Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CBPP chart on public debt

I think I posted an earlier version of this chart last year. It shows the current and projected debt of the U.S. federal government, and the reason for it. (The chart was created by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates. I got it from TPM.)

It's pretty clear who we can blame for skyrocketing deficits, don't you think? Without the Bush tax cuts, the two unnecessary wars Bush started, and the economic collapse his policies caused, we'd be in good shape right now. Yes, all too many Democrats went along with the Republicans in these things, but they were Republican policies that went so terribly wrong.

And the funny thing is, they haven't changed their policies one bit. In particular, they're still pushing to cut taxes on the rich - and paying for it, in part, by destroying Medicare. Incredible, isn't it? Why does anyone still vote Republican?

PS. There are more great charts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities here on their Flickr page. For example, the following chart is basically the same thing, only showing more clearly what would happen if we end the Bush tax cuts:

However, although the shapes of these two graphs are similar, with both showing that simply ending the Bush tax cuts would stabilize our growing debt, the scale is different. They're both debt to GDP ratio, so I don't understand why they aren't identical.

Hmm,...the first graph shows "debt held by the public, which reflects funds that the federal government borrows in credit markets to finance deficits and other cash needs" (quote from CBPP article here). Maybe that doesn't include Social Security surpluses, since that cuts down on the amount of borrowing we need to do (but doesn't make government debt any less).

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