Drawing Board: Sleep Deficit Disorder

This is one of those "simple ideas" that turns out to be more difficult than I originally thought. The main issue is: how much information is enough / too much to get the point across? I want to make it clear that lots of deficit issues occurred during the Bush years and no one said anything.

I feel like I need to list some of the more egregious expenditures in order to make the point. But do I need a timeline? I wanted to show the rising deficit as a graph in the background, but it may be too confusing. Paul suggested colors, which I experimented with as seen below. I also thought about losing the graph and just coloring the floating words.

Ultimately I went with what you see in the actual cartoon post. But I'm amazed at how difficult such a simple idea is to get across simply.