Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Death of America in Graphs

Often, when looking for clear facts to back up my always-brilliant assertions (and grandiose inflation of  a psychotic ego), I turn to the (smart bastards) broad and deep expertise that the Heritage Foundation brings to the table on matters of policy.  This is especially important in analyzing the mess that is the budget of the largest formally freest country in the world.

I received an email from them four days ago (and finally opened it today) entitled "Big Government in Pictures." The link included gave a picture of how bleak the future is.  And it paints a picture of how wrong the direction of this country has been since before I was born, with both flavors of political party having their way with it.  Here are some of the best (or worst) charts that illustrate this.  I suggest checking out the whole.












Questions?  Comments?  Complete dismissal of hard numbers?

32 comments:

CHAIRMAN TAO said...

Lets see, Medicare wasn't signed till 1965...so its not a surprise that government spending has increased since the passage of that bill.

What you need to ask yourself is why hasn't median household income increased more than 29% in the last 29 years...which means it has not even kept pace with inflation since 1970.

Taxes are lower and government spending is greater...The top 1% of all taxpayers have more than doubled their wealth in the same period of time.

So much for the concept of supply side economics raising all ships...

Looks to me like the vast majority of ships in this country are grounded...

By the way, the top 1% of tax payers own 71% of the private wealth in this country...so if the top 10% of the taxpayers pay 71% of the income taxes they really are getting a deal don't you think?

dmarks said...

"By the way, the top 1% of tax payers own 71% of the private wealth in this country"

What does their rightful ownership of the wealth they created have to do with anything? How is it that they are getting a 'deal' to merely not have it stolen from them?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

You might also want to check out who your sources are sleeping with and determine what motivations, personal pet projects and goals they have for themselves, and then reread their presentation of data with that in mind.

Patrick M said...

Tao: What you need to ask yourself is why hasn't median household income increased more than 29% in the last 29 years...which means it has not even kept pace with inflation since 1970.

That's probably because more and more resources are being sucked into the government monstrosity. It leaves less for growth, because government doesn't grow anything but itself.

By the way, the top 1% of tax payers own 71% of the private wealth in this country...so if the top 10% of the taxpayers pay 71% of the income taxes they really are getting a deal don't you think?

No. Because we tax income, not wealth. So what are you suggesting, putting a cap on how much money people can "have?" Make it against the law to accumulate too much wealth because it's "not fair?" Set limits so people can only earn x% over the median income? And how quickly do you think the wealth would flee the country under such a confiscatory system?

Dmarks: But they're bastards! They have all this stuff. And some people don't. tan that's NOT FAAAAAAIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

Sorry, had to indulge in a little sarcasm there. :)

Saty: Uh, it's the Heritage Foundation?

I'll usually look deeper if it's something like Wikipedia, and I'll usually look for contrasting views when it's a left-right subject. But I have yet to see rank dishonesty from the folks at Heritage. You may disagree with their opinions, but their hard research is clear. Unless you have hard numbers that contradict the numbers above (except the projections, which can change, of course).

And if you'll notice, things don't look so good for either party on this. Because we're not dealing with petty squabbles over scraps of pork. We're dealing with a continuous and massive growth of government, which is 1. unsustainable, and 2. grinding individual liberty slowly into the ground.

CHAIRMAN TAO said...

Real simple dmarks...

What does government do? It builds roads, it defends our vital interests, it regulates commerce, and it provides all sorts of benefits that protect wealth, that promotes wealth, and that makes wealth creation possible...

In 1976 the top 1% owned 22% of all private wealth in this country, in 1998 it went to 38% and now it is 71%....looks to me like if the government is the cause of everything in this country then obviously this was caused by the government and thus those who benefitted should pay for the benefit.

Patrick...

If the government borrows to spend then they are not spending YOUR money...they are creating money to spend...

As far as the Heritage Foundation goes...just follow the money: Where do they derive their income? By the way, the Heritage Foundation also came up with Obama's healthcare plan back in the 90's....they did so to counteract the Clinton's plan...so does that mean you support the Obama healthcare plan now that you know it is the authorship?

Dave Miller said...

Dmarks, let's not forget that a great majority of that rightful ownership of wealth came at the expense of many exploited people through practices like slavery.

Patrick, the most glaring thing that jumps out to me on your charts can be found on the chart titled "Obama's budget would create unprecedented deficits."

It is there that we see that President's Clinton clearly outperformed the GOP on this issue.

Since this is such a glaring fact, how come all we hear from out of the GOP is that Clinton ruined the country?

Even a cursory glance would show that the Dems have been much better in this regard...

Jerry Critter said...

So, where is the death? It seems like the wealthy are continuing to get more wealthy.

dmarks said...

Dave said: "Dmarks, let's not forget that a great majority of that rightful ownership of wealth came at the expense of many exploited people through practices like slavery."

