10 Essential Fiscal Charts Demonstrating America's Disastrous Condition

Tyler Durden's picture

By now nobody should have any doubts as to just how disturbing America's fiscal debacle is. For those naive and innocent few who still think there is a Hollywood ending with a pot of gold awaiting everyone at the end of the rainbow, we present the following "10 essential fiscal charts" from the Pew Policy Institute. To be sure, these are all charts summarizing data that has appeared on Zero Hedge repeatedly over the years in some way shape or form. Pew does, however, have a flair for dramatic visual presentation. In Pew's own words: "Since April 2010, the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative has published several reports explaining the medium-and long-term fiscal challenges facing the federal government. With stagnating economic conditions and the passage of new legislation, especially the Budget Control Act of 2011, the outlook for the deficit and debt has changed considerably over the past six months. We have created 10 charts that illustrate how the choices made over the last 10 years contributed to our nation’s debt and the challenges currently facing the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction." So without further ado...

Source: Pew

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
eureka's picture

Ohhhhh USaaaaaaaaaiihhh - US collapse becomes evident to all the world - and just maybe even to the most ardent and proud US HEGEMONS in next six months.

Denial of US decline henceforth is an artform for arses.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

It is an amusing coincidence that THIS article is (for) now just above an article on how the euro is doomed...

Shocker's picture

Isn't it amazing how Charts can show you so clearly the direction or current state of something. In this case it shows the current condition this economy is in.

Its just a cycle and unless, Jobs come back / Hiring picks up we are going to continue the downward trend.



old austrian's picture

It's been more than 3 days - Jobs ain't coming back

upWising's picture

Mr. Geitnuh...I've got my cwayons open and I'm weady to color.  Do I have to stay inside the lines ?

Monedas's picture

Elizabeth Warren lobs soft balls to Geithner ! Pure theatre just like Binky got before Congressional Committee ! They are carefully worded (and shared with Timmy beforehand) to make it look like a fiscally conservative bitch is giving him a grilling ! She's the biggest fiscal whore on the hill ! Monedas 2011 Schweinfurt Ball Bearing

HedgeAccordingly's picture

thanks timmy. Futures on the highs... already up half a percent and it is not even midnight http://hedge.ly/qNLJBY

Richard Chesler's picture

These charts are what Krugman and the failed Keynesian clowns refer to as an appetizer.


max2205's picture

What happened, I can actually see the charts on my IPhone.

Keep on innovating

ElvisDog's picture

I didn't even look at the charts that carefully, because they are based on CBO projections and CBO projections have been and always will be utter crap. They always are way too optimistic in their projections.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

indeed, without the QEs thus far the U.S. would not have been able to fund the overseas Empire. That is why the Federal Reserve must go, as it not only encourages war but outright prints money to fund them! Without Herman Cain's buddy Greenspan's complacency in the enormous expansion of Federal debt during his tenure as chairman of the FED, It is very possible the US would never have been involved in the many wars it now finds itself neck-deep in. Bernanke, however, has proved the FED has no independence whatsoever. Wait till the Republicans that formally critized him for QE2 start begging for more easing before the Nov. 2012 elections, Bernanke after all is a Republican appointee 

kito's picture

Herman Cain!!! The best!!! 9 9 9. Best slogan ever!! Better than "we deliver in 30 minutes or less"!!!!

bobert's picture

Has any one run the numbers?

Does 9% of corporate profits and 9% of personal income plus an excise tax of 9% on GDP really produce the $3.5 trillion we currently spend at the federal level each year? Or, is it 999 plus some $500 billion in yet to be announced expenditures reductions. I hear Cain talking about the revenues ala 9,9,9 but have never heard him mention cuts in expenditures. Why?

JPM Hater001's picture

All I needed to see on the resume to exclude him was "former governor Federal Reserve." 

Fool me once shame on you.  Fool me twice shame on me.

I'm out on Cain.

buyingsterling's picture

If he actually wants to generate $3.5 trillion through taxes that tells us all we need to know.

bobert's picture

By my count 9,9,9 generates $3 trillion in revenue which is $700 Billion above our current tax revenue level and still $500 Billion below our spending level.

He sites Kissinger and Greenspan as persons of influence in his life. I would caution him about this propensity. Is he being used?

Negative implications in my view when every single economic transaction is tracked as it would need to be under an excise tax system that he suggests.

Bananamerican's picture


why, Cain's whole world must be upside down.....

what is it with oligarchs & THAT fricken number?

X.inf.capt's picture

9-9-9 has alot of assumptions...

like with a 9% fed sales tax people will pay it, like anacho- capitalism wont explode in growth like it already has, no to mention the black and grey markets, and merchants doing cash deals to avoid going out of business...to start.

like the underclass wont rise up because of no earned income tax credits, plus they'll start having to pay taxes....

nope, i dont believe it'll fly, wish it would, for i'd love to see budget surpluses again..

maybe mr cain should have stayed at the federal reserve...or in the pizza business!

Vendetta's picture

He uses a dart board for number generating purposes.

moondog's picture

A former chairman (1995–96) of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Yeah, that's exactly who I want as my next president.

