Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Government Statistics Made Easy!

Another day, another liberal blogger making outrageous charges in a feeble attempt to score cheap political points...

 If you're interested in learning how to quickly (less than 5 minutes!) get to the bottom of government facts and figures, follow along with me. Learning how to do this is invaluable, especially when combating wild slurs from the left.
Unhinged Liberal:
"The biggest lie, which has put the Federal and State governments in the RED, is the lie that cutting taxes will spur growth and bring in more money to pay the bills.

We have had 30 years of experience with this promise, and the facts prove that theory to be false."
Of course, he's wrong.  You can go here and run the numbers yourself.  It is not a government site, but it uses publicly available government statistics from GPO Access.

Contrary to the unhinged liberal's claim, the data show that revenue did increase after the Reagan tax cuts and the Bush II tax cuts. The chart to the left is for the Reagan years and it shows the growth in constant 2005 dollars.  You can punch in the 2000-2010 timespan and you'll see continued revenue increases after the Bush tax cut as well.

The data plainly show that revenue increased after each tax cut, and GDP also kept climbing. So clearly, the culprit in all of this is the spending.

Unfortunately, government spending grew at an even greater rate than the revenue increase, resulting in the growth of the national debt.

Look at the chart during the Reagan 80's, and you'll see why liberals (and libertarians,and fiscal conservatives) criticize Reagan and the Democratic House.  They increased spending even more than revenue increased, adding to the public debt.  Clinton and a Republican congress eventually flatlined it around 1997, and even started it downward.  Bush II ramped it up even more, and Obama is on course to set new spending records.

A False Nexus
This is where the mischief comes in.  Liberals scream and point to the debt chart, ignoring the first chart showing the increase in revenue.  To them, this "proves" that tax cuts cause debt.  They have to leave out the fact that revenue increased and the economy grew in order to "prove" this.  That tax cuts caused the debt is patently and provably false.  Too much spending is what exploded the debt.

An Easy to Use Tool to Analyze Government Data

I highly recommend Christopher Chantrill's Government Spending site.   Look on the left sidebar and you will find links to the sister sites, US Government Debt, and US Government Revenue

You can use the interactive charts to zoom in on areas of interest.  All of his charts are powered by US Government data accessed at GPOAccess.Gov.  You can also download all the data yourself for your own analysis from that same site.

Chantrill's site makes this very easy to do.  If you click the little "Here" link below the charts, you can build your own interactive line chart that displays the data from year to year.  % of GDP is a good choice to display for government spending, since it shows you how big of a slice the federal government takes out of the economy.  I also like the "$ billion 2005" setting, which displays all data in constant 2005 numbers.  This is important since the dollar's value is constantly eroding and it allows us to compare the 1930's with the 1980's by basing all numbers in constant dollars.

Avoid Petty Partisan Spats and Focus on the Stats
I bring all of this to you because I am tired of arguing with people who just want to tear down republicans or score some cheap political point.  Engaging in these kinds of arguments is a descent into madness.  Stick to the facts, and you can at least make some headway towards understanding, if not for the lib you are arguing with, then at least for yourself.


WomanHonorThyself said...

facts and libs don't have a good week my friend:)

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

I have to agree with Angel. Even if some liberals do know the facts they cannot state them as the facts will never support their claims thus giving them no reason to speak.

Jersey McJones said...

You were too selective with your charts, and far too selective with your memory. Tax rates were higher in the 80's than they are now. And they were higher in the nineties too. They were far higher in the 50's.

Notice that the national debt as a percent of GDP, a key factor here, only rose significantly with Reagan, and then Bush I, and then lowered during Clintons' years, when taxes were higher, and then rose again when taxes went down under Bush II. That's since WWII! That's key proof that tax cuts do not per se raise revenues beyond tax increases.

Remember, taxes are levied to pay bills, and the bills significantly increased under three Republican administrations - Reagan, Bush I and Bush II - when taxes were cut. The revenues did not match the bills, yet it did under every Democratic Administration since Truman. Nixon and Ike - now considered tax'n'spenders by you guys - were the last GOP presidents to decrease the debt as a percentage of the GDP.

All Voo Doo Economics produce is higher taxes for future payers. It is a FAILED economic policy. As any smart person knows - sometimes you have to raise taxes. $#!^ happens.


Silverfiddle said...

Thank You Jersey for showing up and proving my point! Thank You!

Now, stick to the topic. I have just proven this statement false:

"The biggest lie, which has put the Federal and State governments in the RED, is the lie that cutting taxes will spur growth and bring in more money to pay the bills.

The data shows that following the Reagan and Bush tax cuts, GDP grew and revenue increased.

You cannot assail that. You'd be a fool to.

Your little chart shows how we ramped down spending and paid down debt incurred by WW II. Kennedy greatly lowered taxes, btw. I notice you didn't mention that.

Yes, debt/GDP increased under Reagan and Bush... Because they spend too damned much!

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, let's talk math and science here.

Unless you have some parallel Earth to compare, you can not prove your point. You can not prove more or less revenues would have been raised if taxes were increased, or left alone, as opposed to being lowered. You can't This is Logic 101.

Under Reagan, GHW Bush and GW Bush, debt rose as a percentage of GDP. Period. Therefore tax revenues were not keeping up with spending. Period. you can not argue that. You'd be a liar if yo did.

Yes, GDP and revenue increased under these three Republicans, but GDP increased just as much if not more under Democratic administrations, but the percentage of DEBT - not spending, but DEBT (that thing you cons are so good at accruing) - to GDP DECREASED under the Democratic administrations.

It's the ol' expression: Pay your bills, you silly spoiled @$$.

You want to pass it on to future generations? Fine. Live with that. I'd prefer to pay my own bills.


Silverfiddle said...

OK Jersey, you've lost all credibility with me. You will not acknowledge the fact that that taxes were cut and revenue went up.

This has nothing to do with suppositions. Michael Savage is right. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, why don't you try rereading what I wrote?


Finntann said...

JMJ, I don't think SF is advocating cutting taxes and increasing spending.

Your logic is the logic used to prove that you can never go anywhere because you always have to go halfway. Word games, nothing more.

You said "I'd prefer to pay my own bills". One then assumes that you live within your means, is it asking to much for government to do the same?

How about this novel proposition... cut taxes, slash spending?

Or this one... pay your bills with your own damn money.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Perhaps unconsciously, you are employing a common progressive tactic. You refuse to acknowledge a fact that is presented to you because you don't like it. Instead you leap ahead to another valid fact and demand everyone acknowledge that one.

You then incorrectly restate my point:

"You can not prove more or less revenues would have been raised if taxes were increased, or left alone, as opposed to being lowered.

I'm not trying to prove that. It's not possible. I am showing you that after tax cuts, revenue went up and so did GDP. This demolishes the argument that Reagan tax cuts increased the debt. They did not. Reagan-Democrat congress spending did.

You are now left in the position you accused me of. You must maintain that had he not cut taxes, we would have taken in even more money. Impossible to prove.

I understand what you are saying about debt/gdp, etc, but until you face the black and white facts I have presented and acknowledge them to be true, we have nothing further to debate. If you cannot accept a government statistic, then it is futile to discuss anything with you.

Silverfiddle said...

OK Jersey. You misstated my point, but you did acknowledge that revenue and GDP went up after the tax cuts.

So that leads us to conclude that the tax cuts themselves did not lead to the increase in debt/GDP.