Republicans and President Clinton, the pace of outlays slowed while a booming economy and stock market buoyed receipts. Spending accelerated in the early 2000s while receipts fell and then recovered strongly after the recession. The 2008 recession again caused receipts to fall and spending to surge, but since 2010, spending has remained at around $3.5 trillion. This, combined with the cyclical recovery in receipts, explains the annual deficit's improvement. Reducing the federal debt to manageable levels is achievable if the economy grows and spending can continue to be steady, but the rancor with which the political debate is being conducted is hurting confidence and impeding growth, in our view.
David Fuller's view Political rancour in the USA can only be a negative distraction by creating uncertainty and delaying some private sector investment programmes.Back to top