Time has its "Person of the Year." Amazon has its books of the year. Pretty Much Amazing has its mixtapes of the year. Buzzfeed has its insane-stories-from-Florida of the year. And Wonkblog, of course, has its graphs of the year. For 2013, we asked some of the year's most interesting, important and influential thinkers to name their favorite graph of the year — and why they chose it. Here's Sen. Patty Murray's.
"If there’s one thing that should be clear after automatic across-the-board cuts went into effect this past year, it is that all deficit reduction isn’t created equal. While allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans has bent our long-term deficit curve downward, and closing wasteful tax loopholes and responsibly strengthening programs that seniors and families depend on would do the same—simply slashing investments in education, worker training, research, infrastructure, and key parts of the safety net won’t truly address our fiscal challenges and actually makes our economic challenges worse. These domestic investments aren’t driving our long-term budget deficit (as this graph shows), and cutting them will only increase our country’s deficits in jobs, skilled workers, innovation, technology, and more. We should be investing in the areas that will drive broad-based growth, not cutting back on them. And especially while our economic recovery is still fragile, we should be putting jobs and economic growth first while working toward real, responsible, long-term deficit reduction. The budget deal I struck with Chairman Paul Ryan was a first step in that direction, but we have a lot more to do."
- Patty Murray is a Democratic Senator from Washington, and chair of the Senate Budget Committee.