A pie Chart Showing Who Should Pay What

A few days ago, I followed up on a friend’s speculation on how to pay off the absolutely gynormous national debt, which is about $13.7 TRILLION dollars (or $ 1.37 x 10^ 13, if you prefer scientific notation). Currently this is owed to various mutual funds here in the US and, more and more, to overseas banks, particularly those in China. The annual interest on the national debt is one of the largest items in the national budget.

If that amount was divided equally among all 310 million of us, most of us would be bankrupt, since each one of us would have to pay about $44,000 – forty-four thousand dollars.

However, not all of us. For the the billionaires, the hundred-millionaires, and so on, that’s merely a weekend excursion at some fancy beach or ski resort.

Here is a little pie chart showing one way of dividing up the national debt according to the principle that those with the most should pay the most.

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 3:24 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. Who determined the criteria for who “should” pay the debt? Posting a pie chart does not make it fact.
    Firstly, as was pointed out, splitting it evenly would bankrupt the lowest income people, but why should anyone be penalized and have to pay lots more money for being successful? The debt was accrued by the nation, as a whole, not the top earners, so why do they have more responsibility to pay?
    This pie chart does not take into account that if the really rich start getting their monies taken from them, before any law goes into effect they would, as has happened in numerous economies around the world, simply move out of the country to someplace that appreciates what the wealthy do for their economies. Your pie chart does not take into account the exodus to expatriot status that would happen. You cannot take money from someone who no longer resides in this country, so take that into account on your chart. If only the top 5% of earners moved out, what would that do to your chart? It looks as though that would wipe out 75-80% of the top of your chart, leaving a much, much higher burden on the lowest 20-25%, wouldn’t it?
    I discovered this pie chart while trying to find a pie chart that showed the divsion of the national budget’s spending, and found no two even close to each other, covering the same time frame, so which is true and accurate? I guess that depends upon what your views are and what you WANT to see. Look up “national budget pie chart” and see the enormous differences yourself (to cite my sources).
    I truly view this information as false and not well thought out.


    Lloyd Hoadley


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