Tag Archives: Government spending

1,015,736,491,184 reasons to have a Plan B, by Simon Black

The US economy and financial markets had a great fiscal year 2019 and still the government went over $1 trillion deeper in the hole. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Precisely one year ago today, the US federal government opened Fiscal Year 2019 with a total debt level of $21.6 trillion:

Specifically, the US federal debt on October 1st last year was $21,606,948,183,180.23

Today is the start of the government’s 2020 Fiscal Year. And the total debt is now $22,622,684,674,364.43

That means they accumulated more than $1 TRILLION in new debt over the course of the 2019 Fiscal Year.

Think about that for a moment:

FY2019 was, literally, the BEST year EVER measured by short-term US financial performance. The stock market reached an all-time high. Real estate prices reached an all-time high.

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Government Spending Doesn’t Create Economic Growth, by Frank Shostak

The key question: where does government get the money that it spends to support economic growth. From Frank Shostak at mises.org:

According to many commentators, outlays by government play an important role in the economic growth. In particular, when an economy falls into a slower economic growth phase the increase in government outlays could provide the necessary boost to revive the economy so it is held.

The proponents for strong government outlays when an economy displays weakness hold that the stronger outlays by the government will strengthen the spending flow and this in turn will strengthen the economy.

In this way of thinking, spending by one individual becomes part of the earnings of another individual, and spending by another individual becomes part of the first individual’s earnings.

So if for some reason people have become less confident about the future and have decided to reduce their spending this is going to weaken the flow of spending. Once an individual spends less, this worsens the situation of some other individual, who in turn also cuts his spending.

Following this logic, in order to prevent an emerging slowdown in the economy’s growth rate from getting out of hand, the government should step in and lift its outlays thereby filling the shortfall in the private sector spending.

Once the flow of spending is re-established, things are back to normal, so it is held, and sound economic growth is re-established.

The view that an increase in government outlays can contribute to economic growth gives the impression that the government has at its disposal a stock of real savings that employed in emergency.

Once a recessionary threat alleviated, the government may reduce its support by cutting the supply of real savings to the economy. All this implies that the government somehow can generate real wealth and employ it when it sees necessary.

Given that, the government is not a wealth generator, whenever it raises the pace of its outlays it has to lift the pace of the wealth diversion from the wealth-generating private sector.

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Debt and Deficits: They’re Unsustainable, by Bob Luddy

There’s a certainty to increasing debt and compounding interest: eventually they must end. Either the debt is repaid or repudiated. From Bob Luddy at spectator.org:

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The National Debt Is Coming Due, Just Like We Told You, by Nick Gillespie

The national debt is entering the critical phase, also known as the beyond the point of no return. From Nick Gillespie at reason.com:

What happens when you borrow the equivalent of your annual income and those low, low teaser rates start to increase? Congratulations, America, you’re about to find out.

The Wall Street Journal reports some non-shocking, non-surprising news:

Wisconsinart, Dreamstime.comWisconsinart, Dreamstime.comIn 2017, interest costs on federal debt of $263 billion accounted for 6.6% of all government spending and 1.4% of gross domestic product, well below averages of the previous 50 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates interest spending will rise to $915 billion by 2028, or 13% of all outlays and 3.1% of gross domestic product….

It will spend more on interest than it spends on Medicaid in 2020; more in 2023 than it spends on national defense; and more in 2025 than it spends on all nondefense discretionary programs combined, from funding for national parks to scientific research, to health care and education, to the court system and infrastructure, according to the CBO.

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America’s Greatest Crisis Upon Us…Debt-to-GDP Makes It Clear, by Chris Hamilton

The current trajectory of US government spending and debt growth is unsustainable. From Chris Hamiton at economica.blogspot.com:

America in the midst of the greatest crisis in its 242 years of existence.  I say this based upon the US federal debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio.  In the history of the US, at the onset of every war or crisis, a period of federal deficit spending ensued (red bars in graph below) to overcome the challenge but at the “challenges” end, a period of federal austerity ensued.  Until now.  No doubt the current financial crisis ended by 2013 (based on employment, asset values, etc.) but federal spending continues to significantly outpace tax revenues…resulting in a continually rising debt to GDP ratio.  We are well past the point where we have typically began repairing the nation’s balance sheet and maintaining the credibility of the currency.  However, all indications from the CBO and current administration make it clear that debt to GDP will continue to rise.  If the American economy were as strong as claimed, this is the time that federal deficit spending would cease alongside the Fed’s interest rate hikes.  Instead, surging deficit spending is taking place alongside interest rate hikes, another first for America.

