Richard Kogan, Live! On the Budget, Debt, and the Economy.

February 10th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

For those interested in the role of the federal budget in the history of America and the lives of Americans, CBPP budget analyst—really, budget historian–Richard Kogan is a national treasure.  And I’ve got him here—LIVE—at OTE.

The other day I asked Richard about this right-wing talking point I keep hearing: President Obama increased the debt by X trillion and that’s a terrible burden on our kids and grandkids, who receive no benefit from any of this.

There’s so much wrong with the claim, it’s hard to know where to start.  But I very much enjoyed the way Richard unpacked the question and wanted to share it with viewers.  It takes a few minutes, so you get the popcorn, I’ll queue up the video.

[Major h/t to producer Chris Wiggins.]


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8 comments in reply to "Richard Kogan, Live! On the Budget, Debt, and the Economy."

  1. Ken says:

    Awesome work, Gentlemen! Now we just need the first domino to drop that will lead to the growth that will outpace government spending. Where will it come from? Is the answer finding profits that are either obscene or high enough to increase taxes without effecting production and employment levels?

  2. perplexed says:

    Absolutely great presentation gentlemen! You’ve succeeded in taking a fairly complex relationship and communicated in such a simple way that even a Republican might be able to understand it. (They’ll deny it for sure, but at least they might be able to understand what they’re denying this time.)

    We can export it fairly easily to Great Britain but can it be easily translated to German?

  3. MM says:

    I guess I’m confused as to why this is a “right-wing” claim. I could swear that I spent most of the last decade hearing this same claim endlessly from the “left-wing,” which has, of course, conveniently stopped bleating about it over the last several years.

  4. perplexed says:

    Any chance of getting an update showing projections of where those lines would have been had we borrowed at the cheapest rate in 100 years, eliminated the output gap completely, and left behind the benefits of substantial infrastructure improvements as well?

  5. Roger Larson says:

    Would it be helpful, if not too complicated to have a tax rate graph to accompany the others? Isn’t part of the debt having reduced the income side of the equation or is this somehow excused by what the provided charts are telling us? It would seem to me that spending has been a big boogeyman, while not paying for it is a ghost of Christmas futures.

  6. RB says:

    Thank you for the video. I look forward to more.

  7. SquareState says:

    What is missing from the analysis is the fact that growing GDP is a solution only if taxes continue to be levied proportionally over the same period. The reason the fallacious right wing argument resonates with the average family is that their share of GDP has fallen, but their share of taxes has risen. So from the perspective of the average family, your argument that growth solves all problems of debt is only true in the aggregate, but not for their personal situation.

  8. G Molnar says:

    Great stuff. You might have mentioned:

    1. As per “perplexed” above, the interest rate on borrowed funds is super low, and perhaps more importantly,

    2. You (not me, I’m Canadian) are paying most of the interest on that debt to YOURSELF!!!