David Stockman Says US Has "Run Out Of Runway" On Debt, Compares The Treasury Market To A "Roach Hotel", Endorses A Tobin Tax

Tyler Durden's picture

David Stockman has become every major news organization's (and CNBC) go to critic when it comes to bashing each stupid idea currently preoccupying the DC C-grade soap opera artists. Obviously, at the current time this would mean the budget deficit and the debt ceiling. On both those issues, Stockman's position is well-known. Today, when asked by Bloomberg's Tom Keene to compare the current deficit with that of Reagan's, Stockman spares no praise: "The essential distinction is that we had a clean balance sheet then - $1
trillion of national debt. Today we have $14 trillion in national
debt.  We have used up all the runway, so to speak. We
have piled our national balance sheet with so much debt that the
government is at the very edge of a huge solvency crisis that isn't
going to be addressed unless both parties dramatically change their
position, and I see no sign of it.  So we're going to have a gong show." Stockman also opines on the Monetary Roach Hotel that the US debt has become: "We have not had a two-way bond market.  We have had a rigged
market that has been dominated by not just the Fed, but all the central
banks.  Today over half of the $9 trillion in publicly-held debt is in
central bank vaults. I call it the 'Monetary Roach Hotel.'" Lastly, on a proposal endorsed by Zero Hedge back in the summer of 2009, namely the introduction of a Tobin tax for Wall Street's high-frequency casino: "Wall Street needs to have a transaction tax.  I know they won't like it.
A tax on every trade, a small amount, would go a long way to putting
money in the coffers." As usual: absolutely spot on recommendations, which have little to no chance of occurring before the final bond crash finally takes away the multiple-use heroin needle from both DC and Wall Street.

Stockman on what's different regarding the deficit under Obama vs. Reagan:
 
"The essential distinction is that we had a clean balance sheet then - $1 trillion of national debt. Today we have $14 trillion in national debt.  We have used up all the runway, so to speak."
 
"We have piled our national balance sheet with so much debt that the government is at the very edge of a huge solvency crisis that isn't going to be addressed unless both parties dramatically change their position, and I see no sign of it.  So we're going to have a gong show. Year after year after year of these debt ceiling crises, maybe they will be solved for a month or two, and then we will go right to the next." 
 
Stockman on the deficit to GDP ratio:
 
"When this all started, it was 30% national debt to GDP.  Now, effectively what's built in will take us as close to 100% within a matter a couple years.  That is baked into the cake and cannot be stopped."
 
"I think the more important thing is the annual deficit to GDP.  It should be a balance over the cycle, but we have not had any balance over the cycle for decades…We were petrified in 1982 when the deficit went to 6%, the highest ever seen. Reagan, although he is known as a great tax cutter, signed a huge tax increase bill in 1982 at the bottom of the worst recession that we'd had up until then and raised taxes by the tune of 1.5% of GDP." 
 
On the issues with the current market:
 
"We have not had a two-way bond market.  We have had a rigged market that has been dominated by not just the Fed, but all the central banks.  Today over half of the $9 trillion in publicly-held debt is in central bank vaults. I call it the 'Monetary Roach Hotel.' Bonds go in and never come out. If the central banks stopped buying the debt, which will happen with the end of QE2, then we're going to get back into a real investor's market, a two-way market where some people don't believe that Congress and the White House have the capacity to deal with our problems.  I think then we run the risk that we'll get real pricing on the debt, which has to be a lot more than 3%." 
 
On how the debt ceiling debate will be resolved:
 
"I do not know that there's any process that can solve it.  We're so far down the road here that I think it will take a thundering conflagration in the global bond market to wake up the process and get people out of their positions...Look at the current White House. We had Geithner last night saying, you don't dare not raise the debt ceiling, but the policy of this administration is de facto default. They have a war budget as big as Bush ever had, therefore, extending 75% of the Bush tax cuts. The only thing they have objected to is the 2% risk."
 
On why we should care about the debt ceiling:
 
"I do not think we should care about the debt ceiling, because they will extend it when push comes to shove at the 11th hour after a lot of smoke and mirrors and tricks have been played...What we should care about is the fact that we're borrowing $6 billion every business day.  Both parties have taken fiscal positions that will not even begin to close the gap.  Both parties are simply aligned, deceiving the public that there will not be sacrifice.  There will be. Tax increases across the board for the entire middle class, not just the rich." 
 
Stockman on whether the tax base needs to be broadened:
 
"I think bring the tax base or have new tax revenue sources.  We are in a stage where I think a tax on imported oil might be one way to get two birds with one stone.  Revenue into the coffers of the Treasury and also some incentive for more conservation, domestic production, and alternative energy. 
 
