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Well, this might have somthing to do with taxes as well as spending. According to OECD, in 2009, only two nations in the oecd had lower tax rates than the US, Mexico and Chile, neither of them on this chart. According to Heritage Foundation, in 2012, the only ones in OECD with lower tax rates were Chile and South Korea (the latter just barely, 26.8 to 26.9%), with South Korea also not on this chart. Maybe the problem is not overwhelming government spending in the US, at least not compared to other OECD nations.

According to both the Heritage Foundation and the OECD, the US has the lowest tax rate of any nation on that graph. According to Heritage as of 2012, Chile and South Korea (not on the graph) were OECD nations with a lower tax rate than the US, while according to the OECD as of 2009 the two were Chile and Mexico.

Now, one may blame "Keynesianism" all one wants, but for rougly the first half of the last 60 years, the debt/GDP ratio more or less declined, with the occasional upward blip, whereas since then it has mostly increased, with a downward period in the mid-to-late 90s. I must note that prior to the most recent recession and current president, most of the increase in the debt/GDP ratio was associated with Keynesians who denied being Keynesians who cut taxes while not cutting spending, if that is what Keynesianism is. But, I would also remind that there was long a Keynesian tradition that said, "deficits in recession, surpluses in booms."

What Barkley said times ten.

It's also important to keep in mind what some of the major debt run-ups have been and really ask whether Keynesianism even speaks to them. A big one has been national security concerns (real or perceived). Of relevance to this graph is entitlement spending.

Neither has much to do with Keynesianism. In practice Keynesians have been on all sides of each question. Both would pose fiscal concerns in the complete absence of Keynesianism. Neither in words/inentions or in actions/consequences has Keynesianism exacerbated the political economy concerns around national security spending and entitlements as far as I can tell.

I prefer just to not use "Keynesian" to talk about this stuff - but if you insist on it I think we need to recognize that now the word has very little import for Keynesianism as most people understand it.

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