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Politify is an eye-opening visualization tool for evaluating the economic impact of each US presidential candidate's policies by zipcode.  You'll see how Romney's proposals benefit rich zipcodes, Obama's benefit more middle class and poor zipcodes.

Now, many will question the math on the National page that shows a $273 billion positive impact on the deficit by 2015 from Obama's policies, while showing that Romney's policies will increase the deficit by $566 billion.

After all, haven't we all heard how much Obama added to the deficit, and how Romney wants to shrink the size of government?

The big difference is that Obama recognizes, just as we do in our personal lives, that there are two ways that we can keep from running up our credit card debt - we can spend less, or we can increase our income. Romney calls for spending less, but he also calls for decreasing the government's income.

Because after all, that's what taxes are - the government's income. The Republican notion that if you just cut tax rates, economic activity will increase so much that tax revenues will actually be higher, have been proven wrong again and again.  Reagan ran on that platform, but realized that the math didn't pencil out, and so he actually raised taxes once he was in office.  Ditto George Bush senior.  George Bush junior stuck to his guns, launched two wars that he put on Uncle Sam's credit card, and ran irresponsible policies that led us to the brink of a second Great Depression.

Whether or not you think Obama was right to continue the stimulus program that was launched in a Hail Mary move at the end of the Bush presidency, you've got to recognize that most of what led up to the massive deficits the country faces today was the very same policies that Mitt Romney has become the standard-bearer for, and which are reflected in these numbers.

I suspect that like all Republican presidents except GWB, Romney would quickly change his tune once in office, but I don't see why we should elect someone who has put forward a plan that makes no sense.

At the end of the day, I'd love my taxes to be lower too. But returning taxes to the level they were under Clinton - a period of great prosperity - makes good sense to me.  And if you look honestly at the historical record, you'll also see that the last time that the size of government was shrunk was during that same Clinton administration.

At any rate, ignore these comments.  Play with the visualization tools here, and think about what they say about what kind of country we want to become. These visualizations show how completely Romney's policies favor the rich.  I count myself among that number, but I'm public spirited enough to know that what's best for me isn't what's best for the country.
Politify is the first tool to forecast the financial impacts of political scenarios.
Knight Fu's profile photoErik Gregg's profile photoBen Weatherford's profile photoJohn Collins's profile photo
I don't have a way to verify the authenticity of the data displayed but it does make sense an in line of what the candidates are saying.
Wise words +Tim O'Reilly. As a engineer I find no better place to draw conclusions then from the body of evidence. A quick history lesson is what needs to be served up to the American people. 
Look at the history of tax cuts. Just ask yourself this question Who's going to spend your money more effectively you or the federal government . What we really need is tax simplification . Our text code is 72,000 pages long. MORE PEOPLE PREPARE TAXES THEN FIRE AND POLICE COMBINED .
+James Gilman look over here. No wait, over here. NOW I TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT LOOKS IMPORTANT.

Look at who benefits from the complexity of the Code (hint: they don't live in public housing or shop with SNAP cards). Now consider how they might make that happen, how they might influence the rewriting of those laws.

+James Gilman - Well, maybe you're right. Do you have a proposal for paying off our massive debt though? It seems like the only option is taxes.
+James Gilman I agree with tax simplification however we still need to have enough revenue to pay for the services that government produces. Romney and republican math in general doesn't add up. The federal government has on average of spent about 22% of GDP historically. Currently the government is getting around 15% of GDP in taxes. The big three expenses are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and the defense budget. Which do you want to cut in order to get your tax cut?
+James Gilman Of course so many people prepare taxes for a living, and the tax code is so long and complicated... where do you think all those created jobs come from?! ;p
Anyone else think we probably should rethink operating permanent military bases in foreign countries, in favor of reciprocal hosting treaties when conditions demand? One drop in the bucked 'o savings, but every bit helps.
The strange thing is that all of my Republican friends WANT their neighbors to do bad.  It's as if they just don't understand the scope.  They think that somehow they will do better if everyone else does bad.  I have no idea how they got so twisted!
Unfortunately I don't think facts enter into it. If they did, the election would be a foregone conclusion, the Klepticans wouldn't hold a single elected office in the entire country, and the Blathercrats would be a minority party. If facts dictated politics or could win elections, other political parties would have to arise. The powers of the status quo would not be able to adapt. As it is, the next president will wear magic underpants and allow the oligarchs to plunder this country because 'Merkins are unworthy of democracy. Any people as superstitious and anti-intellectual as 'Merkins deserve what they get and get what they deserve.
TJ McVay
Blah Blah Blah spin it anyway you can it all comes down to the fact the liberal left is seeing the writing on the wall: Obama is going to loose! Enjoy!
There's nothing wrong with making money asshole all of us in those mid n poor zips call it work n with this ass wipe obama commie very Litle opportunity he offers romney rayn fix America
Seth Cohn
It would be nice if rather than continue the two party duopoly (and phony solutions thereof), someone would consider putting the Libertarian and Green solutions (and candidates) up on equal footing.  Stop the phony 2 choice answer, the world is not vanilla and chocolate.
I voted for Nader in 2000.  I HATE the 2 party system.  Guess what.  In this universe, right now, these ARE the only 2 choices.  Nobody likes this, we all have to lump it or stick your head in the sand.  I would vote for a 3rd party candidate if it were a reality.
I'd like to see deGrasse/Nye more than Obama/Biden, though, as long as the elephants dont win I'm happy. The world really can not afford a republican president for he next 4-8 years.

