Tuesday, 29 October 2013

They grow up so fast

Debts, that is.

Ricochet’s Jon Gabriel put together this infographic illustrating the extreme state of America’s finances, brought to you by a bipartisan coalition of fast-spending Republicans and Democrats:

[Graph from Sutherland Institute. Hat tip Julian P.]

I don’t think there’s any evidence anywhere of deceleration…


  1. I find that an odd graph - it seems to be designed to show debt as the sum of deficits, yet the amount of debt displayed increases faster than the deficit sums.

    Something is either missing (privately held debt?) or being under (deficit) or over stated (debt or revenue) in that graph.

  2. By the way - I often have trouble submitting comments because the iframe on these pages which contains the comment submission part is too short and content including buttons that need clicking can be pushed out of sight under it's bottom.

    I don't how the component is included (in I presume WordPress) but somewhere there's code that says (in part, I've cropped the unimportant parts)...

    <iframe id="comment-editor" height="410">

    That height needs to be 500 to make sufficient room for the iframe contents on the page. It may be a property of a component added in a administrative console, I dopn't know how Wordpress sets such things.

  3. Fentex makes a good point. The current debt value should be equal to the area between the deficit and revenue curve. At first glance it appears to be much greater than that, although I would have to do a numerical integration to be sure. Does the debt figure include unfunded liabilites (e.g. social security) and other items not included in the main Federal budget?

  4. I think it's ok. The decadal divides should be in turn divvied by ten so the deficit builds annual increases in debt, which I suspect will include other off-budget stuff. Unfunded liabilities are another six heads of the leviathan altogether.
    J Cuttance

  5. I also realised that I did not take the effect of compounding interest into account upon first inspection. This could explain part, but not all of the 'gap'!

  6. take the effect of compounding interest into account

    An accurate version of this graph ought include that in it's displayed deficit. If it includes anything in the debt not included in the revenue/expenditure part then it's meaning is at sea because it's speaking to things not in evidence.


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