It’s not just the federal government running massive deficits and piling up enormous levels of debt. Thirty-nine US states don’t have enough money to pay all of their bills.
That was the grim conclusion of Truth in Accounting’s annual Financial State of the States report.
The report summarizes a comprehensive analysis surveying the fiscal health of the 50 states prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 budget deficit surged passed $3 trillion in August even as the US government continues to borrow and spend at a torrid pace. Since March, the federal government has added $3.3 trillion to the national debt. That is on top of the $1.4 trillion in debt Uncle Sam piled on in the 12 months through February 2020.
So, who is buying all of this government debt?
There are a lot of buyers out there, but when you boil it all down, the US government wouldn’t be able to maintain this level of borrowing and spending without the backstop of the Federal Reserve.
Even as the fiscal 2020 budget deficit surged past $3 trillion, more than double the previous record deficit, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called for more federal spending, saying “now is not the time to worry about shrinking the deficit.” Of course, he wasn’t worried about shrinking the deficit before the pandemic either. Peter Schiff talked about the looming debt crisis during his podcast.
The federal government added another $200 billion-plus to the budget deficit in August, pushing the fiscal 2020 budget shortfall to over $3 trillion with one month still left in the fiscal year.
Uncle Sam continues to rack up enormous monthly budget deficits. The August shortfall came in at $200.1 billion, according to the Treasury Department’s Monthly Treasury Statement, pushing the fiscal 2020 budget shortfall to $3.01 trillion. That’s more than double the previous record deficit of 1.413 trillion set in FY 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.
After rising early in the week on the Fed’s promise of more inflation, gold and silver dipped a bit late in the week with some positive economic data bolstering hopes of a quick economic recovery. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey reiterates that what’s going on isn’t fundamentally about the coronavirus. He takes a deep dive into the Fed’s new inflation policy and makes the case that this was all in play long before the pandemic.
According to CBO projections, the federal budget deficit will come in at $3.3 trillion for fiscal 2020. That’s more than triple the budget shortfall last year and more than double the previous deficit record set at the onset of the Great Recession.
It was a tough week in the precious metals markets. On Tuesday, gold dropped well over 5% and silver plunged more than 13%. It was the worst single-day rout for gold in seven years. That led some to declare the gold bull dead. But SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast host Mike Maharrey doesn’t see it that way. In this episode, he breaks down the reasons for the selloff and explains why there is no need to panic if you’re keeping your eyes on the fundamentals.
The federal budget deficit for July was only $63 billion, according to the latest Monthly Treasury Statement issued by the Treasury Department.
Of course, $63 billion is a huge budget shortfall. I say “only $63 billion” simply because it pales in comparison to the $864.1 billion deficit in June. In reality, the July deficit continues the trend of unprecedented borrowing and spending we’ve seen throughout the year.
The world is drowning in debt.
And central bank policies globally are encouraging even more borrowing. Most people don’t seem to care. “This is necessary during this time of crisis,” has become the mantra. But the ugly truth is the world was already drowning in debt before the coronavirus pandemic. The government response to COVID-19 has merely exacerbated the problem. And it’s important to understand that debt is neither free nor irrelevant.
The Federal Reserve serves as the great enabler. As I put it in a recent article, it is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world. The Fed’s ability to print money out of thin air backstops borrowing spending and removes any meaningful limits on the US government’s actions. It also creates the illusion that there are no consequences to the government’s actions.
We’re seeing that in spades in the central bank and federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The government is borrowing trillions of dollars and the Fed is monetizing that debt. On top of that, the central bank is propping up the stock market through its easy-money policy and corporate bond-buying programs.