SpinnerMan wrote:This is an apples to oranges comparison.
A budget deficit is just that.
Expected income $1000
Expected future spending $1200
Budget deficit $200
Actual income $1000
Actual spending in that year $100
Expected future spending remaining $200
That is not a balanced budget.
Now if the next year you plan to spend no more than you take in and that is what you do. That's a balanced budget even if you spend the $200 in planned spending from the year prior when you had a $200 budget deficit.
I'm pretty sure that is what is happening.
They are describing two different things.
Except, they didn't actually spend less, they spent more than projected in 2013.
Not at all.
The projected spending in 2013 included spending that was in the FY13 budget, FY12 budget, FY11 budget and maybe even some from prior years
Obama was talking about the FY13 budget which includes projected spending for FY13, FY14, and maybe beyond. Often the authorized spending does not project what year it will be spent.
For example, I have money that I am authorized to spend. It is actually up to me as to when I spend that money conditioned upon the approval of DoE management and I will be spending most of that next year, but it is part of this years budget. Congress designated what that money could be spent on at a high level, but did not specify when it could be spent. That is up to the Executive Branch (i.e., DoE in this case) subject to Congressional oversight. Doe decided how to break that work down and assign it to the different organizations and then my organization broke that down further and I was assigned my little piece to manage. I then had to write up a plan which then ran back up the chain for approval. The Secretary of Energy and lower level officials and in theory even myself will be called before a Congressional oversight committee to testify as to how we are spending that money. The projected spending based on Congressional authorization and expected future authorizations is revised typically a couple times per year. Normally, this is done at a high-level when the President submits his budget proposal, the second time when Congress marks up the appropriation bills (we plan to the lower of all of them with feedback on what if for higher levels), every time there is a continuing resolution, finally when the actual appropriation bills are passed when we know what we are legally authorized to do, and there may be additional revisions for individual areas based on various things that may happen during the year (Congress can rescind authority, the administration can change priorities, etc.).
So let's look at your link and you will understand why they are talking about apples and oranges.
Despite the Obama administration touting a budget deficit of “only” $680 billion in 2013, the GAO’s more accurate accounting shows a total government cost of $3.8 trillion on total revenue of $2.8 trillion.
The total government cost in 2013 is spending that was authorized in budgets of 2013, 2012, ... It probably even includes spending that was authorized by the Porkulus bill that was passed in 2009. The total estimated cost of the Porkulus bill regardless of when the money was expected to be spent, was added to the budget deficit of FY2009 even though a very large fraction of it was not going to be spent in 2009.
It would have been a lie for Obama to exclude from the budget deficit
all spending that is expected in future years. If we did that, first it would be very misleading and second it would probably mean that the "budget" was balanced for that year because much of it is projected to be spent in future years.
This is why accounting as at least a 4 year degree and many get an MBA. It's not easy to keep all this stuff straight even for a relatively small business.
Stupid people can cause problems, but it usually takes brilliant people to create a real catastrophe. Thomas Sowell