A good political cartoonist captures an argument or a concept in a single image, clearly and concisely.  A great political cartoonist takes the familiar and timely and teaches a completely different lesson with it.  One of my favorite cartoonists, the Washington Examiner’s Nate Beeler, demonstrates today why he’s one of the upper echelon in his field with “Political Jeopardy“:

Note the negative totals for both Obama and the Republicans, making the point that both have run up deficits while controlling Washington — although Obama has managed to generate his in record time.

It doesn’t take a genius to discover where most of the deficit originates.  The FY2011 budget proposal from the White House contains $1.3 trillion in discretionary spending (including defense), $2.5 trillion in mandatory spending (entitlements and interest payments), and a $1.6 trillion deficit.  Even someone manning an abacus could tell you that cutting discretionary spending — especially “non-defense discretionary spending,” which amounts to around $450 billion — won’t produce a balanced budget.  Entitlements and other mandatory spending take two-thirds of the budget now and begin to climb to three-quarters in just a few years.

Be sure to check out Nate’s blog for more of his excellent work, featured at the indispensable Examiner.