‘the chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling’

James Fallows (The Atlantic): … (The chart) demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.

…. it identifies policy changes, the things over which Congress and Administration have some control, as opposed to largely external shocks – like the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks or the deep worldwide recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Those external events make a big difference in the deficit, and they are the major reason why deficits have increased faster in absolute terms during Obama’s first two years that during the last two under Bush. (In a recession, tax revenues plunge, and government spending goes up – partly because of automatic programs like unemployment insurance, and partly in a deliberate attempt to keep the recession from getting worse.)….

…. the policy that did the most to magnify future deficits is the Bush-era tax cuts. You could argue that the stimulative effect of those cuts is worth it (“deficits don’t matter” etc). But you cannot logically argue that we absolutely must reduce deficits, but that we absolutely must also preserve every penny of those tax cuts. Which I believe precisely describes the House Republican position…..

More here

Thanks Hachikō

11 Responses to “‘the chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling’”

  1. 1 Hachikō
    July 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Chip.

    TODers, please facebook, tweet, email it. This is Bush’s/Republican’s debt. They drove our economy off the cliff, and now, everyone, except their rich Kochlords, must pay for it. You mom and dad who are on Social Security & Medicare and already have a hard time getting by. They must pay for it. My son, who just started college and will be graduating with a lifetime worth of debt must pay for it. The poor must pay for it.

    This is ridiculous. THIS MUST STOP.

    • 2 Ladyhawke
      July 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      I would love to see a press conference where President Obama has OMB Director Lew explain these charts from The New York Times article. The charts are great because they simply show the facts in picture form. A fifth grader would get it.

      And as Saint Roscoe says it must be sated over and over again that the reason for raising the debt limit is just making room for money CONGRESS has ALREADY SPENT. Bottom line, it is congresses responsibility to ensure our debts are paid and that the debt ceiling is raised as needed. Congress needs to do their job. The United States of America is not a deadbeat nation. We pay our bills.


  2. 3 StR
    July 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    America is borrowing money to allow the rich to have their extra tax cuts. Pretend the Bush tax Cuts, the Iraq War and Medicare Part D never happened and where would the deficit and debt stand today?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm


  4. July 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Democrats are having their presser and stand united on NO on a 6 mo. extension debt ceiling. Vigorous defense of PBO’s stance. At last. BRAVO.

    • July 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Dem caucus is meeting tonight to go over proposals.

      • 7 utaustinliberal
        July 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        Great news meta. They all really need to project a united front, stand solidly behind PBO and keep letting the American people know what ass-hats the teabaggers in the house are.

        That chart explains in simple terms how the Bush tax cuts wrecked the economy. No matter what PBO has spent or will spend, it will NEVER be as horrific as the excess financial waste that was conducted by the Bush Administration. PBO spent to recover an economy heading into a great depression. It has yielded a strong and steady growth. Bush spent to line the coffers of his rich buddies and it severely fucked up the American economy and job market.

  5. 8 carol
    July 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Oh shoot, I missed that presser with the Dems. Maybe I can backtrack on my tv and find it. If not, who
    was there supporting the President? And yes, Bravo for them finally!

    • 9 Ladyhawke
      July 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Carol, try this link. It might get changed later, but I think you can watch the presser with the House Democrats here right now.


      • 10 Ladyhawke
        July 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

        So far, this press conference is fantastic, just awesome in every way. It reminds me so much of that amazing display of advocacy that we saw from the Democratic women of the senate during the budget debate. I am very proud of the House Democrats. Everyone needs to see this.

        They are turning the debt ceiling debate into a JOBS DEBATE. They are calling out the Republicans for being phonies on job creation. They are bringing home the point that if the Republican Party is so concerned about UNCERTAINTY, then why would they want to put the country through this madness again in 6 months. The question answers itself. They have never been serious about anything except sabotaging the economic recovery.

        • 11 Ladyhawke
          July 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm

          I just watched Majority Leader Reid and Senator Schumer and all I can say is they were terrific. The Reid plan gives the Republicans everything they have been asking for. It’s going to be fascinating to see what they will use to move the goalpost and bulk at this. But the Democrats were looking good.

          And the special bonus is that Senator Schumer schooled the press about the fact that things are not equal. In other words the nonsense about a pox on both theirs houses is garbage. You know the both sides do it crap.

          The Democrats have been negotiating in good faith and the Republicans have been demanding their way or the highway. Also, Senator Schumer wants to know how it is that 100 Tea Party members are calling the shots and the Speaker can’t control his caucus and get anything done. I wanted to kiss him for that.

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