The debt ceiling fight is getting down to the wire. In a letter to Congress on Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that without a debt ceiling increase, it was highly likely the government wouldn’t be able to meet all of its obligations by “early June, and potentially as early as June 1.”
Despite the drama, I still expect Congress to get a deal done. And that’s when the real problems begin.
There are a few things that Friday Gold Wrap host Mike Maharrey writes about that don’t seem to garner much interest. In this show, Mike is going to talk about two of those things, why they matter, and why you should care. He also talks about the recent drop in the price of gold and what the markets are getting wrong.
The US government ran a surplus in April, as it generally does in tax return month. But federal tax revenues collapsed year-on-year and the fiscal 2023 deficit is still close to $1 trillion despite the small April windfall.
In January, the US government ran up against the debt ceiling, kicking off another fake debt ceiling fight. Three months later, Congress still hasn’t agreed on a plan to raise the borrowing limit. Peter Schiff talked about it in his podcast, saying the lack of a higher debt ceiling isn’t the problem; the ever-increasing spending and the debt are the problems. Refusing to raise the ceiling would provide the solution.
By hiking interest rates, the Federal Reserve has pulled some of the monetary stimulus out of the economy. While the Fed hasn’t done nearly enough to put the inflationary fire it lit with more than a decade of easy money, the cooling consumer price index (CPI) indicates that this has put a modest dent in price inflation — for now. But the Biden administration has opened the fiscal stimulus spigot even wider and this is mucking up the inflation fight. In fact, unless the federal government reins in spending, there is no way inflation will lose this fight.
That’s not going to happen.
February has historically been a big budget deficit month, but the Biden administration still managed to overachieve and run the second-largest February deficit ever. The only time the US government has run a February deficit bigger than the $262.4 billion shortfall last month was in February 2021 in the midst of the COVID stimulus.
This raises an important question: between a budding financial crisis and a US government spending problem, how is the Federal Reserve ever going to get price inflation back to its mythical 2% target?
The Federal Government ran a deficit of -$262B in February. Ignoring the Student Loan forgiveness allocation in September last year, this is the largest monthly budget deficit since July 2021. And it’s the second-largest February deficit ever.
The Federal Reserve is bleeding money and losses are mounting.
So, what does this mean? Is the central bank in danger of going under?
In fact, losing money isn’t a problem for the Fed at all. But it is a big problem for the US government.
The way Thomas Jefferson handled the national debt should serve as a blueprint for today. But instead, modern presidents look more like college students on a spending spree with their first credit cards.
Just four months into fiscal 2023 and the US federal budget deficit is already approaching half a trillion dollars. This is a big problem for the Federal Reserve that few people seem to be talking about.