What’s Driving Projected Debt?

May 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

As we’ve noted, my colleagues Kathy Ruffing and Jim Horney have updated CBPP’s analysis showing that the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire federal budget deficit over the next ten years.  So, what about the public debt, which is basically the sum of annual budget deficits, minus annual surpluses, over the nation’s entire history?

The complementary chart, below, shows that the Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — including their associated interest costs — account for almost half of the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy) if we continue current policies.

Tax Cuts, Wars Account for Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019

Altogether, the economic downturn, the measures enacted to combat it (including the 2009 Recovery Act), and the financial rescue legislation play a smaller role in the projected debt increase over the next decade.  Public debt due to all other factors fell from over 30 percent of GDP in 2001 to 20 percent of GDP in 2019.

We focus here on debt held by the public, which reflects funds that the federal government borrows in credit markets to finance deficits and other cash needs.  That’s the proper measure on which to focus because it’s what really affects the economy.  We compare it to GDP because stabilizing the debt-to-GDP ratio is a key test of fiscal sustainability.

As Kathy and Jim note, simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule (or paying for any portions that policymakers decide to extend) would stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio for the next decade.   While we’d have to do much more to keep the debt stable over the longer run, that would be a huge accomplishment.

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More About Chad Stone

Chad Stone

Chad Stone is Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in the economic analysis of budget and policy issues. You can follow him on Twitter @ChadCBPP.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at CBPP.org

63 Comments Add Yours ↓

Comments are listed in reverse chronological order.

  1. Wayne Hudson #
    1

    A small tax on the 687 Trillion dollar dervative market would easily solve this problem. And stopping The insanity of high frequency computer trading on the stock market would help stabilize the economy.

  2. Tina Daniels #
    2

    Isn’t the cumulative burden of all of these tax cuts and programs less than the cost of Medicare and Medicaid? ie couldn’t you make the same argument that 1/2 the debt in 2019 is comprised of unfunded Medicare and Medicaid expenses?

    I agree that the war and tax cuts contribute to our fiscal crisis, but it is healthcare entitlements (for seniors, the poor, the military and other government employees) that will bankrupt the country.

    • Matt Davis #
      3

      There is some truth to what you say, Tina. A couple things to think about, though. First, Medicare and Medicaid are not “unfunded”. We pay a tax — FICA — specifically designed to pay for those programs. You watch it paycheck by paycheck. Plus, those are existing programs.

      The other expenses listed by the article’s author are new, enormous, unfunded burdens on the federal budget.

    • 4

      Entitlements? I don’t know what profession you are in or title, my employer and I have made contributions to this fund my entire working career. These are NOT entitlements and I resent your verbage and use of this term. Poor decisions and government have put us into this mess, NOT the working people. (unless you want to count poorly informed and mis-informed voters who elected officials that caused this mess) Healthcare is a huge cost, but one that most of us have funded by the sweat of our brow………not by voting for wars and policy that defund the rest of the country causing massive debt, death and profits for only those who control lobbyist and congressmens election campains.

  3. Sarah Smith #
    5

    I have been following the public debt and, if I’m not reading the wrong stuff, it’s over 100% of GDP now. I really like this visualization, but because it seems to dated, don’t feel comfortable using it. Is there any chance this graph can/will be updated?

  4. Kris Grundberg #
    7

    What happened to the good old days of political comicstrip satire. I can just picture a brilliant and simple political cartoon starring Glenn Hubbard and Mitt Romney published in the Washington Post or the New York Times as a spin on the “Old Mother Hubbard” nursery rhyme with Mitt as the out of luck dog once Hubbard goes for the money he has already spent. Any chance you can put something like that together Rachel? While the original poem was not satirizing anything specifically, people in 1805 (when it was published) sure thought it satirized something. Finally we can use this great bit whimsical history for a direct purpose. I believe americans would see such a comic and actually start talking about the issue. This is assuming, however, that the public is informed as to who Glenn Hubbard is.

    Just a thought I had to contribute. Thanks Rachel.

