The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Balanced our budget

Modified: Friday, 22 February 2019 14:53 by admin - Uncategorized
A balanced budget is a goal, but not a requirement for the Federal government every year. Most of the states have balanced budget amendments. Attempts have been made to implement some kind of balanced budget amendment to the Federal Constitution, but they have never met with enough political support to make their way to the states.


Speech Relevance

In 'A Time For Choosing', Reagan says,
We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years.
The last "34 years" would mean, depending on when Reagan was starting his counting, going back to 1930 or 1931. Since his speech was broadcast in October of 1964, it is possible that he included the estimated budget of 1964 in his calculation. The evidence bears this out. In the 34 years of 1931 to 1964, the budget was in deficit 28 of those years.

According to a document from the St. Louis Federal Reserve (link below), this is the breakdown of year-by-year deficits/surpluses:

1964-$10 billion1963-$6.2 billion
1962-$6.3 billion1961-$3.8 billion
1960+$1.2 billion1959-$12.4 billion
1958-$2.8 billion1957+$1.6 billion
1956+$1.6 billion1955-$4.2 billion
1954-$3.1 billion1953-$9.5 billion
1952-$4 billion1951+$3.5 billion
1950-$3.1 billion1949-$1.8 billion
1948+$8.4 billion1947+$0.7 billion
1946-$20.7 billion1945-$53.9 billion
1944-$51.4 billion1943-$57.4 billion
1942-$21.5 billion1941-$6.2 billion
1940-$3.9 billion1939-$3.9 billion
1938-$1.2 billion1937-$2.8 billion
1936-$4.4 billion1935-$2.8 billion
1934-$3.6 billion1933-$2.6 billion
1932-$2.7 billion1931-$0.5 billion


Source Links

Balanced Budget Amendment (Wikipedia)

Administrative Budget Totals and Public Debt (PDF)

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