Economics

Reason.tv: Budget Deficits for Dummies or, How I learned to stop worrying and love $1.4 trillion

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The U.S. budget deficit for fiscal year 2009, which ended in September, was a record-shattering $1.4 trillion, equal to about 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product. In case you're wondering, the previous record had been set in…2008.

$1.4 trillion dollars is a lot of money and it's hard to get your mind around that figure. One way to appreciate the sum is to think of it in terms of all the things that you could buy with that dough. The budget deficit, for instance, would pay for more than 1.2 billion nights at Rep. Charles Rangel's vacation condo in the Dominican Republic. And that's just for starters.

Don't worry if you have trouble doing the math, because you'll get another chance next year. The Obama administration has just released its estimate for the fiscal year 2010 budget deficit. The number? Another $1.4 trillion.

Approximately 1.30 seconds. Written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie.

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  1. How long will the cloaking device work on this secret thread?

  2. Approximately 1.30 seconds.

    Wow, really short clip. Have anything longer?

    1. They ran it through Nibbler first so it’s highly compressed.

      Say, why is Reason whining about deficits? Didn’t libertarians support giving the Dems even more power than they had before? Almost all libertarians, almost all Dem leaders, and many GOP leaders all support MassiveImmigration, and that leads to more power for the Democrats. The Democrats then use that power to increase spending and deficits. Even most kindergarteners could figure that out, but Reason can’t. They think they can support MassiveImmigration at the same time as getting spending under control, and it just isn’t going to work.

      For just one of the very large number of examples I could provide, why does Reason support policies that would inevitably give even more power to people like Luis Gutierrez?

      P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians. Dozens of comments here have shown that the phrase “fascist libertarian” isn’t an oxymoron.

      1. Interesting point but you miss the mark. While libertarians generally support immigration, that shouldn’t necessarily lead to more Democratic support. Libertarians also believe in freedom from a nanny state which encourages those who do not wish to work, but only siphon, off of society. If there were no social welfare programs and entitlements being doled out the immigrants who came here would all be very hard working people not looking for handouts or excuses. I’m not so sure those people would be too quick to support a democratic party that believes in taking away the proceeds from their hard work to give to those who do not want to work.

      2. P.S., you make it sound like only democrats run deficits. Well, the closest to Obama with regards to deficit spending was Bush and the Republican lead Congress. Democrats and Republicans are irresponsible.

      3. I find it hilarious that you attempt to ward off some ill-imagined flood of ad hominem arguments by using one yourself. And one, might I add, not against any individual that you might disagree with, but against all libertarians everywhere.

        I have no idea why I’ve wasted my time even writing a response. Maybe libertarians are stupid…

  3. “y” isn’t the video up?

    1. nvm fixed

  4. How many leather jackets like Nick Gillespie’s could $1.4 T buy?

    1. At $500 each you could buy 2,800,000,000, enough to make everyone in China twice the libertarian they already are.

  5. y not?

  6. $1.4 trillion could buy us mining colonies on the three other inner solar system planets, as well as the Moon, Phobos, and Deimos. And leave extra for the asteroids and a giant porn studio in the L5 position.

    1. It is also 2 and 1/3 times the economic threshold of private funding to establish a permanent manned colony on Mars.

  7. The Obama administration has just released its estimate for the fiscal year 2010 budget deficit. The number? Another $1.4 trillion.

    Wrong! It will be higher. Feel free to throw it in my face if I’m proved wrong by events.

  8. No, throw the $1.4 trillion in my face if J sub D proves wrong. Though not all at once. In fact, make it an electronic throwing into my bank account.

  9. This is getting so stupid. The numbers are going to continually rise if we don’t set tangible standards for money. Eventually the deficit is just going to go into the quadrillions, assuming the everything doesn’t just collapse. Need the gold standard again or a commodities-based standard.

    FUCK – THE GOVERNMENT – WITH – YOUR FIST

    1. Haha reminds me of the WSJ headline this morning Colleagues Finger Billionaire (couldn’t find it so linked to dealbreaker)

    2. Reminds me of WSJ headline this morning: Colleagues Finger Billionaire

    3. Links aren’t working right now, but here’s the URL to dealbreaker about the WSJ article this morning “Colleagues Finger Billionaire”:

      http://dealbreaker.com/2009/10…..-do-to.php

  10. Does that mean we could get another Vespa next year? Sweet.

    1. John Galt >> Wesley Mouch

      Scumbag.

      1. You would say that, you don’t have finer feelings.

  11. So, about $14000 per family, per year, correct? Let’s see, I spent ~$6000 on my last car, $1200 on my last TV, $1000 on my last computer, $250 on my last console gaming system, $2000 on my last vacation. Looks like, in a way, they owe me a replacement for each of those items, and $6000 for next years vacation.

  12. The Democrats aren’t interested in buying any of those wonderful things. What they want to know is how many seats in the House and Senate it will buy.

    1. As opposed to Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage and No Child Left Behind.

      There is no difference between the Dems and the GOP when it comes to buying votes.

      1. Hard to argue with that, though the evil Chimpy Katrinaburton was roundly pilloried for not larding either of these up quite enough for the loyal opposition.

        The Republicans want to pick my pocket just as much as the Demcrats, but their arms seems to be just slightly shorter.

  13. Ok, besides number of nights in Charlie Rangels pad, how many nights will it get me with one of Eliot Spitzer’s hookers, how much income tax would I have to pay if I used Tim Geithner’s calculation method and how much influence could a West African businessman buy with William Jeferson?

  14. John Galt, you need a lesson in sarcasm. That’s why I used the name of Mouch to make an asinine comment.

    1. I got the sarcasm, Mouch, just felt like making a comment on your name. Thought it was funny. Any Cuffy Meigs post on Reason?

