Precious Metals Forum

Go Back   Precious Metals Forum > Precious Metals and Economic News > Fiat Ponzi

Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By vox

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
vox
Predaceous stink bug
 
vox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 126
Liked: 65 times
Blink! U.S. Debt Just Grew by $11 Trillion

Outstanding article on Bloomberg yesterday.

Full text follows:

Quote :
By Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns Aug 8, 2012 5:30 PM CT

Blink! U.S. Debt Just Grew by $11 Trillion

Republicans and Democrats spent last summer battling how best to save $2.1 trillion over the next decade. They are spending this summer battling how best to not save $2.1 trillion over the next decade.

In the course of that year, the U.S. government’s fiscal gap -- the true measure of the nation’sindebtedness -- rose by $11 trillion.

The fiscal gap is the present value difference between projected future spending and revenue. It captures all government liabilities, whether they are official obligations to service Treasury bonds or unofficial commitments, such as paying for food stamps or buying drones.

Some question whether “official” and “unofficial” spending commitments can be added together. But calling particular obligations “official” doesn’t make them economically more important. Indeed, the government would sooner renege on Chinese holding U.S. Treasuries than on Americans collecting Social Security, especially because the U.S. can print money and service its bonds with watered-down dollars.
For its part, economic theory sees through labels and views a country’s official debt for what it is -- a linguistic construct devoid of real economic content. In contrast, the fiscal gap is theoretically well-defined and invariant to the choice of labels. Each labeling choice changes the mix of obligations between official and unofficial, but leaves the total unchanged.

Dangerous Growth
The U.S. fiscal gap, calculated (by us) using the Congressional Budget Office’s realistic long-term budget forecast -- the Alternative Fiscal Scenario -- is now $222 trillion. Last year, it was $211 trillion. The $11 trillion difference -- this year’s true federal deficit -- is 10 times larger than the official deficit and roughly as large as the entire stock of official debt in public hands.

This fantastic and dangerous growth in the fiscal gap is not new. In 2003 and 2004, the economists Alan Auerbach and William Gale extended the CBO’s short-term forecast and measured fiscal gaps of $60 trillion and $86 trillion, respectively. In 2007, the first year the CBO produced the Alternative Fiscal Scenario, the gap, by our reckoning, stood at $175 trillion. By 2009, when the CBO began reporting the AFS annually, the gap was $184 trillion. In 2010, it was $202 trillion, followed by $211 trillion in 2011 and $222 trillion in 2012.

Part of the fiscal gap’s growth reflects changes in policy, such as the Bush and Obama tax cuts, the introduction of Medicare Part D, and the expansion of defense spending. Part reflects “natural” growth of existing programs, including growth in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. And part reflects the demographic time bomb U.S. politicians are blithely ignoring.

When fully retired, 78 million baby boomers will collect, on average, more than 85 percent of per-capita gross domestic product ($40,000 in today’s dollars) in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Each passing year brings these outlays one year closer, which raises their present value.

Governments, like households, can’t indefinitely spend beyond their means. They have to satisfy what economists call their “intertemporal budget constraint.” The fiscal gap simply measures the extent to which this constraint is violated and tells us what is needed to balance the government’s intertemporal budget.

The answer for the U.S. isn’t pretty. Closing the gap using taxes requires an immediate and permanent 64 percent increase in all federal taxes. Alternatively, the U.S. needs to cut, immediately and permanently, all federal purchases and transfer payments, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, by 40 percent. Or it can mix these terrible fiscal medicines with honey, namely radical fiscal reforms that make the economy much fairer and far stronger. What the government can’t do is pay its bills by spending more and taxing less. America’s children, whose futures are being rapidly destroyed, are smart enough to tell us this.
PMBug likes this.
vox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
Golden Cockroach
 
PMBug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In Scrooge McDuck's vault
Posts: 7,065
Liked: 2454 times
Looks like I need to stop blinking.
__________________
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu

Important stuff: PMBug 101 * Forum Guidelines * Support PMBug
PMBug is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
$291 Trillion Dollars! /Dr. Evil PMBug Fiat Ponzi 7 04-19-2012 07:47 AM
Italian mafia caught with $ 6 TRILLION in fake US treasuries [no joke!] swissaustrian Fiat Ponzi 9 02-19-2012 11:35 AM
Debt limit - a guide to american federal debt made easy Unobtanium Fiat Ponzi 8 02-17-2012 08:22 AM
Congressional Budget Office reports another $1 trillion deficit Read more: http://www.politico.com/ vox Fiat Ponzi 5 02-01-2012 08:51 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® from Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Content of PMBug.com copyright © 2011 - 2019 Measuring Up. All Rights Reserved.