Averaging two times during each of the first five debates in Iowa, the deficit has barely been mentioned by the presidential hopefuls:
Similarly, the Congress seems to be less concerned.
Where are we going? To a deficit update.
Who Cares About the Deficit?
Concern about the deficit is slipping. In a recent WSJ/NBC poll, only 11% of all participants said the deficit and government spending “should be a top priority” whereas six months before that, 17% said it was a major concern.
Pew tells us though that Democrats worry much less about the deficit than Republicans:
And older people worry more than the young about the deficit. But here we might have a contradiction because, as you can see below, people over 50 are much more concerned with securing Social Security and Medicare, an objective that will add to the deficit as baby boomers age.
So, should we worry?
Our Bottom Line: The Deficit
In a 2016 report from the Congressional Budget Office, we are told…
“In 2016, the federal budget deficit will increase, in relation to the size of the economy, for the first time since 2009… If current laws generally remained unchanged, the deficit would grow over the next 10 years, and by 2026 it would be considerably larger than its average over the past 50 years…”
Correspondingly, fueling the deficit (the amount by which spending exceeds revenue in one fiscal year), the national debt (total amount owed by the federal government) is projected to equal an increasingly larger percent of the GDP:
Returning to the mystery of the disappearing deficit worries, perhaps you just have to look in the right places.