Posts filed under “Current Affairs”

About Our “Spending Problem” (Revisited)

@TBPInvictus here

It’s a well established fact that the Obama administration has been spending like a drunken sailor since the day he was inaugurated. I first wrote about his spendthrift ways here, toward the end of 2010 (has it already been three years?).

Some time has now passed, so how’s it going? Let’s take another look at Federal government spending – including and excluding defense – for the last five administrations, indexed to 100 in the first quarter of each administration.

First the overall picture:

fgce

Now, let’s strip out the defense portion:

fndefx

Please think of these two charts the next time you hear someone say, “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.” Present these charts and ask precisely where that spending problem is.

What goes on at the state and local level also obviously impacts the trajectory of our economy, including GDP and our employment picture. While the Federal government does not have direct control of state and local economics, it is certainly a meaningful indirect influence, as Federal policies ripple through state capitals and subsequently through local town halls.

Here’s what that picture looks like over the past five administrations:

state and local

[NOTE: Gotta say, the degree of state and local austerity surprised even me.]

Put it all together, and this is what government at all levels has added to (or subtracted from) GDP for the past five years:

govt cont to gdp

Finally, and sadly, the NY Times ran an article last week about the deleterious effects already being felt by the recent cut in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps). The damage being done to those who can least afford it cannot be overstated. Beyond the pain it is inflicting on the poor, the adverse “trickle up” effect is already taking hold:

The cuts are also hurting stores in poor neighborhoods. The average food stamps household receives $272 a month, which then passes into the local economy.

At a Food Lion in Charleston where as many as 75 percent of the shoppers use food stamps, managers were bracing for lower receipts as the month wore on.

At a Met Foodmarket in the Bronx, where 80 percent of the 7,000 weekly customers use food stamps, overall food sales have already dropped by as much as 10 percent.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be that fast,” said Abraham Gomez, the manager. Losing that much revenue could mean cutting back hours for employees, he said.

For some perspective on the SNAP program, here’s how it stacks up versus our spending on defense:

gunsvbutter

Source: BEA Table 3.12 Government Social Benefits and BEA Table 3.11.5. National Defense Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment by Type

Category: Bad Math, Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Really, really bad calls

Is the Market Rallying on Syria or Summers?

There is a certain school of thought — and I use that word loosely — that seemingly tries to tie each twitch of the market, every noisy jag up or down — to some broader issue. Partisan politics, economics, technology, and of course, presidential elections becomes fodder for this school of thought rationalization. Flip on…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Current Affairs, Markets, War/Defense

Business is Booming in Texas: Discuss

  Interesting war of words between Texas governor Rick Perry and SacBee’s cartoonist Jack Ohman. Perry is demanding the cartonist be fired for his insensitivity to the deaths at the fertilizer plant. Ohman responded: “When you have a politician traveling across the country selling a state with low regulatory capacity, that politician also has to…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Humor, Regulation

Don’t Bother Reading This Blog Post

  There is nothing to say while we are all transfixed by the live real time manhunt playing out before our eyes.   Back soon . . .

Category: Current Affairs

Don't Bother Reading This Blog Post

  There is nothing to say while we are all transfixed by the live real time manhunt playing out before our eyes.   Back soon . . .

Category: Current Affairs

How Disaster Aid Recipients Voted on Sandy Relief

Source: ProPublica   • 31 Senate Republicans Opposed Sandy Relief After Supporting Disaster Aid For Home States (Think Progress) • 37 Congressional Republicans Opposed Sandy Relief After Supporting Disaster Aid For Home States (Think Progress)

Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media

United States Flu Trends

Source: Google     As you can see from above, this years flu is a big problem . . .

Category: Current Affairs, Web/Tech

Discuss: Barack Obama is a Liberal Republican

I have been having fun mocking friends and family on both sides of the political aisle.  GOP colleagues who keep telling me BHO is a Socialist, while Dems think he is the next JFK. I enjoy disabusing them of their political biases by explaining to them Barack Obama’s actual politics. Politically, he is a modern…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Philosophy, Politics

Chris Christie Goes Postal on GOP Leaders

Category: Current Affairs, Video

School Shootings in the US

    This map displays the casualties and fatalities in school shootings in the US from 1997-2012. It is based on data drawn from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. This is not a great chart — the size of the circles creates a perceptual problem (each school shooting doesnt cover a 200 square…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media