Sunday, September 27, 2009

VIDEO: How To balance the Obama budget

Courtesy of Political Math:
For the purposes of the video, I combined what the CBO calls “mandatory spending” (which is mostly entitlement spending like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) and interest payments on the national debt into a single “mandatory spending” amount because both these parts of the budget are automatic and neither of them can be changed through the normal budget channels.

The next piece of data is the distribution of spending according to agency. In order to estimate how much we would spend on various departments and agencies, I took the latest projected data from President Obama’s budget, which is for 2014. I then calculated that, if we split up spending proportionally the same way in 2017 as we do in 2014 we would end up with the money distribution you see in the video (give or take a few cents).

Then, for the part where I take away the money until the budget is balanced, I simply looked at the amount of money we would have left over after we take care of all the mandatory spending with the receipts we expect to have.
President Obama, despite his best intentions, will not sign a “deficit neutral” bill.

This is because entitlement programs always start out with the best intentions and with rosy predictions. They almost always fail to meet those predictions, costing far more than was originally estimated. The problem is that the programs go on auto-pilot and neither the president nor Congress can do a damn thing to pull back on the costs.
Great video, what do you think about how this current debate over health care is portrayed in this video?

My thoughts? Well I think the correct statement is that if another entitlement is created (especially with the best of intentions) politicians will be very unwilling to remove it. It may not be politically expedient to do so, especially if the public at large generally take it for granted. Even if these entitlements are only working on borrowed time.

Right now it looks like America is fighting a battle. That battle is over the importance of positive rights. The rights to have certain services provided for you and guaranteed by government such as health care, education, housing or even a livelihood. The question is how much money is anyone willing to spend for these particular provisions?

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