Congressional Budget Office

The CBO Issues Most Dire Warning On US Budget Yet, Warns US Debt Will "Swiftly Be Pushed To Unsustainable Levels"

In its just released Long-Term Budget Outlook, the CBO has come out with the most dire warnings on the US projected debt  to date. In summary, the healthcare spending and the Social
Security will consume an increasing portion of the budget and will push the national debt up sharply unless lawmakers act,
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf warned. "CBO projects, the aging of the population and the rising cost of health care will cause spending on the major mandatory health care programs and Social Security to grow from roughly 10 percent of GDP today to about 16 percent of GDP 25 years from now if current laws are not changed." While this does not sound too dramatic, the way it is attained is with the following ludicrous assumptions (which Paul Krugman would certainly call perfectly normal): "government spending on everything other than the major mandatory health care programs, Social Security, and interest on federal debt—activities such as national defense and a wide variety of domestic programs—would decline to the lowest percentage of GDP since before World War II." Good luck with that. In the more realistic, alternative fiscal scenario, the CBO observes, that "with significantly lower revenues and higher outlays, debt would reach 87 percent of GDP by 2020, CBO projects. After that, the growing imbalance between revenues and noninterest spending, combined with spiraling interest payments, would swiftly push debt to unsustainable levels. Debt as a share of GDP would exceed its historical peak of 109 percent by 2025 and would reach 185 percent in 2035." The CBO's conclusion is a nightmare to each and every hard-core Keynesian fundamentalist (you know who you are): "the sooner that long-term changes to spending and revenues are agreed on, and the sooner they are carried out once the economic weakness ends, the smaller will be the damage to the economy from growing federal debt. Earlier action would require more sacrifices by earlier generations to benefit future generations, but it would also permit smaller or more gradual changes and would give people more time to adjust to them."

Econophile's picture

This is Part 3 of a major four part series dealing with what I feel is the primary question investors must now answer: is our future to be inflation or deflation? The answer has vast implications to our investment planning and decisions for the near term, and possibly for our long term. It is a very complex question with a lot of moving parts involving economics and politics.

Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag Is Out, Becomes First Economic Adviser To Bail

The man singlehandedly responsible for the smallest, "biggest inconsistency" in US budgetary history (that whole $6.3 billion in GSE's left off the US balance sheet, for the full post read "Obama's budget has one small, missing piece... For $6.3 trillion"), Peter Orzsag, currently head of Obama' budget office and previously head of the Congressional Budget Office, and also responsible for the most ridiculous budget in US history (what is the most recent 2020 projected deficit: $100 trillion? $100 quadrillion? does anyone even care?) is out. Bloomberg reports: "White House Budget Director Peter Orszag plans to leave President
Barack Obama’s Cabinet in July, before the White House begins preparing
its next budget, administration officials said." This is arguably the biggest slap in the face of the administration's failed budgetary efforts: the rats are now openly jumping ship, knowing full well that the US will soon be ($20 billion in debt) underwater.

San Francisco Fed Makes The Case For ZIRP4EVA, Says No Need To Fix Fed's Bloated Balance Sheet

Well, not really 4EVA, but the uberdovish FRBSF has just released a paper by Glenn Rudebusch, in which the author claims "that to deliver future monetary stimulus consistent with the past—and ignoring the zero lower bound—the funds rate would be negative until late 2012." In other words, a realistic outcome over the next two years will involve not only ZIRP, but additional QE to satisfy the differential to the zero limit. Furthermore, once the economy fully relapses into a double dip, which should be confirmed at the latest by September, Bernanke will have to flush even more money into a monetary stimulus rescue, as the president's fiscal hands will be tied in advance of a landslide mid-term election loss. One possibility is the passage of legislation which allows negative fed fund rates: when all else fails, US citizens will be directly penalized to save money. The recession will further push back the expiration of the "exceptional" and "extraordinary" language well past 2020, by which time all the primary dealers will have bought every single bond repoable back to the fed, gunned up stocks, paid up trillions in bonuses, and reinvested the proceeds in hard (gold) and liquid (Bordeaux) assets. And there you have your roadmap for the next decade. And just in case a prudent voice of opposition to this insane policy were to arise, the author stops it dead in its tracks with the following illogical and non-sequitur statement: "the linkage between the level of short-term interest rates and the extent of financial imbalances is quite erratic and poorly understood." And now you know.