FlyPaper's picture

Like about Herman: that he seems to say what he thinks and doesn't coddle bad behavior.

Don't Like:  I'm dead set against another way for this government to tax us.  in no time flat 999 will go to 11-11-11 then 16-16-16 and we'll be frickin SOL.

Neither do I think a 9% income tax for everyone will fly with the heavily vote-endowed presently non-income-tax-paying folks.  

And I agree with other comments: where are the cuts in spending?


traderjoe's picture

BB is a tptb appointee. Bankers creating war to make countries borrow is a tried and true plan. This is all part of the loose plan: encourage sovereign borrowing. They don't care if they get paid back - they are earning the vig.

How can anyone 'analyze' a system that was created as a fraud against the people. Fruit of the poisonous tree and all...

WonderDawg's picture

Bernanke was reappointed by Hopey, so call him the bitch of both parties.

Yen Cross's picture

 I'll bet you spent a week writing that remark Blythe. I can do it in one sentence.   


   China finances their exports, via the FED!

BKbroiler's picture

I don't care for these numbers.  Preparations in place, its ideal to enjoy the current conditions to the fullest.  I just got back from Sardegna, Italy, where the city shuts down for 2 hours after lunch so people can take a nap.  Deal.

erg's picture

I need an updated version of the tiny umbrella to protect me from all this. Something that can repell a 16-ton weight.

UP Forester's picture

"You load 16-tons, waddya get, another day older and a deeper in debt....

"Saint Peter don't you call me 'cuz I can't go....

"I owe my soul to the Company Store...."

Wild tree's picture

Tennesse Ernie Ford would be proud for using his most popular song; but dismayed at how "real" our lives of owing have become.This was not even thought of during his time.

reader2010's picture

Bernanke believes infinite QE will make America and the world a much better place.

rocker's picture

'Bernanke believes infinite QE will make America and the world a much better place' for the rich.

 His goal is deflate the value or the Dollar and Debt owed by the Government and his Bankster Cartel.

He cares not that will impose a heavy burden on those who save and those who's wages are going down.

We are " Worse than Japan Now".

Zombie Banks and a No Growth Society. The only ones growing are the wages of CEO's and Banksters. 

reader2010's picture

That's it, socialism for bankers.

Dugald's picture


Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps Bernanke is working for the Russians?

Bringin It's picture

Have you ever stopped to think ...

Short answer. No.

But I did stop to think that your post is another good example of why TD should bring the captcha back.

A Lunatic's picture

It's all Greek to me.

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

It's too late for charts and graphs at this stage of the game...

... basic arithmetic tells us that there is no way out of this without most people getting wiped out. That's what a ponzi scheme is designed to do, and this financial ponzi scheme has done it's job in speculator fashion...

... time for a new system to fleece the masses now, and yes, they will be stupid enough to accept a new system that robs them of a lifetime worth of labor generated wealth.

erg's picture

To me, the whole Atlas thing was the purposeful destruction of the world economy. They disappear while we knife fight each other for food and then they miraculously reappear with solutions. Solutions humanity will never escape henceforth. It will be too rife with tech to turn back.

Before they come back, as we wheedle for them to add some semblance of sanity to society, we'll strike a deal. We'll do whatever they say from that moment forward.

Now you're a slave forevermore.

Last chance saloon.

buyingsterling's picture

You and funkymonkeyboy should hang out together, fun times.

erg's picture

Hmm...this is a fight club. Could you be so bold as to elaborate?

You're point lacks succinctness. Perspicacity. It's a half-assed phrase that hangs in the air like smog. A patina of intellectual dross.

Neural scoria.

Speak quickly if you can. It grows late here.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Funny, + 1

I'll keep this short: Buy gold.

buyingsterling's picture

So the .01% go underground with their (alien?) tech? Do they have enough for 6 billion people? Because that's what will be left unless most of the nukes and other WMDs fly, along with bioweapons. If they emerge to find 6 billion people busy burying another billion while they jerked off in their tech lairs, unless they have tech that renders us inert, we're going to kill them and take it for ourselves. At that point, people will be more than pissed. If the heavy stuff gets used, they can't control who owns the remainders if they are underground. They may emerge to find themselves outgunned. Too much risk, better to sit back and watch it unfold, ready to play whatever cards they have left. If they abandon the world, they re-emerge into our world, if we can keep it. Your original comment boils down to little more than fancy speculation about extermination and enslavement by shadowy powers. Kids' stuff unless you get specific.

The point I was indelicately making is that you seem a tad negative. If the cake is baked, why aren't you shooting or digging, rather than hanging around here mentally masturbating? If you really believe what you wrote, then get blatant about it. Tell us about the tech, why it's all hopeless, and why we need to start shooting or digging.

erg's picture

I appreciate your response. DARPA released the internet how long ago? Despite Al Gore's protestations. What do you think DARPA has been up to since then?

Incubus's picture

No shit.  Anyone with half-decent observational skills know what's in store for "humanity."


There's no escape from it.  Madmen think there's any true improvement to society.