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“We Can’t Afford That!”

Thursday June 19th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 4:40am PDT   •  

The 2014 election season is underway, where the growth of the national debt driven by irresponsible spending has made a surprise appearance in an ad attacking an incumbent politician. The Hill reports:

Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit advocacy group with ties to billionaire donors Charles and David Koch that’s geared toward young adults, is attacking Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) on economic issues in its second ad this cycle.

The ad, shared first with The Hill, shows a young woman pushing a Landrieu look-a-like around a grocery store in a shopping cart. The politician greedily grabs items off the shelves, munching cookies and hoarding goods as the young woman admonishes, “I told you, we can’t afford that!”
“Washington politicians, like Sen. Mary Landrieu, have a spending problem. They’re wasting money they don’t have, and sticking our generation with the bill,” a narrator says in the ad.

When a cashier finally rings up all of the groceries, the sum comes out to $800,000 — an 18-year-old’s share of the national debt, per a Budget Committee analysis — and the Landrieu stand-in dismisses it: “She’s got it.”

Here’s the ad:

We thought it might be fun to check the $800,000 figure against the results one might get from using the MyGovCost calculator. Here, we assumed an average wage for a working 18-year old American with just a high school education of $26,000 and found that for such an individual, their expected share of federal government spending over their lifetime would be $1.25 million, while their share of taxes would be $600,000. The difference is $650,000, which would represent their share of the national debt from the federal government spending far more than it can collect.

For an 18-year old to have a lifetime share of $800,000 of the national debt, they would need to have an annual income of roughly $33,000.

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June 2014