Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit blog has long been using a graphic showing the deficits (and a few surpluses) of the last five administrations. Since the graphic only had the projected budget deficit for Pres. Obama’s first year, I decided to update it with more recent numbers. Taking the numbers from the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget itself, I have updated the graphic with the announced 2009 and 2010 deficits, as well as the deficit the OMB is projecting for 2011.

Here are six variations graphing the current numbers, as of October 2010 February 2011 July 2012 [Now with updated 2013 numbers! -- CM]. Feel free to copy them and use them on your own blogs.

Obama's Deficit

I decided to call out Pres. Obama’s deficits in shades of red. You can also get this in in a much larger size (2250 x 1690 pixels).

Question: where to you get the numbers for the graph? I go to the Office of Management and Budget site and download Table 1.1. I then look at the column D (Surplus or Deficit) to get the numbers for the graph.

Question: how do you convert the surplus/deficit numbers from the table into bars on the graph? Table 1.1 comes down as an Excel file, so I continue to use Excel to convert the surplus/deficit numbers into a count of pixels for each bar. I go to a blank column, like M, and enter the following formula “=D119/8310″. That takes the contents of cell D119 (surplus or deficit for that year) and divides it by 8310, since each pixel represents $8,310,000. Since I can’t have a fraction of a pixel, I format the entire column as a Number with 0 decimal places. Excel does all the rounding up from me. I then take the number of pixels, positive or negative, and draw a bar that many pixels up or down. Once that information has been updated in my master file in Paint Shop Pro, I save out a small and large versions of the image and post them.

UPDATE (2/15/2011 12:26:09 PM): With a new revision of the OMB numbers for 2011 raising the estimated deficit to $1.645 trillion, I have updated the graphics to show the new OMB projection. I have also made two other changes based on feedback. The Bush years text now uses bars rather than arrows (h/t Irene), and I have given Pres. Bush eight years of budgets instead of nine and adjusted all the rest by one (h/t bridgeman).

If you have been using these images, please download and use the current versions. If you want to access the old ones, you may download them all as a single zip file.

UPDATE (7/26/2011 6:00:00 PM): I have updated the images with the finalized 2011 numbers (down 345 billion) and added the projected 2012 budget deficit. I changed from using .jpg to .png for smaller file size and less fuzziness. Based on feedback, I created a large version of one of the images at 2250×1690 pixels that prints better. I also added a credit to this website.

UPDATE (3/2/2013 1:00:00 PM): Since it was requested, I have updated the graphic with the current numbers from Table 1.1 from the Office of Management and Budget site. 2012 is still listed there as an estimate, so I have left it in the graph as pink. I also added the estimate for 2013 to the image. The deficit is projected to go down in 2013, not from lack of spending but from an estimated increase in taxes. We’ll see how that goes.

The image is available in regular (450px x 338px) or large (2250px x 1690px). I have removed the other versions since there has been no demand for them.

UPDATE (5/9/2013 11:07 AM): I just checked the Table 1.1 spreadsheet at the OMB site, and they have published the official 2012 numbers. I’ve updated the graphic with the new numbers and changed it from estimate pink to official red. I also added two questions with answers about where I get the data and how I make the image.

Today’s political cartoon was drawn by Lisa Benson.

Obama's Stimulus Game

I’ve played carnival games before, but I’ve never been hit with player fever: “Just once more! This time I just know I’ll win!” We’ve already had a near-trillion-dollar stimulus, and the results have been less than advertised, as demonstrated by the following graph borrowed from Gateway Pundit:

Stimulus Jobs

You can see the unemployment numbers President Obama’s administration said the U.S. would have, with or without the huge stimulus plan. It was passed, but reality has shown that the administration should hang up their crystal ball because they cannot predict the future with any accuracy. Face it — the stimulus has been a failure to stimulate the economy and jobs, but it has been a success for feeding money to state governments and unions.

But President Obama isn’t done spending your money yet. Welcome to Son of Stimulus! No, the administration will tie their tongues in knots before they call this “infrastructure spending” another stimulus package. But *quack* *waddle* *poop* — yeah, it’s a duck, I mean stimulus.

Vowing to find new ways to stimulate the sputtering economy, President Barack Obama will call for long-term investments in the nation’s roads, railways and runways that would cost at least $50 billion.

So what did we get with the $862 billion spent in the first stimulus that we need to spend another $50 billion for our roads, railways, and runways? Obviously that first stimulus didn’t go to roads, railways, and runways. It went to fund stupid stuff like replacing windows in a Mount St. Helens visitor center that was closed in 2007, funding computerized dance software, or providing funds for a underground tunnel in Pennsylvania already described as a “tragic mistake” by Gov. Ed Rendell. And those are just the first three of 100 stimulus projects singled out in this report.

But government succeeds in throwing your money around with great abandon. That pinch you feel in your wallet right now is President Obama reaching back there to spend even more of your money. He’s caught up in stimulus player fever — “Just one more stimulus! This time I just know it will work!”

