It Doesn't Matter

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

It’s really hard to ignore what’s happening today; the election phenomenon is global.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve traveled to so many countries, and EVERYWHERE it seems, the US presidential election is big news. Even when I was in Myanmar ten days ago, local pundits were engaged in the Obamney debate. Chile. Spain. Germany. Finland. Hong Kong. Thailand. Singapore. It was inescapable.

The entire world seems fixated on this belief that it actually matters who becomes the President of the United States anymore… or that one of these two guys is going to ‘fix’ things.

Fact is, it doesn’t matter. Not one bit. And I’ll show you mathematically:

1) When the US federal government spends money, expenses are officially categorized in three different ways.


Discretionary spending includes nearly everything we think of related to government– the US military, Air Force One, the Department of Homeland Security, TSA agents who sexually assault passengers, etc.


Mandatory spending includes entitlements like Medicare, Social Security, VA benefits, etc. which are REQUIRED by law to be paid.


The final category is interest on the debt. It is non-negotiable.


Mandatory spending and debt interest go out the door automatically. It’s like having your mortgage payment autodrafted from your bank account– Congress doesn’t even see the money, it’s automatically deducted.


2) With the rise of baby boomer entitlements and steady increase in overall debt levels, mandatory spending and interest payments have exploded in recent years. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office predicted in 2010 that the US government’s TOTAL revenue would be exceeded by mandatory spending and interest expense within 15-years.


That’s a scary thought. Except it happened the very next year.


3) In Fiscal Year 2011, the federal government collected $2.303 trillion in tax revenue. Interest on the debt that year totaled $454.4 billion, and mandatory spending totaled $2,025 billion. In sum, mandatory spending plus debt interest totaled $2.479 trillion… exceeding total revenue by $176.4 billion.


For Fiscal Year 2012 which just ended 37 days ago, that shortfall increased 43% to $251.8 billion.


In other words, they could cut the entirety of the Federal Government’s discretionary budget– no more military, SEC, FBI, EPA, TSA, DHS, IRS, etc.– and they would still be in the hole by a quarter of a trillion dollars.


4) Raising taxes won’t help. Since the end of World War II, tax receipts in the US have averaged 17.7% of GDP in a very tight range. The low has been 14.4% of GDP, and the high has been 20.6% of GDP.


During that period, however, tax rates have been all over the board. Individual rates have ranged from 10% to 91%. Corporate rates from 15% to 53%. Gift taxes, estate taxes, etc. have all varied. And yet, total tax revenue has stayed nearly constant at 17.7% of GDP.


It doesn’t matter how much they increase tax rates– they won’t collect any more money.


5) GDP growth prospects are tepid at best. Facing so many headwinds like quickening inflation, an enormous debt load, and debilitating regulatory burdens, the US economy is barely keeping pace with population growth.


6) The only thing registering any meaningful growth in the US is the national debt. It took over 200 years for the US government to accumulate its first trillion dollars in debt. It took just 286 days to accumulate the most recent trillion (from $15 trillion to $16 trillion).


Last month alone, the first full month of Fiscal Year 2013, the US government accumulated nearly $200 billion in new debt– 20% of the way to a fresh trillion in just 31 days.


7) Not to mention, the numbers will only continue to get worse. 10,000 people each day begin receiving mandatory entitlements. Fewer people remain behind to pay into the system. The debt keeps rising, and interest payments will continue rising.


8) Curiously, a series of polls taken by ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News/Wall Street Journal show that while 80% of Americans are concerned about the debt, roughly the same amount (78%) oppose cutbacks to mandatory entitlements like Medicare.


9) Bottom line, the US government is legally bound to spend more money on mandatory entitlements and interest than it can raise in tax revenue. It won’t make a difference how high they raise taxes, or even if they cut everything else that remains in government as we know it.

This is not a political problem, it’s a mathematical one. Facts are facts, no matter how uncomfortable they may be. Today’s election is merely a choice of who is going to captain the sinking Titanic.

Comment viewing options

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

And there you have it.

old naughty's picture

Facts are facts...

Throw 2 parties costng $6 billion just to put focus off real issues a bit.

metastar's picture

The report below recounts my experience voting tonight in FEMA Region 2 - New York...


