The Whole Pie (3 of 6)

So yesterday we provided this chart:

To show that when we compare the money the Federal Government spends every year to all wages paid by all businesses, it would take an income tax of more than 75% to fund the Federal dole -- but we also admitted that "all wages" is not the whole of our GDP.

You can find the long-form explanation of what GDP is over at Wikipedia if you have that kind of time, but here's the short version.  GDP is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time (usually one year).  The basic calculation is this:

GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports)

And they say that the GDP ultimately equals Gross Domestic Income. So it might be said that the right comparison to find out the tax burden to pay all the Government's bills would be to compare the Federal Expenditures to GDP/GDI.  If we do that, we get this:

Which looks a lot better, yes?  $ 3.598 Trillion is only 23.48% of $ 15.320 Trillion, and therefore we just need to tax everything at about 24% to get what the Federal Government needs to fund the continuing operations of all things in the current scheme.  And let's face it: right now we only collect about 18.5% in taxes, so the math seems to turn out in favor of the folks who say it's all just fine, we just have to get to a fair share.

Here's the Problem:

As of 2011, All the existing debt of the Federal Government plus all the annual expenses is greater than the GDP/GDI of our entire nation.  That means if you spent all the GDI -- every dollar taken in in trade either as wages or as payment (not just the profit) -- on Federal debt or expenses, you would still have $2.3 trillion which is uncovered -- and you will have spent every nickle of the value in our whole economy for the whole year on things which aren't leaving any economy behind.

The size of the problem is an economy-sized problem.

More tomorrow.

The Whole Pie (2 of 6)

Yesterday, I gave you the following pie chart to consider:

Which is its own puzzler.  Today I have a second pie chart to show you:

Which is the gross summary of how the Federal Government spent its money in 2011.  So the first thing is this: the Economic Census is out of date by 5 years, and wel'' be pleased to get a new one when it comes around.  The flip-side of the coin is that the size of our economy in 2011was, nor or less, exactly the same as it was in 2007.  Real GDP in 2007 was 13.33 trillion; Real GDP in 2011 was 13.34 trillion -- a difference for the accountants of only 0.07%.  So for the sake of the kind of comparison we're going to do, this is definitely the same ball-park.

Here's the thing:

Just as a side-by-side comparison, the Federal expenditures tally up to more than 75% of all wages to non-farm, non-government employees -- which, for the record, includes all CEO wages, all owner wages, all wages paid to the percent which makes the evil excessive wages as opposed to your wages.

That is: if we taxes all wages at 75%, we could pay for the current net expenditures of the US Federal Government.  This doesn't include your local taxes, mind you: this is just to  run the stuff at the Federal level. It means that everybody has to work all day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and until about 2 PM on Thursday just to pay for what the Federal Government right now says cannot be done without.  To tax our way out of the problem, everyone need to pay a 75% income tax rate.

"Yeah, well, wait a minute, Cent," says the somewhat-informed person reading this post, "That's one comparison of the money, but the GDP for the US is $15 trillion.  You have left out a lot of stuff here to get to your calculation -- like corporate income and farm income.  You are making this out to be a lot worse than it really is."

That's an interesting point, and we will deal with it tomorrow.

The Whole Pie (1 of 6)

There are only 8 days to the election, right?  Well, I have something which you will need for the next 10 years if you live in the United States, and it's a series of posts based on this pie chart:

Click to Enlarge
That Pie Chart is the result of the 2007 US Economic Census, and it tells us what the total wages paid out by all the major industry groups (non-government) were in 2007.  You can click it to enlarge it.  There's enough information in this chart to make you both angry and sad and amazed for the next 3 weeks, but this is where we are starting for the count-down to election day.

Enjoy.  More tomorrow.

Comparing Zeus to the Triune God

All right, kids: Back in the Day, the Apostle Paul said this to the pagans at the Aeropagus:
“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’; 

as even some of your own poets have said, 

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ 

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-29)
And more recently, the Mormon Mitt Romney said this:
My passion probably flows from the fact that I believe in God. And I believe we're all children of the same God. I believe we have a responsibility to care for one another. I served as a missionary for my church. I served as a pastor in my congregation for about 10 years. I've sat across the table from people who were out of work and worked with them to try and find new work or to help them through tough times.
Now, here's the thing:  the buzz from the discernment internet is that Mitt Romney has blasphemed God, and this simply underscores why exactly we can't possibly elect him president.

Yeah, well: pheh.

Paul, in the Aeropagus, is quoting the poet Aratus from the poem Phaenomena, and here's the common translation of the passage in question:
From Zeus let us begin; him do we mortals never leave unnamed;
full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men;
full is the sea and the havens thereof; always we all have need of Zeus. For we are also his offspring;
and he in his kindness unto men giveth favourable signs and wakeneth the people to work, reminding them of livelihood. He tells what time the soil is best for the labour of the ox and for the mattock, and what time the seasons are favourable both for the planting of trees and for casting all manner of seeds.
Let's be honest: if Paul quoted that poem today in front of the internet, he'd have his head ripped off for comparing Zeus to the Triune God.  But he actually did it, and it got caught in Scripture, so you people with the large vein protruding from your foreheads this week because of Gov. Romney's statement need to get Pauline for a moment and understand something: there are things which even the pagans understand in ignorance which are true enough.

They may be true enough to condemn them as idolaters, or as sinners, but they are true enough for secular discourse.

You know: since Mitt Romney was not appealing to anyone to convert religions but only to have some sympathy for the fact that he has one, maybe we ought to find better ways to approach his true enough statement about the general revelation of God to all men which the Apostle Paul agrees with than to roll a Mormon under the bus for saying what Aratus said 3000 years ago.