Cheeburger Cheeburger (No Coke. Pepsi.): Rick Santelli presents CYNICONOMICS debt projections

Earlier this week, we followed up the CBO’s publication of its 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook with a chart that we believe should have been included.

But what would Rick Santelli say?

Only Rick would think to mix our debt projections with cheeseburgers and a magnifying glass. Here’s his entertaining take on our chart:

Now, some people may wonder whether we can “grow” into debt burdens of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per taxpayer. This may have been where CNBC’s Kelly Evans was going when she questioned Rick about GDP at the end of his piece. I’ll add a few thoughts on that.

First, the inflationary piece of any growth doesn’t help. We’ve neutralized inflation in the chart by using the purchasing power of today’s dollar throughout the projection, per the CBO’s own inflation forecasts.

Second, real growth only helps to cover your tax bill to the extent that it’s boosting your income. And one way to look at the typical taxpayer’s income is to use Census Bureau data. Here’s a full history of the Census Bureau’s figures for median household income:

debt projection 6

Notice that median household income in 2012 is below the 1989 figure. That’s 23 years with no growth, whatsoever.

Or, another way look at it is this:

  • Median household income has increased by a cumulative, grand total of 11% in the last 37 years (from $45,788 in 1975 to $51,017 in 2012).
  • Based mostly on CBO projections for the next 37 years, we’re showing the national debt per taxpayer jumping by 532% (to $881,072 in 2050).

That’s 532% versus 11%.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not too confident that incomes (Rick’s tiny cheeseburger) will keep up with the tax bills (the enormous burger).

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One Response to Cheeburger Cheeburger (No Coke. Pepsi.): Rick Santelli presents CYNICONOMICS debt projections

  1. Arthur G. Brina says:

    It is the “elephant in the room” that no one wants to talk about. Globalization is a process whereby the greatest benefits accrue to the fewest people. The rest of mankind are locked into a downward spiral of lower income and less work.

    “Developed” countries are losing to less developed countries; and, as those countries become more developed, they lose to still lesser-developed countries. America loses to China. China loses to India and Indonesia. India loses to Bangladesh, and Indonesia loses to Vietnam.

    1989 was the year that the Berlin Wall fell, opening Eastern Europe for exploitation. Within 3 years, NAFTA would come into effect, and so began the process of transferring production from American factories to “North American” factories. And 3 years after that came the WTO, which was voted against by a majority of Democrats but supported by Bill Clinton and most of the Republicans.

    A class of “elitists without a country”, who move their money wherever it is best treated, are in control of the world’s economies, finances, and -in much of the G20- its politics. They are being lured by national governments, desperate to create jobs and foreign exchange, with tax subsidies and tax havens, and with the promise of a free hand to exploit natural resources and serf labor.

    Many have come to realize that Globalization has not turned out to be a “net” benefit for all, but rather a trap. (“The Trap” is a book written by Sir James Goldsmith in 1995. You should read it.) They are being told that it is too late to stop globalization and to return to a nation-centric economic and social system. But who is telling them that? They are the very same people who have benefited from the process!

    This simply can’t be so! Every “sovereign” nation can steer its own course; and if the United States turned toward an American-centric economic policy, most of the rest of the “G-8″ would do the same. It is a fact that China and Brazil have pursued nation-centric economic policies since the very onset of Globalization.

    Of course the “nationalist” parties in Greece and Germany are being smeared as “neo-nazi”. The nationalist movements in Italy and France are raising alarms among those who fear that nationalism leads to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. And here in America, the alarm is sounded that America will become “isolationist” and let the “new world order” fall apart. Well, that should be a better thing for the rest of us than what we have now.

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