Thursday, March 7, 2013

Red Up, Blue Down...

Updated on 10/14/2013 to include Q3 2013 data.

I've produced four different graphs below, all showing the same data but with slightly different adjustments.

1: Quarterly deficits vs GDP
2: Quarterly deficits, inflation adjusted, per citizen
3: Quarterly deficits, inflation adjusted
4: Quarterly deficits, nominal

It's a lot of data, but the trend is rather obvious - vote Republican if you love exploding deficits. This general trend holds true not only for the years on the graph, but all the way back to the post-war era. The last Republican president to oversee a reduction in the deficit was Eisenhower. The last Democratic president to oversee an indisputable rise in the deficit was FDR, and I think he deserves a pass due to WWII. Carter is the odd man out here. The deficit was largely unchanged during his term in office and whether it was a slight increase or a slight decrease depends on your measure. Also note that our projected deficit going forward is consistent with it approximately halving from its current level by the time Obama leaves office.

So when members of one particular party gripe about "fiscal responsibility", just show them these graphs, and remind them of how they have less than zero credibility on the matter.

Similar data can be found at AngryBearBlog here.