Good Charts from the House Republican Budget

Good Charts from the House Republican Budget

One new feature of the House Republican budget is a helpful illustration of the drivers of the public debt:

What's great about this chart is that it shows where the increases in spending are coming from. In time, Social Security disbursements will slowly ramp up. But the real ramp-up is coming in the health programs, especially Medicaid (and Obamacare exchange subsidies) and Medicare. Interest costs grow along with health care.

That's not the only good chart in the budget, though. There's also a simple and clear illustration of the implicit marginal tax rates created by various social programs, including Obamacare:

The budget references the work of Urban Institute analyst Eugene Steuerle. As the chart indicates, a single mom with one kid earning just under $20,000 -- not a lot by anyone's standards -- faces an implicit marginal tax rate of nearly 100 percent. Think of how much political strife was involved in determining that households making more than $400,000 would pay taxes at a 39.6 percent rather than a 35 percent marginal rate. Then consider how little thought has been given to the problem of implicit marginal rates created by the cut-offs of various program.

Joseph Lawler is editor of RealClearPolicy. He can be reached by email or on twitter.

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