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U.S. Trade Deficit Drops, But More to the Story

U.S. Trade Deficit Drops in December, but There's More to the Story

The U.S. Trade Deficit dropped 4.5% for the month of December, 2004, when compared to the November shortfall. That is the good news, or so they say. It actually depends on who's telling the story as to how the facts are presented.

Although December's deficit was less than the preceding months tally, it is actually the second highest deficit ever in the history of the United States. That's right, when compared to the worst month in history (the one right before it) we are supposed to feel good about only running at a net loss of $56.4 billion in one month. Just so you know, November's numbers were a deficit of $59.3 billion.

In total, the U.S. had a yearly total trade deficit of $617.7 billion dollars in 2004 - also a record for the worst year in the history of the country! This was a 24% increase over the totals in 2003. Annual exports were also a record, at $1.15 trillion, but were dwarfed by the record imports total of $1.76 trillion.

More than 25% of the annual trade deficit reflects the shortfall in trade with China. In 2004, the U.S. had a $162 billion imbalance in trade with China (a new record). That is an increase (or decrease - depending on how you spin it) of 30.5 percent from our $124 billion deficit with them in 2003, the old record.

In 1998, the total U.S. trade deficit was $164.9 billion, only slightly larger than our current deficit with China alone. Since then it has exploded by nearly FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT!!!

All I can say is that the attempt to convince us that manure smells like tulips, is ingenious. I guess if you don't have any solutions you can always point to the fact that you screwed up worse the previous month.


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