What’s $2.8 Trillion Between Friends? Can We Try to Make These Numbers Meaningful?18th November 2018
Jeff Stein’s Wonkblog piece told Post readers the good news that the vast majority of Senator Kamala Harris’ proposed $2.8 trillion tax cut would go to the non-rich, according to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center. What the piece did not do is give readers any sense of how much money is involved.
I will go out on a limb here and suggest that the vast majority of Post readers really don’t have much idea of how much money $2.8 trillion is over the decade from 2019 to 2028. It is not that difficult to give readers some context. For example, the piece could have told readers that is a bit less than 1.2 percent of the projected $255.4 trillion in GDP projected for this period. Or, it could have indicated that it is 6.3 percent of the projected $44.2 trillion in total federal spending over the decade.
There are other, and possibly better, comparisons that could have been used, but it would be worth trying to use some reference point for the 99 plus percent of readers who don’t have their head buried in budget projections.
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