Economics

"It's the Spending, Stupid"

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Via Instapundit, here's an excellent col by John Merline on AOL News who points out just where the mega-deficits come from at the federal level: Excessive spending.

As the chart nearby shows, since 1950, tax revenues have been remarkably stable. Despite endless machinations, reforms, tweaks to the tax code, new breaks, tax hikes and tax cuts, tax revenues as a share of the total economy (called gross domestic product, or GDP) have stuck steadily at right around 18 percent.

What has changed is spending….

Deficit hawks pretty much have only one option -- spending cuts. And that means digging into entitlements, particularly Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which consume a huge and ever-growing share of the federal budget.

More here.

Merline's argument is as airtight as it is unpopular among folks who want to believe that we can spend until the cows come home and still eat steak every night. Or something like that.