Home » Posts tagged 'congressional budget office'

Tag Archives: congressional budget office

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Book Review: The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy

In January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Budget and Economic outlook for 2020 to 2030. It is horrific reading. Federal budget deficits are projected to rise from $1.0 trillion this year to $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years.

Federal debt will rise to 98% of GDP by 2030, “its highest percentage since 1946,” the CBO says. “By 2050, debt would be 180% of GDP—far higher than it has ever been.” And that was before Covid-19 hit. Now those numbers will be much, much worse.

On top of this, politicians have been announcing grand schemes for further spending: $47 billion on free college tuition, $1 trillion for new infrastructure, $1.4 trillion to write off student loan debt, at least $7 trillion on the Green New Deal and $32 trillion on Medicare for All. By one estimate, these new proposals total an estimated $42.5 trillion over the next decade.

Adding these new spending proposals to the flood of red ink the CBO projects just from following the current path, the federal government is set to face a serious fiscal crisis in the not-too-distant future.

KEEP PRINTING

Or, perhaps not. There is an idea afoot in economics that, as Bernie Sanders’ former economic advisor Stephanie Kelton argues in her new book The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, could revolutionize the field in the same way that Copernicus did to astronomy by showing that the earth orbited the sun.

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) states that “in almost all instances federal deficits are good for the economy. They are necessary.” That being so, we don’t have to worry about this coming deluge of red ink, indeed:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Opinion: 10 alarming things about the economy that politicians won’t tell you

Opinion: 10 alarming things about the economy that politicians won’t tell you

The Congressional Budget Office reveals shocking forecasts for immigration, debt and spending for the next 30 years

The national debt is expected to skyrocket to an unprecedented 144% of gross domestic product by 2049, or twice the level today.

How do you know a politician is lying to you? Simple: His lips are moving. 

Yes, it’s an old one — but none the worse for that.

The 2020 election season is getting into full swing. Politicians on all sides are ramping up their rhetoric, including their promises, forecasts and accusations.

But it’s fascinating what you can find out if you just read official documents. Especially some of the fine print.

And here are 10 remarkable forecasts and assumptions that Washington is making and isn’t telling you. These are all contained in the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent Long-Term Budget Outlook, the cornerstone document of government financial and economic planning.

1. We’re going to have a lot more immigrants. A lot. They’re expecting a net 22.5 million more immigrants to come to the U.S. over the next 20 years. By 2049, they’re expecting immigration to account for a stunning 87% of annual population growth.

2. We’re going to have a lot more illegal immigrants. Despite the current bluster and the scandals at the border, the CBO expects we’ll have 2.4 million more illegal immigrants (or “undocumented residents,” or whatever) in 20 years’ time than we have today. 

3. We’re going to be up to our eyeballs in debt. The national debt is expected to skyrocket to an “unprecedented” 144% of gross domestic product by 2049, or twice the level today. That would put the debt just under $100 trillion. The figure today: Around $18 trillion. As recently as 2000: $4 trillion. Oh, and this isn’t even the worst-case scenario: The national debt could exceed 200% of GDP in 30 years’ time, the CBO acknowledges.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Financial Apocalypse: The Market Faces A $12 Trillion Reckoning

The Financial Apocalypse: The Market Faces A $12 Trillion Reckoning

Global markets are now facing a $12 trillion dollar reckoning.  The problem is staring the financial apocalypse right in the face and has the potential to accelerate the coming stock market crash.

recent report from the Congressional Budget Office has warned that deficits will total $11.6 trillion, or 4.4% of gross domestic product between 2020 and 2029. That’s far higher than the historical average of 2.9% over the past 50 years, according to data from INTL FCStone. This reckoning will come when no one wants to buy that debt, and that time is quickly approaching.

According to Business Insider, a deficit is only as ominous as the market’s inability to buy the excess debt that’s issued along the way. INTL FCStone macro strategist Vincent Deluard has serious concerns about that. So far, foreign central banks, and the U.S.’ central bank, The Federal Reserve. Central banks have begun selling debt though, not taking on more. The Fed has slashed Treasury holdings by $260 billion since October 2017, their foreign counterparts have sold almost $1 trillion over the past four years. Deluard says that those debts will terrifyingly be picked up by retail investors and pension funds.

