The Republican mantra about the national debt is that Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
Economist Menzie Chinn tested the supposition, and surprise! Washington clearly does have a tax problem — a lack of tax revenues.
While expenditures as a percentage of GDP are near all-time highs, tax revenue + payroll tax contributions are near all-time lows… and well below average.
If Republicans think this gap needs to be minimized, it’s impossible — irresponsible — to maintain that may be achieved on the cost-side at all.
Politicians screaming that Washington has a spending problem, rather than a revenue problem, are coming from a position of anti-tax ideology, rather than empirical data (reality) — meaning a factual, thoughtful rebuttal is pointless, as Obama is finding.