The Causes Of Our Current And Projected Deficits And Debt

Here’s where our spending is projected to go:

Here’s how we eliminated our surpluses:

 

And again:

Here’s where spending has increased lately:

Here’s growth in government:

Here’s more on when we junked our surpluses for deficits. Bush $5.07 trillion to Obama $1.44 trillion:

This one puts Bush at $7 trillion and Obama at $1.4 trillion:

Another view:

Here’s the main cause of our long-term debt projections: our uniquely high, and skyrocketing, cost of health care:

We get not-so-great results even though we pay way more than anyone else in the world for health care:

That chart shows US health care costs; it’s not just Medicare. And the long-term problem with Medicare isn’t that the population is growing; it’s that our already-insane price levels are projected to spiral.

In words, from the CBO, “[t]he bulk of that projected increase in health care spending [on Medicare and Medicaid] reflects higher costs per beneficiary rather than an increase in the number of beneficiaries associated with an aging population.”  Or, in a picture:

And here’s how our recovery stacks up against other recoveries from financial crises, from Josh Lehner:

Plus, as we know, there’s no evidence that regulatory uncertainty is harming our economy, and the stimulus was a highly successful policy response to the economic crisis.

So, no one who cares about the deficit will vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

After all, Ryan voted for all the policies, like the Bush fiscal policies, the invasion & occupation of Iraq, and Medicare Part D, that caused the deficit, as these charts show. And, as pointed out at the “regulatory uncertainty” link above, Pres. Obama’s proposals are better to ameliorate our deficits than Gov. Romney’s proposals.

Of course, many partisans who were pleased to vote for Dick “Deficits Don’t Matter” Cheney in 2004 will say the word “deficit” in order to justify their vote for Romney-Ryan. But that’s about humans’ psychological need to justify their actions to themselves, not public policy.

This post is designed to have all this info in one central location. I’ve addressed these issues here, here, here, and here, among other places.

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