"Secondly, Wall Street needs to have a transaction tax.  I know they won't like it. A tax on every trade, a small amount, would go a long way to putting money in the coffers."

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buzzsaw99's picture

Abolish the fed, pay off the debt in clownbux, pay as you go. Fvck Wall Street.

TheTmfreak's picture

One is the going rate for clownbux nowadays? 100 Monopoly dollars?

l1xx3r's picture

Shouldn't your pic be yellow and black? Just wondering because my understanding is that red and black mean anarcho-communism... which is self contradicting... in communism, you can only violently force people to not use money... and that requires a government and leadership which contradicts the anarcho part of that flag.

pan-the-ist's picture

Obviously you understand neither Anarchism nor Communism, so you aught to just leave it there.

Imagine your starting point for utopia as an elagatarian society without greed and with abundant resources where people work because they desire to.

aerojet's picture

Sounds extremely far-fetched.

downwiththebanks's picture

Now imagine a society of isolated individuals with no attachment to anything but greed, competing against one another for pieces of paper to purchase from strangers commodities they're incapable of producing on their own but necessary for survival.

That's far more practical, right?

Now, as a cherry on top, make said system DEPENDENT on a government that DEMANDS you tie yourself to this market order, threatening to kill you if you don't.

l1xx3r's picture

Only without governments will true free markets exists. Who would trade crap paper when there would be better alternatives.

l1xx3r's picture

Obviously you don't understand capitalism. In my view, communism tries the make the rich poor, socialism distorts and stagnates things, and capitalisms tries to make the poor rich. Greed cannot exists in true free market capitalism (without violence) because you can only benefit by increasing the benefit of others (kings didnt even have flushing tolets and now most of the "poor" do thanks to capitalism). Communism can exist in a Anarcho-Capitalist type society by people agreeing to live under that type of contract, but capitalism cannot exist within communism. So the choice is clear, I prefer to allow everyone the choice of how to live and not force them into something.

pan-the-ist's picture

You cannot see beyond the redistribution of wealth (or any infringement upon your fragile ego), so you will never get it.  Stop trying, you just get it wrong.

l1xx3r's picture

Funny, because I actually bring up points, which you don't seem to notice. You seem to just be like "Believe cause I say so", which didn't work when I was pushed towards religion when I was yonger. If you have any points, please bring them up. Otherwise shut-up.

pan-the-ist's picture

I am talking about anachrocommunism, I don't know what you are talking about..? Stalinism?

l1xx3r's picture

anarcho-communism is self contracticting as I first stated, including why I thought it was. Your reply was I was wrong, which you have yet to prove. So my original stance holds unless you can actually argue against it.

tmosley's picture

Anarcho-communism is self- consistent, as is anarcho-capitalism. The only difference between the two is that the anarcho capitalist recognizes the right to life and the right to own property, where anarcho-communists only recognize the right to life. Their failure to recognize the right to property makes them literal animals.

TheTmfreak's picture

It is self contradictory as I see it. Anarchy Capitalism is the only reality. Everything else is falsified brainwashed bullshit.

Anarchy = A political system by which there is no "goverment"

Capitalism = The use of private capital for the sake of profits

 

Edit: I no longer think it is self-contradictory upon further thinking about it. I have actually thought about for some time the "similarities" with anarchy and "ideal" communism. The problem I have is what TM suggests about the difference. The lack of private property. "Everybody owns everything and everybody." There isn't a government but the people controlling the people. 

As long as I have breath in my body, I own me. 

Atomizer's picture

Put your penus project back in your pants. It's a complete fantasy created by deranged individuals.

downwiththebanks's picture

Sort of like the Free Market.

And alCIAda.

TheTmfreak's picture

Hah. You're officially a fucking moron.

downwiththebanks's picture

How does Capitalism make the poor rich?  

tmosley's picture

By allowing them to save the fruits of their labors, and even generate a return on them.

downwiththebanks's picture

How can they save the fruits of their labors when the OWNER of their labor keeps them?

FrankDrakman's picture

Seriously - are you retarded? You can't think of a single example from the last 200 years of someone who started with next to nothing, worked hard, and built up a fortune? Forget about new age tech guys like Jobs/Woz or Gates/Allen.. what about Hewlett and Packard? Or what about Andrew Carnegie - started off as a boy changing spools of thread, 12 hours a day, six days a week, and became the richest man in the world. 

On the distaff side - Oprah, born to a teenage welfare mother, raped at age nine, now a billionaire, or JK Rowling, who lived on welfare while she finished the first Harry Potter book.

There are millions of these stories. If you can't figure out cause and effect, you're an idiot.

downwiththebanks's picture

I don't let anecdotes overshadow how a system operates.  How many slaves become millionaires?