But retail investors are running out of cash to by debt and pensions could implode at any time. “If retail investors finance budget deficits, the money will have to come from existing cash savings or equity holdings,” Deluard said in a recent client note. “Reversing to the long-term average stock allocation would free about $4 trillion in retail savings to go into the Treasury market.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fitch Threatens To Cut US Credit Rating As Debt-Ceiling Battle Looms

In what has become a perennial exercise before every debt-ceiling showdown since at least Obama’s first term (when S&P did the unthinkable and cut the US’s coveted AAA credit rating, exposing itself to extensive abuse by Tim Geithner), ratings agencies are starting to beat the credit-rating downgrade drum, with Fitch getting a jump on the competition Wednesday when its head of sovereign ratings warned that an enduring shutdown battle could negatively impact the negotiations over the debt ceiling, which could prompt Fitch to join S&P in eliminating its AAA rating for the US.

During an interview with CNBC and a separate appearance in London (where his comments were recorded by Reuters), Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings James McCormack warned of a possible cut to its AAA rating for the U.S. sovereign should the shutdown continue to March, noting that the shutdown and debt ceiling battle are adding to anxieties triggered by President Trump’s tax cuts and spending hikes, which have blown out the budget deficit and led to a “meaningful fiscal deterioration.”

“I think people are looking at the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) numbers. If people take the time to look at that you can see debt levels moving higher, you can see the interest burden in the U.S. government moving decidedly higher over the next decade,” James McCormack, Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Wednesday.

There needs to be some kind of fiscal adjustment to offset that or the deficit itself moves higher and you’re essentially borrowing money to pay interest on the debt. So there is a meaningful fiscal deterioration there, going on the United States.”

Watch his interview with CNBC below:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Disaster Awaits: National Debt Will Be 6 Times The Size Of The Economy

Disaster Awaits: National Debt Will Be 6 Times The Size Of The Economy

Even without changes to the current spending policy, the government’s spending is on an unsustainable path. By the time a child born in 2018 reaches retirement age, the United States national debt will be six times the size of the economy according to an analysis released this week.

Without making any changes to current policy (in other words, even without the glut of new entitlement spending proposed by some of Bernie Sanders’ acolytes) that’s the trajectory for the national debt over the rest of the 21st century, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as reported by Reason. It’s an outlook that the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), in an analysis released this week, calls “frightening and almost certainly unsustainable.”

Under current law—which assumes, among other things, that last year’s tax cuts will expire in 2025 and not be extended—the national debt will double from 78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year to 160 percent of GDP by 2050. It would hit 360 percent of GDP, and still be climbing, by the end of the CBO’s 75-year projection window in 2093. In the so-called “alternative fiscal scenario,” which assumes current policies (such those tax cuts) are kept in place, the debt would hit 225 percent of GDP by 2050 and more than 600 percent of GDP by 2093. -Reason

The CBO’s 75-year budget forecast (its longest of long-term projections) makes it clear that the current budgetary course must change dramatically.  The United States simply cannot afford the size of government it has now, let alone the size of government demanded by socialists.  The spending must be cut, there’s no other way around it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Soaring Deficits and Interest Costs Leave the U.S. Looking Very Fragile

Soaring Deficits and Interest Costs Leave the U.S. Looking Very Fragile

If you take a step back and look at the macro picture of the U.S. economy – it resembles a huge, upside-down, glass pyramid.

Constantly teetering back and forth – struggling with everything it has to keep from collapsing.

And so far – it’s done a good job maintaining its balance. But nonetheless, it’s extremely fragile. And gets more so as each day passes by.

All it needs is a slight push in the any direction and down it goes – shattering into pieces. . .

It’s not hard to see that the ever-growing U.S. deficits – along with the soaring interest costs on the National debt – are going to be the focal point of a worldwide crisis.

Especially over the next few years. . .

To start – the U.S. deficit almost eclipsed $800 billion for the entire fiscal year (which ended September 2018) – a 17% year-over-year increase.

And it’s the largest deficit the U.S. has had in six years.

“Hold up – isn’t the economy doing well? Why’s the deficit soaring?”

See – That’s the problem.

The U.S. is borrowing at levels not seen since the direct aftermath of 2008. When the economy was in shambles.

As usual – government spending greatly outpaced revenue.

U.S. Treasury ‘outlays’ (spending) increased $127 billion compared to government ‘receipts’ (income) of only $14 billion.

That’s a $113 billion more than last year’s deficit.

