By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Everything you need to know about the debt crisis

It’s contained in this chart. Mix in some smart commentary by Ezra Klein, and you’ve got the whole thing.

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  1. L.K. Collins

    Since CBO scoring is required to use the assumptions given the CBO…which have been historically proven to be grossly inaccurate…a chart based on 8 years of likely “grossly inaccurate” assumptions can only be viewed as likely to be “grossly inaccurate”.

    ‘Tis interesting, however, that the administration has gone from “spend, spend, spend” to “cut, cut cut” in less than a year.

  2. Al Quint

    curious what you think about the conservative response, Dan:

  3. Mike Rice

    Everything you need to know about the debt crisis: “We’re screwed.”

  4. Stephen Stein

    In another insightful article, Joan McCarter points out that according to a Reuters/IPSOS poll, everything Americans favor is off the table. Americans favor a truly balanced deal, with tax increases and spending cuts. Unfortunately, there are no liberals in power now, so we have no voice except for maybe Pelosi’s.

  5. Stephen Stein

    And while we’re on the subject, wasn’t that one steaming pile of mendacity John Boehner served up last night? Steve Benen lists the top 10 lies in Boehner’s speech.

  6. Stephen Stein

    Michael Grunwald writing on Time Magazine’s Swampland blog, laments the pitiful state of “journalism” concerning the debt limit debate:

    If the debt-limit debate had anything to do with reality, every story about it would include a few basic facts. Starting with: President Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion budget deficit. And: Republican leaders supported the tax cuts and wars that (along with the recession, another pre-Obama phenomenon) created that deficit. Also: Republicans engineered this crisis by attaching unprecedented ideological demands to a routine measure allowing the U.S. to pay its bills. Finally, Obama and the Democrats keep meeting those demands—for spending cuts, then for more spending cuts, and even for nothing but spending cuts—but Republicans keep holding out for more.

    These are verifiable facts, not opinions. But since they aren’t new facts, and re-reporting them would make “GOP claims” about the crisis look, um, non-factual, they’re rarely mentioned, except as “Democratic claims.” This is a real problem for journalism in an era where—now this is an opinion—one of the major parties has abandoned its grip on reality.

    Read the whole thing.

  7. Mike Rice

    Blame this country’s current fiscal problems on whomever, where are the statesmen to address them?

  8. Mike Benedict

    Lincoln was president during a much bigger crisis. He made great, memorable speeches. They made no difference. It’s all about the doing now, Mike.

  9. Stephen Stein

    @Mike – they’re sure not in last congress or in this one. If they were REALLY worried about the deficit, they could have let the Bush tax cuts expire. (The reason they HAD an expiration date was because of their effect on the debt.)

    And Obama could have vetoed the extension, but no.

  10. Mike Rice

    As with any crisis there’s always an optimist to be found and I had an enlightening conversation with such a person, an accountant, I worked for recently who assured me that as soon as all of the 79 million baby-boomers croak this country will be flush with cash. Wow.

  11. Mike Benedict

    @Mike Rice: Any epidemiologist will tell you that any financial problem with SS and Medicaid lies in that modern medicine has been far more effective than expected in dousing deadly contagion. War, schmar. The Spanish Flu of 1918 wiped out an estimated 2 to 4% of the world’s population — and not just the folks on the health fringe, either.

    Our ability to recognize and react to potentially deadly viruses over the past 50 years has had a dramatic — if undiscussed — negative impact on the world’s finances in that we now support far larger older populations than ever.

  12. Mike Rice

    @Mike Benedict: Bingo! Damn that modern medicine(I think I’ll get a flu shot next winter).

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