I asked a basic question, directly stated by the author:  how can the industrial little proto-capitalist sell the fruits of their labor to another (i.e., wage labor) and, simultaneously, keep it for themselves?

XPolemic's picture

There are millions of these stories. If you can't figure out cause and effect, you're an idiot.

Correlation is not causation. How about this:

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, born 1536  (before capitalism was even a word) into a peasant family, became supreme ruler of Japanese forces.

Zhu Yuanzhang, born into a peasant family so poor they had to give away seven of his siblings because they couldn't afford to feed them. Became Emperor of China (Ming Dynasty) in 1425, WITHOUT CAPITALISM EVER EXISTING.

Ivaylo the Cabbage, a peasant who lead a revolt and became king of Bulgaria in 1278. DID HE NEED CAPITALISM?

There are millions of these stories. If you can't figure out that correlation <> causation, you're an idiot.

 


TheTmfreak's picture

Better said that their work is their own. Their bodies are their own. What they produce with their body is theirs own to trade. If you work for someone, you trade your work for some other thing they give you. (gold, silver, paper, whatever the hell the value is)

People's failure to understand the basics of work and work relations blows my mind.

Calmyourself's picture

Yes I will envision that along with the cascading founts of skittles flying out your pollyanish pie hole..

tmosley's picture

"without greed"

Guess there's no people then. Greed is the first thing we feel when we are born. You think a baby gives a fuck about anyone else? Everything we learn after that is to suppress that absolute greed so you can live with other people, but to get rid of it entirely will kill you.

Anarchocommunists are stupid, and WILL BE SHOT if they ever set foot on my property.

pan-the-ist's picture

This doesn't make any sense.  Sure, children are greedy, but then they become adults and aren't ruled by greed.  Were you born into poverty?

l1xx3r's picture

So you are so perfect that you wouldn't steal bread if you were starving? Cause in communism there wasn't even bread to steal, because there was no benefit in making it.

pan-the-ist's picture

No, but I am not motivated by greed. If I were poor, I certainly would be needy, but not necessarily greedy.

You're referring to Stalinism.  Stalinism isn't communism.  I described a utopia as a starting point, it isn't reality.

l1xx3r's picture

All forms of communism in the history of man has failed with many starving, and many killed for disagreeing with communism. Yet, capitalism has brought you the iPhone, the toilets and everything else (despite socialism) you take for granted everyday.

So the way I see it, you are an idiot unless you can actually make an argument for your stance. Which I have not seen yet.

tmosley's picture

That is a stupid point to make. We are talking about anarchocommunism. Not some dim-witted inhuman utopia.

There is exactly ZERO difference between "need" and "want". Everything we do in life is an economic decision. Anarcho-communists would tear down Maslow's pyramid claiming that if they did, everyone could eat, but much of those higher needs that are being fulfilled are going to feed those who are hungry, and they do so by producing so much that prices come down, and everyone can afford to eat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

You fools look at primitive tribal societies and wish you lived there, until you realize that those people live short, brutal, painful lives that literally no-one wants to live. You decry that which gives you sustenance, and that which enriches all, while promoting that which destroys all.

You can dress up your little shit all you want by giving the same thing a billion different names, but the fact is that YOU ARE A MURDERER. Your ideology perverts and kills everything it touches. You look on the withered tree that you poisoned and plead that it wasn't what you wanted, but it is exactly the end point for your actions, no matter how many times you attempt to do the same thing. Every time you do it, you murder MILLIONS.

You didn't describe Utopia, you described the grave.

pan-the-ist's picture

The key, I think, is abundance.  That's what really makes communism/anarchy a fantasy.  Reality is that we live in a world of limited resources and some have them and some don't.

downwiththebanks's picture

This is the giant con:

Capitalism feeds itself by making you greedy, and then their propagandists come along and tell you it's 'human nature' to care only about yourself.

'Human Nature' to a Capitalist reduces to one statement:  ME!  ME!  ME!

TheTmfreak's picture

Do you really think that any organism doesn't revolve their life around themselves or their posterior? You're statements are proof of the high level of intellectual decadence that exists in the "modern" world

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Would not such an action make you, yourself an anarchocommunist (the spelling on that pushes the limit) ?

You were much more creative with the door knob trick ...

tmosley's picture

No. Anarchocommunists do not recognize the right to property, and will steal anything that is yours to support their own lives. They are savages by every description. Humans made into animals. They set foot on my property with the intention of stealing anything and everything. Or destroying what they can't steal. These are the fools you see in riots all over the world.

Humans have the right to self ownership, and the ownership of property. Those are the only two rights that are needed, as all others flow from those two. To take away one is to destroy the foundation of what makes us human.