  5. NLM #
    8

    When I calculate my personal debt load, I add up my house, my cars, cash, and other assets to calculate my total assets, then weigh my debt against that asset number, not my annual income. According to an analysis of the United States National Wealth, it amounted to a little over $ 144 TRILLION, or 10 times the GNP. If I were only in debt 10% of my total assets, I would consider myself lucky. Now, the Bush recession debacle has diminished that National Wealth number, say to $ 120 TRILLION. Still, we have a healthy balance sheet. This from a study by the World Bank, and estimates the US per capita wealth at $ 512,000, compared to a per capita debt of less than 10% of assets.

    So, why all the handwringing about the national debt. I think it is a Republican Red Herring.

    Despite this, I agree that the deficit should be reduced by recinding the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    • Zach #
      9

      Anyone who has taken an Economics 101 class at any university would know that cutting the tax break for the rich wouldn’t solve anything, and that everyone would have to have the tax breaks removed. The rich aren’t the only ones benefitting from the tax breaks.

      • J Mathews #
        10

        Actually Zach, anyone who has taken econ 101 knows that trickle down or supply side economics is a failed experiment. Maybe listen to someone other than Grover N? Just a thought?

        • Sam W #
          11

          Coming from someone who never took an Econ 101 class, over the past 4 years I can see that our current state of trickle down government is going to end up with US becoming the next Greece. Surely there’s a happy medium.

      • Douglas Ryan #
        12

        I still remember the first day of Econ 101 class. The professor walked in and said “You’ll learn in Econ 102 that most of what’s said in this class isn’t completely true.” You might be referring the Laffer Curve? The tax rates in the US are already below the point of diminishing returns and tax hikes, in fact, will increase revenue.

    • Josh #
      13

      That $144 trillion in wealth is private property, not government property. Your analysis would be comparable to viewing your personal debt in relation to the assets of the company you work for.

  6. Andy #
    14

    BUSH = TAX CUTS = WAR

    THIS NEEDS THE WIDEST DISTRIBUTION POSSIBLE

    DEBT BY DAVID GRAEBER WAR=SLAVERY=MONEY Read short version here:
    http://blog.longnow.org/2010/04/22/debt-the-first-five-thousand-years/

  7. Chuck Atkins #
    15

    Bush’s prescription drug plan – Medicare D was supposed to cost about 4 trillion. Is that true and where would be on the graph?

  8. Joy #
    16

    Let me guess..this dude is as liberal as you can get…???? Which in itself tells you what it is going to say….Charts don’t have to be complicated..so why make them so if there isn’t a reason for doing so. I would love to see the figures he used sources…but we all know that will never happen!

  9. MachineGhost #
    17

    Typical naive, incomplete and selective analysis. Where are the unfunded liabilities that puts the true total debt oweing to past 771% of GDP?

    It doesn’t matter how high or how low marginal income tax rates are; tax revenues will remain an average 20% of GDP and this has been true throughout all history (even when the top marginal income tax rate was 90%). People are not stupid and they will optimize their behavior so the government does not get more taxes than they think it deserves. Rolling back the Bush-era tax cuts won’t solve the overspending problem and will do more damage to the weak economy by increasing the burden on smaller businesses to the point they simply give up, causing unemployment to increase further.

    Now that Germany has become the first country to downgrade U.S. Treasury debt, when will Americans realize: “It’s the spending, stupid!”

    • J Mathews #
      18

      Go ask a small business owner how they make hiring decisions? It has zero to do with tax burden and everything to do with expected demand for their goods/services. Find another talking point as this one only resonates with the uneducated.

  10. Donald Miller #
    19

    Bush was chosen by his handlers to cut taxes. After that, he was just supposed to play golf for 4 or 8 years. Too bad for him and us that history knocked down the twin towers. Such a historic calamity was way above his pay grade, so we ended-up with regressive tax policy and a mssive increase in outlays for defense spending, which are the primary causes of our massive debt. The answer lies in reversing these policies.

