Oh Oh, Truth In Media

Just The Facts

I think this is the first time I’ve seen the truth at this level in the mainstream media….

OBAMA: “I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work – rebuilding roads and bridges, schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.”

THE FACTS: The idea of taking war savings to pay for other programs is budgetary sleight of hand, given that the wars were paid for with increased debt. Obama can essentially “pay down our debt,” as he said, by borrowing less now that war is ending. But he still must borrow to do the “extra nation-building” he envisions.

He made a similar statement in his State of the Union address, and it is no less misleading now than in January. And the savings appear to be based at least in part on inflated war spending estimates for future years.


Now if the AP would simply explain this nice little chart we’d really be making progress.

As I noted the other day the real “screw you” isn’t just that with the chart as it is, with 25% of the surface covered, you have two doubling times before you’re screwed.

It’s the rate at which you must cut out what you’re doing — that is, adding more squares.

At this point you must destroy 1,024 of those squares within one doubling time.  If each square is one billion dollars then you must cut $1.024 trillion in spending — right now.  If you try to “do it over time” then the square count continues to go up, and while the doubling time may be extended somewhat not only does the outcome remain the same (you’re dead)but what’s worse is that the amount you must cut to stop it continues to escalate each and every day.

The really sad commentary is that just one doubling time previous you had to cut only half as much — or 512 squares.  Two doubling times previous it was 256.  Three, 128.

Three doubling times ago this wasn’t even hard; you only had to cut 1/8th of the spending you must cut now.  That was just 20 years ago, more or less.

Back in 2000 I commented that we had to accept about a 10% reduction in GDP and government size to bring us back into balance.  This was, at the time, called “draconian” by many.

In 2007 that figure approached 20%.

Today it is about 40% in government size, more or less.

But whether this is “draconian” or not is immaterial.  The mathematical facts are that for each single day we wait to make this adjustment the percentage of government we must cut increases.

It therefore simply does not matter whether it is “draconian” or not, because the choice is not between draconian and not-draconian, it is between draconian and more-draconian!

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