Thursday, July 27, 2017

A $700 Billion Peacetime Deficit Is A Catastrophe

Media Credit: Reuters
The national print and broadcast media have made their decision to go all Trump, all Russia, all the time, so some important things that happen domestically don’t receive a lot of attention. For example, the news in late June that 2017 tax revenues are coming in well short of estimates – resulting in an anticipated deficit of $700 billion for this fiscal year – generated little coverage.
Let this sink in for a minute. We are not involved in a hot war anywhere in the world right now; we have more or less full employment; and we have historically low interest rates. Yet we are running a budget deficit that just jumped by nearly $100 billion to $700 billion. But the $100 billion or so shortfall in tax receipts was deemed insignificant in comparison to the news that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lobbyist last year.
Unfortunately, in 40 years or so – when Donald Trump Jr. occupies the same place in U.S. history as William “Billy Boy” Carter does today – the national debt will be generating a great deal of news coverage. That is because, if it continues on its current trajectory, that debt will essentially swallow us whole.
Lest I be accused of economic alarmism, let me explain. The national debt – the aggregate of all those pesky annual deficits – now stands at $20 trillion, give or take a few hundred billion. Interest on that debt, paid to holders of various U.S. Treasury instruments, will be about $266 billion in 2017.
Read the rest from James O'Brien HERE.

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