Keynes For Muppets: Elmo Explains The National Debt

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mark McHugh from Across The Street

Elmo Tries to Explain The National Debt (Again)

Muppets have received a lot of bad press since Greg Smith realized that he is not, in fact, a one-percenter.  Fortunately Elmo’s back to reclaim his rightful place in the financial world:  Making the seemingly incomprehensible  comprehensible while politely pointing out what should be obvious to everyone not in diapers.  That’s not so easy when the economic views espoused by everyone from central bankers to TV talking heads can only be accurately described as infantile.

It’s hard to get the right answer when you’re counting the wrong stuff, and maybe that’s why Wall Street’s minions never discuss income per capita.  It’s a meaningful measure of economic strength that ordinary Americans can relate to.  Well, that and it exposes “pro-growth” policies for what they actually are:  An excuse to loot the country in broad daylight by focusing on GDP, where government money, no matter how horribly misspent, shows up in the “win” column.  Strip away that illusion and it becomes crystal clear that their path to prosperity is our highway to hell.

In case you haven’t noticed, incomes (not GDP) pay mortgages and support small businesses.  Increasing the National Debt by a can you say “parabolic?” 54% in the last 42 months hasn’t budged income per capita in nominal terms.  If you adjusted for inflation, you’d find that Americans are actually about 12% poorer today than they were in 2006.   We’re not “growing” our way out of this, we’re just going deeper and deeper into hock, courtesy of a government with about as much fiscal discipline as crack-whores with a stolen credit card.  Here’s the thing: It’s your credit card, so maybe you should understand how much they’re spending:

Just to be clear, we’re talking about $400 per citizen per month in new charges alone, month after month after month.  Here’s what me and Elmo can’t figure out: Why would attempting to break this spiral be labeled Class Warfare?  Of course you don’t have to believe  us, there’s far more distinguished schools of thought out there:

Fun facts:

  • From 1947 to 1974 US income per capita grew more than National debt per capita 25 times.
  • In the last 30 years, National debt per capita has grown more than income per capita 24 times.
  • The last time income per capita grew more than national debt per capita was 2001.
  • Ben Bernanke arrived at the Federal Reserve in 2002.


I’m going to ask Elmo to leave before this gets ugly…


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RacerX's picture

unfortunately the Gen.Pop. doesn't see the money printing for what it really is: gov't sponsored counterfeiting.

SheepDog-One's picture

Oh well sucks to be them, I dont really care about what the sheeple get or dont get. Freakin walkers.

Divided States of America's picture

Elmo explain how it feels like to be fist fucked by Lord Blankfiend and the other thugs on wall street?

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Speaking of getting f'd, Sallie Krawcheck took it up the arse from the guy club on Wall St.  Is she getting back at them????

12ToothAssassin's picture


I want to wallow in my own chaotic insecure delusions


- Tool Aenima

economics9698's picture

Asshole of the century-Alan Greenspan.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Awesome first graph with Elmo trying to contain his incredulousness with his chipper mannerism.

Poor Elmo. Even (s)he may give up trying to warn his fellow Muppets about the storm that's spawned and picking up velocity, bitchez.


"Elmo does not think printing more green and white colored linen will solve the economic, financial or social crises brewing. Elmo would love to be proven wrong by a Modern Money Mechanic, though."

rqb1's picture

i logged in just to give you a +1 on that, greenspan is a tool

Michael's picture

Here’s what me and Elmo can’t figure out: Why would attempting to break this spiral be labeled Class Warfare? 

Elmo not so smart after all. They don't want "Sector Warfare" to become the spoken meme. That's Private Sector vs Public Sector Warfare for the not so intelligently endowed among us. It's the public sector that gives us the national debt and expects the private sector to pay for it. Fat chance.

Kayman's picture

T'ain't of the century- Ben Bernanke.

Everybodys All American's picture

We are in a new century and that a-hole pales in comparison to this centuries. Bernanke. Carry on.

Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay...

killallthefiat's picture



Interesting that Hathaway from Toqueville is on it, but General Wesley Clark?

mickeyman's picture

La la la la. La la la la. Elmo's world!

battle axe's picture

And on the next episode on "Seaseme Street" is we all live like that Muppet in a garbage can on the street (I forget his name). 

Divided States of America's picture

Oscar? yeah thats not too bad, we could be worse off and end up living like Ernie and Bert.

Chuck Walla's picture

Oh well sucks to be them, I dont really care about what the sheeple get or dont get. Freakin walkers.


You'll care when people get hungry and come looking for things to eat or trade. They have guns, too. And extreme motivation. Its hard to contain or control an armed man under duress with extreme motivation.


So, yeah, you better care. Got Glock?  Now, tickle me, Dammit!

TheGardener's picture

I have associates trading in guns from the lowly`s.
No threat from them or them going berserk because the chicks
they think they own get tats with down and down payment type
of rates.

And for a mouthful of "extreme" the desperate get offered
about half and get settled for less , if any.

Drachma's picture

And soon, a means of surveillance.

Rubbish's picture

Teh funny part is I'm not paying my share.


Pony up beetchez.

RoadKill's picture

Me eiather

When do you think the Chinease will figure out that the majority of US citizens don’t feel like we owe them a dime?

I’ve thought of starting an online petition

Dear China – The following citizens of the United States would like to inform you that we disavow any responsibillity for repaying the money you are lending to our poloticians.  We want to make it very clear that you are lending money to Barrack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank – not to the people of the United States.  As such, when it comes time to collect, you will need to collect from them.  We the under signed have no intention of entering into indentured servitude to repay you.

Get a few million petitions and get on the MSM and interest rates will start to rise and the game will be over!

SilverIsKing's picture

I love it except you need to add this:


........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
..........''...\.......... _.·´

i-dog's picture


"you are lending to our poloticians"

Correction: the money those workers are lending to you ... every time you buy an iCrap, or fill up your SUV, or install a new granite countertop, or buy a new item of clothing to fit your bloated body, or......

Do you understand how sympathetic the rest of the world will be when you awake from your hangover after that massive self-indulgent banquet? (Hint: How sympathetic have Americans been towards the Greeks?)

o2sd's picture

You will do what you are told, and you'll like it biatch.


Lednbrass's picture

Once again The Onion managed to frontrun reality by a few years-,14356/

This could happen...

Hail Octavia!

Scalaris's picture

Much less ominous when explained by Elmo.

AetosAeros's picture

"Much Less Ominous..." until you realize that someone from DHS has their fist shoved up the muppets bumhole doing the 5 finger cavity search and wiggling the 'gold member' to get the little guy to bounce on command. Then it becomes scary as shit and hope you can get out of the theatre quickly before all the muppets on the stage start yelling 'FIRE' and your crushed by the stampede of fools trying to get out.

Elmo freaks me out, but not as bad as the other muppets running around..... they freaking terrify me.

Bartanist's picture

I wonder what species "the Bernanke" actually belongs to?!? What a schmuckasaurus!

easypoints's picture

Oscar the Grouch would have been better. He knows what it takes to live within your means.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

muppetsRgreat, buzzZ, but they have trouble learning to

withnmeans's picture

Couldn't have type it better myself "withnmeans"....

Oscar may have been a GROUCH, but he understood what his trash was worth !!

Decolat's picture

And with an honest attitude.

Trimmed Hedge's picture

Who carez? Dick Clark dead..  : (

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

What's sad was propping him up for the last several New Year celebrations. Forcing the public to watch his demise.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

The last few New Year's Eves with Dick on reminded me of watching our economy being talked up on CNBC.  They talk of the beauty of the corpse as it rots in front of our eyes. Morbid fun for everyone.

in4mayshun's picture

I'm sure Dick Clark screwed someone to achieve success too

WTFx10's picture

Who carez that dick head is dead ?

MunX's picture

I don't think muppets read ZH.

Sudden Debt's picture

I don't know... There's people who will visit the site just for the elmo pictures.... Some of them might even start to read some stuff...

natty light's picture

Given your avatar I thought maybe you knew him in the biz.