Federal Budget Deficit

January 20, 1984

Report Outline
Debate Over Deficit
Effects of Deficit
Reduction Options
Special Focus

Debate Over Deficit

Current Projections of Record Deficits

As election year 1984 opens, the long-awaited recovery from the worst recession in 40 years continues to pull much of the U.S. economy out of the doldrums. Recent government statistics bring good news of falling unemployment, increasing industrial production and rising retail sales—without the burst of inflation that has stunted recent recoveries.

President Reagan, apparently poised to seek a second term in office, points to these statistics as evidence that his controversial supply-side economic policy has succeeded in bringing about sustained, non-inflationary growth. But many economists, some within the administration itself, predict that the recovery will be stopped in its tracks unless drastic measures are taken to reduce the federal budget deficit. That deficit totaled $195 billion in fiscal 1983 and if left unattended was expected to approach the $300 billion mark by the end of the decade.

Administration critics blame Reaganomics for the dilemma. They say the president's decision to cut domestic spending and taxes while increasing defense spending brought about the unprecedented imbalance between government revenues and outlays. Reagan claims to have inherited the deficit problem from previous administrations that enacted and enlarged domestic spending programs. Those programs, he says, transferred an increasing portion of the nation's wealth to the federal government at the expense of the private sector.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Federal Budget and National Debt
Sep. 01, 2017  National Debt
Jul. 12, 2013  Government Spending
May 15, 2012  State Capitalism
Mar. 18, 2011  National Debt
Nov. 14, 2008  The National Debt
Dec. 09, 2005  Budget Deficit
Apr. 13, 2001  Budget Surplus
Feb. 01, 1991  Recession's Regional Impact
Jan. 20, 1984  Federal Budget Deficit
Sep. 09, 1977  Federal Reorganization and Budget Reform
Nov. 24, 1972  Limits on Federal Spending
Jan. 08, 1969  Federal Budget Making
Dec. 06, 1967  National Debt Management
Aug. 01, 1962  Fiscal and Budget Policy
Nov. 27, 1957  National Debt Limit
Mar. 20, 1957  Spending Controls
Dec. 24, 1953  Public Debt Limit
Feb. 13, 1952  Tax and Debt Limitation
Nov. 30, 1949  Government Spending
Jan. 06, 1948  Legislative Budget-Making
May 23, 1944  The National Debt
Feb. 01, 1943  The Executive Budget and Appropriations by Congress
Dec. 27, 1939  Revision of the Federal Budget System
Oct. 10, 1938  The Outstanding Government Debt
Nov. 20, 1937  Budget Balancing vs. Pump Priming
May 02, 1936  The Deficit and the Public Debt
Oct. 19, 1934  The Federal Budget and the Public Debt
Feb. 10, 1933  Extraordinary Budgeting of Federal Finances
Dec. 01, 1932  Reduction of Federal Expenditures
Dec. 01, 1930  The National Budget System
Oct. 02, 1930  Federal Revenues and Expenditures
Nov. 02, 1927  The Public Debt and Foreign Loans
Nov. 15, 1926  Rising Cost of Government in the United States
Feb. 05, 1925  Four Years Under the Budget System
Deficit, Federal Debt, and Balanced Budget