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To Readers, $X Billion Just Means ‘a Whole Lot of Money’


To Readers, $X Billion Just Means ‘a Whole Lot of Money’

Dean Baker

Polls consistently show that the public hugely overestimates the share of the budget that goes to items like SNAP (food stamps), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and foreign aid. People will typically give answers in the range of 20 to 30 percent of the budget for these categories of spending. In reality, the shares are 1.5 percent for SNAP, 0.4 percent for TANF and 0.4 percent for foreign aid.

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Slavery is still with us, only the chains of iron that once shackled the slaves to their jobs have been transformed into chains of desperation. Fundamentally, not much Progress has been made for the occupants of the lowest rings of the upward ladder, which is boobytrapped by thorns, grease and all sorts of other impediments.



How about a different take on the - “We’ve been losing for 40 years, why change now?”
As we approach another election a good question would be,
“Are we going to continue losing by winning?”
Centrist politics is corrupted and we don’t win by joining the club and continuing the charade.



Thanks for this, Dean Baker.

One of the biggest paradoxes I can think of is that computers were made to do graphics, and yet economic writers write like you say they write. We are sitting on top of one of the greatest teaching tools the world has ever devised, and yet people think a gov expenditure over ten years is crammed into one. Speaking of crammed, developed countries are JAMMED with super intelligent, super patient dudes and dudettes…I mean they’ve got minds to comprehend this stuff! But what are they doing? Playing Fortnite. And the smartest of the smart are developing a thousand ways to distort Fortnite players’ voices…literally!!! Geeks a billion, and no one can give these kids an idea of to whom goes what amount of dough in all incomes having risen?!

You can explain it with Rene Girard’s theory of mimesis. When people argue…right now in this culture they’re basically flaunting obscurities. Obscurantisms. If no one rebuts, if they just shut up, if you’ve mystified’em…you win. It’s a game of jibberish, and the most opaque jibberish wins. You guys and gals need adjunct break-down “notes” versions of what you write…like “click for paraphrased version.” Probably if you all don’t pay some folks to do this…we’ll lose to the neocons (like we aren’t losing to’em already). Yall tell us at a given time currencies should “float.” What the hey? We really don’t need a youtube. We need people we can trust to give us a graph. DOWN WITH THE TUBES, UP WITH ILLUSTRATIONS!

I’m re-reading your deficit hawks thing back in Nov. Going along, going along…and then bam! There’s another short little cause/effect sentence…without any WHY!!

Talk Stephen Rose into updating his flowchart!! And then he can do one with global players.