Do you have any evidence of this?

So let's look at the Old South, which was but a part of the old US, gone for about 150 years. A less wealthy part, too.

Assuming nothing happened, old fortunes quickly dissipate through the generations. Tell me how many Astors and Carnegies in the Forbes 400? There'd be nothing left of this wealth today.

But something did happen. The Civil War. The South was crushed and shashed. Even less liklihood of the old slaveholder wealth remaining.

So, I ask, do you have any evidence of what you claim? Specific dollars?

Beth said...

I agree Dave, I wish that more presidents were like Clinton is reducing the deficit, and as for Tao saying the government helps people getting wealthier, then shouldn't we all agree that the government should shrink substantially and not be in the business of helping people get wealthy, if that is what they are doing? Just let the free market prevail and we don't need the government getting involved, period!

We should all be on the same side of LESS government, because big government in the hands of either ideology is going to piss off the other half, so cut them ALL down to size I say! Our founders understood this!

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I'd like to bring up what I believe is an oft overlooked yet salient point: in 1776, this country had a population of 3 million people (as opposed to 300 million), no electricity, no real infrastructure, a total area about 1/6 (if not less) of today's US, and no concept of the global, internationalized world and economy we're dealing with today.

What I'm saying is that just as times change, things have to be interpreted and reinterpreted. We're in 2010. I'm getting internet from a chunk of man-made machinery that's in permanent geosynchronous orbit around our planet and communicating instantaneously with people all over the planet thereby. My daily commute to work, which I do five days a week, would take days were I to be going by horse and buggy. I wear clothes made in Pakistan and eat food grown in California. We live in a world completely foreign and completely beyond the wildest imagination of anyone who was alive in 1776.

This is not to say that what they wrote was worthless. It is to say that things require review and reinterpretation as times change.

Otherwise, we become political Luddites, and thus slowly, inexorably, but definitely contribute to our own obsolescence in a world that continues to progress and change and require new strategies, new plans, and new innovations.

Beth said...

I suppose then that the Bible and the Koran, written much longer than the Constitution has very little value also in today's world in your opinion, Saty?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Beth,

Indulge me for a moment as I conduct a brief experiment.

I suppose then that the Bible and the Koran, written much longer than the Constitution has very little value also in today's world in your opinion, Saty?

That was what you said.

The experiment is to determine what sort of parabola of logic you used to come to your conclusion (that the Constitution has 'very little value') when what I said was this:

This is not to say that what they wrote was worthless. It is to say that things require review and reinterpretation as times change.

Do you actually read the words I write, Beth, or do they get put through some kind of filter that changes them into whatever you'd like them to read? How do you come up with these things? I try really hard to be clear, but give me a break here, I can't break things down any further than I have without resorting to Sesame Street.

Beth said...

But the basic message of the Bible doesn't change, and neither (in my opinion) should the principles behind the Constitution.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

And in the same way that you eat shrimp and wouldn't stone your rebellious child despite the injunctions in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, these documents get REINTERPRETED as times change.

I'm not speaking Tagalog here, Beth. Stop twisting everything I say into some kind of self-serving pretzel.

All I'm saying is that as times and circumstances change, documents get reinterpreted according to those times and circumstances.

Unless, of course, you're following all those dietary injunctions... or, if you believe that since you're not Jewish, you don't HAVE to follow those injunctions, then unless you're following all of Paul's rules, such as being silent, keeping your head covered, submitting in every way to your husband, never cutting your hair and so on.

You make this shit actually painful, Beth. Every statement I make takes ten more just to break it down and dispel the myths and spin you put into it.

dmarks said...

SDD: There IS a proper method for a living Constitution. It's called the amendment process. That's a far cry from left-wing Supreme Court Justices using pure imagination, without reference to the Constitution, as they make rulings to take peoples' rights away.

Beth said: "I agree Dave, I wish that more presidents were like Clinton is reducing the deficit"

Clinton had a choice. He could have reduce the deficit to $0 in his first year. Instead, he ran deficits each year he was in office, to a total of $1.6 trillion debt. I know that's nothig compared to a typical Obama annual deficit, but it shows that Clinton was very irresponsible.

Jerry Critter said...

Well, the left-wing Supreme Court is gone and now we have a right-wing court "using pure imagination without reference to the Constitution".

Patrick M said...

Tao: Let's be clear. The POS that is Obamacare has nothing to do with anything Heritage has come up with, except in using similar nomenclature. Heritage already addressed that crap.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2010/04/Obamas-Health-Reform-Isnt-Modeled-After-Heritage-Foundation-Ideas

Dave: That's why I like hard numbers. Because they do show some important things. Like the success of Clinton and the GOP Congress to get things under control. No argument there. It was a refreshing break from the usual spending orgy that started under Ford, then less under Carter, then the worst under Reagan and Bush (with Dems running things in Congress the whole time), then reinstated under the Jr Bush (this time with the GOP getting stupid).