The chart below takes America from 1790 to present.  From 1776 to 2001, every period of deficit spending was followed by a period of “austerity” where-upon federal spending was constrained and economic activity flourished, repairing the damage done to the debt to GDP ratio and the credibility of the US currency.  But since 2001, according to debt to GDP, the US has been in the longest ongoing crisis in the nation’s history.

But what is this crisis?  The chart points out the debt to GDP surges in order to resolve the Revolutionary war, the Civil War, WWI, and WWII. But the debt to GDP surges since 1980 seem less clear cut.  But simply put, America (and the world) grew up and matured, but the central banks and federal government could not accept this change.  Instead, the CB’s and Federal government wanted perpetual youth…growth without end.  The chart below shows the debt to GDP ratio but this time against the decelerating growth of the total US population as a percentage (black line) but also against the faster decelerating growth of the 0-65yr/old population (yellow line).

To continue reading: America’s Greatest Crisis Upon Us…Debt-to-GDP Makes It Clear

The US Just Borrowed $488 Billion In One Quarter, The Most Since The Financial Crisis, by Tyler Durden

This borrowing comes as the economy is supposedly booming. Where does it go during a recession? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

For months, analysts have been warning that the US is set to borrow an unprecedented – for a non-recessionary period – amount of money…

and on Monday afternoon this was confirmed, when the US Treasury announced that in the quarter ended March 31 (the fiscal year’s second), the US borrowed $47BN more than its had anticipated three months ago, or $488BN to be precise.

This was the single biggest quarterly amount of debt sold by the US Treasury since the record $569BN in debt borrowed in Q4 2008 when the financial system nearly collapsed, and Treasury had no choice but to raise a gargantuan amount of money during the biggest financial crisis in modern US history.

What makes the just passed quarter different, however, is that there was no crisis, not even a recession. In fact, in the first quarter US GDP rose by 2.3% according to the BEA amid what, until recently, the “experts” said was a global coordinated recovery.

In retrospect, it appears the “recovery” was only around long enough for the US and/or China to raise near record amounts of debt.

As a result of the near-record borrowing spree, the US ended the quarter with $290BN in cash, more than the $210BN budgeted.

What is scary is how fast the US is raking up the debt: as a reminder, just a few weeks ago we reported that in the first six months of the fiscal year, the US budget deficit rose to $600 billion as spending increased at three times the pace of revenue growth in the October-to-March period. At that run-rate, the US deficit will soar to $1.2 trillion for fiscal 2018, far above the $804BN projected budget gap and resulting in an even greater amount of debt borrowed.

Commenting on the debt splurge, the Treasury said tax changes are “poised to underpin near-term consumption and investment” and “the stage is set for a pick-up in growth over the near term.”

They better, because if all we have to show for nearly a half a trillion in debt in one quarter is 2.3% GDP, then the US is in very serious trouble.

To continue reading: The US Just Borrowed $488 Billion In One Quarter, The Most Since The Financial Crisis

If This Is “Representation” Give Me Rebellion, by Justin O. Smith

The $1.3 Trillion spending bill President Trump just signed is both a financial and political travesty. From Justin O. Smith at theburningplatform.com:

As I listen to President Trump on his action of signing the current Omnibus bill, I am left with no other conclusion than he is really not as strong a leader as many seem to believe him to be. He signed this terrible $1.3 trillion bill for all the wrong reasons and lamented its exclusion of terrible other items, like DACA, but nowhere did he castigate these do-nothing “leaders” for adding a bad gun control act called “NICS”; this Omnibus bill is all smoke and mirrors and the 33 miles of added funding for border fencing is just that – a fence [barely], not a wall.

This bill continues to fund Planned Parenthood too. — Oh — And Sanctuary Cities Too. Really? What happened to all Trump’s talk about “defunding” sanctuary cities?

And how many more times are we going to provide border wall funding only to see a lesser plan offered and implemented for less money and the appropriated money simply disappear? Into someone’s pockets? Especially now that we see this bill provides funding to secure the borders of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Trump should have refused to sign this bill and let the chips fall where they may, but he’s terrible when it comes to policy on funding government and many other items. If Trump had not signed the bill, any government shutdown would not have stopped the military from functioning. Since the military is considered an “essential” function, i.e. halting its operations could result in fatalities or impede national security, it will continue to operate regardless of whether or not the government shuts down; military spending would have been addressed soon enough, once Congress returned with a cleaner bill.

Whose side is the GOP really on and when are they going to start keeping their promises? This is not REPRESENTATION. THIS Is A PERPETUAL CON GAME BEING RUN ON THE U.S. TAXPAYER AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

To continue reading: If This Is “Representation” Give Me Rebellion