I.O.U.S.A.: The Movie

This movie is downright terrifying.  It’s also a must-see.  It’s a free instant stream for Netflix subscribers; there’s also a condensed 30-minute version on the movie’s website.

The movie explains the federal deficit, but does so in an interesting way (or maybe I’m just a nerd).  Here are just a few of the many great graphs used in the movie:

Federal spending in 2008:

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Federal revenue in 2008:

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Federal deficit in 2008:

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The last 30 years of federal budget deficits (and a few "surpluses"):

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The last 30 years of federal budget deficits, corrected for the fact that we’ve really been taking surpluses from the Social Security fund to pay for ever-increasing federal spending:

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What the next 40 years of deficits will look like, given the policies currently in place, as Social Security goes from surplus to deficit in the next few years:

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Projected spending in 2030 based on current policies; notice that "military" and "everything else" are statistically insignificant (too small to show up on the graph) compared to the health-care and social security items:

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Total unfunded liabilities of $53 trillion as of 2008 (it’s now more than $100 trillion):

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Direct quote from the movie relating to this next item: "Some people think that we can solve our financial problems by stopping fraud, waste, and abuse; or by canceling the Bush tax cuts; or by ending the war in Iraq.  The truth is, we could do all 3 of these things and we would not come close to solving our nation’s fiscal challenges."

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All of which is just another reason (not that we needed another) that this is completely insane:

Quoting The WSJ:

Last year, Mr. Obama made fiscal restraint a constant theme of his presidential campaign. ... However, since taking office Mr. Obama pushed through a $787 billion stimulus, a $33 billion expansion of the child health program known as S-chip, a $410 billion omnibus appropriations spending bill, and an $80 billion car company bailout.  He also pushed a $821 billion cap-and-trade bill through the House and is now urging Congress to pass a nearly $1 trillion health-care bill. [...]

When Mr. Obama was sworn into office the federal deficit for this year stood at $422 billion.  At the end of October, it stood at $1.42 trillion.  The total national debt also soared to $7.5 trillion at the end of last month, up from $6.3 trillion shortly after Inauguration Day.

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Posted by Anthony on 2 replies


01. Dec 16, 2009 at 03:44pm by kaiser:

Dude, this is why we need more military spending.  $607B in military spending is only second to the $936B for everything else.  We really want our military to cost less than everything else?  I’m sure China’s military doesn’t cost less than everything else.

Additionally, domestic manufacturing capability for consumer goods is next to nothing for the US.  We’ve sold off all of our craftsman experience to countries where the labor rate is ultra low.  The military buys American.  If you spend more on the military, more jobs are created, more people spend money, more taxes are collected, feeding into an exponential growth of military.  End result: more oil!  Believe me, I have experience here...I took an economics course in college.

So that’s my plan.  Vote for Kaiser in 2012.

02. Dec 16, 2009 at 11:10pm by Anthony:

Sign me up.

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