the Long of it ........

unintended consequences and other musings


A Surplus is Good, Right?

Headlines Today:

US Posts Biggest Monthly Budget Surplus in Seven Years, Wall Street Journal

US Records Biggest Budget Surplus in 7 Years, ABC News

Record Revenue Boosts U.S. April Budget Surplus to 7-Year High, Bloomberg

$157 Billion Budget Surplus in April, Treasury Reports, New York Times

US budget projected to post sizable surplus in April, lowering deficit Fox Business

So, reading the headlines, this looks like great news. right?  Well, partly……   The US did take in $157B more than we spent last month so on a monthly basis we took in more than we spent – this was April so we usually have a surplus since all of us must pay our taxes (except some IRS workers).  But, most people confuse a surplus with a deficit – assuming that we do not have a deficit anymore and could spend more money on our favorite projects.  The actual deficit for the year is still $460B, meaning we are spending more than we take in on an annual basis.   Fox Business seems to have gotten the facts right in it’s headline.  In any case, it is partly good news if it continues and lots of those rich people must be paying more in taxes…..

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