Like Neil said, where is the rest of the country?
(On the professions of the house and senate all beeing lawyers or business men)

Also I'm not american but your elections affect me more than I like them to. 
Go a year or so with no tax refunds for anybody. See how fast that deficit goes down. Too bad most Americans care about that check then they do about their country.
Matt Cady
STOP THE PRESS a left wing group makes a web site that displays left leaning info. That's right In a recent shocker a recent very liberal college graduate makes a web site backed by liberals and were able to "recruit left-wing intellectual rock stars" as stated in numerous recent articles. This will not matter to most as the only way to find this site is from other left wing sites so most god fearing job having americans will not be bothered by this news break and will remain unaffected by this. It is said they will remain with the truth and fact that we are not better off and to do the same for the next four years is not a viable plan, after all these people have welfare recipients to support. 
Flat tax percentage for everyone. All Americans should be treated the same. Problem solved.
Shane the money they get back is theirs, got nothing to do with country. How how about the fools that are spending it?
Terrific! Because nothing coming out of Berk would have any bias to it...And we should all be taking fiscal lessons from California.
Robert and rick Ae both incorrect. Most tax returns contain mostly free money, earned income credits etc. And both wars are paid for with borrowed money not out of the budget so there is no savings once they stop. Look it up or stay liberal ingrorance is bliss.... 
Wow its amazing how many economists are on G+....oh wait never mind. It's just a bunch of people writhing in a giant mass of confirmation bias....
nice email he forgot those jets crashing into the trade center war on lies nice post matt
Can you really trust such 'data'? Do we really know the inner workings of how such data is being used? And where exactly does this data come from? Sometimes when tools are created, especially when they can have an enormous affect politically and the secret sauce isn't available to see, we just can't buy them at face value.
It is in a tool so it must be right.
So what exactly are the republican plans to pay for the pile of something that they left us all with in 2008?  Also what are the plans for paying for Romney's proposed tax cuts and military expenses?  Did I miss that?  Ohh, cutting PBS.  Right.... Gotta start somewhere...
Preferential voting. It'll never happen but it would help.
According to Fitch Ratings Co., “Fiscal Indecision Threatens US ‘AAA’ - Under current law, tax increases and spending cuts equivalent to about 5% of GDP will take effect in 2013 – if permanent, such a “fiscal cliff” could derail the US economic recovery…” Yet it’s not the spending cuts that are problematic, deficit reduction is a must, but rather the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts.

At this point you’re probably thinking, “Well, Bill Clinton raised taxes and cut spending and everything was copacetic.” But according to history, that’s actually incorrect. Although it’s true that President Clinton raised taxes during his first term, government spending also increased, that is until 1995 when his Democratic party lost control of both Houses of Congress.

It was actually during his second term when the austerity policy I’m talking about took place. That’s when Republicans passed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, a reconciliation bill that reduced taxes and hence increased the deficit, paired with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (H.R. 2014 and H.R. 2015 respectively), each signed by President Clinton. Thus, it was actually tax cuts in conjunction with deficit reduction which produced the boom of the 1990’s, not the Clinton tax hikes.

Krugman’s Anti-Austerity Madness -

If Obama was going to cut the deficit, he should have done it while he had the chance. Since he's now $5.3 trillion behind the mark, nobody really cares what his plan is anymore. He's done.
+Rick Bragg At least Obama has put together a balanced budget the last 4 years and started paying off that deficit. Oh wait....
I agree. Everyone including Obama is talking about how he's going to pay down the deficit and yada yada yada. But he's been in office for almost 4 years and none of this has been done. In fact he's increased the deficit by a huge amount. So on this issue alone, Barack's track record is abysmal.
Hope is not a strategy.
Republicans vowed to stop him NO MATTER WHAT his policies are.  Republicans created this deficit.
Two wars and a huge tax cut for the wealthy - all unfunded. You want to blame someone, blame conseratwats who took a huge surplus and turned it into a deficit not the democrat who got us out of Iraq and soon Afghanistan.
What you teatards are afraid of is the simple truth - had McSame won we would be in a major depression, well except for Wall Street 
Looks like I'd be better off under Romney. Although I wish Gary Johnson was included in those calculations. Show how much better EVERYONE would be under his leadership.
The surplus was gone via the Clinton recession that he left Bush. It is not unusual that a surplus turns into a deficit when the business cycle turns. The key is getting out of the recession quickly. That is something this President didn't do. He kept us well below where we would normally bounce due to bad policy.
i could make a graph that said a old horse look like a racehorse, a chevy like a mercedes, or whatever the analogy you choose,, smoke and mirrors,,,, look around and talk to ur family friends and neighbors,,,see how many go work everyday and the ones waiting on the mailman,,,basically it comes down to if you want to choose your future or obama,,,,he has never worked so the bums vote for him working people want change,,,dont  say about him shipping jobs overseas the phone u use the nikes u wear not made in usa,ur probably crapping in a foreign made toilet thanks to demos  nafta
+Aztec Bill sorry I don't fall for the typical misinformation you types push.
Don't you think it's strange that one of the biggest expansions of the economy happened under a democratic president? No of course you don't, you don't think
+Aztec Bill indeed! Which is why its so important to weigh what he's done versus what he "says" he's going to do......that is if you're not a partisan drone!
+Larry Walker Nicely researched response vs touting talking points like most others. People forget as well that the Clinton surplus was based on revenue projections of an inflated market thanks to the tech bubble, which quickly deflated from 00 to 02. The fact is NO president has reduced our national debt. And in a country where a quarter of your GDP is gov't spending, its an unfortunate reality that we have to be very careful how we pull our foot off the gas (gov't spending).
yawn another 'my guy's right cuz I say so' thread.
Do people seriously think bringing back the Clinton tax rates across the board (higher taxes for everyone) will bring back the Dot-com boom?
Ever look at +Gary Johnson ? Romney nor Obama will help. I mean, seriously. How about how Gary Johnsons polacies will effect people?