But the trend is ever-expanding government. That's what will ultimately topple the republic.

dmarks said...

Jerry: It is the left-wing part of the court which makes up stuff to deny people their rights. To use imagination.

Look at the recent free speech ruling. The leftists tried to rule to destroy the First Amendment: they thought it was a good idea to censor people from criticizing the government.

The court is really in the middle, really. Just one vote divides Roberts and his friends who defend our rights and Stevens's friends who abuse their power and make up laws on the bench and typically rule without reference to the Constitution.

dmarks said...

Patrick M: Indeed, the Heritage Foundation had as much to do with writing the Obama healthcare plan as Stephen King did.

Jerry Critter said...

In their recent ruling, SCOTUS did exactly what the left has been accused of doing -- interpreting the First Amendment to apply to corporations.

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: Actually, Stephen King probably wrote something that bears a resemblance to the Obamacare disaster.

Jerry: So you're saying that corporations have no right to free speech? Because generally, when the government is NOT allowed to abridge a right, that's considered a win for the Constitution, especially when it's a stated right in an amendment.

Jerry Critter said...

Corporations do not have speech. People have speech. A corporation is a legal entity. It is not flesh and bone. It is a legal entity made up by man. To consider it a person is ludicrous.

Patrick M said...

However, the problem is that corporations are made of people (not exactly like Soylent Green, but you get the idea) If the government has the power to take away the ability of any organization consisting of people, then it has control over pooling resources for free speech. This then extends to advocacy groups, non-profits, and any organization that exists as a legal entity. This would include organizations such as the NRA, Moveon.org, the Heritage Foundation, the ACLU, and all news organizations (which happen to be corporations. And consider what would happen if, say, George W Bush had the power to limit the power of organizations to exercise their right to speak.

You can't say free speech applies to x, but not y. it's a dangerous slippery slope, and one of those things that ultimately hurts us. To clarify, I have no problem with a law that would require transparency, only with those that limit the ability to exercise the speech.

Jerry Critter said...

We are kind of arguing two different things. I am saying that the Constitution only covers free speech for people. You are saying that if you don't cover any organization of people, then you have a dangerous slippery slope leading to, I guess, some sort of disaster.

I will give you your slippery slope. But the way to solve the problem is not with a progressive, activist, liberal interpretation of the Constitution as has been done by the current Supreme Court.

The way to do it is to do it as specified in the Constitution. Congress passes and the States ratify a constitutional amendment extending the rights of people to "any organization consisting of people".

Legislation should come from Congress, not the Supreme Court.

Patrick M said...

Actually, no. The first amendment says: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech...,

It's understood that it's an individual right, and that it is most importantly for political speech.

The problem is that the law that was overturned by this "progressive, activist, liberal interpretation" was a law that abridged the freedom of political speech if it occurred as part of a collective organization. In other words, individual rights were abridged. That's not a "progressive, activist, liberal interpretation."

Patrick M said...

Furthermore, if I remember correctly, it was a part of the McCain-Feingold rape of free speech, which should have never been allowed to blot out the sun in the first place.

Jerry Critter said...

But a corporation is not an individual.

Toad734 said...

And if you compare those graphs with the rise in the cost of health care, I am sure you will find a correlation...Which is exactly why we needed health care reform as it was going to bankrupt the Government as well as 1/3 of all US households.

Oh, and stop voting for big government Republicans like Reagan and Bush.

dmarks said...

Jerry: Individuals who are associated with corporations are still individuals.

McCain-Feingold and similar laws deny people their First Amendment rights on the grounds of their association with some businesses. That is, it punishes them for exercising their freedom of association.

Note that these laws censor some "corporations" and not others. They aren't even consistent.

Jerry, if you don't like what someone says, why can't you simply just ignore it?

"But the way to solve the problem is not with a progressive, activist, liberal interpretation of the Constitution as has been done by the current Supreme Court."

The court actually returned things to the original Bill of Rights. They stripped away all the liberal re-engineering of the Constitution on this matter.

Jerry Critter said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize the the original bill of rights gave SOME individual rights to corporations, or even other groups of individuals.

Where is that?

Patrick M said...

Toad: Just a point or two here.

First, the problem is mounting government debt, primarily due to massive entitlements. How does adding ANOTHER massive entitlement avoid the eventual bankruptcy. And the 1/3 of US households is a BS number and you know it.

Second, I'll concede Bush was a fiscal mistake. Reagan, not so much, because he was working with the perpetual Democrat majority. But the GOP needs to clean out all the big government "conservatives" and let them be Democrats.

dmarks said...

"Second, I'll concede Bush was a fiscal mistake"

And whenever Bush DID veto a wasteful spending bill, the Democrats screamed blooody murder.