I saw a tweet this week by Paul Krugman asserting, “What we do have is a persistent problem of weak demand; yes, we have full employment now, but only with extremely low interest rates, which means little ability to respond to the next downturn. This makes a strong case for a big government investment program.”
Ah yes. It’s the Keynesian solution to every problem. Just spend more money!
The national debt continues to spiral upward. It increased by another $1.2 trillion in fiscal year 2019. But Paul Krugman says it’s not that big of a deal. He downplayed the national debt in a tweet, claiming emphatically that “DEBT IS MONEY WE OWE TO OURSELVES.”
This encapsulates a common Keynesian argument. Debt can’t really burden future generations. In the aggregate, Americans won’t be any worse off. Paying the national debt merely shifts dollars from one American to another. While future taxpayers will be out some money, the American bondholders who receive the interest payments will end up with more money. When all is said and done, it’s a wash.
The budget deficit for fiscal year 2019 came in just a hair under $1 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office estimate.
Even if it does come in under the trillion-dollar mark, it would still rank as biggest deficit since 2012. The budget shortfall has only eclipsed $1 trillion four times, all during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
The US national debt increased by $1.2 trillion in fiscal 2019, which ended Sept. 30. This follows on the heels of a $1.27 trillion increase in the national debt in fiscal 2018.
The fiscal year budget deficit surged passed $1 trillion last month. Spending deficits necessarily mean more government borrowing and we’re seeing that in the numbers as well. Uncle Sam’s outstanding public debt grew by $450 billion in August alone.
The national debt stood at $22.02 trillion on Aug. 1 and surged to $22.47 trillion as of Aug. 27.
The federal government continues to spend money at an insane rate and is running up budget deficits reminiscent of the Great Recession era.
With one month left to go, the federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2019 eclipsed $1 trillion in August, according to Treasury Department data released last Thursday.
The Federal Reserve makes life easier for politicians by pursuing monetary policies that shield them from the consequences of bad economic decision-making. By keeping interest rates low and printing money, the Fed hides the nefarious impact of government spending, trade wars and other bad policies.
Peter Schiff talked about this in a recent podcast.
This week has been relatively quiet in the markets. Gold has drifted up and down as traders wait to see what kind of message Fed Chair Jerome Powell will deliver during his Jackson Hole speech. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey covers some tidbits of news and speculates about what Powell will say. Then he pivots and talks a little bit about President Trump and the strange economic tightrope that he’s trying to walk.
Trump’s bipartisan spending deal took a step closer to reality last week when the US House passed a budget bill by a 284-149 vote.
The bill increases discretionary spending from $1.32 trillion in the current fiscal year to $1.37 trillion in fiscal 2020 and then raises it again to $1.375 trillion the year after that. The deal will allow for an increase in both domestic and military spending.
After claiming to be the greatest at just about everything, Donald Trump has finally found an area where he can stake a credible claim. By negotiating a disastrous budget deal with Democrats, the President could become the greatest creator of government debt in the history of the country.
While Trump is selling the two-year deal as a major victory because it increases military spending and removes the possibility of a government shutdown for two years, in reality, the agreement to suspend the debt ceiling and push annual deficits even further above the trillion-dollar mark may only succeed in destroying the Republican Party as we know it.