Home > economics > Why None of this Debt Ceiling Stuff Matters. Vol. II: This Time With Graphs

Why None of this Debt Ceiling Stuff Matters. Vol. II: This Time With Graphs

Well Congress did it…they passed the debt ceiling bill.  Hooray!  Hooray!  We’ve avoided certain DOOM.  So, it’s all over now right?  Well, sorta.  I mean, the debt ceiling crap is over (for now), but we did just pass a bill that allows the treasury to borrow another $2.4 trillion!  From a conservative’s perspective, the deal seems better than contracting syphilis, but not by much.  But still you ask how could averting DOOM not matter?  DOOM is, after all, bad.  This is why:

So what does this fancy graph mean?  It means that, by 2049, every penny of tax revenue will get eaten by the entitlement programs.  And even if we raise revenue by taxing the filthy rich, it might get us a few more years.  And absolutely nothing is being done about it…and I don’t really anticipate anything being done about it until we simply run out of money and the programs all go bust.

I know, you’ve been told that stuff like Social Security doesn’t contribute to the deficit.  “Never contributed a nickel” is what libs like to say.  They point to the FICA on your paystub and say “see, it’s earmarked for Social Security.”  Here’s the problem: there is no special little fund where the FICA goes…it goes into the same pot as all the other taxes, and Social Security (and Medicare, and Medicaid) get paid out of that pot.  So, instead of your FICA going to a bucket somewhere so that it can pay you upon retirement, it’s actually going straight to your dad (freeloader).  Anywhere else, this sort of “take from Peter to pay Paul” relationship would be illegal…it’s called a Ponzi scheme (see Bernie Madoff).

Here’s the point: we’re never going to get rid of our debt without significantly changing the entitlements…and no one will touch “granny’s income” until there literally is no income.  Without doing something about entitlements, we eventually get this…

…debt we literally can’t pay for and we get DOOM for real.  Don’t believe me?  See Greece.  Don’t worry though.  Your Congressman who doesn’t want to hurt granny will be dead by then.  And you’ll be eating cats.   But not those big fat cats like Garfield.  I’m talking the small, bony cats you see in those ASPCA commercials.  Yes.  The ones with all the lesions.

Oh, and you think I’m kidding.  Remember Moody’s from Vol. I?  Well, even with the debt ceiling increase, they’re still considering downgrading us.  Why?  Because of the fancy graphs upstairs.  So, hooray for compromise!  Hooray for cooperation!  Hooray for taking over my t.v. for several days and ultimately doing nothing that will matter in the long run.

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