Senator Jim DeMint: "U.S. Taxpayers Are Helping Finance Greek Bailout"

Finally what we have been saying for weeks is starting to filter through to the broader population and even the politicians... Too bad Americans are too apathetic to even pretend to care that their money is being sued to fund the continued and massively mismarked existence of a few French, German and UK banks. Then again, with American Idol hitting its lowest ratings since 2002, a revolution may just be what the doctor ordered.

Visualizing America's Tax Inequality, The Wealthiest 11,000 People, And Why Obama's Campaign Promises Mean 77%-91% Taxes For The Richest

Now that healthcare "reform|takeover" has passed, Obama is rightfully shifting his attention on tax "reform|takeover" for the very simple reason that America is getting bankrupter by the day. We take this opportunity to disclose the massive pain that lies in store for those who are currently benefiting the most from the endless stock market rally, of course assuming the president keeps his #1 campaign promise (which is a vast assumption). As the charts below demonstrate, American society is currently stratified beyond repair. In this vein, the Tax Policy Center calculates, that for a return to economic normalcy, or deficits at a "mere" 2% of GDP, households earnings more than $200/250k would see their tax rates going up to a stunning 91%. If the economic underperformance target is reduced to more palatable deficits at 3% of GDP, then the top earners would be hit with "only" 77% taxes.

Treasury Burns Through $82 Billion Cash In April, Down To Just $9 Billion; Adds $53 Billion In Debt In Same Period

In some parallel universe, the Congressional Budget Office is boasting about how its revenues were only x billion less than outlays. We have not seen these numbers, nor do we care: we always and only look at the cash. And so far in April, things are getting scary (almost as scary as March's $333 billion in net debt issuance): The Treasury just reported that its Federal Reserve Account is down to just $9 billion, after starting the month at $91.5 billion, and the year at $108.3 billion: Tim Geithner has burned over $80 billion in cash in just one week, financing aside. This has occurred even as the Treasury has so far recognized about $53 billion in net settled debt, all of its Bills, for net funding deficit of about $145 billion. As we know that almost a hundred billion in Coupons have been issued and pending settlement, as well as another $100 billion + in Bills will settle after this week, we adjust our estimate of net cash burn and believe that total outlays as funded by cash (not much left) on hand and new issuance will hit $300 billion. This delta is also a function of various Trust programs which are now in net need of funding, courtesy of yet another Ponzi scheme created by the great John Maynard Keynes.

Bill Gross' Latest: "Rates Face A Future Bear Market"

PIMCO's boss says the world's biggest bond fund remains underweight on Gilts, and to avoid the UK as the "bed of nitroglycerin must be delicately handled." Bill's three conditions for whether a country will be attacked by bond vigilantes:

1) Can a country issue its own currency and is it acceptable in global commerce?

2) Are a country's initial conditions (outstanding debt, structural deficit, growth rate, demographic balance) moderate and can it issue future public debt as a substitute for private credit?

3) Can a country's central bank be allowed to reflate via low or negative real interest rates without creating a currency crisis.

The conclusion is not pleasant for Greece. And some very troubling observations for the US, and how the just passed healthcare reform is one big deficit-reducing lie.

