Our latest whiteboard animation collaboration is helping our fellow countrymen get a clearer picture of the possible ramifications of diving over the fiscal cliff. The collaboration is featured on Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Live and combines Truscribe whiteboard animation with scenic video and expert interviews. It’s narrated and fronted by David Wessel.
The video, which is just longer than seven minutes, explains everything you ever wanted to know about the fiscal cliff, but were afraid to ask. Wessel explains, “Last August, President Obama and Congress did something really unusual: They built a fiscal cliff…and they put the U.S. economy on course to go over this cliff at the end of the year unless they come up with some alternative way to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade.”
He continues, “What would it take for us to step away from the cliff?…Let me give you five facts about the Federal Budget, which is pretty much all you need to know.”
That’s where Truscribe comes in. Our illustrator breaks down the otherwise complicated intricacies of the Federal Budget into easy to understand imagery. Combined with Wessel’s narration, video message retention jumps to 65 percent, almost 2x more effective than video alone and 6x more effective than audio alone.
The five facts illustrated in the video are:
- In 2011, 63 percent of all Federal spending went out the door without any vote of Congress to pay for past promises like social security benefits, Medicare benefits for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor, farm subsidies and interest on the Federal debt.
- One out of every four dollars spent today goes toward healthcare.
- Closing down Federal agencies can save some money, but not nearly enough to solve the problem. Wessel used an example: More than four million people work for the government, but firing every one of them (from secret service to soldiers in Afghanistan) would not have reduced the deficit by even one-third.
- The U.S. spent $700 billion on defense in 2011, which is one out of every five dollars the government spent.
- The share of income most American families pay has been falling for more than 30 years.