  11. 20

    Randi Rhodes, on todays radio show, read from a editorial by economist Robert Reich that is a must read.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/opinion/03reich.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    a little history lesson./

    • Eddie #
      21

      Oh my gosh, you are right. That is a good article that sadly paints a very bleak future for America. We now must face the pain.

  12. 22

    I have difficulty having faith in anything our gov’t spins. If we’re SO BROKE WHY ARE WE LOWERING TAXES FOR THOSE THAT ARE ABLE (and willing in many cases}, LOWERING FICA DEDUCTIONS (AND NOT RAISING THE MAX INCOME FROM WHICH IT’s DEDUCTED} AND CONTINUE TO FINANCE ACTS OF AGGRESSION IN FOREIGN LANDS? Shouldn’t we be ‘cleaning our own house’, before we dictate how others do theirs? There’s plenty of work to be done (Bridges collapse, levees break, gaslines explode, etc etc.} And why have we allowed so much out-sourcing…so multi-nationals can have enormous profits? None of those profits have ‘trickled-down’. The average person just adapts to less and less, while our ‘decision-makers’ continue their ‘corporate lap-dancing’.

  13. Ian #
    23

    Nope – bad argument. That ~50% number has been roundly debunked many times. To reiterate, it doesn’t include excise, payroll, FICA, sales, use, state and local or investment incomes…..

    • MachineGhost #
      24

      The actual number is 45% of households pay no federal *income* taxes. This is due to tax breaks. So not only do the infamous rich get tax breaks, so do the beleagured poor and overstressed middle class!

  14. Bob prud'homme #
    25

    I am appalled at the apparent lack of backbone in our nations capital. I say apparent because as it it turns out, both sides of the aisle are in support of the ultre wealthy, and the policies they are putting in place will continue to support these rich, while they grab the media spotlight and chant rhetoric to try and keep fooling us into thinking that they are in the middle ground. When will we wake up and kick them out!!!???

  15. Rich Austin #
    26

    Part 3
    The wealthiest 400 families have a combined worth of $1.57 trillion. That’s equivalent to over $5000 for every man, woman and child here in the land of milk and honey. How can so few amass so much while so many are living in economic desperation?
    • Wars
    • The Medical Profits Industry
    • Wall Street Casinos and the Crooks Who Run Them
    • Tax Breaks for the Rich
    That’s how!
    We can put America back to work. We can eliminate the debt within a decade. We can stop deficit spending.
    The first step is getting people driving old, dented, dirty pick-ups to realize they have no reason to defend the [self-directed] “right” of the wealthy to grow richer while others grow more desperate.

  16. Rich Austin #
    27

    Part 2
    The trouble is that too many politicos are serving the needs of the ultra-rich instead of the 90% of us who comprise working class America. The wars are making billionaires out of multi-millionaire war profiteers. Stopping the wars will save precious resources. Ending the tax cuts for the uber-rich will save even more. Stopping tax subsidies to oil, agribusiness, missile builders, telecommunications companies, and the medical-profits industry will add hundreds of billions to our national coffers. Requiring rich investors to pay more taxes will add hundreds of billions more. (Fear not! None would be reduced to food stamp status.) Please remember, many of the well-heeled Wall Street money collectors do not wear American flags in their lapels. Foreign stockholders take their money run, and thereafter spend it in Dubai, Beijing, or Bogota.

    • Txpharm #
      28

      I hardly call 250 k per year “uber rich.” So many seem to miss a very simple principle:if you increase taxes to a certain percent, those people will cut back on work. Most people also don’t seem to get it that a couple who makes a combined income of 250K per year buys a new tricked out Hummer to send to Afghanistan EVERY YEAR. Sure rais ing taxes on the other guy sounds great to all those people who DON’T PAY ANY TAXES.

      • 29

        I agree with you that 250K a year isn’t uber rich. I make that in my family. I also agree that raising taxes without using that money to cut the debt is a problem.

