July 12, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Don’t Exaggerate The June Budget Surplus To Make Your Point
This post is partly aimed at Rachel Maddow and is a response to last night’s Rachel Maddow Show when she intimated that because the government is running a surplus, Republicans have lost their arguing position.
Yes, it’s true, the federal government had a rather large surplus in June of $117 billion. And yes, this does run counter to Republican arguments about spending, and Obama going on a spending spree, and so on. However, it’s just one month. For the fiscal year that ends in a few months, the government will still run a half trillion-dollar deficit. This is only one-third the deficit from when Bush left office, but it’s still quite sizable.
It is also true that June’s surplus is the largest for that month in the nation’s history. But liberals need to be careful not to get too excited when countering Republican nonsense on the deficit, debt and debt ceiling. Republicans are wrong to try to balance the budget on the backs of the disenfranchised, but let’s not exaggerate June’s record budget surplus when mounting a defense. We don’t need to run a surplus to make sure we are taking care of people in need. So while a large budget surplus in June might help our argument, the surplus is not required when justifying our stance on things like food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
Simply put, don’t let your enthusiasm for June’s surplus cloud your judgement when defending these programs. You don’t need to convince people it’s alright to support these programs because the government is now running a surplus. These programs should be supported, period. This is the richest nation on Earth, we can find the money, whether it’s from increased tax revenue or from the bloated defense budget.