      1. Dammit, I should have read the entire thread before picking my fake name.

  15. Mr. Bartram:

    1. 1,278,539 years.
    2. You would receive a refund of $12,438,000.
    3. No West African businessman would have anything to do with that slimeball.

  16. I’m not sure where they’re getting the 1.4 trillion figure from, because when I go on the U.S. Treasury’s official site and look up the numbers, the debt increased by 1.7 trillion.

  17. Jesus, man, you’re going to quibble over a mere $300 billion? Why, that’s barely anything, percentage-wise.

    Man up, dude, man up!

  18. Only $1.4 trillion? I thought we were going to use “shortfall” for the small numbers, and save the word “deficit” for the really big numbers.

  19. Eventually the deficit is just going to go into the quadrillions

    Not on my watch!

  20. 1.4 Trillion
    $1,400,000,000,000

    Population of USA
    304,059,724

    Minus Millionaires
    6,700,000

    Equals
    297,359,724

    $4708.10 per person

    A brand new 27in iMac (today) is $1,700.00.
    Gas at $3.00 is 1569 gallons.
    Almost 6 months of food for a family of 4 (using the USDA moderate average of about $800 per month)

    1. I get what you’re doing, but you shouldn’t have subtracted the ‘millionaires’ from the denominator unless you also subtracted the amount of deficit their taxes will pay for from the numerator.

      1. Point taken. I was trying to show that the “compassionate” party could have given the money to everyone with incomes below 7 figures to greater effect.

  21. Why do you think they don’t call it the “Government Accounting Office” anymore?

    1. We need a new GAO: the Government Asskicking Office. People who will go into the halls of Congress and the White House and kick everyone squarely in the ass. Hard. I bet it would be easy to staff.

      1. The Censor!

        1. The Censor gets steel-toed boots. And a running start.

      2. I’m picturing this as a Monty Python-type sketch. It’s delightful.

        1. The Censor is much like. . .The Bishop!

          1. NoOoOo-Body suspects the Spanish Inquisition!

      3. I think Red here is just the man to head up the new GAO. The fun starts about half way through the video. Enjoy!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stnx3wRU43Q

  22. I think the reason.tv videos have been getting better and better, but I worry that they lump reason (and libertarians) in with the Obama-hating Fox News crowd. Like we’re just another bunch of Republicans who hate Obama ’cause hes a darkie lib’ral.

    It seems to me they’d be more effective with a general audience, if they directed some snark toward Republicans as well as Democrats. As in, throw in a shot of Bush with his big ears, and mention that “this guy ran the deficit up to a record in 2008.”

    It really throws my leftie friends for a loop when I criticize Bush and Obama in the same breath. That would probably work for your videos as well.

    1. But then what videos would I have to bring to my ‘rallies’?

    2. Seriously, Flex, lots of people hate Obama for lots of reasons, but if he was albino, I really don’t think the hate would be any less.

      1. I think it’s time we had an albino in the White House. His pink eyes would look great on HDTV.

        1. But if the albino is in the White House, who’s going to protect the Secret?

      2. I realize that. I’m just sayin’, I’m not trying to be lumped in with the Fox News crowd. Those people embarrass me.

        1. Its okay your still cool… I mean your not some guy who… You know i dont know what the hell you mean by “fox news crowds”? I watch it, what exactly am I being called here? Embarrass you? Does that mean we can’t “hang” later? Oh well, off to bitch about that damn naagger, shoot some guns, paint a giant flag on my big truck and go to the clan meeting.

          In all seriousness what reason other than fear do you see this need to denounce the large group of fox viewers based on sweeping generalizations? Your just lucky im not black.

  23. Yeah, but what’s the point in wasting much time criticizing Bush? He’s not in power, anymore.

  24. It cost less than $300,000 to raise an American child from birth to age 18. So, 1.4 trillion is enough resources to repopulate LA by a large margin.

  25. Yeah, but what’s the point in wasting much time criticizing Bush? He’s not in power, anymore.

    Pro Lib, didn’t you get the script? Everything bad that happens until January 21, 2012 (and potentially the next four years afterward) is the residual fault of the Bush administration.

    1. Does that mean we can blame Obama for everything that happens from Jan 21, 2017 to Jan 20, 2025?

      1. no, he’s black. that would be racist. remember?

  26. Sure, masssive deficits are disturbing, but at least I can sleep better knowing the Goldman execs will get their 11 billion in bonuses. That is, after all, what the American dream is all about – work hard, do good work and reap what you sow.

    1. The minute your tax money hit the treasury it was gone. You will never see it again. It doesn;t matter what the feds do with it…you have no say…you will not benefit. At least for only the second or third time in history the Feds made a profit. Goldman paid interest to the Fed…but you won’t see that either. So stop bitching about Goldman.

  27. I’m sure Obama has it all figured out. I mean, he’s going to cut the deficit in half, right?

    1. Absolutely!! He’ll run the deficit up to about 4 trillion a year, then cut it down to 2 trillion a year! He’s a financial genius.

  28. I think Congress and the President have finally managed to create the necessary conditions to “crash the dollar”. The debt we have incurred, plus the debt we will take on in the near future, is simply overwhelming. Moreover, Congress will drive a stake in the dollar’s heart by raising taxes(allowing tax cuts to expire)

    Tim Geithner and his buddy at the Fed Ben Bernanke. are scary people. How many dollars will the Fed monetize this coming FY?

    And here I thought things were bad back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.

    Oh My….glad I already have my gold and silver 🙂

  29. Google “Mens Health 17 Things That Waste Your Time”.

    Read number 4

    … WIN!

  30. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp.

  31. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets

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