Friday, March 21, 2008

Charts and numbers

Some interesting charts:

Defense spending during WWII was 34% (!!) of GDP. No wonder civilians haven't felt a crunch from the Iraq War; in historical terms, the cost of this war is minimal. This suggests that people who want to blame the current economic situation on the Iraq War should look to other causes.

To put this chart in perspective: Defense budget in 2008 (including both Department of Defense and Iraq operations) totalled $717 billion, about 25% of total spending but about half of the "voluntary" budget. (Total spending was $2.9 trillion, total income $2.66 trillion, according to the Death and Taxes poster that hangs on my wall.) The chart suggests that entitlements are therefore about 50% of total spending, and that other spending (Department of Education, Agriculture, Justice, etc., and interest on the national debt) make up the other 25%. This chart strongly suggests to me that politicians like Obama who talk about expanding social programs with the money "saved" from pulling out of Iraq and reining in the military will find that there's not much to plunder from that piggy bank, not enough to fund the programs they want.


"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

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