Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Gregory DeLassus said...

Now what would that graph look like if adjusted for population? Adjusted for GDP? Surely either or both of those pieces of information are necessary in order to assess how serious the cut is. Giving the figures simply in inflation adjusted dollars does not tell us nearly enough to evaluate the claim being implicitly advanced.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. How large is the economy etc;?

I'm really tired of this type of idiotic propaganda.

Grow up, John. Use your head.

Visibilium said...

Greg, are you asking John to adjust the graph for population or population growth? GDP or GDP growth? Something else? Anything else? Actually, none of these measures is necessary to gauge the cut's seriousness. The cut's seriousness can be gauged by its size relative to the entire 2013 column's size. By my reckoning, the cut is about 2.4% of 2013 pre-cut projected spending and about 10% of 2013 pre-cut projected deficit. The columns representing previous years are just gravy, a pleasant distraction.

At least you used the term "implicitly" correctly to describe John's claim. Unfortunately, you missed the implied claim itself. Small hope for English majors.

Anon, maybe you could tell me the size of the economy. I'm still trying to find out. You see, the most interesting part of the economy doesn't show up in GDP. You may want to crack open that elementary macroeconomics text that you haven't read.

Gregory DeLassus said...

The cut's seriousness can be gauged by its size relative to the entire 2013 column's size.

This is obvious nonsense. It costs, in terms of the overall federal budget, a trivial amount of money to run the federal courts, but it does cost some money. Imagine that Congress zero-ed out the entire budget for federal courts. The size of the cut would not even be visible on the above graph, and yet such a cut would obviously have enormous and disruptive societal impacts. It would become impossible to move forward with various business transactions, families of arrested detainees would have to make indefinite arrangements to live without knowing the fates of their loved ones, citizens with appeals of adverse regulatory decisions would face a future of indefinite uncertainty because they would have no idea when their appeal might eventually be heard. "Catastrophic" would not be too strong a word for the damage that such a move would do to civil society, and yet the cut would be invisible on the above graph. Obviously more context is necessary to evaluate the impact of a cut than just "how much larger or smaller is this year's inflation adjusted budget total than last year's?".

Visibilium said...

Zeroing out the juduciary wouldn't be sequestration.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Gregory - within a month of the entire federal judiciary being eliminated, businesses would file in state court or would form contractual associations to arbitrate disputes. Frauds who didn't pay awards would quickly go out of business. Immigration would again be handled by the States, as it was before an 1857 SCOTUS ruling.

"Bad things will happen" is not a good argument. The bottom line is we make the cuts or they will be made for us.

Gregory DeLassus said...

"Bad things will happen" is not a good argument.

Really? It seems like a very good argument to me. Avoiding bad things happening seems like a capital idea to my mind.

The bottom line is we make the cuts or they will be made for us.

Sure, I agree. My point is not that we do not need to restrain government spending, or even that the sequester is a bad idea. My only point is that one cannot tell whether any given cut is a good or bad idea simply from knowing "how much?".