It will effect everyone positivly. Vote Gary Johnson. Vote for change.
How does this fecal matter find its way to my news feed? If I wanted to read some drivel about how President Barry wants to lead the country on happy thoughts and exaggerated promises I'd read the Huffington Post or watch CNN.
+Jim Jeffries its more complicated than that but yes some do. Unfortunately the divide between socialist redistribution and business growth = job growth will not narrow any time soon
Uuuuh let's see. Lower class pays NO taxes and uses the most public assistance services. Upper class pays the most taxes and uses little to no public assistance services. How does this make sense? Why should the people that acheive the American dream of making it be punished and forced to give their money to the low lifestyle that don't want to support themselves. If I were wealthy I would leave this country and take my money with me!
This guy should draw a check from the democrat party and the government.
Great load of crap +Tim O'Reilly but you forgot a third option- the very option Obama employs. HE PRINTS MONEY like a madman. Hows that affect the national debt? Obama's actions screw everyone. The less the American dollar is worth, the harder time we have repaying debt. Outside of economics, how can you favor a president who blantantly lies about what sparked the middle east violence, whispers to the Russian president about dismantling American weapons when he's re-elected and has a foreign policy that involves kissing the ass of Terrorists and abandoning our Middle Eastern allies? Are you blind?
+Shannon Nichols the problem is many already have and we need to work on correcting that trend. Obama hasn't made the effort. Do you believe he will? I see no reason to assume he will.
+Landon Dodd that's not true. The debt is all based in US dollars. The value of a US dollar has no relationship to how many US dollars of debt there are.

US debt is a problem but it's been a problem forever.
Why does this silly dreck show up on my Google+ profile? So dumb
Another half-truth from one of the MSM's top spinsters. The whole of Romney's economic model is predicated upon employing more people while Obama's is predicated upon no employment growth, and actually becomes "better" with higher unemployment.

But nice try, Tim.
+Sean Mcgirk because ensuring the lower classes have health care and education makes for a more productive nation - it makes those people more capable citizens, better employees, friendlier neighbours, less likely to be muggers or criminals, and more likely to be able to help you or someone you know.

Note how American cities are some of the most dangerous in the developed world.
That's the game of politics that the democrats and republicans play
Consider the source.

The site provides next to no information on how it calculates this data - it tells you that it's taking the information from the candidate websites. Great, but where are you getting the analysis? 

According to The Daily Californian, that would be coming from "left wing intellectual rock stars"...

+Kirk Broadhurst really? You think the US deficit is all internal debt? Maybe you should ask China about that. You don't think that a weak US dollar effects foreign credit?
+Tim O'Reilly what about option 3? Spend less on the same income. How cone people only present 2 options when talking about this?

The government has proven to constantly be fiscally irresponsible so I'm not really okay with giving it more money to spend irresponsibly. Get your spending under control with the income you have and then I'm willing to talk about giving you more money.
+Kirk Broadhurst right. I guess all liberals share your view. The more money in circulation, the more everything begins to cost. The more people work for money that buys less. Things cost more, companies cut back, unemployment rises, US GDP drops more and more loans are taken out. How does this not make debt harder to repay? Please see and educate yourself before responding. I ASSURE you that a weak dollar devastates our foreign credit.
+Frank Hazelton Yes, really. I don't think it's internal debt, but it's based in US dollars. It's all US government bonds, which are (self evidently) US dollars. It doesn't matter who gives the money, the amount given and bought back will both be in US dollars.

Besides, the renmimbi is virtually fixed against the US dollar. 
+Landon Dodd some errors in your claims: Obama does not print money. That's the Fed's job. Fed printed money because that's the textbook solution to a liquidity trap. So, whatever issue you take with that, take it with the right party.

