It’s a sign of how much trouble we’re in when a budget deficit of a half trillion dollars seems like fiscal restraint.
It is progress, given that annual budget deficits were running above $1 trillion a year throughout President Obama’s first term and have been as high as $1.4 trillion. And it could have been worse. Recall the effort made by President Obama to stop the automatic spending cuts that took place when sequestration was adopted.
To reach a half trillion dollars, you would have to spend $8 per second beginning with the year 0 and continue spending through today. If you had a stack of $1 bills adding up to $500 billion and were able to put them one on top of another, the stack would be 34,000 miles high.