The problem, in a pie chart

Ah, money. 

Though he claims he’s not surprised, Allahpundit scared the hell out of me with this: 60% oppose stripping collective bargaining rights from public union workers. Granted, most of the respondents probably didn’t know the difference between a public sector union and a private sector union, but I digress. 

Raising taxes won’t be enough. Why? Because you can’t spread a tiny pie that far: loaves and fishes this ain’t, y’all. This goes beyond trimming union benefits. Entitlement spending alone eats nearly all of our revenue.

USA income statement


                $899 billion from Individual Income Taxes

                 $865 billion from Social Insurance Tax

                 $191 billion from Corporate Taxes

                 $208 billion “other”

Now subtract:

                  $724 billion for Medicare and Federal Medicaid 

                  $707 billion for Social Security

                  $553 billion for Unemployment plus “other” entitlements

You end up with $179 billion, which isn’t enough to pay the interest on our debt. The government exists to provide for the common defense not keep folks on the dole. Period.

Even math dunces will have to recognize that if you pay out more than  you take in, there’s … nothing. And that nothing turns into bigger black-hole nothing with compounded interest.

Entitlement reform. From the home of the pie-chart-of-doom:

most of the expense is entitlement programs, not defense, education, or any of the other line items that most budget crusaders normally howl about.

Third, as horrifying as these charts are, they don’t even show the trends of these two pies: The “expense” pie is growing like gangbusters, driven by the explosive growth of the entitlement programs that no one in government even has the balls to talk about. “Revenue” is barely growing at all.

As we’ll illustrate with more of Mary’s charts next week, the US cannot grow its way out of this problem. It needs to cut spending, specifically entitlement spending. We hereby announce that we’ll give a special gold star to the first “leader” with the guts to say that publicly.

Didn’t Chris Christie at AEI?
Ah: almost missed this. Ed Morrissey discusses the sample of the CBS poll Allahpundit noted. Chicanery as usual:
First, the partisan split in the sample gave a ten-point advantage to Democrats.  Their sample for this poll had a D/R/I split of 36/26/31, an absurd sample for political polling.  In December, Rasmussen’s general-population survey put Republicans ahead, 36.0% to 34.7% for Democrats.  A recent poll by Gallup shows erosion in Democratic affiliation all through 2010.  In 2008, Barack Obama won the popular vote by seven points nationwide, and the NYT/CBS poll assumes that the electorate has grown more Democratic in 2011.
Next, 20% of the poll’s respondents claim to come from union households.  However, only 11.9% of American workers belong to a union, according to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month and noted by none other than the Times itself.  Union membership fell to a 70-year low as a percentage of the workforce, which in itself is a rather damning statement about the view of collective bargaining by the vast majority of American workers.  How exactly did the survey manage to comprise itself of almost twice as many union-household respondents for a poll on union policies as union members in the workforce?  Interesting.
Indeed. The fourth estate hard at work. 

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  1. […] The problem, in a pie chart […]

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