When all else fails, use Big Mac charts.
That’s what Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen did in Congress yesterday afternoon, while debating a bill that would require the Congressional Budget Office to stop assuming annual increases in discretionary spending due to inflation, reports the Washington Post.
Van Hollen was arguing against the bill—stating that the CBO must continue to factor-in inflation—when HE PULLED OUT A BIG MAC INFLATION CHART.
In the first chart he pulled out (pictured above) Van Hollen explained that, due to inflation, the price of a Big Mac has increased from $2.71 in 2004 to $4.62 in 2014. He said, “That’s not Washington math, it’s reality based math.” Zing!
The second Big Mac chart he whipped out showed how different the cost of goods and services are now than they were in 2004.
The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery writes, “Without including inflation, the CBO budget would, over time, become more and more detached from reality, Van Hollen argued.”
The third burger chart revealed that, for $2.71 today, you just don’t get as big a hamburger as you did in 2004. Van Hollen’s point was the government would have to cut back on the number of services it could provide because of inflation.
Then Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall, who was arguing in favor of the bill, came back with the greatest McDonald’s metaphor in the history of Congress:
“Federal government math assumes that if you got to buy a Big Mac 10 years ago, you’re still buying a Big Mac today. I just wonder if that’s true. I’ve switched to the value menu. I get the McDouble from time to time for $.99. The Spicy McChicken is now a part of what I do. I have to get into my wallet and justify the expense and when the prices double, sometimes we as Americans have to substitute.”
Takeaway: Politics are better with burgers. Huge round of applause for Van Hollen and Woodall.
Watch the full debate below (Big Mac charts start coming out at 0:42).
[via Washington Post]