US Debt now > GDP

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  • #101
Gokul43201
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Latest report from the CBO:http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12699

A new budget report released Tuesday predicts the government will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ends in September, a slight dip from last year but still very high by any measure.

The Congressional Budget Office report also says that annual deficits will remain in the $1 trillion range for the next several years if Bush-era tax cuts slated to expire in December are extended, as commonly assumed.

The CBO study also predicts modest economic growth of 2 percent this year and forecasts that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent this year. That is based on an assumption that President Barack Obama will fail to win renewal of payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits by the end of next month.
...
The CBO report shows that the deficit dilemma would largely be solved if the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 — and renewed in 2010 through the end of this year — were allowed to lapse. Under that scenario, the deficit would drop to $585 billion in 2013 and to $220 billion in 2017.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57368817/federal-budget-deficit-to-dip-to-$1.1t-cbo-says/ [Broken]

Congressional Budget Office reports another $1 trillion deficit
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/72205.html
 
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  • #102
MarcoD
The odd thing is that despite the growing public debt, the interest on public debt remains really low -probably that low that value is being destroyed,- for which I have no explanation except for that the money doesn't have anywhere else to go.

Is there anyone who really understands that phenomenon? I have an hypothesis that with the housing bubble that much money was created that, after it deflated, all that money has to move from private to public debt or otherwise the financial system blows up. But that hypothesis may well be horsedung.

And I am still not sure whether federal public debt is 70% or 100% of US GDP since different numbers are sometimes reported. What are the real numbers?
 
  • #103
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Latest report from the CBO:http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12699

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57368817/federal-budget-deficit-to-dip-to-$1.1t-cbo-says/ [Broken]

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/72205.html
I have to wonder how the CBO can make projections?
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/...light-1-000th-day-since-senate-174736897.html

"The last time the Senate passed a traditional year-long budget was April 29, 2009. While this is considered a vital role for congress, the promotions arguably overstate the gravity of this failure to act. The congressional budget is just an outline for recommended spending levels, and does not direct appropriators to divvy out funds in any exact manner. As the Peter G. Peterson Foundation explains, "While budget resolutions are not laws, and the Congress can act on funding and revenue legislation without first adopting budget resolution, they can enforce good fiscal discipline."

In the days leading up to Obama's address, Republicans appeared to delight in being able to point out all that has happened in the world within 1,000 days. "912 days elapsed b/t Pearl Harbor & D-Day," read a post Tuesday morning on the Republican Study Committee's Twitter feed. "It's been #1000days since Senate Dems passed a budget."

"The last time they passed a budget, you had never heard of the iPad," a post on the group's website read, complete with a video hammering the point home. "Tiger Woods was only known for his golfing abilities. General Motors had never declared bankruptcy. You had never heard of Swine Flu. And the national debt was $4 trillion smaller than it is today."
"
my bold
 
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  • #104
MarcoD
I reasoned the US debt is 70% GDP, so I think everybody can stop worrying.

The US position is -I think- completely comparable to someone who has $70 debt, and knows that he will spend $30 in the future. Since he knows that, he writes an IOU of $30, and gives himself $30. His total debt now is $100, but he owns $30. All interest on the debt of $30, he just pays to himself.

For the rest I think the US is just borrowing against the $2T Europe probably lost on the housing bubble, so the US can buy for another twenty years of trade deficit against Europe.

Looks to me the US is super healthy, and I am starting to believe Europeans are complete idiots.
 
  • #105
MarcoD
God, now I am confused, or I was? The question is of course, did you spend the $30?
 
  • #106
russ_watters
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I reasoned the US debt is 70% GDP, so I think everybody can stop worrying.

The US position is -I think- completely comparable to someone who has $70 debt, and knows that he will spend $30 in the future. Since he knows that, he writes an IOU of $30, and gives himself $30. His total debt now is $100, but he owns $30. All interest on the debt of $30, he just pays to himself.
Oh, ok - so we could just decide to simplify the balance sheet by taking that $70+$30-$30=$70. I'm sure all the bondholders won't have a problem with that. :rolleyes:
 
  • #107
MarcoD
Nah, I am an idiot, it seems. Miscalculation. :redface:
 
  • #108
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Lets put this into perspective.

U.S. debt is 100%~ its GDP.

Japan's is 200% of its GDP.
 
  • #109
mheslep
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Lets put this into perspective.

U.S. debt is 100%~ its GDP.

Japan's is 200% of its GDP.
And what were the consequences of that debt, which they began acquiring in the '90's?
http://www.google.com/publicdata/ex...untry&tstart=-312318000000&tend=1265605200000

http://www.google.com/publicdata/ex...t=318834000000&tend=1265605200000&hl=en&dl=en

I'd like for the US to avoid 'lost decades' if it can.

Also, Japan has severely curtailed its deficit spending relative to the US:
http://www.google.com/publicdata/ex..._group&tstart=729147600000&tend=1202446800000

As of 2008 nobody except Greece was going in the hole faster than the US, including the other troubled EU countries like Spain, Italy, and the UK.
http://www.google.com/publicdata/ex...group&tstart=1013144400000&tend=1202446800000
 
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  • #110
MarcoD
As of 2008 nobody except Greece was going in the hole faster than the US, including the other troubled EU countries like Spain, Italy, and the UK.
Interesting the chart ends in 2008... When I see stuff like that my gut reaction is that we're all going down the drain. I know we ended up with a deficit due to the housing collapse, not sure what happened afterwards.
 
