Turns out, if you raise taxes and cut spending, deficits decline. That’s precisely what the US has done over the couple years. It raised both payroll taxes and taxes on high earners at the beginning of the year as part of fiscal cliff negotiations. And it cut spending—messily—with the sequester. Here’s the result, per the US Congressional Budget Office.
Another result: Moody’s upgraded its outlook on the US government’s AAA rating to “stable” from “negative” yesterday. Analysts at the credit rating firm wrote:
The US budget deficits have been declining and are expected to continue to decline over the next few years. Furthermore, the growth of the US economy, which, while moderate, is currently progressing at a faster rate compared with several Aaa peers and has demonstrated a degree of resilience to major reductions in the growth of government spending. Therefore, the US government’s debt-to-GDP ratio through 2018 will demonstrate a more pronounced decline than Moody’s had anticipated when it assigned the negative outlook.