The Deluxe, Do-It-Yourself Budget Deficit Starter Kit

As the debt ceiling debate rages on in Washington, D.C., get ready for your next foray in talk radio with these 15 handy talking points:

  1. Current U.S. deficit: $14.5 trillion.
  2. According to figures from the Federal Reserve figures, the total drop in U.S. household wealth that occurred between the spring of 2007 and the first quarter of 2009: $16.4 trillion.
  3. Total amount of U.S. debt that falls due from August 2-31: $306.7 billion.
  4. Total expected cash flow coming into the U.S. Treasury during the same period: $172.4 billion.
  5. Total amount of the bills in August for which there will be no money to pay them without further borrowing: $134.3 billion.
  6. Range of losses that investors might suffer if prices for existing Treasury bonds fall by 6 percent, as predicted in a report by Standard & Poor’s: $50 to $100 billion.
  7. Percentage of Americans who say it is more important to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are than to fix the deficit: 60 percent.
  8. Percentage of Republicans with incomes of $30,000 or less who say it is more important to maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are: 62 percent.
  9. Under Ryan budget plan, the yearly increase in the costs of Medicare Insurance costs for those now 55, when it comes time for them to retire: $6,400.
  10. Percentage of those ages 50 or more who strongly oppose Ryan plan: 42 percent.
  11. Percentage of those ages 50 or more who strongly favor Ryan Plan: 19 percent.
  12. The percentage of Americans who say that they favor a budget plan that includes a combination of spending cuts and tax increases: ABC poll, 62 percent; CNN poll, 64 percent; CBS poll, 66 percent; Quinnipiac poll: 67 percent.
  13. Total household net worth of the poorest 60 percent of all U.S. households: $1.22 trillion.
  14. The total net worth of the nation’s 400 wealthiest Americans: $1.27 trillion.
  15. Percent of Americans who disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling the current negotiations on the debt ceiling: 71 percent.