Interesting breakdown of the costs of military and national guard personnel, and how they’ve been used this century. (related article)
I try to stay out of most political debates, but I want to toss a chart out to add a little perspective on the “Obama has added $6 Trillion of debt” talking point.
Check out the below chart (created in about 20 seconds using the awesome free St. Louis Fed online data tools).
The gap between the red and blue lines in each year is our deficit – that’s how much we need to borrow to keep the government running. The sum of all those deficits equals our debt. Make sense?
The rate of expenditure (red line) has been increasing pretty steadily no matter who has been president.
What has really been changing, obviously, is revenue (the blue line): first from the Bush tax cuts (2001-03), and then the recession (2008-2010; because less GDP = less tax revenue).
If you look at the end of the red line you’ll see that spending has been leveling out the past two years – for the first time in a long time. Also, revenue is increasing. We are starting down the path to fiscal recovery. We probably should be patting ourselves on the back a little, but of course no one wants to give either party any credit for this.
Personally I think we can cut expenditures AND increase revenues to close that gap (and turn it into a surplus), but nobody wants to have an adult conversation about that – thus the childlike brinkmanship and finger pointing.
A visualization of where the government spends your money (and the money it borrows). I prefer previous years’ way of graphing the total budget in the corner with circles vs the bar chart now used.
A wonderful interactive timeline of legislation, rulings, and events related to domestic surveillance in the United States. You can drill down into each event for an explanation, and links to primary sources (like the full text of legislation, etc).
A spiffy annotated interactive visualization by the NYT on what different industries actually pay in taxes. The differences in rates between industries illustrate who is getting tax breaks. The related article is worth a read.
Immigration has always been a tough issue to deal with.
The chart reminds me of this John Stewart bit on immigration and “Traditional America”:
Two different analyses of supreme court decisions. I didn’t dig into the methodology, but the papers are available if you’re interested.
The so-called Quinn-Martin scores show the court trending significantly to the right in recent years, with even its left flank being relatively middle-of-the-road, relative to history.
Bailey shows the court has become significantly more conservative since, for example, the 1960s, he still pegs the four more liberal justices as clearly to the left of the court, historically speaking. In addition, Bailey’s model actually suggests the court, while more conservative than in most of the last several decades, isn’t all that much more so than it was in the 1970s or when Sandra Day O’Connor was the swing vote in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The efforts that go into tracking civilian deaths in modern conflicts are admirable. The fact that we dismiss them so blatantly is crazy. Regarding the design, the annotations are a tad slow for my taste
I almost missed the histogram with links to details of each attack – select “victims” in the upper left.
I suppose you could argue about what metric to use to measure the effectiveness of the drug war – but I’ve never seen one that justifies the costs (probably true for most “wars”). Anyways, the author of the below chart does a great job detailing his sources and methodology on his website.
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