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This is old news, but I have to address it, because Democrats keep trying to peddle the myth that President Clinton had three federal budgetary surpluses, and was on track for surpluses for the next decade until President Bush came along and ruined everything. This is demonstrably false, easily disproven. The facts are - the USA never had a budgetary surplus under President Clinton. Never. Not in any year of his presidency (but he did come close once. In fiscal year 2000, the deficit was only $17.9 billion).
To prove this, all one has to do is look at the U.S. National Debt for the years of the claimed Clinton surpluses (1998-2000). For each alleged "surplus" year of Clinton's presidency, the U.S. National Debt GREW, an impossibility if there really was a surplus. If there really was a surplus, the National Debt would have gone down. It didn't. The mythical Clinton "surpluses" are really nothing more than accounting tricks, smoke and mirrors. The government is REALLY good at using smoke and mirrors to hide the truth from the American public. Here's how they did it with Clinton (and they are still doing it)...
The U.S. National Debt is made up of two parts, public debt plus intergovernmental debt. During the non-existent Clinton surpluses, the public debt portion went down from 1998-2000 (the alleged surpluses), but the intergovernmental debt went UP by even more, leading to overall debt increases. The following crude table illustrates this (I had to round off the numbers to fit them on the page. Sorry I'm not slick enough with WordPress to produce a better table. I hope this is understandable):
In the above, we see that the federal government actually ran deficits from 1998-2001 (far right column), due to the expanding intergovernmental debt. During Clinton's three mythical "surpluses," the National Debt went up by about $261 billion. President Clinton increased the National Debt by about $1.5 trillion overall during his reign. That's better than Bush's $4.5 trillion debt or Obama's $9.5 trillion projected debt, but it's still debt. As for the buffoons who claimed Clinton was slated to run surpluses for the next decade, LOL. That was NEVER going to happen. It never DID happen even once when Clinton was President.
What is intergovernmental debt ? It is basically debt that the government owes itself, consisting mostly of the government borrowing from Social Security, and increased borrowing from Social Security is how deficits were magically transformed into surpluses under President Clinton. Unfortunately, debt in any form is still debt, and must be paid back. Guess who pays that debt back, taxpayers ??? Yes, YOU do, taxpayers, in one way or another. The mythical Clinton "surpluses" came from BORROWED money, meaning they weren't surpluses at all. They were deficits.
Btw, when I say the government "borrows" from Social Security, that is a misnomer as well. What the government really does is "spend" your Social Security Trust Fund, which should be illegal. See more about that scam at my post titled Social Security Snow Job.