Recently, while talking at the Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire, President Obama dismissed some concerns about the health care reform the Democrats have been pushing.

Another legitimate concern, he said, was whether a public insurance plan he favors would overwhelm the private insurance system. Obama said it should not.

“If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine,” he said. “It’s the post office that’s always having problems.”

Hmm… of the three large services that deal with moving mail–UPS, FedEx, and USPS–it is the United States Postal Service that is “always having problems.” Is it a coincidence that the USPS is also the only service managed by the government with a government monopoly on first-class mail? I don’t think so. I think the comment is a prime example of why Obama shouldn’t talk about things unless he has his teleprompter present.

The obvious follow-up question to his comment is to ask why Americans should be anxious to move from private-run health care to government-run health care when Obama’s example shows that private-run mail offers a much better service than the government-run option.

So let’s take a look at the government’s track record, based on some information sent to me recently in an email.

  • The U.S. Postal Service was established under Benjamin Franklin in 1775 by the second Continental Congress. It has been managed by the government for 234 years, and it is broke. It ran a $2.8 billion deficit in 2008.
  • Social Security was established under FDR in 1935. It has been managed by the government for 74 years, and it is broke. Worse, it is a Ponzi scheme that is inherently unstable.
  • Fannie Mae was established under FDR in 1938 under FDR. It has been managed and legislated by the government for 71 years, and it is broke.
  • The War on Poverty started under LBJ in 1964. It has been managed by the government for 45 years, and it doesn’t work. Trillions of dollars have been taken from taxpayers to go to the poor. The poverty rate in the U.S. had been falling in the decade before government stepped in, but since then, the rate has remained pretty static.
  • Medicare and Medicaid were established under LBJ in 1964. They have been managed by the government for 44 years, and they are broke.
  • Freddie Mac was established under Nixon in 1970. While a government-sponsored enterprise, it has been legislated by the government for 39 years, and it is broke.
  • The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was passed under Bush in 2008. $700 billion has been squandered buying up assets worth far less than that.
  • And most recently, the “Cash for Clunkers” program was established under Obama in 2009. The initial grant of $1 billion ran out in one month, even though the financial geniuses in the government thought it would last four times as long. So Congress approved spending an additional $2 billion in the program. To boil it down, the government paid out either $3,500 or $4,500 for cars with a trade-in worth of $1,475. This is not a wise use of our money. Oh, and it’s gone.

Government has no ability to spend money wisely or efficiently, as demonstrated by the track record it has amassed in the past century. So why should we even conceive of giving government control over America’s health care system? Many times on commercials I have heard some rapidly-spoken variation of the following phrase: “past performance is not indicative of future results.” But with the government, past performance is practically a promise of future results.

Government-run health care? History tells me that the best answer is “Thank you, but no.”

Here is a very interesting graph published in the Washington Post about the past 9 years and the upcoming decade of debt.

Deficits

The graph is a comparison of the Congressional Budget Office and the White House Office of Management and Budget numbers. You can see that the 2008 deficit is over $400 billion, almost certainly due to the last minute government “fix” that has worked so well. When asked about his drunken-sailor spending in a recent press conference, President Obama put the blame on President Bush:

Chip Reid: Thank you, Mr. President.

At both of your town hall meetings in California last week, you said, quote, “I didn’t run for president to pass on our problems to the next generation.”

But under your budget, the debt will increase $7 trillion over the next 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office says $9.3 trillion. And today on Capitol Hill, some Republicans called your budget, with all the spending on health care, education and environment, the most irresponsible budget in American history.

Isn’t that kind of debt exactly what you were talking about when you said passing on our problems to the next generation?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: First of all, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because as I recall, I’m inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them. [emphasis added - CM]

You are inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit?!? Big fat bull patooties, President! The Democrats in power are spending money with all the self-restraint of an alcoholic in a brewery. But it’s not his fault. Oh, no. It’s all the fault of those eeeeevil Republicans. I have this mental image of a father chewing out his kid for spilling his sippy-cup on the floor when right next to it is the father’s spilled 96-ounce Uber-Gulp.

I have to admit that I can’t think of any new program or spending put forth by this administration that I can support, but I’m sure there must be some that both make sense and are actually constitutionally specified.

But there is a new government spending program I could support 100%. Recently Senator Jim DeMint spoke on the floor of the Senate about the Serve America Act1, and he made the following comment:

Unfortunately, our history shows us when Government gets involved, it tends to take something that is working and make it not work nearly as well. Civil society works because it is everything Government is not. It is small, it is personal, it is responsive, it is accountable. Civil society must be protected from any effort to make it more like Government.

I could fully support the government placing these words in a large frame in every government office across this land to remind every elected office-holder, every appointed official, and every faceless flunky in the bureaucracy that government meddling in civil affairs only makes things worse.

If these words succeeded in reining in the expansion of government into every sector of our lives, it would be money well worth spending.

 

1 “It’s a cookbook!”