The 3 most damning graphs in modern American politics

1. Stimulus and Unemployment: Real vs. Projected (Source)

This chart is taken straight from the Obama administration, and was used by them to sell the $800,000,000,0001 economic stimulus bill. The only change has been to fill in the actual unemployment numbers. There are two conclusions one can reach here:

  1. By their own numbers, the stimulus has made the situation significantly worse than it would have been had we done nothing. We should not have done it.
  2. As the ability to make accurate predictions is the true test of knowledge, we can safely assume that they simply don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the economy. This is also a good reason not to let them burn $800 billion.

2. The Deficit (Source)

Though this chart was not put together by the White House, the numbers come directly from them and the Congressional Budget Office. The next somebody tries to rhetorically ask why people weren’t up in arms about Bush’s spending, you need merely show them this graph.

3. Partisan Composition of Antiwar Protests, 2007-2009 (Source)

Personally, I find this the most damning one of all. As you near the 2008 election, Democrats find themselves extremely interested in the Iraq War. As soon as their guy is elected, this interest disappears. As the months pass, the War continues, but somehow Democrats never regain much of an interest in protesting it.

It’s exactly what you would expect to see if you thought that they protested the war not because they cared about the war, but because they didn’t like Bush. What makes this especially troubling is that it is not merely Democratic politicians playing politics with the war (one can’t expect too much in the way of ethics from politicians), but the Democratic rank and file. I’d wager this tracks rather directly with your own experience; you surely know people who were once concerned about the war. Have you heard anything from them recently? Because the war is still on; the only difference is that Bush’s policies are now being run by a guy with a D after his name.

1 For comparison, the past 7 years of the Iraq War have cost about $719,000,000,000.

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