LMAO's picture

@ tmosley

That Sir is confusing 

"Anarcho Communists do not recognize the right to property, and will steal anything that is yours to support their own lives"

 

You are referring to the group as being "the fools you see in riots all over the world" while I see it as an apt description that fits USSA's machinations to a t.

Anarcho Communists, both sides of the same coin?

They are both victim and perpetrator.

 

LMAO

tmosley's picture

There are parallels, but anarcho-communists don't believe in governments either.  I suppose that is a contradiction, as the refusal to believe in property rights would in fact allow for the rise of a large theft based organization.

Good analysis.  I learned something.

downwiththebanks's picture

What total bullshit.  It isn't natural to covet more than you need.  Stupid bullshit like that is learned.

There are many, many societies in which accumulation of useless shit was not the paramount aim.   Many actually DESTROY their surplus annually because remaining in harmony with nature and the planet was the chief virtue.

The fact that White Capitalists ran all over the world killing them doesn't make their history irrelevant.  

Only with the arrival of capitalism, and it's ambition to enslave man and nature to the God of Accumulation, that greed takes center stage.  Pure greed is pure Capitalism, so defenders of capitalism have to act like the first 5000 years of recorded history doesn't exist or isn't real.

And to think:  they do all of that unlearning simply to defend the landfill as a sacrosanct social institution!

tmosley's picture

This is the dumbest sack of shit put into words that I have ever read.

Who the fuck is destroying their surplus, rather than saving for a rainy day. Capitalism isn't about accumulating "things", it is about FREEDOM.

Christ, look at the lives of savage races before the arrival of the whites, who practiced something resembling capitalism, while not fully understanding it. Go to wikipedia and look up "Flower Wars", and tell me how at peace those monsters were.

Every civilization that was destroyed by the arrival of whites was a victim of their own inability to recognize the rights of their own people, and the rights of others. The Aztecs, the North American Indians, and the Africans were destroyed and enslaved. The Chinese, the Indians, the Japanese all survived easily. Why? What is the difference? The Orientals recognized natural rights. They allowed their people to develop capital. They were able to specialize their labor force because of it. That is why they survived. The North American Indians were anarchocommunists for the most part, and their failure to recognize the white settler's rights to their own property lead to conflict. They stole goods and children, and killed those who resisted. Until the capital the settlers accumulated in the form of guns, horses, uniforms, and men to fill them came into play.

The Africans were similar, at least at first. Since they had immunity to the white men's disease, they were able to survive as a people, but their culture was lost. If they had recognized natural rights, they would have long ago built up great cities and adapted to the white's weapons, and kept them at bay, as the Chinese, Japanese, and Indians did.

The Aztecs recognized the right to property, and thus built up a great civilization. They DIDN'T recognize the right to self ownership, meaning people were taken from areas surrounding the cities to have their hearts torn out, and their bodies flung down the sides of pyramids like garbage. These HORRORS created such resentment, that the moment an opportunity came along in the form of Cortez' few men, horses, and cannon, the whole of the countryside rose up as one and threw them down.

You are a damned fool, and you can keep your ass off of my property.

downwiththebanks's picture

"Capitalism isn't about accumulating "things", it is about FREEDOM."  Good one.  I think it's about kitty cats, too.

You're right - profit has NOTHING to do with it.

Do you teach economics?

PS:  White Capitalists are the savages.  

PS PS:  When I come for your property, it will be with divisions.

 

tmosley's picture

When I come for your property, it will be with divisions.

Yes, this is the true nature of these bastards.  Fucking thieves, every one of you.  You will by the bullets perforating your body that you don't even think that you own that you can't trample the rights of free men and live to tell the tale, not for long anyways.

OrestesPenthilusQuintard's picture

I didn't come to ZH and expect breathy college sophomores extolling the virtues of the organized Left.

"white capitalists are the savages".

I'll bet that plays really well in the Community College Humanities class.  Does the prof have a blazer with elbow patches?  How many Che Guevara Tshirts are in the class?  Are you the 'deep' guy at the kegger - proselytizing in the corner about hope and change?  I hope you're younger than 23 - if you're older than that - sorry.

Please.  Grow up and join the world.

TheTmfreak's picture

I stand corrected. Changing..

l1xx3r's picture

Its nice to see that logic and facts do work with some :) Thanks for renewing some of my faith in people.

Silvarouvres's picture

What we should care about is the fact that we're borrowing $6 billion every business day

 

Incredible. So in one week, the US is borrowing the equivalent of:

-60 miles of maglev track (monday)
-1 Nimitz class aircraft carrier (tuesday)
-30 Boeing 787 airliners (wednesday)
-3 Space Shuttles (thursday)
-4.5 800MW Nuclear Power Plants (friday)

But I'm sure the current allocation of that weekly total does create more jobs