Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The National Debt and Fun with Graphs

There’s a lot of talk out there about the national debt and who is to blame for creating it and who will get credit for fixing it.  We can be sure the president will take credit for fixing it.  True to form, he is blaming Bush for creating it.  You haven’t heard that?  Well take a look at this graph from Whitehouse.gov:

U.S. National Debt

Even the liberal friend who pointed me to it said that it was a bit disingenuous in how it pins spending on Bush that happened during the Obama administration.  They call them lies when a Republican does it.

That got me looking around for other graphs about the national debt.  How about this one from saintpetersblog.com:

This one ties increases to the debt to presidents.  Notice that there is no mention about who is running the House of Representatives at the time.  It conveniently stops before Obama took office.

Those first two were obviously written by Democrats.  Here is one that is a little more balances in that it shows the make up of the federal government at the time and percentage changes.  It still leans Republican in that it does not use real dollars and compare the change to the S&P 500 as if that has any place in the debate.  It also includes the Obama years so far.

Here’s a funny one from democrashield.com:

This one ties the debt to the President and the Senate and completely ignores the branch of government that is in charge of spending.

Finally, I think this graph is the most balanced and the one that matters most:

That looks bad.  Now if you consider that only half of the adults in the US pay any income tax (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36226444/ns/business-personal_finance/t/half-us-pays-no-federal-income-tax/) and you can double the totals on the graph’s left to tell you how much taxpayers will have to pay back eventually.  Raising taxes (income enhancement to Democrats) isn’t going to get us close to getting this problem under control.  The balanced approach is a shame designed to help the half that do not pay income tax.

3 comments:

StB said...

Better yet would be explanations for what was going on during administrations that caused the spending. Fighting wars is going to cause spending to go up.

Andy Krumel said...

Here are a few more:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-should-accompany-all-discussions-of-the-debt-ceiling/242484/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun4.html

"Quote: A few lessons can be drawn from the numbers. First, the Bush tax cuts have had a huge damaging effect. If all of them expired as scheduled at the end of 2012, future deficits would be cut by about half, to sustainable levels. Second, a healthy budget requires a healthy economy; recessions wreak havoc by reducing tax revenue. Government has to spur demand and create jobs in a deep downturn, even though doing so worsens the deficit in the short run. Third, spending cuts alone will not close the gap. The chronic revenue shortfalls from serial tax cuts are simply too deep to fill with spending cuts alone. Taxes have to go up."

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3036

Quote: "Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. [6] (The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers (see Figure 1).
Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the previous Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance over the next decade. "

jowdjbrown said...

I had to search to find a French word in the frame to tip me off that we were in France and then I saw the word "poses" written on the Kodak Gold film box. I think the poem's title is devastating.Debt Consolidation Strategies