Is 17 billion significant?

May 8, 2009

In remarks on his administration’s proposed $17 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget this morning, President Obama was somewhat on the defensive against charges that his cuts don’t amount to much considering that next year’s total budget amounts to $3.4 trillion.

“It is important, though, for all of you, as you’re writing up these stories, to recognize that $17 billion taken out of our discretionary, non-defense budget, as well as portions of our defense budget, are significant,” he said. “They mean something.”

So lets take a look.

$17 Billion to scale

To see full version click on the chart.

Each unit on the bar graph above represents 1 BILLION DOLLARS.  (Click to see full images and all the way over to 3.4 Trillion)  I think  this demonstrates how significant $17 Billion is in comparison to only $3.4 Trillion of the entire budget.

Now our ignorant one wants the press to use a chart that looks like this.  (Use a logarithmic scale to skew how it appears).

The Ignorant version

The Ignorant version