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CBO to Super Committee: Full Employment Would Reduce Deficit By A Third


Here's how CBO puts it. Under full employment, "the projected federal deficit under current law in fiscal year 2012 would be about a third lower, or roughly $630 billion instead of the $973 billion projected in CBO's most recent baseline. That deficit would be equal to about 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with the 6.2 percent deficit projected for 2012 in CBO's baseline.

Obviously members of Congress can't snap their fingers and restore full employment. But the point is the eye-popping deficits Republicans used to force a year-long fight over the budget -- and thus, the role of government -- has nothing to do with President Obama's policies and everything to do with the sluggish economy. Revive it, and deficits return to their Bush-era levels when Republicans said deficits didn't matter.

Read the CBO report here.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at