        However if you think raising taxes reduces work, you’re completely wrong. That’s a simplistic economic theory. People always work, regardless of taxes. We have had taxes well above 50%, and still people worked, worked that tails off.

        One thing you miss is that as you make more money, you also save more. So if I made $500k, I’d like to think I wouldn’t spend double what I do know. I’d save more for retirement, or make more charitable givings, but not spend more.

        It’s not as simple as raise taxes = better country, or raise taxes = less work. However we could certainly do work in the tax code to encourage small businesses, which is where most of our employment comes from.

        You also should get off the “people don’t pay taxes”. Everyone pays taxes. Not everyone pays Federal tax, but many of those who don’t pay a good amount in sales taxes and other taxes. Some of them are poor, some of them are not.

        • Fracuss #
          30

          Well stated, and absolutely correct.
          Trickle down is such a discredited concept, that I can’t believe the Republicans keep dragging it out over and over.

      • Fracuss #
        31

        Give me a break. People do not cut back on work to avoid paying more taxes. They didn’t when the highest bracket was 90%, and they will not now or in the future.

  17. Rich Austin #
    32

    Part 1

    First of all draw a line from the tip of Nevada all the way across the county to Norfolk, VA. Toss in Kentucky and West Virginia for good measure. Child poverty in every state south of that line (with the exception of Florida) is over 20%. No state north of that line has such a despicably-high percentage of children living in poverty. This is nothing new. It has been going on for decades.

    The point in revealing that “inconvenient truth” is that most of the lawmakers railing against deficits and the debt begin their tirades with, “Don’t you dare leave future generations in debt”.

    Twenty-two of the Senators from those fourteen southern states happen to be Republicans. By their actions they are divulging their underlying agenda: “Family values” are for those who can afford the price of admission. Their concern for the well-being of all of God children ends when the TV cameras are turned off.

    There is revenue available to guarantee every person in this nation the necessities of life.

    • Ina Ayliffe #
      33

      Amen, Rich. Well stated.

  18. Eric Faulkner #
    34

    @John Smith

    The tax cuts are debts because rather than cut spending to pay for them, the Bush administration borrowed the money. Quite simple, really.

  19. readerOfTeaLeaves #
    35

    That revised chart tells QUITE a story.
    And not a good one.

    Fantastic synthesis!

  20. TJO #
    36

    @ian

    “It kills me that everybody in DC seams to assume the spending is the problem, when it’s revenue.”

    Wouldn’t that mean that the nearly 50% of non-taxpayers would need to pick up their “fair share” of the tax burden? I doubt that’s what you meant, but if all earners over $ 500,000/yr. are taxed at 100% of earnings, there is still a deficit. What will you do in year # 2, since those earners who have been wiped out are not likely to keep working for nothing? Just asking…

    • 37

      There are problems with revenue and spending. The people that don’t pay Federal taxes, your non-taxpayers, pay a great deal of tax on food, gasoline, cars, etc. They pay more as a percentage of income than many of us that pay Federal taxes. Don’t get caught up in this fair share thing. It’s a distraction.

      Raising taxes on people making 250k a year (net, not gross) will help, but it won’t solve things. We need less spending.

      If nothing else, we should be raising taxes slightly to at least fund the wars we’ve been in.

    • Jim Roker #
      38

      Then why is nearly 1/3 of the public debt and growing, JUST the bush era tax cuts, before we actually raise rates on the top 5%.

      http://www.offthechartsblog.org/what%E2%80%99s-driving-projected-debt/

  21. jfr #
    39

    Where is medicare in this? Every graph I have seen projecting the deficit (I know, this is the debt) into roughly the same period shows medicare as the biggest problem. It doesn’t register on ths chart.

    • Eric Faulkner #
      40

      The gray portion at the bottom includes all non-discretionary spending.

  22. Ian #
    41

    % of GDP, as it says in the title block.

    It kills me that everybody in DC seams to assume the spending is the problem, when it’s revenue.