Second, what specific foreign affairs incident are you referring to. If you aim to call the Muslim Brotherhood "terrorists", then why stop there? We are negotiating with terrorist, engaging in diplomatic talks with terrorists, giving money to terrorists, and forming alliance with terrorists. The other option? Launching missiles --- is that what you are suggesting? "Let's go to war with whoever went against our ideology and culture."

If that is your image of strength, then the strongest group in the world are the so-called "terrorists," because without tact or inclination for peace, they launch their weapons at other nations, ideologies, cultures. If your fault for the president is that he is not "terrorist" enough for this country --- maybe it is your judgment that we have to call into question. Ask yourself, what is your goal for this country: to be in a perpetual state of war to maintain the semblance of strength, or to use all faculty of modern diplomacy to resolve deep ethnic tensions.
+Kirk Broadhurst better employees? Sounds great except who are they going to work for? A retailer where more an more checkouts are automated or a tech company like Apple that manufactures everything in China?
+Landon Dodd it can change the credit rating, and the bond price (as seen in Greece, Spain and Italy over the past year or two) but US bonds are selling at record or near record highs.

This means that the US government is borrowing the cheapest money it has ever borrowed. Fixed interest.
+Frank Hazelton where do people work in other developed countries? I'll assume you accept my point re: the foreign debt.
+Knight Fu read. Obama supports it and defends it when he could make moves to prevent it. In my eyes that's the same as him printing it himself. We reached out an olive branch to extremists. Guess what we got? A destroyed embassy, a dead ambassador and lost American lives. Its been shown again and again that terrorists could care less about peace. Did you SEE the burning flags and chanting of "death to America"? When we were more aggressive to terrorists prior to the Obama administration, guess how many embassys or ambassadors were lost. None. My judgement says if there is a threat that is legitimate and will not stop until a target is destroyed then it is best to neutralize that threat before it can act on it's intentions. We tried being diplomatic with extremists. Didn't work. If military action protects us, weakens extremist groups and aids our allies, then by all means that's the course I support. Ask the middle east how diplomacy works with extremists. Do you actually watch the news? Case in point: the British reporter (I forget the name) that interviewed the Al-queda commander who said he "loved the west's attempts at peace in the region by establishing trained security forces." He then said that "he had men in all ranks of the peace forces ready for battle when needed." The are using our peace attempts to strengthen themselves against us. If a bear is chasing you, you dont run up and kiss it. You either run, or kill it. Look it up, its been on CNN and Fox. You're as dillusional as Obama.
+Michael Koby why do you think that the government is fiscally irresponsible? Also by the same criteria, is anyone fiscally responsible? By what metric? In the private sector, the metric is profitability, but is that something that's reasonable to apply to the government (e.g. should there be any form of welfare, subsidies, taxes of any sort).

There is a very simple equation that is key to economics: demand equals supply. If you decrease demand, you invariably decrease supply, and since GDP (and a portion of it is the government income) is the measure of aggregate supply, you will decrease GDP --- unless you can somehow provide the same services in the private sector (and efficiently). But can you really? Think about schools, police, organization to provide protections to consumers. Are any of these something you see can be substituted by private sector elements?
Great idea, but biased data .
+Frank Hazelton First of all, no monetary policy is permanent, and fiscal policies change from year to year. As a Keynesian, I firmly believe that the temporary increase in government spending will boost GDP, which will in turn steer us further away from the so-called "double-dip" in employment. I believe that by hiring more public workers, it will increase the total demand of the market as a whole. You can take issue with that, but really, I think history is on the side of the Keynesians.

The value of dollar is declining with respect to what? The gold standard? Other currencies? the Canadian? All of these have factors that have nothing to do with either fiscal or monetary policies. A strong euro will shift the global dynamics so that the value of the dollar is lower. Political troubles in the middle east can also affect the value of the dollar. So, if the dollar declines, is it bad? No. You have to point to the source of the decline, and whether or not it is a short-term/medium-term/long-term contribution.
I'm not against change. That is why i want all the congressmen replaced!
+Seth Cohn +Rick Bragg If you are serious about third/fourth parties, starting at the top is a prescription for disappointment. How is an outsider candidate going to govern with no caucus in either chamber? Out of 534 members there are two(?) Independents, one Socialist, and the rest are of the D or R persuasion. There are two members with the same surname who claim to be libertarian but lack the courage to campaign under that banner.

Without local, state, and/or national representation that your candidate can work with, you're hanging him out to dry. What could Nader or any other alternative candidate do as President? What legislative experience does he have? How good is he at forming and leading a consensus? As you've probably noticed, if the legislative branch doesn't want to work with the executive, they get their $180,000/year just the same.

I guarantee if you put pressure on the two major parties flanks with a coherent organized message, they'll respond. They'll either co-opt it and absorb those ideas — which is fine — or become marginalized into an alternative themselves. But magical thinking, assuming Nader or whomever in the White House will make everything beautiful, is not a strategy. 
Kool-Aid is delicious. I drank it infrequently as a kid.

Don't believe this farce of a website.
+Aaron Luebke No, that is blatantly false. Increase in demand increases revenue. You can certainly have increase in payroll (for example, on investment), but as long as those jobs do not contribute an increase in value of the economy, you will have no increase in revenue, and hence, no increased government income.

