Quick Dollar View of National Priorities

Andrew Sullivan posted this as Infographic: Tax Breaks vs. Budget Cutson his Daily Dish blog on The Atlantic. He traced it back to this possible origin, which has a lot of detail at the bottom about sources and assumptions. I apologize for politics, not my normal fare on this blog, but it’s such an eloquent chart; I couldn’t resist.

I had to ask myself: is this what our priorities are?

4 thoughts on “Quick Dollar View of National Priorities

  1. Interesting graphic Tim..the only objection I really have to it, is in it’s origin not your post, and that’s the us vs them mentality that it seemed to appear in. IMHO the us vs them mentality that has become American politics will constantly hold us back. We all (progressives and conservatives) need to recognize the problems in this country and work together to solve them.

    As an example, if you follow the chart all the way back to it’s apparent origin, they give the following example:
    “the cost to the Treasury of the mortgage interest tax deduction, for example, doubled from $48 billion in 1995 to nearly $100 billion this year and no one made a peep about getting control of this loss in revenue. The stunning growth in this tax break is unchecked and unquestioned.”

    Granted, the original article (at: http://goo.gl/VRYVT) does go on to say: “Some tax breaks make sense. Those that stimulate economic activity that otherwise wouldn’t happen without the tax incentive may be worth the lost revenue, especially if that economic activity creates American jobs and provides assistance in sectors of the economy that show potential for growth.” Unfortunately, the chart is being used around the Internet without keeping the original spirit of the article, which was more about Transparency in Government and a thorough review of budgets and making cuts where they make sense (which I think we can all get behind).

  2. Just FYI, I received a thoughtful email about this post from a reader who objected to it as … well, here’s direct quote from that email:

    “come on…this is blatant politicking…I am not arguing the merits of the graph the author certainly had a point to make and I am sure the other side could assemble a comparable graph.

    Personally I am not on either side, we need to be responsible to those in need and fiscally responsible to ourselves…More importantly, I have been an ardent reader and forwarder of your stuff…

    I just hate to see you lower your blog standard to a political editorial stance…a slippery slope once stepped upon.

    Keep up the business blogging I really enjoy it – Leave political editorial to the others…”

    OK, Mike, thanks, in retrospect I think you’re right, and I’m going to take your advice in the future. Tim

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