    • John #
      42

      @Ian,
      Right, because the historical average of revenue as a % of GDP has been around 18%, regardless as to the top tax rate, while we currently spend about 25% of GDP. Spending *is* the problem because we can estimate with a fairly high level of certainty what the revenue will be. We simply have to trim spending in kind.

      • Brian #
        43

        “We simply have to trim spending in kind.”

        Or raise revenues in kind.

        • MachineGhost #
          44

          Closing a 2% gap or so in tax revenues isn’t going to fix over 150 trillion in liabilities. I love how people think “raising revenues” is just a matter of writing better scribbles on paper and totally ignore human behavior and empirical reality. Case in point: In Argentina where oligarchic, crony capitalist corruption predominates the political system and economy, income tax evasion is 60% and VAT evasion is 40%. In America, income tax evasion is 10% and sales tax evasion is 20%. It only has room to get much, much worse…

  23. John Smith #
    45

    Look the idea is not to get rid of every program and project! The Idea is to remove it from the federal level and allow the states to manage these programs as they wish! There is no one size fits all solution to any issue when we share this land with over 300 mil people and have diverse ideas of how life should be lived! No one in Alaska, should have influence on how people in Arizona live. No one in Washington DC should be able to subscribe laws for people they no nothing about! “The Local People”! This is similar to the epidemic we have with local policemen and women working in a town/city they do not live in! How is someone suppose to protect and serve a community they have no relationship other than an authoritarian relationship with?

    If I have a Job that pays $10 a week and I spend $6 dollars a Week…I am spending 60% of what I Make,and I have a surplus of $4. If my employer cuts my pay to $6 a week and I spend $6 dollars a week..I am spending 100% of what I make and I have a Surplus of $0!Time to start reducing spending! If my employer cuts my pay to $4 a week and I spend $6 a week I am spending 150% of what I make and I have a deficit of (-)$2 a week. With this being explained…..

    How are Tax Cuts Debt?

    Spending more than you take in is Debt. Tax cuts are not a Debt but a decrease in revenue, which as in all house holds should lead to a decrease in spending!

    • Loyd Williams #
      46

      That is the point the graph is making.

    • Brian #
      47

      “Tax cuts are not a Debt but a decrease in revenue, which as in all house holds should lead to a decrease in spending!”

      Get in your way-back machine and go back to the year 2001, and tell the Republican House, Senate, and President that!

    • Ina Ayliffe #
      48

      Then we need to let the Bush Tax cuts expire, raise the cap on ss earnings. tax estates over 10 million. For people whose income is 1 million or more, repay the ss tax they have paid in and then stop, the same on medicare, those with assets of 1 Million or more should pay a higher premium for medicare. medicare for all would also solve short term problem. But folks and repubs, you can’t run a country without adequate taxes. Cut defense spending, stop wasting money on wars, and get some commom sense, for Gods sake. You don’t really want to push we elderly folks over the cliff, do you? After all, we paid for WW2, Korean war, Vietnam War, Moon shot, Bush the elder’s war and Bush (Shrub’s)2 wars, and now you just want to abandon us? That’s not what Jesus would do, is it? Naw, he wouldn’t.

      • Txpharm #
        49

        No one wants to abandon seniors. It is however, quite selfish of seniors to pay in 150K to Medicare and get 3 times that back, all on the backs of their grandchildren. And that is for people retiring now. As an anecdotal example of millions of other Medicare recipients, my father in law started payingninto Medicare in 1965 when he was 50 years old. He retired after 7 years of minuscule payments into Medicare, lived to age 92 so was on Medicare

        • Txpharm #
          50

          For 30 years. he had open heart surgery at 92 with less than 10 per cent chance of recovery. This surgery alone cost more than 300 k. Medicare was not designed to provide free medical care for 30 years. People are living longer,, we have a huge generation entering retirement, and seniors simply have to pay more for medical care. Continuing on our present Medicare path is grossly irresponsible and just plain delusional.

