According to a tweet today from the White House the deficit has decreased dramatically from 2009. It’s good news if you consider a lower deficit good, but because it’s the White House and because it’s economics, it brought out the stupid.
It begins with this otherwise innocent tweet:
This means is that for every year after the economic stimulus President Obama has been in office, the deficit has fallen.
So what did the right-wing have to say? Spoiler: nothing of value, as usual.
No talk of federal government spending is complete without the idiots who yammer on about the national debt like it’s some kind of existential threat, and that’s where the majority of the stupid came from:
Pop quiz time: who owns the bulk of the United States debt?
If you answered China, you’re wrong. The United States government owns most of the debt created by the United States government; back in 2014, Uncle Sam owned a massive 64% of his own debt.
After the United States Government, the second largest holder of American debt is the American people, mostly in the form of bonds. The amount owned by China is almost inconsequential by comparison and is used by China to prop up their currency following the economic crunch in 2008.
Now, the mandatory spending programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which make up around 24% of the total budget, present a future danger. However, a potential solution is to increase government funds to pay for the programs, by increasing the capital gains tax, closing the biggest tax loopholes, and shuttering overseas tax shelters.
Yes, that’s tax and spend. But what else is the government going to do with that money, put it in a bank account somewhere to accrue interest for old age?
That doesn’t make for a good talking point, though, and that’s what folks live on in a world with a character count of 140 or fewer. Thus, idiots trumpet the debt like it’s an automatic ace in the hole instead realizing that it makes them look like the massive tools for the Republican establishment they are.