Congressional Budget Office

Sorry, "Feel The Bern" Fans: President Sanders Won't Change Anything

Other than glad-handing and managing whatever undeclared wars he's been let in on, President Sanders won't change anything important because he can't change anything important. Neither can any other president. Political theater is just that--theater. Fans of Obama learned the hard way that hope and change are quietly dumped the moment you enter the Imperial Presidency.

America's "Inevitable" Revolution & The Redistribution Fallacy

"There are so many fault lines that the nation seems consumed by a conflict of all against all... there is an inevitable “revolution” coming because our politics, culture, education, economics and even philanthropy are so polarized that the country can no longer resolve its differences."

The Looming Medicaid Time-Bomb

Between the demographic time bomb about to go off - that is, the growth of the elderly population far exceeding the growth of the working age population by several orders of magnitude - and then the weak economy, the huge expansion of entitlements under the health care law, and the dramatic increases of the costs of those entitlements, including for labor, what could possibly go wrong?

Government Shutdown & Debt Limit Questions Answered

A federal shutdown due to a funding lapse looks no less likely than it did two weeks ago, and Goldman Sachs believes the probability is nearly 50%. The Senate is expected to begin voting later this week on a funding extension, but the House looks unlikely to act until shortly before the September 30 deadline. The following attempts to answer the main questions surrounding the shutdown, debt limit deadlines, and ramifications...

Fourth Turning: Crisis Of Trust, Part 2

The world is becoming increasingly chaotic and the American people are seeking a leader who can bring order, make tough decisions, and capture the zeitgeist of this moment in history. They are in search of a prophet generation (Boomer) Grey Champion, whose arrival marks the moment of darkness, adversity and peril as the Fourth Turning careens towards its climax. The Grey Champion doesn’t necessarily have to be a good person, but they must lead and display tremendous confidence in their cause and path. Franklin, Lincoln, and FDR have many detractors, but during their Fourth Turnings, they most certainly led, casting aside obstacles (sometimes illegally) and enduring dark days and bleak prospects for success. Is there someone of that stature ready to lead the American people now?

Frontrunning: September 1

  • Charting the Market: New Month, Same China (BBG)
  • China jitters send stocks tumbling (Reuters)
  • Oil falls on weak China factory data (Reuters)
  • Euro zone factory growth eases in August despite modest price rises (Reuters)
  • Euro-Area Joblessness Falls to Lowest Level Since Early 2012 (BBG)
  • Clinton friend advised on U.S. politics, foreign policy (Reuters)
  • Korea exports slump as Asia's woes deepen (Reuters)

Why This Time Could Be Different

From both and fundamental and technical viewpoint, there is mounting evidence that the current decline might just be sending a signal that there is more going on here than just an "overdue correction in a bull market." While it is too soon to know for sure, there seems to be little risk in being more conservative within portfolio allocations currently until the market environment clears. However, the proverbial "elephant" is margin debt.

Hilsenrath Warns Fed Is Out Of Ammo, "Policy Makers Resorting To Backup, Backup Plans"

As the U.S. economic expansion ages and clouds gather overseas, policy makers worry about recession. But, as WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath warns, their concern isn’t that a downturn is imminent but whether they will have firepower to fight back when one does arrive. "The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats,” economists at HSBC Bank explained, and as looming threats are a reminder that the slow-growing global economy is just a shock away from peril, with rates already at zero, Douglas Elmendorf, the recently departed director of the CBO, warned, "policy makers are thinking about their backup, backup plans."

Peter Schiff: Currencies Depend On Faith, Gold Doesn't

"My faith is that governments and central banks will continue to run up debt and debase currencies until a crisis brings the whole experiment to a disastrous conclusion. There is simply no historical precedent to reach any other conclusion. I also have faith that human beings will always prefer a piece of gold to a stack of paper. Separate a paper currency from its perceived value and you just have a stack of paper and ink. However, if they would just print it on softer and absorbent stock and put it on rolls, it might have some intrinsic value if we run out of toilet paper."

How Likely Is Hyperinflation In The U.S?

Hyperinflation in the U.S. is coming sometime in the next 20 years or so, and this isn't a cry from a Chicken Little, but a conclusion that the analysis strongly suggests. It is possible hyperinflation could happen during the next few years, but that seems unlikely since it would require a series of major crises and political blunders – events unprecedented in the history of the United States. If this led to a corruption of Constitutional rights in the midst of an exaltation of the Executive Branch that resulted in loss of the rule of law, hyperinflation might result. It is much more probable that hyperinflation will be preceded by a long slow decline that will include a protracted period of high inflation, and that the crash of the dollar and hyperinflation will be the final tumble off a looming, steep cliff.

Athens On The Potomac - It Could Never Happen Here, Right?

Financial experts in New York, London, and Brussels have tut-tutted Greece’s economic travails as Athens considers its future with the European Union. Why did they borrow so much money? How can they ever pay it back? Do they think that much debt is sustainable? Instead of pointing fingers at the innumerates running Athens, they should consider our own situation.

Ex-Im Bank Bites The Dust Today - Good Riddance To A Crony Capitalist Heist

The Export-Import Bank died last night when its charter expired. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing’s Bank is headed toward Washington’s trash bin. When Congress returns it could revive Ex-Im, which primarily subsidizes big business exports. But a proper burial for what Barack Obama once called “corporate welfare” would save Americans money, reduce economic injustice, and promote economic growth. Ex-Im’s closure is a very rare victory for the good guys in Washington. Crony capitalism is running rampant in America, undermining confidence in a market economy.

Some Troubling Numbers From The CBO

According to the CBO if the US wants to return back to its long-term debt/GDP average of 38% of GDP, it needs to boost revenues by 14% or slash spending by 13%. Alternatively, if it wants to keep debt/GDP at its current level of 74% of GDP, the US will need to boost revenues by 6% of cut spending by 5.5%.