May 10, 2006


US April budget surplus $118.85 bln (Reuters, 5/10/06)

The U.S. government posted a larger-than-expected $118.85 billion federal budget surplus in April on strong government receipts, a Treasury Department report showed on Wednesday. [...]

April outlays fell to $196.24 billion from $219.90 billion in April 2005, while receipts were $315.09 billion, up from $277.61 billion in April a year ago.

Receipts for the fiscal year to date were $1.353 trillion, the highest on record for the first seven months of the fiscal year, a Treasury official said.

The one lesson of the late nineties is that running a surplus is a sure way to tank the economy.

Bush, GOP Congress Losing Core Supporters: Conservatives Point to Spending, Immigration (Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker, May 11, 2006, Washington Post)

Disaffection over spending and immigration have caused conservatives to take flight from President Bush and the Republican Congress at a rapid pace in recent weeks, sending Bush's approval ratings to record lows and presenting a new threat to the GOP's 12-year reign on Capitol Hill, according to White House officials, lawmakers and new polling data.

What spending?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 10, 2006 11:59 PM

I'm just glad that Mr. S. McDuck is not alive to see you write that.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 10, 2006 3:17 PM

Healthcare for all Americans, of course.

BTW, what's with that infant mortality rate the wealthiest country in the history of mankind is sporting?

Posted by: Robert at May 10, 2006 5:44 PM

We measure ours differently. See here for a dicussion.

Posted by: joe shropshire at May 10, 2006 6:01 PM


Posted by: joe shropshire at May 10, 2006 6:01 PM

I suspect the high mortality rate is mainly due to new immigrants. Most of America's poor ratings compared to other industrialized nations are because of the newly arrivedThird World component.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at May 10, 2006 6:21 PM

Robert, do you remember all the studies and rates where the Soviet Union was doing so much better then the U.S.? Failed states(such as France, Russia, Nigeria, China, etc) lie about these things as a matter of course. Maybe, just maybe, our stats are lower because ours are more honest then the rest of the world.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 10, 2006 6:56 PM


Bingo! Funding HSAs for the poor is something both parties could get behind, except that Democrats don't want to give the poor a way off the teat.

Posted by: oj at May 10, 2006 7:47 PM

And according to the WSJ today, retirement assets are at $14.3 trillion, up $1 trillion from 2004.

And about 1/2 are in IRAs.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 10, 2006 7:50 PM


IRAs and deferred comp plans.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 10, 2006 7:51 PM

Good news but remember that a) this is only a 1 month number and b) April is always a big positive month due to tax payments. The total year is still looking at a deficit in the $200BN range.

Posted by: AWW at May 10, 2006 11:26 PM

Um, paging Dr. Wheelan, PhD. Economist? Dr. Wheelan, please report to reality.

Posted by: JR at May 10, 2006 11:27 PM


Which is trivial.

Posted by: oj at May 10, 2006 11:33 PM

It was supposed to be around $350 billion.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 11, 2006 12:03 AM

Which isn't significant either.

Posted by: oj at May 11, 2006 12:09 AM

Maybe the abortion statistics got thrown in with infant mortality.

Posted by: erp at May 11, 2006 8:40 AM

Actually, the projections started at $450 billion.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 11, 2006 9:41 AM