  • #111
mheslep
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Interesting the chart ends in 2008... When I see stuff like that my gut reaction is that we're all going down the drain. I know we ended up with a deficit due to the housing collapse, not sure what happened afterwards.
Clearly all are not going down the drain. Germany is not. Norway is not. Switzerland is not. Even one of the original PIGS, Ireland, has turned its spending around and is recovering.
 
  • #113
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The odd thing is that despite the growing public debt, the interest on public debt remains really low -probably that low that value is being destroyed,- for which I have no explanation except for that the money doesn't have anywhere else to go.

Is there anyone who really understands that phenomenon? I have an hypothesis that with the housing bubble that much money was created that, after it deflated, all that money has to move from private to public debt or otherwise the financial system blows up. But that hypothesis may well be horsedung.
The interest payments are low because the interest rates are being held low by the fed.

Of course this results in devaluation of the dollar and eventual inflation.

It's the deliberate but unstated policy of the federal reserve to inflate the currency since it transfers wealth from bondholders. You borrow a dollar of value today from the Chinese government but pay them back with an inflated dollar and a tiny interest rate in the future. It's actually a net transfer of wealth from the lender.

This policy counteracts the imbalance of trade resulting from the Chinese pegging the Yuan to the dollar and enables massive deficits to take place (a higher interest rate would require the borrowing of smaller amounts.)
 
  • #114
MarcoD
The interest payments are low because the interest rates are being held low by the fed.
I am not sure. Greenspan stated that when he was at the Fed they tried to fight lowering interest but failed. He didn't understand that.

Low interest rates inflate bubbles, like the housing bubble. I am not sure Bernanke is that happy with it because now he has two choices: let the rates rise, in which case the debt becomes unsustainable, or keep the rates low, in which case the debt levels are sustainable but other bubbles may be created.

Maybe there's just less he can do about it than most people think.

The balance sheet of the Fed looked pretty okay to me, though.

Of course this results in devaluation of the dollar and eventual inflation.
Yah, I think so too.

It's the deliberate but unstated policy of the federal reserve to inflate the currency since it transfers wealth from bondholders. You borrow a dollar of value today from the Chinese government but pay them back with an inflated dollar and a tiny interest rate in the future. It's actually a net transfer of wealth from the lender.
In short: the Chinese produced, got currency, and now hold bonds which decrease in worth. I see that.

This policy counteracts the imbalance of trade resulting from the Chinese pegging the Yuan to the dollar and enables massive deficits to take place (a higher interest rate would require the borrowing of smaller amounts.)
I know it's an unpopular view, but I personally agree with the Chinese. What's more fair than pegging a currency? If the currencies are interchangeable, you actually buy -and get back- a true amount of goods for a certain amount. If the US doesn't want a trade deficit, it should buy less, or produce more, against the counter party.
 
  • #115
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A balanced budget each year isn't necessary, as debt is all relative. As long as the economy is growing faster than the debt, than it is okay.
 
  • #116
MarcoD
I know it's an unpopular view, but I personally agree with the Chinese. What's more fair than pegging a currency? If the currencies are interchangeable, you actually buy -and get back- a true amount of goods for a certain amount. If the US doesn't want a trade deficit, it should buy less, or produce more, against the counter party.
I forgot to say that it works two ways too, IMO. If China wants to sit on a dwindling pile of cash instead of buying US goods, yeah, whatever.
 
  • #117
mheslep
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A balanced budget each year isn't necessary, as debt is all relative. As long as the economy is growing faster than the debt, than it is okay.
Not really. The greater the debt to economic output ratio, the more sensitive the system becomes to shocks. Lenders to governments know this, know that even robust economies growing faster than the debt will sooner or later have a downturn in which the debt continues to grow while the economy does not. When the interest payments on the debt grow large enough that they could possibly consume all revenue in a downturn, as they did in Greece, then lenders have good reason to suspect they won't be paid, they demand higher interest rates quickly making the suspicion a reality.
 
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  • #118
MarcoD
Most people in Europe will have the gut reaction, well I do, that if you run a trade deficit and a large public debt/deficit, that the economy will tank at some point. I've no idea what people think about the US at the moment, but I know there has been some speculation that the US is destroying the dollar intentionally.

But then again, Ireland has had a 100% GDP debt sometimes and worked back from that. I really wouldn't know.
 
  • #119
mheslep
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  • #120
Jasongreat
Not really. The greater the debt to economic output ratio, the more sensitive the system becomes to shocks. Lenders to governments know this, know that even robust economies growing faster than the debt will sooner or later have a downturn in which the debt continues to grow while the economy does not. When the interest payments on the debt grow large enough that they could possibly consume all revenue in a downturn, as they did in Greece, then lenders have good reason to suspect they won't be paid, they demand higher interest rates quickly making the suspicion a reality.
Great point, IMO. I see empirical evidence everywhere around me. When the economy is booming some raise their credit to the level that overtime is needed, just to live. All is good until a downturn and overtime disappears, then they have no chance of making ends meet. Government budgets do run like individual budgets, the same budget problems that affect citizens affect government, it can be a benefit to take on credit, in the short term, since one can build, but when those choices are based on faulty beliefs like it is a benefit to furure generations therefore we can spend more than one, two or even three generations can pay back. Sooner or later the problems will come to the surface, and we all go down with the ship, even if we live our lives completely on the other end of the scale. Which if government is about fairness and equality, like progressives expouse, it seems to me counter-intuitive, or even illogical.
 
  • #121
dvitendi
Don't mean to head off topic too much but I found this infographic - U.S debt in pennies. Absolutely mind blowing...

Click here for the infographic
 

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