This year will mark the end of a four-year string of trillion-dollar-plus federal deficits that have troubled the American public and caused turmoil on Capitol Hill.
Fiscal Year 2013 is drawing to a close with a projected deficit of a little over $640 billion, down from $1.1 trillion last year. That’s good news, but it should hardly be considered an “all clear” signal on the nation’s fiscal and economic challenges.
Here are eight reasons why:
1. While the deficit is going down, the federal debt is still going up.
The government is still borrowing a substantial amount of money this year, and that is all being added to the accumulated debt, which is approaching $17 trillion. That’s why elected officials -- despite their usual lamentations and finger-pointing -- have no choice but to raise the debt limit at some point in the next few months. The real question is what they will do to prevent the debt from growing in the future to unsustainable levels.
2. This year’s lower deficit can be largely attributed to short-term economic factors rather than systemic reforms in the federal budget.
During difficult economic times with high unemployment, federal deficits rise as...