Scamtron Voting

Tonight I proudly participated in the great state sponsored sacred ritual otherwise known as voting. I entered the polling area and was directed to a corner where I was to collect my scamtron test form. I was instructed to completely fill the "O"'s for the candidate of my choice and to only use the government provided writing apparatus. Naturally, I suspected the cheap "Made in China" pen would contain ink which would disappear instantly after casting my vote.

I studied the false choices before me and warily considered my options. I didn't want carrots and I wasn't in the mood for peas. The column of POTUS and state senate offered options outside the false left/right paradigm. There I blotted the bubbles. Every other column contained only two names repeated over and over under different parties. This was to ensure that I made the right choice and no child would be left behind! Well, I couldn't decided. I left those columns blank rather than risking a 1/4 point deduction for the wrong answer.

After much deliberation and angst I took the completed paperwork to the fully automated, electronic, infallible, error correcting, bubble ballot box. There was a gurgling sound as the device ate, then regurgitated all my hopes, prayers, and dreams. The officer behind the machine said "your vote didn't count". I said "I KNOW! That's the problem!"

I looked closer at the flickering blue screen. It admonished me because I did not complete all the columns. It demanded verification that I wanted to submit anyway. Sorry, I meant "the form". So, I pressed the "OK" button as I cursed under my breath attempting to keep my potentially inflammatory comments to myself. The state programmed instrument then acknowledged that my exam was accepted "WITH MISTAKES".

Well, it was no damn mistake, but if the state robot says you're guilty, then you're guilty. Guess I'll have to file an appeal in four more years. Wish me luck with it.

knukles's picture

See, it matters tremendously.

Because the Perceptions Management team will be able to say that because of their efforts, the world thinks it matters.

And is therefore a success.

It matters, inasmuch as the Rhetoric will Change.


(and if you cannot grasp this,, it's off to the re-education camp for you....  everybody knows what's in room 101, Winston...)

Spastica Rex's picture

What does "rhetoric" mean? I'm an American. They never say "rhetoric" on the shows I watch. WTF?

Abraxas's picture

It's one of those words only hostile elements would use. That guy, Knukles, is a hostile element if I ever saw one. I will report on him for his anti-patriotic remarks (which I didn't fully understand) and for using the R word.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

Looks like the mainstream media won again with their divide and conquer strategy, keeping the US population at a near perfect 50/50 split.

Congratulations MSM.

iDealMeat's picture

Its actually real simple.  Cut your consumption in 1/2..  


That's it..  Sit back and watch it crash..


Kobe Beef's picture

Plus, you could Cloward-Piven the hell out of the system. Apply for all the welfare you can get your hands on. Crash this fucker faster, Amen.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Q: How many Amerikan is take can screw incandescent bulb.

A: None, all is screwed.

* Plus, cannot is make incandescent bulb in Amerika for any more

pavman's picture

Texas bucked the system, according to Gov. Perry.

pavman's picture

Problem is.... I did that four years ago and it seems Benny and the jets have offset my attempt to crash the system.

nmewn's picture

Not your quote knukles...but Simons...

"The final category is interest on the debt. It is non-negotiable."

lol...bullshit...and by whom? Everything is negotiable to someone who says they're not paying, right? See Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain etal.

But the mind fuck is that would be me apparently, yes? What are they going to do? Down grade the countrys credit, destroy its currency? Not a problem...I jus go to ma Obama, nmewn, er um, I just go deep sea fishing.

Whatever, worthless article.

Harlequin001's picture

Well if you can't cut medicare because it's 'mandatory' then you can always nationalise the medical industry and then cut it to shreds.

How the fuck did privately owned companies ever manage to 'Mandatory' themselves into government?

metastar's picture


I know I'm spitting into the wind, but if enough of us do it then perhaps there will be enough rain for the crops to grow.

Sudden Debt's picture

I once pissed in the wind and this dutch guy standing behind me thought is was raining beer...


Dr. Engali's picture

+1 good luck with the appeal.

DeadFred's picture

When you graduate from FEMA Region 2 to FEMA Camp 2 it will be much easier since they fill in your ballots for you.

Bogdog's picture

And from FEMA Camp 2 to FEMA Mass Grave 2.


disabledvet's picture

Say hi to your new FEMA masters for me. Just remember "in order to get a sweater you need to fill out form 34658b...lines x-e, sign on both sides and don't forget to date it. if you want a pair of socks that form....

dolly madison's picture

Here in California, they also had to press extra buttons for the scamtron machine to accept my ballot with missing votes.

