6% GDP deficit

"For Fiscal 2004—which began in October 2003—if you factor out the $164 billion Social Security surplus, the on-budget deficit will be at least $639 billion, rather close to the modern peak of 6 percent of GDP....The accounting for Social Security surpluses has always been dishonest. But in the past few years, the Bush administration has made this shady accounting a central pillar of its fiscal strategy. The unprecedented reliance on these funds hides the failure of the administration to ensure that there is some reasonable correlation between the resources it has at its disposal and the spending commitments it makes. Bush & Co. have redesigned the tax system so that collections of the progressive taxes that are supposed to fund government operations—like individual income taxes—have plummeted. Instead, with each passing year we rely for our current needs more on the regressive payroll taxes that are supposed to fund our collective retirement."

The article is from Slate, and Calpundit comments.