If you prefer, take a company: you can't tell whether or not that company is making more money by looking how many new employees it hired. What would that tell you? Nothing, because those employees could all be janitors or maybe temporary hires to replace striking workers.
It's worth repeating - 

"The Republican notion that if you just cut tax rates, economic activity will increase so much that tax revenues will actually be higher, have been proven wrong again and again.  Reagan ran on that platform, but realized that the math didn't pencil out, and so he actually raised taxes once he was in office.  Ditto George Bush senior.  George Bush junior stuck to his guns, launched two wars that he put on Uncle Sam's credit card, and ran irresponsible policies that led us to the brink of a second Great Depression."
+Knight Fu the metric? Are you spending more than you have coming in? How is that a hard concept?

If you spend more than you make, your not exactly responsible are you?

Your other questions have to do with the size and scope of the federal government's responsibility. And that is a question that is somewhat related but a different discussion entirely.
Both Romney and Obama are hilarious clowns dancing to the tunes of the horrid 2 party system. There is no real democracy with these jokers in office, and there certainly won't be any progress being made if either get elected in.
+Matt Cady So liberals necessarily don't fear god? What's wrong with not respecting mythology? And all liberals are jobless too, huh? So I guess the $34 an hour I make as a freelance web designer isn't a job. Good thing you hard-working, religious conservatives are here to fix the country, or we would all be screwed, huh?
+Michael Koby The balance sheet is a reflection of liquid differences. Dollars earned less dollar spent. There are a lot of utilities provided by government services that are not measured by income. Roads and bridges, education (whatever value you choose to put on it, it's not 0), the feeling of safety provided by military and the police, and the relative comfort enjoyed by all the academic types who can then theorize about unforeseen benefits provided by the government. The list goes on. If you can somehow put all these items on the balance sheet (I don't think you can do it objectively) the numbers might be skewed. If you do not count the benefit felt by all as part of the government's income, then maybe that is the part that is the hard concept for you to understand.
I love how everyone blames Bush for the 2000s wars you know when EVERYONE in Washington voted for them regardless of party. See, like ot or not both parties are complicit with bringing on our dept since they they all blood thirsty and saw $$s instead of corpses.
+Aaron Smit One of the perks of having no debt and owning my house. I spend less than $500 a month on bills, and my wife works too. We can afford to not make a lot and still live comfortably.
+Aaron Smit Nope. I usually work on just several projects a month. I'd take more, but frankly that would cut into my reading and gaming. I quit my day job because I don't want to work full time when I don't have to.
"but I'm public spirited enough to know that what's best for me isn't what's best for the country." 

That is the reason I give you a +1! I wish more people (mainly the government) felt this way.  In my opinion, that is exactly what is wrong right now.  The decisions being made on our behalf isn't what's best for our country as a whole, they're only best for the people making the decisions.  Come on folks, "Together We Stand!"
Hey genius, do you realize that under Clinton that the rich paid less than they do now? Posts like this are the reason most liberals fail at trying to be taken seriously.
+Landon Dodd You know, if I were Obama, I would defend the printing of money, too. At the start of the 07/08 credit crisis, the banks were extremely hesitant to lend with stringent underwriting standards for two reasons: no liquid, and risk aversion. Why is this bad? If banks do not lend, companies that would ordinarily support payroll on credit cannot obtain the necessary funds to keep employees or make new hires.

By printing money, the Fed decreases the incentive for banks to lend by decreasing the long-term interest rate, forcing the banks to relinquish bonds to increase liquid, and also telling them: it's more profitable to lend than to keep your money in bonds. That worked.

Perhaps your view is that the stronger foreign stance against aggressive nations is more effective. That has historic precedent and I see where you are coming from. However, do you think that war is the only resort or the last resort? I don't think war (which invariably means cost in more material and human lives) is preferable to a potential diplomatic solution, especially since we have so much other means at our disposal --- other allies. Do not be quick for the thirst for blood.
I get a security warning on that website. I wonder what that says about the credibility of the source.
This guy is a hack, sell your crazy somewhere else
+Frank Hazelton Yes, if the dollar falls it is a good thing. It makes American exports cheaper for the rest of the world, and it makes American products more competitive locally. It means that imported goods cost more cf locally made goods, thus supporting local industry.

I think the Fed would be very happy if the dollar fell vs the Euro and the Renminbi.
Well said!! Was explain honestly and logically!! Good Work!
Sorry won't vote for
Barack Hussein Obama. 
The problem is we have a right wing and a left wing, the center has all but disappeared, so there is no compromise and therefore no progress. The left is ruled by idealism and the right doubles down with ignorance. We have a 2 party system because of the electoral college and the amount of money in politics, you can complain all day, but until we clamor to fix those issues we will continue with the binary government system...
+Aaron Smit Well, you muted, so I guess I'm talking to the wall. Here's the problem. Democrats never "gave your money to the poor", the same way that the military is not government defending the infirm.

