Monday, December 10, 2012

When Politicians Talk Numbers: A Counter-Stupid Primer

This has most certainly been a year of numbers.  When not side-tracked by discussing the epidemic of rape-pregnancy (you would think that 9 out of 10 pregnancies were the result of rape as much as it was discussed) this year's campaign was about the economy and the numbers.  A trillion dollars here a few billion dollars there and so on.

The key to this is that it is largely all a bunch of B.S.

Oh make no mistake The United States of America has been running a One Trillion Dollar deficit. But when you hear a politician talk about their plans to fix it?  Get on your hip waders.  This goes for pro-tax Democrats and pro-cut Republicans.  Let's not forget the media either, they are complicit in this as well.

Let's look at what Republicans are proposing.  According to Reuters in "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations the Republicans proposed "steep" cuts of $600 billion dollars.  Democrats are mad as hell about this, because it "guts" (one of the many favorite terms of politicians) so many programs.  I mean out of our $3.7 TRILLION "budget" (one hasn't been passed since Obama took office) $600 billion makes quite the dent in our $1 trillion deficit, right?

Oh wait.  That $600 billion we were just talking about?  It's $600 billion over ten years.  So in actuality, it is $60 billion per year against $1 trillion per year in deficits.  That's 6% of the deficit.  That's like leaving a $1.20 tip on a $20 meal.  What's more ridiculous than that?  The Obama and Democrats response to it.  The $60 billion is against $3.7 trillion in yearly spending.  That's 1.6%. That's leaving a $0.32 tip on a $20 meal.  It's $0.016 on the dollar.  And Obama and Democrats are going on about they're "gutting" this or that and the elderly dying and eating dog food.  The media goes right along with it (the Democrats and media do a great job of forming an echo chamber of BS).

The Republicans aren't out of the woods here though.  They have the same reaction anytime cuts are proposed regarding defense spending.  The so-called fiscal cliff is going to "gut" $500 billion from defense spending!!!  Oh wait, it's over ten years, so it's actually $50 billion.  Out of $700 billion per year.  Or 7%, still not an acceptable tip.

But what about Barack Obama?  What's he proposing?  Obama has some very definite ideas.  Obama wants to get those pesky "millionaires and billionaires" and make them pay their fair share!  Yeah, Warren Buffet even came out and said that Obama needs to raise those tax rates.  And it's going to raise $800 billion!!!  Oops.  Again, that's over ten years.  $80 billion per year, on a $1 trillion deficit.  But wait!  There's more!  That's going to give Obama wiggle room for Obama to "invest" (can't say stimulus) another $200 billion in spending.  Or as we've established here $20 billion per year, right?  Wrong.

That's right, Obama wants to "fix the deficit" by raising $80 billion per year in taxes (read not even a dent) then spend another $200 billion per year!  Let that sink in.  Got it?  Good.

From this we establish a couple of rules whenever politicians and their lap dogs in the media talk numbers.

Rule 1#: Spending figures are quoted per year.

Rule 2#: Spending/budget cuts, revenue and tax increases (and tax cuts for that matter) are always quoted over ten years.

Keep this in mind when listening to these jokers.