    • Eddie #
      51

      No, it shows that the tax cuts is a loss in revenue. If the Bush tax cuts never happened, then you could remove the lighter top brown color from the graph. And then the deficit amount as a part of GDP would drop down to only about 50% instead of 95% in the year 2019. Don’t forget, the government has to pay more interest year after year as the deficit grows. SO in your scenerio, the deficit spending was because a person uses a credit card to keep spending more than he earned after the employer cut his pay. ANd just like a credit card, eventually the interest rate amount is an ever increasing size of how much has to be paid back to get back to where he was before he ever started charging. Bush started two wars and for the first time in history, a President cut the taxes in time of war. Therefore, he did not pay for the wars. SO, that right there is deficit spending. He spent the money to fund the wars with deficit spending (off the books too)instead of with real money. Then TARP and the Great Recession. Then Obama’s Recovery Plan. If there were no Bush tax cuts, the US would have had more revenue to pay down the interest, and pay for the war, and the deficit would not be so high. In other words, think of it as Bush charged the war and other debts the US had because his two tax cuts decreased the revenue to the treasury. SO, he had to charge it all. The money was spent in debt/T-Bills. The revenue was not there. Well, actually, Social Security paid for the lost revenue.

  24. 52

    @Larryi, the subtitle of the graph explains it: “Debt held by the public as a share of GDP.” That’s how many economists look at the debt: not in absolute terms, but always relative to the gross domestic product.

  25. Larryi #
    53

    This is a confusing graph. Having % on the ordinate axis leaves me asking, “100% of what?” This makes it difficult to understand what the white space above the colored curve means as well as the meaning of any relative comparisons. Can anybody explain the structure of this graph?
    Thanks!

    • back2futurecb #
      54

      “the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy)”

      I’m guessing the graph (with the white space) represents the total economy, i.e. total GDP or total Budget? I’m the farthest thing from an economist, so I’m not sure on the specifics…but the colors represent a percentage of “the economy”.

    • John #
      55

      Yeh, it’s smoke and mirrors, political style.

    • JulianK #
      56

      Larryi, I believe that the vertical axis is % GDP. But I am not sure.

      • Eddie #
        57

        The vertical axis is the percentage of the entire deficit. It is to provide a comparison of the different causes of the deficits. For instance, When looking at the grey area, in year 2013, the grey area, which is described in the color key as Other Debt, Other Debt will represent about 25% of the total amount of the US deficit in 2013.Going up to light blue, the Obama Recovery Bill, makes up 10% of the total deficit projected. Up again, the darker blue, 15% of the deficit is made up of the TARP bailout to WallStreet. THen up again, the reddish brown represents the deficit amount due to the two wars Bush started and is about 12% of the total amount of deficit, and lastly, the lighter brown color is the Bush Taxcuts. these will make up 22% and increase higher and higher there after as a percentage of the cause for the massavie deficits. The white is simply space left over.However, if you notice, the Bush Taxcuts still trend upward and possibly, at some future point in time, there will be no more white space if nothing is done to control the deficits. But the chart begins in 2001, and it shows what Bush and Obama Policies have done to increase the size of deficit. And clearly, Obama’s Recession Reconvery is nowhere near the size caused by Bush Administration’s policies. SO, its not about Bush bashing, It is about showing what is fueling this growth in the deficits. And the graph answers it loud and clean as being fueled by the Bush Taxcuts.

    • CBPP #
      58

      The axis label, “Debt held by the public as a share of GDP” lies above the legend. There is no significance to the fact that the largest number shown on the ordinate axis is 100%. The dollar value of debt held by the public in 2001 was about 32 percent of the dollar value of GDP and that percentage is projected to increase to nearly 90 percent in 2019 under current policies (as shown by the line labeled “projected debt under current policies”). The colored areas represent contributors to that debt as indicated in the legend.

    • perfectlyGoodInk #
      59

      Speaking as a libertarian who is a registered Republican and has an economics background, let me state that looking at debt as a percentage of GDP is pretty standard economic practice that both liberals and conservatives employ.

