It’s the Receipts Stupid

As beltway chattering class’s political genitals continue to engorge over the visual of P90X star Paul Ryan’s budget slashing and entitlement reform proposals their highly excited brains seem unable to process one simple fact. The problem we face is not only about spending, as a matter of fact it isn’t even mostly about spending, it is mainly about revenue or more accurately the lack thereof.

The following two graphics courtesy of wikipedia should help illustrate this point.

First, here is the 2010 budget broken down by spending category. It is worth noting that the items so hotly debated in the run up to the recent government shutdown that wasn’t are not even represented in this pie chart.

Now have a look at the simple revenue vs. spending bar chart below.

As you can see, the simple math should show that we are not taking in enough money to pay for all of our obligations. Now the Republicans would have you believe that the answer to this is to simply cut entitlement spending. Getting rid of all those pesky social programs for the middle class and the poor will balance the budget and have the doubly exciting bonus of making people simply work harder and become wealthy. Now, since we all know that is a load of bull the real question is what can we do to solve our problem?

It’s simple increase our revenue by making everyone pay their fair share of the burden. That means in no uncertain terms increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Period.

UPDATE: And on the topic of spending, ThinkProgress just released this post showing that the US has nearly doubled military spending since 2001 (not much of a surprise).

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