Goldman Sachs now believes the sequester -- or something very much like it -- will happen. Adding those cuts to their baseline makes their outlook for federal spending a bit scary in an economy this weak.
We spend more on government-provided health care than they do in Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Sweden, or the United Kingdom. And all those countries have government-based systems that cover everybody. We don't.
You know that line, "guns don't kill people, people kill people?" It's true, so far as it goes. But in the United States, when people decide to kill people, or kill themselves, they typically reach for a gun.
Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that's unacceptable. What follows here isn't a policy agenda. It's a set of facts that should inform a discussion that we desperately need to have.
It's not exactly a newsflash that the newspaper industry has seen better days. But I still found these charts, which I came across in Business Insider's expansive presentation on the future of digital media, striking.
The post-9/11 rise in military spending was larger than the rise during Vietnam and during the Cold War. And even if we implement every single cut in the sequester, the fall in spending would be less than the military experienced after Korea, Vietnam, or the Cold War.
The "financial crisis" part of our financial crisis was very much in line with the other crises on this chart, and perhaps even a bit worse. Housing prices fell even further than the average. But the damage to the real economy was less than one would've expected from past experience.
This is what the American tax system really looks like: Not 47 percent paying nothing, but everybody paying something, and most Americans paying between 25 percent and 30 percent of their income -- which is, by the way, a lot more the 13.9 percent Mitt Romney paid in 2011.