For all the scare-talk surrounding the threat of the fiscal cliff — that combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect Jan. 1 if Congress doesn’t act — going over that so-called ledge would go a long way toward curing the federal deficit.
More revenue, less spending.
The U.S. government has run annual deficits each year since 2001. It ran deficits long before that as well, though former President Bill Clinton’s second term brought a temporary respite, with annual budget surpluses recorded.
The scope of the potential impact of inaction — which in its own way would represent a certain kind of action taken toward a long-running problem — is portrayed in a Bloomberg Data Visualization: Click here and tab through the slides.