AGuy's picture

I voted for the local propositons to avoid higher property taxes. The national candidates didn't matter, since my vote would not make a difference, nor did I care for any of the presidental candidates.

nmewn's picture

Yes, thumbs down.

It assigns the governments lack of restraint & responsibility to the individual...sorry, I ain't payin for that.

Let it burn.

thedrickster's picture

The arithmetic remains.

Being suffocated under the weight of government folly/debt is untenable, as is the exit. There is no turnaround, no fix, only a slow grind into crushing poverty OR the uncertainity of a great reset.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


It assigns the governments lack of restraint & responsibility to the individual...sorry, I ain't payin for that.

It's odious debt. The lenders can go piss up a rope. They were the ones that made loans to a known high risk borrower. The lenders can go try to collect from all current and past responsible congressmen, senators, presidents, and supreme court justices, as well as the heirs of those already deceased, since they were the beneficiaries of the loans.

The lenders should be delighted to recover ten cents on the dollar.

Let it burn.

Agreed. Just like the wildfires out west, if they'd have let them burn, things would have recovered relatively quickly. Trying to put them all out has only guaranteed a future of hugely destructive conflagrations.

ModifytheDebt's picture

Agree as well. The last time I checked the we have a US Army, Navy, Airforce not Federal Reserve.  Modify the debt by removing say..... 9 zero's or say we have the guns.  Bring it!

AnAnonymous's picture

But it matters.

Every 'american' around the world knows it matters. Some few others know that too.

The path as cut by 'americans' was set in 1776,July, 4th.

If 'american' elections do not matter in 2010s, they have never mattered.

Welcome to an 'american' world.

mayhem_korner's picture



I understand Shakespeare better than your chinese limericks.

The idea of America penned in 1776 is not what exists today.  Kinda like when the Chiefs were a good football team.  Do you know what football is, AA?

AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, good. English was such a different thing in those days than what 'americans' did to that language.

It is another sign of how humanity has benefited from 'americanism'.

AnAnonymous's picture

The idea of America penned in 1776 is not what exists today.


Yes, indeed. More fabled past. No change in 'americanism' since 1776. Only change in the environmental conditions. In 1776, there were so many people left for 'americans' to rob from.

Alas, today, 'americans' have stolen so much it is a different situation.

AnAnonymous's picture

Kinda like when the Chiefs were a good football team.

Was it before or after the US, that beacon of freedom, truth and justice abolished slavery on the negroes?

Urban Redneck's picture

The US never abolished de jure salvery, and the practice of de facto slavery has grown significantly over the past 99 years.

AnAnonymous's picture

Sure, sure. Keep telling that. Maybe enough 'americans' will congregate around that and provide enough strength to that story to be reported as truth.

This is the way 'americans' behave.

Urban Redneck's picture

So is Hu going to air the Party's dirty laundry and hang Jiang out to dry, or is the Chinese slavery dirt going to be swept under the carpet in order to maintain the oligarchy's status quo at all costs?


Ace Ventura's picture

LOLZ! These sort of comments always make me chuckle. As if the USA was the actual originator, and sole practicioner, of slavery. Yessir, that one is all on those crazy Americans. Do I dare ask where AA is from?

Rick64's picture

Come on it matters. I want a new bullshitter in there, I'm tired of the same old lies. I want some new lies.

AGuy's picture

"May both of these two corporate stooges go to hell."

Fear Not! I am absolutely sure the O'Man will invent an completely new batch of lies to replace\supersede his old ones. I am never disappointed by ever increasing pile of steaming BS that originates in Washington DC!


fonzannoon's picture

Thanks, now go back to Myanmar, that is the name of youw winnebago right?

Cathartes Aura's picture

". . .watching the parade with pinpoint eyes, full of smoldering anger,

yeah you can do what you want to whenever you want to,

though it doesn't mean a thing. . ."

Elliot Smith ~  Ballad of Big Nothing

The Gooch's picture

And the circus leaves town.


DeadFred's picture

There was an election today? You kind of lose touch after you shoot your TV.

hangemhigh's picture


There was an election today? You kind of lose touch after you shoot your TV.

cut up your credit card, kill your tv...and vote the incumbent out...............

monopoly's picture

I love simple math.