The debt ceiling “crisis” is coming to a head. We’re pretty confident Republicans and Democrats will strike a deal and raise the debt ceiling. That’s supposed to solve the problem. But Friday Gold Wrap podcast host Mike Maharrey says the solution is the problem. In this episode, he also offers some bullish perspective on silver.
We are in the midst of yet another debt ceiling fight.
This is mostly political theater. That being the case, both Democrats and Republicans are using the drama in an effort to score political points and push policy in their preferred direction.
And since politicians are involved, they’re telling a lot of lies.
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.
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.
Today is tax day.
I’m not pleased.
I don’t know about you, but that means my bank account balance will be significantly smaller later this evening. I’m going to have to write a big check. But hey, this is the price I pay for a more civilized society.
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?
Virtually everybody agrees that government spending is necessary to support the economy and society in general. We may debate vigorously about what exactly the government should spend money on, but few people will entertain the thought that maybe the government shouldn’t spend money at all. Most fail to even acknowledge that even the best government spending comes with a cost.
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.
The fake debt ceiling fight is on and the Biden administration has ratcheted up the scare tactics. One of its strategies is to make you think the world will collapse if the US defaults on its debt obligations. After all, the US always pays its bills on time — so we’re told.
A default would certainly be problematic. But despite what you’re being told, it’s not unprecedented. The US government has defaulted before.