Economics

Who's The Tougher Foe: Axis Powers or Entitlement Spending?

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Confronted with the recent announcement of a $1.4 trillion deficit for fiscal year 2009, The Wash Post suggests it's the latter:

Today's deficits, though smaller as a percentage of gross domestic product than the post-World War II deficits that the U.S. economy ultimately weathered, may be more difficult to unwind. Defense spending was the sole cause of the World War II deficits; it totaled 90 percent of federal outlays in 1945. At war's end, the United States demobilized, moving from a deficit of 22 percent of GDP in 1945 to a surplus of 1.2 percent of GDP in 1947—a swing of nearly one-quarter of GDP in just two years. By contrast, as data compiled by Michael Cembalest of J.P. Morgan show, today's federal spending is driven by mandatory programs: In 2016, entitlements and interest will make up 69 percent of the budget (with defense accounting for 18 percent). These are not only hard to cut quickly; they also have a way of growing unexpectedly. Crushing the Axis powers might seem like a cakewalk next to taking on the lobbies that defend Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, Social Security and the rest.

Reason.tv explains "Budget Deficits for Dummies," below (and notes that the Obama admin has estimated next year's deficit will be another…$1.4 trillion).

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  1. Well, that actually makes pretty good sense if you think about it!

    RT
    http://www.anonymous.ua.tc

  2. AARP vs. Hitler. Does MTV still have that Celebrity deathmatch show?

    1. looking at googlefightDOTcom it appears that Hitler beats AARP handily.

      1. Hitler is dead. AARP will live, ironically, forever.

      2. You’re right but AARP dominates Goebbels.

        http://www.googlefight.com/ind…..2=goebbels

  3. Empires fall not with a bang, but with a whisper.

  4. Well, since all the Axis powers were defeated in a few years and no entitlement program has ever been killed, it’s not a hard question to answer.

    p.s. I still hate the new site in every way.

  5. However, retarded fetuses are not the SS; they can be easily disposed of.

  6. contrast, as data compiled by Michael Cembalest of J.P. Morgan show, today’s federal spending is driven by mandatory programs

    The first principle of legislating is that prior legislatures can’t dictate to current legislatures. They can’t create spending programs that can’t be cut.

    There are no mandatory or untouchable government programs. There are only programs that the current Congress has decided it is in their political interest to continue funding.

    It’s not hard to cut spending — it’s just not in the self-interest of most of those politicians to quit spending other people’s money on counterproductive shite.

  7. It will take twice as many A-Bombs.

  8. You underestimate the range of an A-bomb.

  9. t…he Obama admin has estimated next year’s deficit will be another…$1.4 trillion

    It’s not his fault! He inherited that from Bushitler! Racist!

  10. I wonder if the WaPo consider themselves among those lobbyists for Medicaid, Medicare, farm subsidies, etc.? Certainly they are there with a bleeding-heart anecdotal article anytime an evil (usually Republican) politician wants to curtail spending on them.

  11. Crushing the Axis powers might seem like a cakewalk next to taking on the lobbies that defend Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, Social Security and the rest.

    Now that’s a war effort I’d volunteer for. Maybe even buy some bonds.

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