In our society, I think it pretty universally agreed upon that even those who cannot make money for the rest of us deserve some basic rights: health, life, speech, legal representation, etc. That's why we mandate parental cares provided to children (even though they are the ultimate moochers, if you will), and we even encourage people to have MORE children (through our tax codes or our societal influences), because somehow we have agreed that children (even those born without brains) deserve a lifeline. So, if you see unemployment, disability, social security benefits as giving "poor" the money earned by the rich, I think that is a gross misrepresentation of the true intention of these benefits.

Now, whether these benefits are distributed equitably, that is another debate, but I think arguing that they shouldn't be there by calling them "socialism" is like calling the existence of the police department a "police statehood".

Next, democrats are right to insist on maintaining these benefits, because where would the old, the disabled, the feeble get their lifeline from? The church? Wall Street? Think about it.
+Knight Fu are you implying that those things you listed aren't already on the budget? I'm pretty sure they are in some form.

If they are then I don't get your point. Other than you feel that we can't objectively put a hard dollar amount on some of them that we should therefore just give the government more to spend on them arbitrarily.

You do know what the definition of "budget" is right?
One word..... & solution to USA PROBLEM(s)
Sundry Act 1789
+Kirk Broadhurst I'm in my phone right now, but you should look up the IRS statistics showing the rich pay a larger percentage of all taxes paid now than they did during Clinton's terms. The income tax is more progressive now than it has ever been.
The Congressional Budget Office clearly states that Obama's policies will deepen the deficit. Why should I believe you and some silly website, and ignore them?
What we've got is a spending problem, not a taxation problem. Go ahead and confiscate all the income of all those evil millionaires in the US and you'd still only cover a small fraction of our multi-trillion dollar annual budget. While you're making fun of so-called trickle-down economics, tell me all about how trickle-down government is going to work.
I was born in 1970. I remember the Reagan years and their financial aftermath quite well.

Congress and the President during those years did not fix the economy - they broke it. I've lived through decades of watching trickle-down economic strategies, including giving tax breaks for those who need more money the least. The result has been concentrating our country's wealth into the hands of a very small number of people with no loyalty to the country that gave them such privilege, or the people whose labor enriched them.

For me, this isn't about supporting one "side" over the other.

It's pretty simple - we keep legislating deregulation and tax breaks for the wealthiest people and corporations. We've been doing it since the 1980's. Since we've been doing it, the rich have gotten richer, and the rest of us work harder and harder for less.

It doesn't matter what the reasoning was behind these policies - if they actually worked, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now. That's simple logic. We've implemented these policies for decades, and during that time, things have gotten progressively worse, until we had not just economic collapse here, but all over the world (other countries let their rich people and corporations run roughshod also).

During earlier time periods, where wealthier people and corporations paid more in taxes, and where banking was regulated to prevent fraud and risky dealing, the country was prosperous, manufactured more stuff, employed more people, and more people could afford college, housing, and other necessities.

So, we've tried one way for thirty years or so. Since these policies have resulted in a huge mess, let's try something else for thirty years or so, and see if we like the outcome better. And if we don't, we'll try something else again.

It's not even about pointing fingers and assigning blame, to me. Or rather, that's way less important than fixing stuff.

For me, it's about not continuing to do the stuff that ruined our economy.
+Danny Brand No one said that the solution to the fiscal dilemma is simple. There are a lot that any policy-makers should think about. Anyone who says: it's simple, let's just get rid of tax-loopholes and maintain a low fixed-rate tax code is probably going to encounter some issues along the way. No, taxing the wealthy will not solve the problem of a negative balance sheet, but I'd like to think that there is a bigger problem: having an insufficient economic backbone to drive tax revenue because of spending cuts in the public sector. Austerity does not work miracles: examples abound.
+Michael Koby When calculating deficit, CBO factors only the revenue from dollar amount collected through taxes and tariffs paid to the federal government, through corporate and private accounts across the country (and foreign accounts as well). Some of the revenue no doubt captures the benefits provided by services of this country: stable political atmosphere and safe investing environment invariably imply higher revenue, which in turn means higher tax revenue by the government.