      But I should also say that I opposed the war, and I preferred other policy options to Bush’s tax cut (I liked former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s idea of using the budget surplus to fund Social Security transitioning from defined benefit to defined contribution).

      Indeed, my main objection to this graph is the exclusion of Medicare and Social Security.

      • Eddie #
        60

        Social Security and Medicare is part of the Grey Color area. Most of Medicare and Social Security is funded through our payroll taxes. Not all, but at least 75%. Not all of the grey is Social Security and Medicare either. But if we did not have two wars and did not have the TARP and not have had Obama’s Recovery plan and did not have Bush TaxCuts, then the grey area would be the only deficit we would have. ANd this country has always had deficits; The only exception being in 2000 with Clinton when we ran surpluses. Don’t forget, Katrina is also in that Grey area, and other natural disasters. And you will notice that the grey area declines in percentage of GDP as the years progress, not rise in future years as the Bush taxcuts do and in huge amounts. Our problem is not Social Security and Medicare for the elderly. OUR problem is a recession, the exportation of middle class jobs, and tax cuts that are not stimulating anything. If the
        taxcuts stimulated real economic growth as the Republican testify, then the future of deficits should trend downward not upward. THey got their tax cuts with Bush, and look what is happening. The deficits are rising. Another thing to fear, the future does not portend real growth in this country. Just flat growth. And more tax cuts will not do anything to help because the paying jobs are being sent overseas. Period. Its going to be a slow bleed. Only in the future, the rich will stay rich, and the middle class will sink down with the boat.

  26. Viswakarma #
    61

    Hello,

    Unfortunately, most Americans have very short memory of the results of their political choices.

    May I therefore suggest that you add four more items at the bottom of the chart indicating the parties (Democratic and/or Republicans) that were in charge of the Congress (House and Senate) and the Presidential Office to provide a good correlation between political choices and public debt.

  27. 62

    It is no secret in Washington that the Elite and Republican Party want to destroy all Public Service Programs. All of them including Social Security, Medicare and every Government Agency that is not directly involved in Defense or Doling out Contracts and Subsidies to Oil, Energy and Ag.

    They pretend that Reaganomics is good Policy when it is Fact that
    “Trickle Down” Economics is a sham. We have allowed the Oil industry to keep meaningful Climate Change Legislation from becoming Law and enacted. Now We are living with Record Flooding, Storm’s, Tornadoes and Heat with Draught. Our Education System’s are being Slashed of their Funding which will put America further behind in Research and Development, Science and Math so Our Technology will continue to be Outsourced. America is now an Outsourcing Nation. The only thing We can’t Outsource is Our Demise.

    • baldrad #
      63

      Our “educators”, with the complicity of many apathetic parents and the mainstream media, have dumbed down the population to the point where nobody wants to do the most simple calculations, let alone get a little educated on tax law.

      Oil subsidies? The case in point is the OIL DEPLETION ALLOWANCE. It’s 21 billion over ten years. That’s 2.1 billion per year. With government spending at 10 billion per day, ending the oil depletion allowance (even IF it resulted in dollar-for-dollar revenue increase, which it would NOT), WOULD RUN THIS INSANE SPENDING MACHINE FOR SIX (6) HOURS!!!!!

      Next favorite class warfare phrase for “Progressives” is something about CORPORATE JET OWNERS. This is deceitful and they know it. Business aircraft in general (not just jets) qualify for Accelerated Depreciation, at the option of the taxpayer. If you put your asset on an accelerated depreciation schedule instead of a straight-line schedule, you’ll get more depreciation at the front of the schedule and less per year as each year passes. You get the SAME amount of total depreciation, in any case.

      Making accelerated depreciation optional WAS an incentive for some businesses to buy aircraft, and was a shot in the arm for the aircraft industry, with the resulting increase in good jobs. Ending accelerated depreciation will have the opposite result, and in THE MOST OPTOMISTIC estimates of revenue gains for Uncle Sam, would run the INSANE SPENDING MACHINE FOR FORTY-FIVE (45) minutes!!!!!!!



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