Daily Archives: March 22, 2011

Why the federal budget is like a road trip…at 174 miles per hour.

I had lunch with a fascinating guy today: Matthias Shapiro, or @politicalmath if you’re on Twitter.

Matthias has done a few amazing visualizations on YouTube to demonstrate the realities of America’s budgetary problems. He explained to me that he got started when he heard President Obama offer, early in his term, to cut $100 billion million from the federal budget.

“It struck me as cynical,” he said. And it is. The numbers are so big that cutting $100 million, while a lot to the average guy, really doesn’t amount to much more than a drop in the bucket for the federal government. Shapiro decided to make a video about it, and 1.5 million views later, it remains one of the best visualizations of how little the Obama Administration has done to bring order to the American fiscal house.

A more recent one, seen here below, shows just how fast the current Administration is spending. It might give us a clue as to why so many people are, for lack of a more accurate phrase, freaking out at the speed with which the Obama Administration’s own budget over the next six years is borrowing and spending.

If it’s a roadtrip, we’re now ripping through Arizona. It’s a little scary, and not a bit unsurprising that so many people want the keys back from the guy in the driver seat.

For more great visualizations, check out Shapiro’s videos on YouTube, here.

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