This graph is taken directly from Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal. The point Ryan is trying to make with this graph is that entitlement spending is outpacing revenues, but there are several problems with the claim and with this graph in particular.
1 - It assumes revenues cannot go up - which is obviously untrue. For example: we could merely raise taxes on the wealthy, or close corporate loopholes.
2 - It falsely puts Social Security into the equation. Social Security is not an entitlement program. It is a self-sustaining separate program which has been heavily borrowed against and actually represents a large part of the money owed by the national debt.
3 - It presupposes that there will be no changes made to medicare for the next 70 years, but neither side is suggesting making no changes to medicare.
4 - According to the CBO, Medicaid costs will actually be reduced over their previous estimates by $84 billion over the next ten years.
5 - None of the factors in this graph entitled “What Drives Our Debt” are actually among the major contributors to the debt. The wars and the Bush era tax cuts are the worst offenders.