However! there is no objective measure on safety, say, simply because it is not a commodity that we actively trade (either as security or as a voucher). We do not tact on the benefit of public education from year to year onto the balance sheet simply because the result may only be apparent decades from the day students graduate. We do not actively count the benefit of various regulations (health, traffic, credit risk preparedness) because they are just too complicated. Think about it, if I want to know what is the amount of money earned by having I-95 in good condition, how would I measure that? We know exactly how much it costs to maintain it. One is counted on the balance sheet, the other one is not.
You're a good ,decent and honest man, Tim. We could use more if you...
No way around it. Spending cuts are a must.. Clinton was a great president. Not because of tax cuts or increases but because he made cuts and he worked w both dems and repubs. Also let's talk zip codes. Here's a thought; which zip codes pay the most in taxes? Likely the very ones that will benefit the most. Do we want fair or redistribution?
Tim has made a fair assessment of the economics non-sense policy proposal from Romney. Obama has inherited the fiscal deficit left by Bush. Putting the tax money in a war chest by previous administrations was not Obama doing but he has to deal with that legacy. Tax fraud, greed for a quick buck by Corporates, financial institutions and rich people have contributed greatly to the current recession now prevalent in United States. Do not lay the blame on ordinary middle class and un-employed in our society.
This may be the first time I have fervently wished for a -1 option.
Do it the way President Clinton and the Republican Congress did it. Cut taxes and spending, require congress to balance the budget annually... cliff avoided.
I appreciate the relative objectivity of this.
Obama w/o a doubt inherited a mess. However; per the constitution congress is responsible for both taxes and spending. Who was in control of congress prior to President Obamas arrival? A weak president + a weak congress = 16+ trillion!
An interesting tool to test the implications of certain tax policy affects different areas by zip code.
his campaign is bullshit. Your fullest you believe that crap.
What a bunch of crap. This is an perfect example of why Obama got his butt kicked in the debate, and why he's going to be thrown out. Good riddance and not a moment too soon. 
more election-season foolishness masquerading as "insight."  You only need to buy into the political motivations of the "anal cysts"  to find agreement. It's as if the people who didn't understand what Mercator projection is (among many other map projections) now need softer data to work with.
Everyone is missing the BIG picture.....Our government must fail...there is no possible way to pay off the 16+ Trillion debt.  We will go to a one money system, and possibly a one world leader.  A vote for either canidate is a fail. Having Barrack Housein Obama (probably spelled wrong) would be like having Hokia Oshemira as president after WWII.  And Romney...Wow what a choice.  I think the world as we know it is about to end.  After all, it's Biblical!
Find out who is funding that. Info is a bit umm.. unreliable. 
I wonder if it shows the dismal job statistic results of the last 3 1/2 years policies. Oh wait that's Bushes fault. Does that means that if Romney wins, every bad thing during his admin will be the former teleprompter-in-chiefs fault?
+Jim Staker the trend in the first 12-18 months is the predecessor's fault, but after that the trend is your responsibility. The actual number, of course, depends on where you started...

We can all be happy knowing the US unemployment has been trending downwards for the past 2 or 3 years, though.
[Reduced taxes increases revenue - period! It's been proven over and over.]

100% partisanship and propaganda and no facts. Fail.
Nice toll, but one input the tool does not take into account is the limit to individual deductions Romney suggests. And this limit (on deducting state taxes, property taxes, mortgage interest) will crush citizens of high cost of living states: CA, NY, NJ, MA,.. well they will vote for Obama anyway, so why would Romney care?
Where is the accountability?

Every career politician that holds a seat....Congress, governors, law makers, justices, etc.....they are all guilty of incompetence. Not one is doing the job that they were elected/hired to do.

I know for a fact, that if I didn't perform the job/duties I was hired to do, my ass would be out of a job.

Why, in the name of Ra, are these fucks still working? They should've been kicked out on their asses years ago! Oh wait...that's right...I in the pocket buys votes.
+Brian Serviss Following your logic we can blame Obama for the great recession? Or how about FDR for the great depression?
I propose a 50% tax on internet Millionaires and Billionaires to offset the Federal Deficit. When this tax is in effect, raise the taxes on everybody to clinton levels.  I'm sick of hearing from neo-media gurus 
who are not wanting in the real world.  Good luck to all! 
+Knight Fu How do you define the word temporary? One month two or six or eight months or a year or three but eight no thank you sir no thank you. And how can we justify more public workers when not enough people are working to pay for there retirement or there health care?
Look man, here's a cold wash rag for your forehead.....Romney couldn't be such a gamble as you describe. His state had the number 1 educational program in the nation. His governing as a Governor in Mass. got his popularity & appreciation. The man has a GOOD track record!........AC
Go. Out. And. Vote. 2012. IBM's.
Funny Lies!? What is this garbage? Does this guy hear himself? Agree to raise taxes on the "rich", they will never afford democrat spending, your income will drop, unless you don't work at all. Support those who work hard to make a better life for themselves and those around them, or slave yourselves out, by debt to the government. I hope no one believe this junk. Look at the facts. Obama has had a severely negative impact on our national debt. The fact is, raise that guys taxes, ^ he doesn't care, he will never feel it. You will. Don't fall to the lies and deception.
Nice try-love how you conveniently leave out 1/4 of Romney's whole plan. What party is the one that lies? What party is the one that always accuses the other party of crap they are guilty of? The democrats!
+Kirk Broadhurst seriously the dumbest comment I have ever seen-wouldn't this make criminals even more active due to their health being so good? As dumb as my argument is, its not as dumb as your naivety.
What even plan obama has it better ..because if romney get in tbeir the whole united states and even to us in tbe Virgin Islands we gonna be crumbling
I think you're completely flawed in your logic. Taxes that are lower cause a greater income to the government. As more people profit the side effect is more taxes. You sound like you a merely regurgitating leftist mantra instead of thinking for yourself. 
This isn't close to the truth. We need to be intellectually honest.  Romney is saying he will cut taxes but remove deductions.  This may actually be a net tax increase not a decrease. We don't know what deductions he will get rid of or how much those deductions are worth in terms of tax income.  Rather than tell the truth you've skewed the facts to your liking.  
The question you should have here is simple.  Why doesn't romney tell us what deductions he's going to get rid of?

