The other day I was listening to a news report on the proposed federal spending, and it occurred to me -- since both parties sneer at the opposition’s spending -- I thought I should look at some pie charts for different adminstrations and see how they compare.
I compared Federal Spending for 1998 (Clinton), 2009 (Obama), and 2018 (Trump). I know they're too small to read. You could expand them, but why bother, because they are all exactly the same damn pie.
(Pies from USGovernmentSpending.com)
Most categories varied by 1-2%, generally. The biggest leap was for health care, from 22% (Clinton), 26% (Obama), to 27% (Trump). Still, when you think of the healthcare debate, do you think they're haggling over 5%? No, they make it sound like those Obamacare pie slices are Pac-Man sized.
The one that varied most was military / defense spending, ranging from 19% (Clinton), 26% (Obama), to 22% (Trump). The 7% jump from Clinton to Obama was at least statistically significant. It's the only visible change in the pies above. But still, you have two wars and only bump up spending 7%? Pfft.
I mean, I didn't think I would find a giant pie slice labeled "Welfare queens!" next to one for "Thousand dollar hammers!" but I thought I'd see some dramatic variance between parties in power.
I'm sure there's some subtlety I'm missing. I suspect that I’m not looking at only discretionary spending — but still, looking at only one part misses the big picture, and it’s too much like looking at a line graph with an axis that doesn’t start at zero.