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The Ideological Battle Behind the U.S. Debt Crisis

The Ideological Battle Behind the U.S. Debt Crisis

The U.S. national debt is at 34.7 trillion dollars. If you laid that many dollar bills end-to-end, it would wrap around the Earth 134,599 times. That’s enough to travel to the sun and back 17 times. Suffice it to say, we’re in a pickle.

America is slowly approaching the precipice of debt default. This is no minor dilemma. A default could cause approximately 8 million jobs to be lost. In other words, the bill would come due.

For many politicians, the debt crisis is not a pressing concern. At least not enough to take measures to fix it. The Biden administration passed a 1.2 trillion-dollar infrastructure bill in 2021, adding 256 billion dollars to the budget deficit over the next ten years. Biden has also forgiven 167 billion dollars in student loans during his tenure, which was financed through increased government spending. Despite already being one of the most indebted countries in the world, politicians continue to dig the U.S. into an even deeper hole. The problem is not simply a monetary one. There is an ideological battle underlying our descent into debt.

The ideas that have caused America’s current debt crisis were birthed during the Great Depression. In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a series of spending measures that were intended to stimulate economic activity in what was called the “New Deal.” FDR spent over 950 billion (inflation-adjusted) dollars on the program while being touted as an economic “savior.” The deal was promoted as what released America from the bonds of the recession. In reality, it made the problem worse.

A study conducted by two UCLA economists found that the New Deal actually extended the Great Depression by seven years. By artificially increasing wages while unemployment remained rampant and below projected recovery rates, FDR’s program harmed economic health. Simply pumping money into the economy wasn’t the fix-all solution it was advertised to be.

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David Stockman on How the US Federal Debt Has Gone Parabolic…

David Stockman on How the US Federal Debt Has Gone Parabolic…

US Federal Debt

The federal debt has been recently increasing by $1 trillion every 100 days. That’s $10 billion per day, $416 million per hour.

In fact, Uncle Sam’s debt has risen by $470 billion in the first two months of this year to $34.5 trillion and is on pace to surpass $35 trillion in a little over a month, $37 trillion well before year’s end, and $40 trillion some time in 2025. That’s about two years ahead of the current CBO (Congressional Budget Office) forecast.

On the current path, moreover, the public debt will reach $60 trillion by the end of the 10-year budget window. But even that depends upon the CBO’s latest iteration of Rosy Scenario, which envisions no recession ever again, just 2% inflation as far as the eye can see and real interest rates of barely 1%. And that’s to say nothing of the trillions in phony spending cuts and out-year tax increases that are built into the CBO baseline but which Congress will never actually allow to materialize.

So when it comes to the projection that the 2034 debt will come in at just $60 trillion, we’ll take the wonders any day of the week. The fact that it will likely be much higher also means that the Washington UniParty’s prevailing fiscal policy path will lead to $100 trillion of public debt sometime in the early 2040s. And that means, in turn, that annual interest expense will then be greater than the entire federal budget during 2019.

Needless to say, neither Trump nor Biden has said, “Boo,” about this looming calamity. Sleepy Joe has even had the audacity to brag that he has reduced the federal deficit by more than half.

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Endgame: US Federal Debt Interest Payments About To Hit $1 Trillion

Endgame: US Federal Debt Interest Payments About To Hit $1 Trillion

There was a shocking number in today’s latest monthly US Budget Deficit report. No, it wasn’t that US government outlays unexpectedly soared 15% to $646 billion in June, up almost $100 billion from a year ago…

… while tax receipts slumped 9.2% from $461 billion to $418 billion, resulting in a TTM government receipt drop of over 7.3%, the biggest since June 2020 when the US was reeling from the covid lockdown recession; in fact never have before tax receipts suffered such a big drop without the US entering a recession.

Needless to say, surging government outlays coupled with shrinking tax revenues meant that in June, the US budget deficit nearly tripled from $89 billion a year ago to $228 billion, far greater than the consensus estimate of $175 billion. One can only imagine which Ukrainian billionaire oligarch’s money laundering bank account is currently enjoying the benefits of that unexpected incremental $50 billion US deficit hole: we know for a fact that the FBI will never get to the bottom of that one, since they can’t even figure out who dumped a bunch of blow inside the White House – the most protected and surveilled structure in the entire world.

And with the monthly deficits coming in higher than expected and also far higher than a year ago, it is also not at all surprising that the cumulative deficit 9 months into the fiscal year is already the 3rd highest on record, surpassed only by the crisis years of 2020 and 2021: at $1.393 trillion, the fiscal 2022 YTD deficit is already up 170% compared to the same period last year.

Again, while sad, none of the above numbers are surprising: they merely confirm that the US is on an ever faster-track to fiscal death, but not before the Fed is forced to monetize the debt once again…

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Debt, Death, and the US Empire

Debt, Death, and the US Empire

Yosemite Sam Gets Worried About Federal Debt

In a talk which garnered little attention, one of the Deep State’s prime operatives, National Security Advisor John Bolton, cautioned of the enormous and escalating US debt.

Deep State operative John Bolton, a.k.a. Yosemite Sam [PT]     Photo credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Speaking before the Alexander Hamilton Society, Bolton warned that current US debt levels and public obligations posed an “economic threat” to the nation’s security:



Annual federal surplus/deficit and total federal debt. Things have clearly gotten a bit out of control in recent years. [PT]

What was most surprising about Bolton’s talk was that there has been little reaction to it from the financial press, the markets themselves, or political commentators. While the equity markets have been in the midst of a sell-off, it has not been due (as of yet) to US deficits, currently in excess of $1 trillion annually.  Instead, the slide has been the result of fears over increase in interest rates and the continued trade tensions with China.