Is Okun's Law Broken? SF Fed Discusses Why Record Worker Productivity Is Painting An Overly Optimistic Jobs Picture

One of the big puzzles over the past several months has been the apparent plateau in the unemployment rate, even despite a double dip in initial claims and an overall sentiment that the economy is ready to take a second, post-stimulus, leg down. Aside from the traditional allegations of data fudging by the BLS, one concept often presented has been the unprecedented surge in labor productivity, which despite overall declines in hours per worker and a deterioration in the labor force, has allowed GDP to not only regain its losses from the recent lows, but to stage a dramatic improvement. Today, in a must read paper, the San Francisco Fed tackles precisely this topic, and comes to the unpleasant conclusion that unemployment rate forecasts may well be too rosy for 2010 and beyond, especially if companies continue to sacrifice workers at the expense of ever increasing "worker productivity" which in itself is about as "credible" as any other data series presented by the government over the past year.

Paging Ken Rogoff: CBO Revises Budget Deficit Higher By $1.2 Trillion, Says In 2020 Debt Will Be Over $20 Trillion, Debt-To-GDP At 90%

It's Friday after the close - time for the government to sneak one past traders, who are already on their fifth moqito. And sure enough, the bomb today comes from the Congressional Budget Office: The CBO, in an annual analysis of the White House budget proposal, said today that under Obama’s plan deficits would never shrink below 4 percent of the economy between now and 2020. The cumulative deficits would total $9.76 trillion, and debt held by the public would amount to 90 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product by 2020, the CBO said. In other words, the CBO has just confirmed that America has, at best, 10 years before it is officially bankrupt. That's about 9 years of multi-trillion bonuses for Goldman Sachs. Congratulations fellas.

Rep. Paul Ryan Gives Barack Obama A Lesson On How To Avoid Smoke And Mirrors, Double Counting And Ponzi Schemes "That Would Make Bernie Madoff Proud"

Rep. Paul Ryan slams Obama's healthcare reform in one of the most concise critiques of the proposed plan. Furthermore, he observes some of the critical flaws in the Obama plan, which contrary to the President's frequent appearances on TV discussing the "lies" promulgated about his proposal (and even misguidedly allowing citizens to temporarily rat each other out in witch hunts straight out of the Stazi or Sekuritate playbook), is in fact itself full of - inconsistencies, for lack of a better word.

Republicans Pushing To Count GSE Debt Toward Statutory Debt Limit May Be Surprised To Find Real Debt-To-GDP Ratio Is 130%, And That Greece Is Amateur Hour

A new proposal by House Republicans, lead by Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), is seeking to address changes to Fannie and Freddie accounting, along the lines of what has been previously proposed by Zero Hedge, and to not only include the GSE's losses as part of the Federal budget, but to also count the debt from the two mortgage zombies toward the nation's total statutory debt limit. As we stated previously, it is only semantics at this point which distinguish the GSE obligations from other Treasury obligations. Yet it is not just us, but the administration's very own Peter Orzsag who was pushing for consolidated GSE accounting two years ago. Yet with GSE debt most recently at $6.3 trillion, or about half of the existing Treasury debt, this would mean total US debt would not only explode by 50% overnight, but the recently increased debt ceiling would be immediately breached and America would find itself in technical default (where it really is right now for all technical purposes).

Coming To America: The Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis

Yesterday we presented our views on why Europe's decision to tip over the first of the bailout dominoes will be inherently a catastrophic one in the long term, and will ultimately transfer the peripheral liquidity risk into funding, and ultimately, solvency (and once again, liquidity) risk to the very core. Today, Niall Ferguson joins in, in this latest Op-Ed in the Financial Times. "It began in Athens. It is spreading to Lisbon and Madrid. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding will remain confined to the weaker eurozone economies. For this is more than just a Mediterranean problem with a farmyard acronym. It is a fiscal crisis of the western world. Its ramifications are far more profound than most investors currently appreciate." In other words, Marc Faber 1, CNBC talking heads, 0... as usual.

smartknowledgeu's picture

Today, casinos have much more integrity in their business dealings than do banks. In general, casinos have more cash and more transparent business dealings with their clients than do banks. That's why it's so ironic that most large commercial banks, as part of their "moral code", do not allow private bankers to do business with casinos. It appears today, that the bankers got that one entirely wrong.