The main causes for the increased deficit was because of Trump’s Tax Cuts (which brought in less federal revenue). And from soaring spending – which came from Defense/Military, as well as Medicaid, Social Security, and Disaster Relief.

It doesn’t look good – does it. But here’s the worst part – things are only going to get worse going forward.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently published, ‘The 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook at a Glance’ white paper.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

CBO Warns Of Fiscal Catastrophe As A Result Of Exponential Debt Growth In The U.S.

CBO Warns Of Fiscal Catastrophe As A Result Of Exponential Debt Growth In The U.S.

In a just released report from the CBO looking at the long-term US budget outlook, the budget office forecasts that both government debt and deficits are expected to soar in the coming 30 years, with debt/GDP expected to hit 150% by 2047 if the current government spending picture remains unchanged.

The CBO’s revision from the last, 2016 projection, shows a marked deterioration in both total debt and budget deficits, with the former increasing by 5% to 146%, while the latter rising by almost 1% from 8.8% of GDP to 9.6% by 2017.

According to the CBO, “at 77 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), federal debt held by the public is now at its highest level since shortly after World War II. If current laws generally remained unchanged, the Congressional Budget Office projects, growing budget deficits would boost that debt sharply over the next 30 years; it would reach 150 percent of GDP in 2047.

In addition to the booming debts, the office expects the deficit to more than triple from the projected 2.9% of GDP in 2017 to 9.8% in 2047. The deficit at the end of fiscal year 2016 stood at $587 billion.

A comaprison of government spending and revenues in 2017 vs 2047 shows the following picture:

The CBO also mentions rising rates as another key reason for the increasing debt burden. The Federal Reserve has kept rates low since the financial crisis but is on track to gradually hike rates in the coming year.

On the growth side, the CBO expects 2% or less GDP growth over the next three decades, far below the number proposed by the Trump administration.

The budget office breaks down the primary causes of projected growth in US spending as follows: not surprisingly, it is all about unsustainable social security and health care program outlays.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

More Frogs Boiling—–Why Trillion Dollar Deficits Are Coming Back Soon

More Frogs Boiling—–Why Trillion Dollar Deficits Are Coming Back Soon

The latter delusion brings to mind what might be called the “CBO hockey stick”, which is a fiscal fantasy so unhinged from reality as to make the Wall Street stock analysts look like models of sobriety by comparison. To wit, CBO’s latest 10-year budget projection assumes that the US economy will hit full employment next year, and remain there with nary a bump or recession in sight through September 2026, at least.

Well, now. Don’t bother to say Rosy Scenario move over because the arithmetic of CBO’s fantasy speaks for itself. That is, it is advising Washington to relax——we are heading for 207 straight months without a recession. And not in the next world, but this.

Average Length of Recoveries

Since that’s roughly double the longest expansion on record its worthwhile to recall what’s changed since that one-of-a-kind expansion started in March 1991. For starters, the China export tsunami had not even commenced. Nor had the US economy been hollowed out by the massive off-shoring of breadwinner jobs that has resulted from the Fed’s bubble finance policies of the last two decades.

Thus, what had been nearly 25 million goods-producing jobs at the start of the 119 month-long 1990s expansion has been reduced to only 19.5 million today.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jim Grant Asks When The World Will Realize “That Central Bankers Have Lost Their Marbles”

Jim Grant Asks When The World Will Realize “That Central Bankers Have Lost Their Marbles”

April 15 comes and goes but the federal debt stays and grows. The secrets of its life force are the topics at hand— that and some guesswork about how the upsurge in financial leverage, private and public alike, may bear on the value of the dollar and on the course of monetary affairs. Skipping down to the bottom line, we judge that the government’s money is a short sale.

Diminishing returns is the essential problem of the debt: Past a certain level of encumbrance, a marginal dollar of borrowing loses its punch. There’s a moral dimension to the problem as well. There would be less debt if people were more angelic. Non-angels, the taxpayers underpay, the bureaucrats over-remit and everyone averts his gaze from the looming titanic cost of future medical entitlements. Topping it all is 21st-century monetary policy, which fosters the credit formation that leads to the debt dead end. The debt dead end may, in fact, be upon us now. A monetary dead end could follow.