Interventionism is Expensive

While Bolton’s warning about the debt is self-serving, it is accurate in the sense that the US Empire which, in part, he directs is ultimately dependent on the strength of the economy.

“National security” is not threatened by a debt crisis which would mean a compromised dollar, but such an event would limit what the US could do globally.  Real national security is defense of the homeland and border control – not intervention abroad.

War mongers like Bolton are fearful that a debt crisis would necessitate a decline in US power overseas.  America is fast approaching what took place with the British Empire after its insane involvement in the two World Wars and its own creation of a domestic welfare state which exhausted the nation and led to the displacement of the British pound as the “world’s reserve currency.”

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“Print the Money”: Trump’s “Reckless” Proposal Echoes Franklin and Lincoln

“Print the Money”: Trump’s “Reckless” Proposal Echoes Franklin and Lincoln

“Reckless,” “alarming,” “disastrous,” “swashbuckling,” “playing with fire,” “crazy talk,” “lost in a forest of nonsense”: these are a few of the labels applied by media commentators to Donald Trump’s latest proposal for dealing with the federal debt. On Monday, May 9th, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate said on CNN, “You print the money.”

The remark was in response to a firestorm created the previous week, when Trump was asked if the US should pay its debt in full or possibly negotiate partial repayment. He replied, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.” Commentators took this to mean a default. On May 9, Trump countered that he was misquoted:

People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt – these people are crazy. This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, okay? So there’s never a default.

That remark wasn’t exactly crazy. It echoed one by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said in 2011:

The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.

Paying the government’s debts by just issuing the money is as American as apple pie – if you go back far enough. Benjamin Franklin attributed the remarkable growth of the American colonies to this innovative funding solution.

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‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson Discuss How We Got to Junk Economics (Video)

‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson Discuss How We Got to Junk Economics (Video) 


In this episode of teleSUR’s “Days of Revolt,” Chris Hedges interviews Michael Hudson on the history of classical economics and explores Marx’s interpretation of capitalism as exploitation.

Hudson is a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of “Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy.” Before becoming a professor, Hudson worked for many years on Wall Street.

“The essence of classical economics was to reform industrial capitalism, to streamline it, and to free the European economies from the legacy of feudalism,” Hudson said. “The legacy of feudalism was landlords extracting land-rent, and living as a class that took income without producing anything.”

Wall Street and the big-banking system have inverted classical economics. America is now over $19 trillion in debt, and the Congressional Budget Office projects that the debt will rise to $26.3 trillion by 2020. How did we get to this point?

“So we’ve turned the postwar economy that made America prosperous and rich inside out,” Hudson explained. “Somehow most people believed they could get rich by going into debt to borrow assets that were going to rise in price. But you can’t get rich, ultimately, by going into debt. In the end, the creditors always win. That’s why every society since Sumer and Babylonia has had to either cancel the debts, or you come to a society like Rome that didn’t cancel the debts, and then you have a dark age. Everything collapses.”

Watch Part I of the interview, posted by The Real News, below.


Trumping the Federal Debt Without Playing the Default Card

Trumping the Federal Debt Without Playing the Default Card

By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt.

“The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.”

— Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan on Meet the Press, August 2011

In a post on “Sovereign Man” dated August 14thSimon Black argued that Donald Trump may be the right man for the presidency:

[T]here’s one thing that really sets him apart, that, in my opinion, makes him the most qualified person for the job:

Donald Trump is an expert at declaring bankruptcy.

When the going gets tough, Trump stiffs his creditors. He’s done it four times!

Candidly, this is precisely what the Land of the Free needs right now: someone who can stop beating around the bush and just get on with it already.

Black says the country is officially bankrupt, with the government’s financial statements showing a negative net worth of $17.7 trillion:

Nations that pass the economic point of no return can’t rebuild until they hit rock bottom. And the US is way past that point. So let’s get on with it already and hit the reset button.

Black recommends doing this by defaulting, preferably on Social Security and Medicare. But that is unlikely to suit this leading Republican candidate. As Trump said on Meet the Press on August 16:

I want people to be taken care of from a healthcare standpoint.… I want to save Social Security without cuts. I want … a strong country with very little debt.

How can the country remain strong with very little debt, without defaulting on Social Security, Medicare, or the federal debt itself?

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Dan Amerman: Will Our Private Savings Be Sacrificed To Pay Down The Public Debt? | Peak Prosperity

Dan Amerman: Will Our Private Savings Be Sacrificed To Pay Down The Public Debt? | Peak Prosperity.

Recently, an article by Daniel Amerman caught our attention. Titled Is There A “Back Door” Method For The Government To Pay Down The Federal Debt Using Private Savings?, it details the process known as financial repression, where sovereign debts are slowly paid off by syphoning private savings from an unaware populace.

In this week’s podcast, Chris discusses the mechanics of the process, as well as its probability, with Dan:

To understand financial repression, we have to understand that we’ve been there before. Many nations have gone through periods in the past where they’ve had very high levels of government debt. And there are four traditional ways of dealing with that.

One of them is austerity. Everyone understands that. You raise the tax rates. You lower the government spending. This is a painful choice. It can last for decades. And what do you think the voters think about that?


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Olduvai IV: Courage
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