I can tell you why, because businesses would be ticked.  They would lose their ability to hide money by buying assets that are deductible. Also no one responds well to tax increases.  Romney is playing aloof so as to not tick people off. 

I personally would love to see all deductions for anyone and everything removed.  I despise that a person that has the joys of home ownership gets a tax break while the poor guy that can't afford a down payment or a home pays more taxes to make up for their deduction.  I can not understand a society that makes a barren woman that was never married pay more because she couldn't have children because another couple who fell in love made a baby.  It makes zero sense.  

Got heavy medical expenses?  Well with the affordable health care act the problem is now on the government as to how much out of pocket you're paying.  You still have income? Why get a deduction for your now less expensive or regulated expenses for medical insurance? Everyone should have a flat rate IMO.  No penalty for being successful nor benefit for failing.  If you fail the government is bailing you out anyway with programs for the poor.  

Lets level the field.

Who is John Galt?
'Politify is an eye-opening tool for evaluating the economic impact of each US presidential candidate's policies by zipcode.'

What a statement.  Sounds like a political ad to me.  Especially as what you state makes Obama look good and Romney look bad.
+Knight Fu You want to argue that it's okay to spend money we don't have simply because the true value of some things can't be ascertained.

That's pie in the sky logic, which in and of itself is illogical. It's based on feelings and emotions. And you're attempting to talk feelings and emotions where things are logical and numerical.

2 will always be equal to 2. You can make 2 dollars be 3 simply because you feel that the value of 2 dollars is really 3 for safety or having i-95 in good condition. In fact, actual value doesn't really change. Its perceived value can change (ie inflation), but perception  doesn't always line up with reality. In the really real world, having 2 dollars means you have 2 dollars and you can' buy something that is 3 dollars with your 2 dollars unless you A) convince someone to sell that 3 dollar item to you for 2 dollars or B) you find a way to get a third dollar.

So again. Spending money we don't have to fix the deficit just doesn't make sense to me. By that logic I could could spend more money on credit cards to reduce my credit card debt, and it just doesn't work that way.

So I argue, instead of raising taxes to bring in more income so the government has more money to spend irresponsibly (we have record debt, which is something we have to pay back somehow), why not keep the government's income level the same and our leaders learn to spend what they have rather than constantly borrowing more money. Thus becoming fiscally responsible by only spending what it has to spend.

You can't borrow money forever regardless if you an individual or a country. Eventually people stop giving you money.
From the link posted above: "Politify is a useful service for determining the likely effect of a candidate’s platform on one’s tax payments and the benefits one receives from the government. But to extrapolate that data into a measure of general financial well-being is to ignore not only the range of (often unintended) economic consequences that federal tax policy and welfare programs produce, but also the litany of federal policies that are neither taxation schemes nor spending programs, but still affect Americans’ wallets every day."
Can we get a version of this for the UK, highlighting the conservatives £16bn additional savings they need to make (mostly from welfare and health) whilst dropping the highest tax rates?

We've have Romney style government here in the UK, public school boys, full of entitlement, which is why top earners are doing better than ever whilst food-banks have become the main source of low income families food, the deficit is increasing and were back in recession. No idea how the common man lives so just rapes the system to keep their own type in money.
I recently heard that 3 seats in the supreme court are at stake.
And once again I hear negative things about this Romney dude. Everytime I say something bad about him, someone comes to his defense. Fuck that shit! I don't even know this asswipe and all I've heard is the same thing. His policies will put us in some serious shit. How the hell did he even get this far? Who are these people supporting him besides his rich buddies? Basturds.
+Michael Koby No, I am arguing that we should spend money on things that are essential to the function of the society even if the true value of those things cannot be accurately assessed. Education is one such thing: people should and do borrow money to learn so they potentially could get a better job through education. Many fortune 500 companies regularly spend money on R&D, free services to the community (sometimes on borrowed money) with the goal of potentially coming up with new products, having a more loyal user base, or simply being altruistic. Those services are not free, and their pay-off certainly cannot be accurately measured. You might argue that it is not reasonable for a company to provide such services, but the investors disagree.

On the other hand, leveraging on expected future returns to increase present-day pay-off is the very essence of investment. It is an over-simplification to say that this is "pie in the sky" logic because if you increase your rate of return above the interest, not only is it a good idea for you borrow, but it is advisable that you do, because everyone (you, me, society) benefits.

You might argue that the deficit will only increase, especially since there is no foreseeable way to decrease budget spending without cuts. Sure, I agree with you. At some point,  a large deficit will become a big problem. However, there are still the questions: when should we make the cut? and what should be cut?

My reply is: not in the next 4 quarters, because we are in an economic recovery and decreased spending (public or private) during this period is going to negatively impact at least the medium run economic performance. We should not cut programs that provide welfare to injured veterans, elderly, disabled, and temporary unemployed.
Jeez - it's going to be hard to say goodbye to that $8000 in 2015...
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