As to sin, Americans surrender, in full and on time, 83% of what they owe, according to the IRS—or they did between the years 2001 and 2006, the latest period for which America’s most popular federal agency has sifted data. In 2006, the IRS reckons, American filers, both individuals and corporations, paid $450 billion less than they owed. They underreported $376 billion, underpaid $46 billion and kept mum about (“nonfiled”) $28 billion. Recoveries, through late payments or enforcement actions, reduced that gross deficiency to a net “tax gap” of $385 billion.

This was in 2006, when federal tax receipts footed to $2.31 trillion. Ten  years later, the U.S. tax take is expected to reach $3.12 trillion.Proportionally, the 2006 gross tax gap would translate to $607.7 billion, and the net tax gap to $520 billion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

America’s National Debt Bomb Caused By the Welfare State

The news is filled with the everyday zigzags of those competing against each other for the Democrat and Republican Party nominations to run for the presidency of the United States. But one of the most important issues receiving little or no attention in this circus of political power lusting is the long-term danger from the huge and rising Federal government debt.

The Federal debt has now crossed the $19 trillion mark. When George W. Bush entered the White House in 2001, Uncle Sam’s debt stood at $5 trillion. When President Bush left office in January of 2009, it had increased to $10 trillion. Now into seven years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the Federal debt has almost doubled again.

And it is going to get much worse, according to the Congressional Budget Office. On January 26, 2016, the CBO released it latest “Budget and Economic Outlook” analysis for the next ten years, from 2016 to 2026.

Continuing Deficits and Growing National Debt

The economists at the CBO estimate that the Federal budget deficit for the fiscal year, 2016, will be $544 billion, or $105 billions more than Uncle Sam’s budget deficit in fiscal year 2015. And each year’s budget deficit will continue to be larger than the previous year from here on. Indeed, the CBO estimates the Federal government’s annual deficits will once more be over $1 trillion starting in 2022 and thereafter.

Between 2016 and 2026, the Federal debt, as a result, is projected to increase by a cumulative amount of almost $9.5 trillion, for a total national debt of around $30 trillion just ten years from now.

The reason for the continuing ocean of Federal red ink is the fact that while government revenues are projected to be around 49.5 percent higher in fiscal year 2026 ($5,035 trillion) than in fiscal year 2016 ($3.376 trillion), government spending will be over 63 percent more in fiscal year 2016 ($6,401 trillion) than in fiscal year 2016 ($3,919 trillion).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Three Reasons to Be Worried About the Economy

Three Reasons to Be Worried About the Economy 

Three Reasons to Be Worried About the Economy

On January 12, America’s central planner-in-chief gave his State of the Union address. The president promised nothing less than to feed the hungry, create jobs, shape the earth’s climate, and make everyone a college graduate. There’s nothing new here, though. We’ve heard variations of this silly song and dance every year under both Democrats and Republicans. The president lambasted naysayers as fear-mongers that were too partisan to admit we have a booming economy. The fact that the Dow Jones cratered roughly 9 percent in the same thirty-day period President Obama gave his address did nothing to quell Obama’s optimism about America’s future. In fact, he labeled the US economy “the strongest and most durable in the world.”

Despite our leader’s unwavering confidence in America’s fortunes, a quick peak under the hood reveals a pretty grim state of American commerce.

1. The Federal Reserve and US Government Have Warped the American Economy

In just the past decade, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has grown from roughly $800 billion to over $4 trillion. Our central bankers engaging in massive asset purchases to pummel interest rates downward is not news to anyone. We’ve been living in a world of falling interest rates since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yet, few mainstream economists have taken a good look at the destructive effects of this unprecedented monetary expansion. The calamitous distortions Fed policy has created for actors on both Main Street and Wall Street since 2008 have laid the groundwork for yet another crash.

Low interest rates stemming from a growing money supply are the only reason the US government has managed to service its gargantuan debt in recent years. The Congressional Budget Office itself has pointed out that even a slight rise in interest rates could potentially result in anywhere from $700 to $900 billion in annual tax payments just to service the interest on our debt.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

SPR To Be Used To Raise Cash For US Gov

SPR To Be Used To Raise Cash For US Gov

The U.S. Congress is moving on a budget deal to avert a standoff over raising the debt ceiling, at least until 2017. The emerging budget deal calls for some modest increases in government spending, including on defense, along with some tweaks to Social Security and Medicare.

But the budget deal contains a novel way to raise the funds needed to pay for the increase in spending: selling off oil from America’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR).

The proposal calls for the sale of 58 million barrels of oil from the SPR, spread out over six years between 2018 and 2024. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the move will raise over $5 billion.

