by John Rubino
It’s one thing to hear someone claim that the world is spinning out of control. But it’s a lot more impactful to see the underlying trends laid out visually.
With that in mind, welcome to a new weekly series that highlights the charts, tables, and images of our descent into financial madness.
The small print on this first chart is a bit hard to read, but the story is clear: Government spending as a portion of GDP spiked during previous existential crises like the Civil War and World Wars I and II. But this year it rose to a level that exceeds all but one of those past calamities.
In other words, the US government is spending money like our survival is at stake, only this time the enemy is not a foreign army. It’s a disease and, crucially, our response to it. Given the number of states, cities, and industries that have been bankrupted by the lockdown, 2021 is likely to see an even bigger spike in fiscal stimulus.