Federal spending totally out of control – a new look

Personally, I think federal spending has been out of control for decades, starting with the New Deal programs that began the incremental shift of project funding from states and local communities to the federal government. That trickle – if you can call it that – may now equal or surpass the power and flow of Niagara Falls.

From John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog, who references Political Calculations.

Federal spending has gone insane, bursting all historical bounds, since the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007. Our friend and technical adviser Joe Malchow forwarded a link to the site Political Calculations, which posed this question:

If you were asked to produce a single chart illustrating the biggest single political issue in America today, what would it look like?

Holy smokes. A comparison between total federal outlays and median household income. Click to enlarge.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. SoundOffSister on September 22, 2010 at 5:45 am

    What is also interesting here is that since January 2007 the Democrat controlled Congress has more than doubled our national debt.  In January, 2007 we owed approximately $8.6 trillion, and now we owe approximately $13.5 trillion dollars, an almost $5 trillion increase…in less than 4 years!

  2. Dimsdale on September 22, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I am thinking that no single Congresscritter, or group of Congresscritters, should be allowed to claim credit for any particular piece of legislation.  They pass extraneous and unnecessary legislation, earmarks etc., in order to build power and buy votes.  They should be judged on the overall performance of the Congress, and its leadership.


    That, and the power of recall, for those manifold occasions when our representatives stop representing us, and represent their party and do what their party leadership demands.  If we don't trust them, they should be run out of Congress.  Tar and feathering optional (but recommended).  At minimum, they should be required to explain their actions.  They need the kind of accountability that 2 and 4 year votes do not provide.


    Maybe we need a national referendum vote to rescind or turn back certain legislation.  Of course, we have to depend on the same votes that got the current crop of hacks into office, but it would cull the really egregious stuff, like the poorly thought out and rushed Øbamacare bill.

  3. Dimsdale on September 22, 2010 at 6:15 am

    I think we need an overlay of the unemployment rate on this chart…

  4. GdavidH on September 22, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Dim says,

    "That, and the power of recall, for those manifold occasions when our representatives stop representing us, and represent their party and do what their party leadership demands."

    Can we recall a president that picks and choses who to represent????

  5. Dimsdale on September 22, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I think you would need an alternative dimension…  😉

  6. Dimsdale on September 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Another interesting point about that graph: there is a slight backward tilt to the post 2007 vertical curve.  This means median household income has decreased as the spending has skyrocketed.  That it has gotten even more expensive for people making less money.


    I wonder if this trend will continue?

  7. NH-Jim on September 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I dunno' Dims,

    I think that they like that fantastic "Global Warming Hockey Stick" graph so much it needed to be repeated!

  8. PatRiot on September 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I like the graphic – very Ross Perot -ish.

    Visual proof that Washington doesn't listen to the American people- a.k.a. apply common sense.

    Republican national convention – Rudy Giuliani – " Facts can be changed"

    Democratic national convention – Joe Biden – "Facts get in the way"

    Founding father  – John Adams – " Facts are stubborn things."

    Facts not to be ignored  – Stop spending.  Common sense works.  Americans are tolerant  – to a point.  If you are not leading a well educated, independent, free people by example, step away from your pensions and get out of the way.  

  9. PatRiot on September 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Does this group have a graph with the spending vs the income taxes collected?

  10. sammy22 on September 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    The scale is exaggerating the trend. Try another scale: semi-log, log-log?

  11. Dimsdale on September 24, 2010 at 5:07 am

    How so?  The comparison is between average household incomes and government spending.  It is a direct comparison, is it not?  Make a graph and show us.


    Of course, we may need a logarithmic scale if government spending keeps increasing as it is.

  12. sammy22 on September 24, 2010 at 9:12 am

    The departure from the linear trend after 2000 tells me that the relationship between federal spending and median household income has changed. The two are no longer correlated, that is it.

  13. Dimsdale on September 26, 2010 at 6:26 am

    I think that is the point: it has changed for the very worst.  The spike is, to use an Øbama word, unprecedented.

  14. sammy22 on September 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Indeed, I see that the median income has hardly changed (did not increase) from 2000 to 2002 and 2007 to 2009. That is not good. Note the jump from 2000 to 2002. Neither 2000 to 2002 nor 2007 to 2008 where Pres. Obama years.


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