On Spending: We’re Screwed

Tea Party people have made deficit cutting one of their biggest arguments to protest instead of being productive members of society, getting a job and doing something to create wealth. Republicans have been arguing for deficit reduction because, you know, it’s horrible that Obama is deficit spending but it’s ok when Reagan did it.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a graph can write complete novels. This is exactly why it’s difficult to cut the deficit:


In other words, the federal programs and departments the most people want to see cut are also the most negligible in cost with defense being the only exception (although the 22% is paltry). If we lived in a plebiscitary, we’d be completely screwed.

I’m all for reducing the deficit where it’s necessary however people are going to have to make some concessions: we either increase taxation (i.e. we make it harder to avoid paying taxes) and cut some spending where possible or we cut spending significantly despite public enragement due to those cuts.

People are quick to blame politicians for wrecking our economy and our country yet they’re not so quick to blame themselves for their cognitive dissonance.

Update: Ezra Klein mentioned a better, easier to read graph from Annie Lowrey:


H/t, & graph image: John Sides


2 thoughts on “On Spending: We’re Screwed

  1. Pingback: Blame Cynicism

  2. Pingback: Blame Cynicism

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