Random Fiscal Factoid: Alt Universe U.S.?

Out of curiosity, what do you think the U.S. deficit would look like today if annual federal fiscal expenditures had grown at 4% since 2000, rather than at almost 8% compounded? Answer follows:


In short, if U.S. expenditures had grown at the rate of inflation the country would have run a surplus as recently as 2008. Yes, yes, I know, who knows what revenues would look this in this scenario, and all else being equal, etc., but it’s still an interesting thought experiment.