New Chart Book Graphically Illustrates the Federal Financial Condition

Apr 27, 2011, 12:12 ET from The Heritage Foundation

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just how bad is the financial State of the Nation? The answer—in clear, bold graphics—can be found in a special, preview edition of The Heritage Foundation's 2011 Budget Chart Book.

Say you're wondering how our debt situation stacks up against other nations'. The chart book shows our debt load is on track to precipitate a major economic crisis: publicly held U.S. debt (as a percentage of GDP) surpassed U.K. levels more than a year ago and is on pace to overtake Portugal (already an economic basket case) in less than four years.

The graphic is one of five all-new graphics in this special edition chart book, which also includes 19 more familiar charts up-dated since last year's publication.

Heritage will issue a more extensive budget chart book—containing 40 incisive graphics—in mid-June. But Alison Fraser, director of Heritage's Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, said the think tank decided to issue a "preview" edition now "to help inform the vital national conversation on federal spending—as it pertains to both budgets and the debt ceiling—that is taking place right now."

This new chart book not only depicts the consequences of not addressing America's debt problem, it also suggests how this problem must be remedied. For example, another chart shows just how much entitlement spending dwarfs so-called discretionary spending. "A picture is worth a thousand words," Fraser said, "and this chart makes a compelling case for why entitlement reform is absolutely essential if this nation is to get its fiscal house in order."

The new Chart Book allows visitors to download, post, and email any of its 24 information graphics. It also provides links to relevant Heritage research and tools for bookmarking, embedding and information sharing through Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds.

The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported public policy research institute, with more than 710,000 individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 255 and an annual expense budget of $75.3 million.

SOURCE The Heritage Foundation