Related: Stop Blaming OPEC For Low Prices

The SPR was created in the aftermath of the Arab Oil Embargo in the 1970s, which led to price spikes, fuel rationing and long lines at gasoline stations. The SPR was to be used as a tool to ensure against supply disruptions. Tucked away in salt caverns along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Texas, the SPR holds an estimated 695 million barrels of crude.

Congress has traditionally been very reluctant to touch the SPR, and there has been a general consensus in Washington DC that it should only be used in very special circumstances. For example, the SPR was tapped following the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991 and following damage inflicted upon Gulf of Mexico energy infrastructure from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Any effort on behalf of the government to sell outside of these unique situations tended to spark criticism. For instance, President Barack Obama was highly criticized for selling oil in 2011 during the Arab Spring when Libyan oil supplies were knocked offline, with detractors citing no urgent supply need.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

America’s “Inevitable” Revolution & The Redistribution Fallacy

Here’s the good news: The chaos and upheaval we see all around us have historical precedents and yet America survived.

The bad news: Everything likely will get worse before it gets better again.

That’s NYPost.com’s Michael Goodwin’s chief takeaway from “Shattered Consensus,” a meticulously argued analysis of the growing disorder. Author James Piereson persuasively makes the case there is an inevitable “revolution” coming because our politics, culture, education, economics and even philanthropy are so polarized that the country can no longer resolve its differences.

To my knowledge, no current book makes more sense about the great unraveling we see in each day’s headlines. Piereson captures and explains the alienation arising from the sense that something important in American life is ending, but that nothing better has emerged to replace it.

The impact is not restricted by our borders. Growing global conflict is related to America’s failure to agree on how we should govern ourselves and relate to the world.

Piereson describes the endgame this way: “The problems will mount to a point of crisis where either they will be addressed through a ‘fourth revolution’ or the polity will begin to disintegrate for lack of fundamental agreement.”

He identifies two previous eras where a general consensus prevailed, and collapsed. Each lasted about as long as an individual’s lifetime, was dominated by a single political party and ended dramatically.

First came the era that stretched from 1800 until slavery and sectionalism led to the Civil War.

The second consensus, which he calls the capitalist-industrial era, lasted from the end of the Civil War until the Great Depression.

It is the third consensus, which grew out of the depression and World War II, which is now shattering. Because the nation is unable to solve economic stagnation, political dysfunction and the resulting public discontent, Piereson thinks the consensus “cannot be resurrected.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Comprehensive Breakdown of America’s Economic House of Cards | First Rebuttal

A Comprehensive Breakdown of America’s Economic House of Cards | First Rebuttal.

I was going over some of my older posts to review what was being discussed at the beginning of this year and what the perspectives were at that time.  I found an interesting piece I wrote at the beginning of the year.  I had just watched Janet Yellen’s inaugural panel hearing in front of the congressional finance committee members on Cspan.  It’s basically a forum to allow the congressional financial committee members to directly pose comments and questions to the world’s most influential banker, namely, the US Fed chairman.

There were a few hardball questions but mostly just buttering up on Ms. Yellen from both sides of the aisle.  Picking out a few of the interesting bits that came up in the course of discussion I was certain I saw a glimpse of honesty indicating that problems are on the horizon, from Ms. Yellen.  The most notable commentary was her fairly forthright perspective that the CBO forward guidance depicted an imminent problem for America.  What caught me a bit off guard was how easily the congressional finance committee members shrugged off the repetitive warnings from the Fed chair regarding this imminent problem.   There was no discussion about possible solutions to the problem or even calls for further investigation to the warnings.  It was simply dismissed.  I found it incredibly ironic the one person in the world who is mandated to continuously increase leverage to the US was the one warning congress to get its fiscal house in order.  Yet the congressional committee before her, acted as though they didn’t hear it.

However, subsequent to that initial committee hearing I’ve not heard any additional warnings from the Fed about getting the America’s fiscal house in order.  It was a rare moment of honesty from a rookie chair and she apparently received a memo shortly thereafter informing her of the mistake.  Now let’s take a look at specifically what Ms. Yellen was warning congress about.  The CBO publishes annual long term forward guidance to give the world an idea of where things will be for the US 25 years out given where we are today.  Forecasting so far into the future is no exact science and it relies heavily on assumptions.  And so let’s take a look at the typical process.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase