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Taxes Vs Debt: Where Does US Funding Come From - Chart Of The Day

Tyler Durden's picture




 

A key sticking point in the ongoing presidential debate is what happens to US tax rates, either for just those making over an arbitrary $250,000/year, aka "the rich", or for everyone. To put this debate into perspective, here is a chart that shows how over the past 20 years the US funding needs (demonstrated previously here), have been met in terms of the only two components of US funding - tax revenue and debt issuance.

Some highlights:

  • For the 12 months ended July 2012, total US receipts (virtually all of them taxes) amounted to $2.4 trillion.
  • At the same time, for the 12 months ended July 12, total US debt issuance amounted to $1.6 trillion.
  • Total matched funding need for the LTM period was thus ~$4 trillion.
  • In the 1990s, reliance on debt funding declined progressively from 30% to 0% in 2001.
  • Since then debt issuance has soared, and at its peak, funded 50% of all US funding needs in the aftermath of the Lehman collapse.
  • It has since stabilized at just over 40%.
  • Assuming all millionaires paid 100% taxes on their income (Laffer curve aside), this would result in just about $1 trillion in tax revenues for the US government (based on 2008 IRS income data), which would plug the US funding gap for less than 4 months.
  • Looking at the chart above, and seeing the secular increase in the debt-funding component, probably a more reasonable question is why pay any taxes at all? After all, as increasingly more debt was used to plug deficit shortfalls, the rate on said debt declined progressively, hitting all time record lows just over a month ago.
  • Taking the thought experiment (as ridiculous as it may be) to its absolute extreme, wouldn't numerous quasi-socialist goalseeking "theories' such as MMT be perfectly validated if instead of collecting any tax revenue, the government funded itself exclusively with debt? After all, to both the GOP and the Democrats, it increasingly appears that "deficits don't matter." Worst case: the US pulls a Greece or Belize and just says "we won't pay."

In conclusion: is the primary presidential debate focusing on precisely the wrong thing? Maybe (and again taking the argument to its ridiculous extreme), instead of worrying who will pay taxes, which already are a far less important component of US funding needs, perhaps the US economy should consider a rebooting by allowing everyone to live tax-free in the process stimulating the biggest consumer-driven spending spree of all time: after all, we live in a world in which if something has worked so far, no matter how idiotic or ridiculous, it should work in perpetuity (not forgetting hope and prayer).

Plus it is not like anyone expects that the US will ever be good for, and repay the $22 trillion (at a minimum) in debt it will have in 4 short years. At best, it will keep rolling all that debt over (at ever shorter maturities) until the USD finally loses its reserve status.

 

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Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:46 | 2720816 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

We ain't seen nuttin' yet.

Just sayin'

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:58 | 2720856 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Greece leaving EURO next week. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:07 | 2720886 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullish for the dollar (short term),  someone hold slaughterer to this call.  Personally, I see Germany leaving before Greece.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:35 | 2720993 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Anybody explain the hole (less than 100%) in 2000-01?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:48 | 2721044 Nolsgrad
Nolsgrad's picture

The US ran a surplus in the budget. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:13 | 2721725 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Tyler is awesome. Tax freed American consumers would get
the can kicking into overdrive until another roaring twenties.

The world would willingly finance any FRN backed system,
even Free Reserve Notes as long as not having to face
reality.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 21:30 | 2722327 knukles
knukles's picture

Yeah but if it worked that well they'd tax it.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:13 | 2721894 bilejones
bilejones's picture

This is the lie that cannot die.

Here's the treasury site that shows the total debt.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

You'll find that the debt has increased every year since 1958.

 

The telling line here is "Includes legal tender notes, gold and silver certificates, etc." 

 

Also the other numbers you'll see kicked around don't include "Off budget items"

 

That's how you get the wife to think you are doing well: Only measure the bank loans, Don't include the iou's, pawn tickets, and weekly vig to the Soprano's. And lie about how much you are spending .

 

I'm sure you're shocked to see the State do such a thing.

 

 

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:46 | 2721446 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

The EU has and can return to existing without Greece, but Germany was in from the start and is the irreplaceable engine pulling the EU along.

Greece will get either austerity effectively enforced or it will get kicked out, methinks.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:08 | 2720888 falak pema
falak pema's picture

are they taking a late vacation? Its time they got some time off! 

Once they start printing the drachma they can go back to work with a vengeance, and never pay their debts. 

I've learnt something new : "proof of concept". Show the world debt repayment to banksta banks is not needed. Let all and sundry then follow. Once proven, rinse and repeat world over.

Ponzi Game over WS! 

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:25 | 2720948 Dad Was Right
Dad Was Right's picture

Speaking of Greece...

I had on my calendar Greece was due to make a payment to the ECB today.  3B Euro if I recall correctly. Haven't heard anything so I guess they made the payment?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:40 | 2721010 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

Yes, Europe gave Greece the money to make the payment to Europe.

 

Or something to that effect.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:56 | 2721075 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Greece is going to leave EURO like Rhode Island is going to leave the Union.

 

Small countries are always owned by large superpowers as appendages to the empire....Germany owns them. ...just a play thing right now.....

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:33 | 2721395 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

 

Greece leaving EURO next week.

California leaving USD the week after.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:49 | 2720826 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

Put huge tariffs on all crap imported from China.

 

Call it a crap tax.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:56 | 2720850 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

This is of course, the easy answer.

And politicans will tell the proles to the heavens how when they enter office, they will do this.  Of course, when they get there, they forget.

It's because the people who bankroll them, the corporations, are completely against this.  Ditto with the Fed, who WANTS the trade imbalance with China, who WANTS the USD to be low for corporate crap making prices (at the behest of the American worker AND the Chinese worker).

Not that any of us are shocked, however.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:15 | 2720911 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I'm not sure that's true at the moment...  It definitely used to be true...  trade imbalances created huge windfalls for transnationals...  the increased profits of course never managed to trickle down...  but I digress.  (of course, wage arbitrage is a constant in every business, everywhere).

However, at the present time, our policy makers are painted in a corner.  If we are no longer to import cheap goods from slave labor, then how will inflation be exported?  In other words, if we actually have to pay full value for goods and services developed in the first world, under a first world regulatory regime, then how can the charade last any longer?  How long will it take for people to realize the real cost of monetary and fiscal prolifigacy?  There is no free lunch afterall...  I think the desire of transnationals is secondary, at best, to the fear of not being able to punitively exploit our reserve status...  many have died protecting it...  many have died even for threatening it.

I'll posit that the interchange will not be orderly...  and, thus, will be avoided or sought to be avoided anyway.  The truth is, that in a death by a thousand cuts, if you make peace with the cuts, then it's more comfortable than not knowing how you may alternatively meet your demise.  Morbid, but true.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:03 | 2720866 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Ipads crap? If so, Nike, Walmart and Apple, all hit the wall. But so what...its time they paid taxes on slave labour earnings, big time.

If you added a flat corporate tax on all multinationals in Caymanista havens, of 20% and it was coordinated with Eurozone, you would be a long way to improving the budget deficits, without hurting the real economy. These super revenues from tax havens only make fat men/corporates fatter. We need the lean and hungry types who pay their taxes and work to keep their abdos at par.

Its time WS got corrected like a bot that had its cordon sanitaire ripped off. Let them eat HFT bots.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:40 | 2721955 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Sounds like more Us Vs. Them without acknowledging that the Us is everyone that isn't a bankers, and Them being everyone that is. Those Cayman accounts are not the Corporations, they are the bankers that credit the corporations. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:13 | 2720910 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

Put huge tariffs on all crap imported from China.

 

Which will be paid by American consumers who are already on the edge.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:42 | 2721022 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Bingo!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:55 | 2721071 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

I don't mind shifting production to other low cost countries, I just don't want any more garbage from China.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:26 | 2721165 11b40
11b40's picture

The answer is - buy less crap.

Make it easier to build it here, then jobs come home and pople begin to have more income to buy American made crap.

I really am tired of all this spinless, mindless garbage peddled to Americans by people who should know better.

First, trickle down, supply side econ is a fantasy.  A get rich quicker scheme from the welfare kings who have been skimming and hollowing out this country's economy for a half century.  Supply is a function of demand....period, end of story.  No demand and the supply matters not one whit.  Have demand?  Suddenly, supply shows up.  You do not build a house from the top down.  You build it from the bottom up; a deliberate, painstaking, and laborious task that folllows strict guidelines for proper construction.

Second, that 'protectionism' is bad for America is Bullshit.  Like virtually anything, too much may be bad, but without the right mix, we get robbed.  The difference between 'fair trade' & 'free trade' is the difference between night and day.  Do you close your garage?  Do you lock your doors at night?  Do you close your gate?  Then you may just be a protectionist...and if not, they you just might be a fool.  Same with our borders, which includes the flow of goods, services, and people.

Third, we can't have it all.  No society ever has for any extended period, and we are about to prove it again.  Econ 101's 'Guns or Butter' lesson has not been suspended, just glossed over and lied about.  We have 2 simultaneous war theaters and we are told to "go shopping"?  Oh, and here's a tax cut, too.  How dumb can we be?  At least we were once smart enough to demand sacrifice when we went to war.

Fourth, we are building a "service economy".  Yeah, sure we are.  We are gettting serviced, alright.  Serviced right up the ass.  Where are these high-tech jobs we were promised?  Even bettrer, where are the trained workers for these invisible high tech jobs.  Every year, the percentage of drop-outs rises.  Every year, the costs of an education outpaces the inflation rate by a wide margin.  So, every year (for decades now), we have a larger pool of marginally educated workers with low wage jobs....or, now, no jobs.  All those basic factory jobs that provided for decent wages and built our communitites and tax base are gone.

Fifth, we need to give tax breaks to the "job creators".  No, we do not.  We need to give enroll job creators in a refresher course in creating AMERICAN JOBS.  As in major tax increases on personal income for top earners, and major tax breaks for investments in the tools of production and capital formation spent domestically.  It's called investing in the future and was once the foundation of Capitalism.  All the capital sitting off shore waiting for another round of "re-patriation" tax breaks before coming home should instead be given a big round of increased taxes on off shore funds, coupled with the incentives mentioned abouve if the money is brought home and INVESTED in business expansion HERE.  Otherwise, it should be very painful to close shop in America and invest in foreign lands.

And don't even get me started on companies who decide to move their charter off shore.  Any corporation with a headquarters in a 'tax haven' should be subject to special tax review ANNUALLY, and all executives of such companies subject to an annual audit as well.  Then, let's see how long Haliburton would keep it's headquarters in Dubai.

There is lot's more, but I gotta go back to work.  Let the junks begin.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:21 | 2721356 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Or we could just return to a sound money standard and let things work themselves out naturally.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:37 | 2721413 11b40
11b40's picture

Your suggestion has about as much chance of happening as mine do.  It is all about will power, a characteristic that seems to have vanished in congress.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:41 | 2721958 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Who are you fooling? They never had any to begin with. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:25 | 2720946 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

Constitutional Money backed by a basket of Commodities weighted as per our top exports (we can pull some reverse RMB fixing shit here maybe without a centralized state run econ)

Incremental tariff on Chinese goods

Roll back free trade et al. NAFTA/CAFTA/GATT etc.

 

we need to jump start small business as well but i think the above coupled with pulling out most of the crippling regulatory infrasturcture could put the US back on its feet in five years

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:09 | 2721130 Blankenstein
Blankenstein's picture

Ross was right.

 

Ross Perot / Al Gore Debate on NAFTA

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhwhMXOxHTg (part 1 of 8)

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/naftafailure (rest of videos)

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:53 | 2720833 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

...if instead of collecting any tax revenue, the government funded itself exclusively with debt?

Considering that one nation's debt and interest are another man's asset and income stream, I am sure that is exactly where our owners want us to be.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:54 | 2720842 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

One man's debt is not another man's income when the rate on said debt is 0% or negative.

Also, one man's debt is merely a promise that another man has given.

And as Belize just demonstrated, "you didn't sign that bond indenture; somebody else signed it for you"

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:10 | 2720898 malikai
malikai's picture

Inbred.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:26 | 2720951 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Paint a bullseye on that mug... (just for fun & hijinks at organized dart tournaments at home, of course)... U never know when the Facebook police are going to misinterpret the phrase "I love paying unicorns & paying taxes to banking cabals" as something unintendedly sinister)...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:07 | 2721118 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Tyler said, "One man's debt is not another man's income when the rate on said debt is 0% or negative."

With wine, some years are better than others, but even a bad vintage can still be profitable when blended with others.  The important thing is to own the vineyard for generations.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:50 | 2721816 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Ever heard of "consistent quality approach" ?

You do your marketing homework on the branding disregarding
terrain,estate, year, grape or you even reconstitute the whole thing and most likely all of the above . Cocacola wines if you want to call them names.

You do not have to own any vineyards , you buy all over
the place and have some experts at hand for the blending.

Marketing gimmicks can be run of the mill eighties style
as long as you have a brand.

But horseman, your beef I`d have with some California plonk,
as long as it is grilled the way you picture it...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:11 | 2720901 falak pema
falak pema's picture

chateau Lafite/Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

Château Mouton Rothschild - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:12 | 2720905 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"David has been in the business for 40 years and has worked in different branches of the family firm."

And the family business is...............Muppet puppeteer extraordinaire. They make GS blush......with envy.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:52 | 2722129 i-dog
i-dog's picture

GS is an integral part of the same team that RedShield is also a part of. They share. It's an old ideology, not a family (or families).

Omnes viae Romam ducunt.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:25 | 2720950 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

but the TV told me the NWO does not exist and that the council of 300 is a breakfast cereal

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:43 | 2721024 prains
prains's picture

phonzi is in da houze!    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeee

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:47 | 2721027 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

It works as long as it works. These banking families are just a bunch of wannabe dark wizards who the proles ignore or admire/fear. Every once and awhile the proles do awaken and they show who's really in charge. History has proven that all dynasties eventually end.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:01 | 2721873 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

"History has proven that all dynasties eventually end."

They end with retards and NWO embracing folks are a
promising sign, for a start.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 20:00 | 2722140 i-dog
i-dog's picture

Dynasties and families end ... ideologies don't. New recruits keep them alive. For example, the Rothschilds were new recruits in the 1780s; the Rockefellers in the 1880s; the Clintons in the 1980s.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 05:58 | 2722950 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Halleluja! +1Trillion - and I would not call them ideologies, it's rackets. Wolfes form packs, sheep form herds, fish form shoals. It's a question of function. The human being is special because it can join several forms of bond-groups. Families, clans, gens, tribes, nations, international movements, armies, corporations, gangs, mobs, political parties, friendship circles, markets, cities and rackets.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:11 | 2720899 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly, even better, with ZIRP,  one man's income/saving  becomes debt - FAIL.  Paper fucking promises everywhere and nobody can deliver shit.  This is going to be fun.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:14 | 2720912 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

 

 

hedgeless_horseman "if instead of collecting any tax revenue, the government funded itself exclusively with debt?"

We are pretty much doing that now anyway aren't we?

Presenting The Shocking Source Of US Treasury Demand In The Past Year

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/presenting-shocking-source-us-treasury-demand-past-year

"hedgeless_horseman Considering that one nation's debt and interest are another man's asset and income stream, I am sure that is exactly where our owners want us to be."

Yes but then again many on here want to stiff the largest holder's of the U.S. debt anyway so this would be a win win at least they would get the principal

The TRUTH About Who Really Owns All Of America's Debt

http://www.businessinsider.com/who-owns-us-debt-2011-7?op=1


Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:51 | 2720835 bagehot99
bagehot99's picture

What do these nicompoops plan to be paid with, more Monopoly money?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 23:39 | 2722677 whoyodaddy
whoyodaddy's picture

You spelled "nincompoop" wrong.  It is spelled pelosi.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:56 | 2720837 poldark
poldark's picture

What is the interest payments % of revenue? 8.33%

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:54 | 2720840 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Control - P.

 

Enter.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:54 | 2720841 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

 

"In conclusion: is the primary presidential debate focusing on precisely the wrong thing? Maybe (and again taking the argument to its ridiculous extreme), instead of worrying who will pay taxes, which already are a far less important component of US funding needs, perhaps the US economy should consider a rebooting by allowing everyone to live tax-free in the process stimulating the biggest consumer-driven spending spree of all time: after all, we live in a world in which if something has worked so far, no matter how idiotic or ridiculous, it should work in perpetuity (not forgetting hope and prayer).

Plus it is not like anyone expects that the US will ever good for the $21 trillion (at a minimum) in debt it will have in 4 short years."

 

I like the idea - all that Fiscal Cliff talk is pretty amusing when you think about it in reality we are already bankrupt or would be considered as such if it was a business/household now the question is will the Central Banks like it and of course we know the answer is no.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:10 | 2720896 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

People have been sold on the idea they (the government) can socialize the losses and debt and cure it with a debt jubilee or some other accounting gimmic.  If every individual/family could counterfeit money in their basement, it would basically be the same thing except when the central bank does it, we still owe it.  At some point, it has to dawn on everyone, this snowballing debt owed to the central bank, can't be paid.  Even the central bank has to figure that one out.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:23 | 2720941 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

The first rule of game theory is you don't discuss the rules with the other players.

All the G7 CB's know that the sovereign debt is not "re-payable" in a monetary sense. Normalcy bias blocks the perception of the "game-over" signal but of course, it's coming.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:36 | 2720994 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I thought in game theory, you needed an agreed upon set of rules...  you explain the rules in painful detail...  and then when it's the most opportune time, you stab everyone in the back, reaping the highest reward from the payout matrix?  First to stab wins.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:05 | 2721494 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

Depends on the rules.

If the stabee can stab with no repercussions due to device, trick or law, then the stabee dominates.

If the stabbed can blow the fucker away with a 12 guage in a vendetta rage, the honest players who do no violence or dishonesty avoid the cross fire and win.

Extreme violence is often the cure for what ails us, and Nature usually delivers when most needed.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:48 | 2721621 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I think the "game" (life) has proven time and time again that the honest players, who seek only to avoid the cross fire and win, never manage to find what they're looking for...  the entire premise is that, at some point in your relationship, those with whom you cooperate will have their pants down, so to speak...  the difference between the haves and the have nots is typically the preparedness and willingness to...  thrust.

The "honest" players are the one who get gacked...  the political players are the ones who pit two "honest" players against one another and eliminate two opponents...  Machiavellian aptitude

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:27 | 2721927 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

History is full of civil conflicts where the guy that eventually won was one of the last few to get dragged into the fight.

As to honest players, they tend to be more successful than you give them credit for.

Maybe they just dont use the same guage for success that you do?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:08 | 2722032 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Since when has a conflict ever been civil? Civilized people do not act in aggrssion or violence, much less coercion and deception. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 15:50 | 2725012 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

Bullshit.

Those 'civilized' who dont engage in aggression when it is necesary are evolutionally unfit and nature will remove them from this Earth.

Good riddance.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:10 | 2723575 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You're being naive...  aside from the fundamental inability to distinguish between those merely sitting on the sidelines attempting to be neutral and those arranging the chess pieces for the opportune time to attack.  You think the U.S. was just trying to do the right thing in WW2?  Give me a break.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 15:52 | 2725024 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

Enough voters were wanting to do the right thing and so they slowed FDR's entry.

In fact the only two reasons we got in when we did was because the Japanese attacked us, and the Germans declared war on us.

And because we entered the war last among the major powers, we were in much better shape at the end of the war and we could have invaded and conntrolled any nation we wanted to.

Fortunately, back then we didnt want to.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:13 | 2727093 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

And because we entered the war last among the major powers, we were in much better shape at the end of the war and we could have invaded and conntrolled any nation we wanted to.

Exactly.  You contend this was by mere coincidence...  I do not.  I contend it was purely the result of our arrangement of the chess pieces and our machiavellian aptitude that allowed us to enter last...  not some bumbling luck from the other side of the pond...  ultimately, america benefitted incredibly from the war (or damage to the rest of the world's manufacturing capacities and goodwill).  I do not, for a second, believe that pulling our pants down and grabbing our ankles was in any way not scripted for the japanese to attack...  we benefitted from the war itself...  we wanted there to be war whether we joined or not...  the fact that we did join merely implies that we wanted to determine the victor...  either way, we were particularly well situated to be catapulted forward following the war's conclusion.

The american exceptionalism that followed was the direct result of a machiavellian foundation and not some underlying desire to "do the right thing".  (Note: america's present situation and all the events leading to it can be better explained through my scenario...  this wasn't something that just miraculously started in the 70s or 80s).

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:33 | 2720981 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

 

 

Hype Alert

Yes I believe even Ron Paul said that we could legally stop paying interest to the Federal Reserve right now supposedly it would affect our credit rating like that's real given how much debt vs. income we have anyway.

Save $1.6 Trillion Dollars, Don’t Pay The Federal Reserve

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:00 | 2720863 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The political and economc situation the world finds itself in is truly bizzare, but even more bizarre are the policies of central banks and governments as well as those espoused by some contributors to ZH.

Debt may be the immediate threat to an economic upheavel but surely people must realise that massive unemployment, demographic time bombs and legislative/corporate corruption and omnipotence are equally if not more insiduous to a free and productive economy.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:00 | 2721091 GAAPpreNixon
GAAPpreNixon's picture

Agreed. Our economy has all the symptoms of end stage brain cancer with the associated erratic and insane behavior. This will not end well but what cannot continue, will not continue.

Fasten your seat belt. The captaiin is busier than a cat covering up shit because he has no memory of how to fly an airplane and is trying to figure out the controls. It is pie in the sky to imagine or believe that what we are about to experience is merely a "hard landing".

More at the Doomstead Diner

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:10 | 2722037 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

The symptoms of the disease are not more dangerous than the disease that causes them. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:05 | 2720881 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

How come the government complains that the rich aren't paying their fair share of the taxes and then it turns around and issues trillions in tax-free bonds?

 

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:49 | 2721046 CH1
CH1's picture

How come the government complains that the rich aren't paying their fair share

Because it makes suckers think that they are righteous avengers... and because envy sells.

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:51 | 2721053 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Define "rich".  Wealth from pushing fucking paper, or wealthy from actually creating and delivering something of real fucking value?  One thing not discussed by the GOP, what the fuck earned income really means.  front-running on inside information bullshit should be taxed at 300%.  fuckers.  Still, no-one wants to have an adult conversation.  fuck the paper pushers.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:09 | 2720894 vertexa
vertexa's picture

Goldman Sachs to Clients: Get Out of Stocks Before Fiscal Cliff Hits

You can sense almost an air of desperation from David Kostin, Goldman Sachs chief U.S. equity strategist, in his latest note to clients as he pleads with them to take money out of stocks before they fall off the fiscal cliff.

In the note, Kostin vehemently defends his year-end S&P 500 [.SPX 1415.69 -2.47 (-0.17%) ] target of 1250 despite the benchmark’s recent rise to above 1400. The strategist still sees a 12 percent drop ahead, believing that Congress will fail to address the fiscal cliffbefore the election, and maybe even before the end of the year.

“Political realities and last year’s precedent suggest the potential that Congress fails to reach agreement in addressing the fiscal cliff is greater than what most investors seem to believe based on our client conversations,” said Kostin.

The so-called fiscal cliff is the expiration of payroll, capital gains and dividend tax cuts at the end of this year. It also refers to the mandatory sequestration of spending that resulted from the vicious debt ceiling fight last summer.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:09 | 2720895 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Tyler.

To the point of sounding like a broken record .

Still no repo report on NY Fed site page since Aug.7th.

WHY ?

These are supposed to be 3 day repos.

Is this a Black Swan in the coalmine ?

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:15 | 2720913 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Give them a few more days bro. They're a little busy with the 24/7/365 printing operation to type up your silly little report. :)

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:17 | 2720921 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Maybe they have stopped publishing it "to save money" (while they print $trillions) - which was supposedly why they discontinued compiling/publishing M3 in 2008.

You simply could not make this sh*t up - nobody would believe it.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:16 | 2720917 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Take it a step further bitchez. No taxes, and a guaranteed minimum amount given to every citizen, say $150,000 per year, so no one has to work anymore. Let Ben print it up.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:26 | 2720952 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

ALL EYES TURN TO ARRAKIS

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:27 | 2720957 digalert
digalert's picture

The 16th amendment was never ratified. Federal income tax is illegal, so is the IRS.

http://www.thelawthatneverwas.com/

Look it up, you might be surprised.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:51 | 2721054 CH1
CH1's picture

Doesn't matter. They'll send armed thugs to lock you in a cage just the same.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:08 | 2721505 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

You say that as if the law really matters.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:33 | 2720977 timbo_em
timbo_em's picture

This has been posted before but watch and enjoy: "Funding Government by the Minute" www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0RkWqyn1y4

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:38 | 2720988 djrichard
djrichard's picture

Ding Ding Ding, Yes!  Deficit spending is esentially MMT.

Deficit spending and MMT both inject money into circulation and they both use other means to pull that money out of circulation.  In the case of defiicit spending, bonds are used to pull that money out circulation.  In the case of a more conventional approach to MMT, taxes are used to pull the money out of circulation.  Net effect is the same and given that bond discipline is easier to maintain than tax discipline, I would hazard to say that deficit spending is a more effective approach to MMT.

But deficit spending (edit: or MMT in any real sense) would result in full employment and it would result in less money lending by the banks.  Which is why deficit spending is a non-starter for the players who prefer un-employment and who prefer money lending.  The idea that government can not finance itself is just a canard they invented to get the rest of us to fall in line submissively.

There was a pretty good discussion of both these topics over at NC: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/kalecki-on-the-political-obstacles-to-achieving-full-employment.html

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:07 | 2721125 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

And MMT is essentially a validation of socialism in theoretical speak: it, and its central planning corollary, fails miserably every time in practice but in some idealized theoretically constructed universe it works? Sure.

What happens to MMT and deficit spending when we move from USD to CNY, in the next iteration of this chart?

Oh wait, this time is different.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:36 | 2721193 djrichard
djrichard's picture

I might be missing what you're saying, but having a reserve currency is not a prereq for deficit spending or MMT.  Look at Japan and it's deficit spending.

Hitler was quite successful with MMT.  One could say too successful.   And he was "off the reservation" as far the reserve currency nations were concerned.

Regarding socialism and MMT being intertwined, I'm not going to argue that (setting aside the totalitarianism of Hitler for the moment).  But if we want to solve the unemployment problem, MMT is the best possible vehicle.  I would suggest solving unemployment should be our top priority.  Everything else is window dressing.

 

Edit: spell fix

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:54 | 2721476 saturno_v
saturno_v's picture

 

 

Sure...Zimbabwe should be MMT paradise then....

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2721511 djrichard
djrichard's picture

Zimbabwe put money into circulation without taking it out.

Weimar republic was similar but if memory serves, their central bank actually encouraged carry-trade speculation with their currency (kind of like ours does now).

It wasn't until MMT that the Weimar economy recovered (but by then it wasn't a Weimar republic anymore either).

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:23 | 2721544 saturno_v
saturno_v's picture

 

Zimbabwe still had their revenue office in place....so taxation was alive and well.

Germany exited their hyperinflation phase when the Rentenmark was introduced...

 

Hopefully when Japan blows up we can put the free lunch theories to rest once and for all...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:58 | 2721673 JR
JR's picture

MMT = Marx (Modern) Monetary Theory: From each taxpayer according to his ability, to each non-taxpayer according to his needs.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:37 | 2720995 JR
JR's picture

“IOU” means that I will repay you and I will have the means to repay you. IOW, legitimate debt implies forthcoming value.

The phenomenal past prosperity of the United States partly was based on the legitimate use of credit, in this case, credit advanced on the basis of sound money. But recent years have brought excessive printing of fiat currency and supersonic debt in advance of air, on nothing, on blue sky. Sound money has been corrupted and the value stolen by counterfeiting.

In other words, the promise to repay is a filthy lie. And the American taxpayer, believe it or not, soon will be discovering this lie, its perpetrators, their malicious intent and the road to a solution: eliminate these liars and crooks from their positions of power.

"John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics" July reports…

August 16 --Housing Starts Activity Continued in Stagnation •Broad Economy Is Not Recovering…

August 15--July Year-to-Year Inflation: 1.4% (CPI-U), 1.3% (CPI-W), 9.0% (SGS) • Real Retail Sales and Earnings Showed Deteriorating Economy • July Production Boost Reflected Excess Auto Inventory Building…

August 14--July Retail Sales Gain Reflected Ongoing Seasonality Problems and Revisions; It Did Not Reflect Shifting Consumer Dynamics • Potential Downside Revision Pressure on Second-Quarter GDP • Stronger “Core” PPI Inflation Continues to Show Long-Range Impact of Higher Oil Prices…

August 9 (June Trade Balance)--Bernanke Bemoans GDP Not Reflecting Common Experience • Trade Data Place Upside Pressure on Second-Quarter GDP Revision • Consumer Credit Growth Remains All in Student Loans…

August 3--Nixonian Unemployment Reporting • July Household-Survey Employment Plunged by 195,000 • Annual Add-Factors in Birth-Death Model Upped to 548,000 Jobs • July Unemployment: 8.3% (U.3), 15.0% (U.6), 22.9% (Shadow Stats) • Shadow Stats Unemployment Within 0.1 Percentage Point of Cycle-High • Year-to-Year July M3 Money Supply Growth Even with June…

August 1--Fed Action Appears to Be on Hold for Systemic-Solvency Crisis • Construction Spending Still Bottom-Bouncing • Disposable Income Flattens Out…

http://www.shadowstats.com/

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:45 | 2721032 djrichard
djrichard's picture

Government debt will never be paid back.  It will always be rolled over in perpetuity.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:38 | 2721001 Cranios
Cranios's picture

"Plus it is not like anyone expects that the US will ever be good for, and repay the $22 trillion (at a minimum) in debt it will have in 4 short years. "

Actually that is the best argument of all... if international investors were rational, or were here in the USA and therefore able to comprehend just how irresponsible the average US taxpayer/voter has become, as society has disintegrated during the Bush Jr and Obama era. 

Cranios

http://youtu.be/bBgQIy3clBg

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:44 | 2721012 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

Debt, currencies, bonds etc are all platonic abstracts, fabricated placeholders, i.e. not real, hence they do NOT matter!

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:48 | 2721043 GAAPpreNixon
GAAPpreNixon's picture

The solution here is a 90% reduction in on AND OFF budget military, spook and alphabet agency spending. Then set the tax structure to 1960 rates. This is not hard.

And another thing. INCOME is an ORWELLIAN term in the USA ever since the bullshit differentiation of "earned" vs "unearned" was created out of some sleazeball economist's attempt to pad the wallets of lazy welfare queens leeching off the country through stock dividends and the government tit through corporate "cost-plus"contract welfare. So right off the bat, your tax "revenue" data is flawed. Then add all the disproportionate load on low and middle class wages that sales taxes on just about EVERYTHING have on the bulk of American society that ARE NOT included in those tables and the picture RADICALLY changes to REALITY.

The MIC is eating this country alive. Everything else is BULLSHIT!

More at the Doomstead Diner

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:33 | 2721935 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

"INCOME is an ORWELLIAN term"

I second you on that brilliant statement.

As an entrepreneur for decades , I never had an income,
just some outcome for my tremendous efforts with ever more
capital at stage. Plain and simple natural order as one grows older. Had to slow down to get the taxman`s filthy fingers off my ass. They can`t even count and think you made a profit if you had a good shit !

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:52 | 2721051 linrom
linrom's picture

The problem with this type of tax analysis is that it distorts reality. First, in the US income tax is paid on ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME. The really wealthy pay taxes on small portion of aggregate income because our tax code consists of 20,000 pages of deductions and shelters. To give you an idea just how distorted is tax code, in 2009 the top 1% income earners received $500 billion in tax credits alone(this is in addition to what's exempt from AGI).

Additionally in 2009, the top 1% paid $1.3 Trillion in taxes at an average tax rate of 24.1%. If you double the tax rate on top 1% to 48%, that alone would bing in additional $1.3 trillion.

So how does ZH come up with its conclusion versus to what I had presented? It's conclusion could be correct if you use TOP 0.1% instead of TOP 1%. But this is a distortion of reality, the public demands that taxes should be raised on TOP 1%.

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:11 | 2721137 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

What you are talking about is taxation on assets not on income (incidentally, you are not the first, a fellow called Marx brought this up a few centuries ago). And not only has Zero Hedge discussed this, but expounded on the conclusion, as presented in extended detail by BCG, back in September 2011, is that a 30%+ one-time tax on all financial assets is coming. It will be global, and it most likely will end capitalism (crony as it may be) as we know it. Which in retrospect may not be a bad thing.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:00 | 2721288 linrom
linrom's picture

This is actual tax on ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME and not assets, This is based on TAX FOUNDATION compilation data for 2009 that can found here:

http://taxfoundation.org:81/article/summary-latest-federal-individual-in...

This is simple mathematics! In 2009 AGI was $7.9 Trillion. The top 50% share is $6.8 Trillion and they pay on average 12.5% tax. If you double this to 25%, that's additional $850 billion in tax revenue alone and the bottom pays only 2.5%.

 

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 19:40 | 2722095 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You missed Tyler's point, but were fantastic at ignoring it and droning on with your drivelling drooling bullshit. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 05:55 | 2723001 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 btw Tyler's point borders on the fantastic, too, IMHO. I'd say it has a serious cultural bias - and a serious misappreciation on how politics functions.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:52 | 2721056 poldark
poldark's picture

Surely there must come a time when the government will have to raise taxes to pay the interest on the debt.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 13:57 | 2721077 dolph9
dolph9's picture

Good article.

I've long maintained that America now thinks of itself as a "consequence free" society in which debt can be extended to infinity, everybody will become a millionaire (if only we have enough positive thoughts), and everybody will live forever, if only we let the pharmaceutical companies give us unlimited drugs, and we can extract the oil from every nation on the planet and if anybody complains, we'll bomb them.

There's no actual governance, no cost/benefit analysis, no risk/reward anywhere in American society anymore. 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:09 | 2721318 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

And our presidents will continue to be elected (as in 2008) on American Idol: The Special Election Version.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:04 | 2721108 poldark
poldark's picture

I wish I could print money to invest in gold.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:11 | 2721133 djrichard
djrichard's picture

Profits = Rev minus costs

So what's their costs?  FDRAlloverAgain maintianed that the Fed Reserve used the face value of currency they issued as cost, rather than using the production cost of said currency.  In other words, the Fed Reserve kept all the value of seigniorage.  If that's the case, then the owners of the Fed Reserve are making out like bandits and any money they give to the US Gov is token in comparison.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:18 | 2721348 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

The owners of the Fed are all federally chartered banks, collectively, although they don't directly steer policy in a formal way.

But since the Greenspan years, the effective controllers of Fed policy have been (a) the US Treasury's need for cheap borrowing costs, and (b) the major Wall Street firms called "primary dealers" (dealers in US Treasury and related bonds). The benefits of seignorage now flow, in large part, to those largest banks -- about a few hundred billion a year in implicit subsidies of lower interest rates and default protection. The Fed abandoned supervision of the primary dealers in the early 90s, while those same primary dealers rose to ascendancy as members of the NY Fed's board. No more clear-cut and profitable case of "regulatory capture" is known to me.

So the benefits of seignorage flow to the "owners of the Fed" -- the federally chartered banks -- but the flow is wildly lopsided, to the extreme advantage of the small set of institutions with privileges at the Fed's discount window. Everyone else -- smaller banks, businesses too small to issue bonds, households, and states/municipalities -- are out of luck.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:50 | 2721460 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

 

 

 

MiltonFriedmans...

That's a smittance in comparison to the $l.6 Trillion we now pay in interest to the FED not to mention the $4 Billion the Fed is paying the Bank's through IOER

 

 

How Bernanke Can Get Banks Lending Again

snip

 Suppose the Fed cuts the IOER from 25 basis points to minus 25 basis points, and banks don't lend one penny more. In that case, the Fed stops paying banks almost $4 billion a year in interest and, instead, starts collecting roughly equal fees from banks. 

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444873204577537212738938798.html

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:03 | 2721100 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

"Taking the thought experiment (as ridiculous as it may be) to its absolute extreme, wouldn't numerous quasi-socialist goalseeking "theories' such as MMT be perfectly validated if instead of collecting any tax revenue, the government funded itself exclusively with debt?"

This statement overlooks the huge army of parasites involved in the collection and enforcement of current IRS laws.  Some of those are direct (IRS agents and minions) and others are the spin-off industries which include the large public accounting firms and the tens of thousands of smaller tax attorneys, CPA, book-keepers, TurboTax salemen, etc.   This combined lobby will not be overthrown since the Public Accounting Firms have the whistle blowing threat over so many "government" agencies. 

What whistle you ask?  The whistle that says the assets used as collateral for hundreds of billions in loans at the municipal, state, etc. levels are really bogus.   Which would threaten borrowing capabilities...which would threaten the banks....and there's the circle of life.   It is, as always, all about the banks.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:05 | 2721116 JR
JR's picture

“Clinton’s Budget ‘Surpluses’ Were Fake,” more or less accounting fraud, according to The Humble Libertarian, W. E. Messamore, citing the Ludwig von Mises Institute in an article entitled "The Surplus Hoax" to substantiate the claim:

Imagine a corporation suffering losses and being deep in debt. In order to boost its stock prices and the bonuses of its officers, the corporation quietly borrows funds in the bond market and uses them not only to cover its losses but also to retire some corporate stock and thereby bid up its price. And imagine the management boasting of profits and surpluses. But that's what the Clinton Administration has been doing with alacrity and brazenness. It suffers sizeable budget deficits, increasing the national debt by hundreds of billions of dollars, but uses trust funds to meet expenditures and then boasts of surpluses which excites the spending predilection of politicians in both parties...

The surplus deception is clearly discernible in the statistics of national debt. While the spenders are boasting about surpluses, the national debt is rising year after year. In 1998, the first year of the legerdemain surplus, it rose from $5.413 trillion to $5.526 trillion, due to a deficit of $112.9 billion. Since then it has risen to $5.643 trillion today, October 15, 2000, with another deficit of $117 billion.

Writes Messamore, “Do read the entire article for more in-depth analysis of what happened in the 90's to create the illusion of budget surpluses. As it turns out, Clinton's fake surpluses may have been more harmful than typical deficits because we were under the illusion that everything was in order.

“That set the stage for the suicidal deficits of the Bush-Obama era as Washington politicians salivated over ways to spend all that "surplus" money that Washington had collected.”

 

http://www.humblelibertarian.com/2009/08/bill-clintons-budget-surpluses-were.html

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:14 | 2721146 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Buy more gold

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:23 | 2721298 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

I was going to mention MMT, but I see the righteous dudes here at ZH have beat me to it.

MMT is weird "cargo cult" monetary theory. Were it correct, we could just cut taxes to zero and "spend our way to prosperity" with trillion-dollar coins. This puts "voodoo economics" to shame! :)

Anything approximating MMT requires, not necessarily *global* reserve status, but a closed system, like Japan, with no alternatives. (Japan used to have a large pool of captive domestic savings, and still has a significant overseas surplus.) The late Roman Empire was an example as well, but without the sophisticated credit systems available to us today, it just produced inflation and ultimate ruin. MMT is a Keynesian heresy, whereby the Keynesian confusion of real and nominal economies is "solved" by ditching the real economy altogether and playing with pure "Monopoly money." As soon as it you couple the money system back to the real economy of exchange of goods and services, the "funny money" trick goes "poof." MMT'ers evade this conclusion by circular reasoning and non-sequiturs.

BTW, Japan's situation is about to change, drastically. It's run out of domestic savings and is not far from running out of overseas assets to liquidate. It will soon to cease being a closed system; then we'll see where the MMT'ers, and the Keynesians also, will be. Japan is the poster child/horror show of the befuddled Bernanke-Krugman policy poison, a mix of financial repression, uselessly piled up debt, and credit rationing enforced through artificially low interest rates (the mythical "liquidity trap"), together with a heavy culture of denial about where and how big the losses were from the 1980s bubble economy.

It's the refusal to face and take losses that's holding us back. Going down the Japan path, we'll end up 15-20 years from now with continuing refusal to face losses and multiplying zombie financial institutions unable to lend and create credit.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:25 | 2721366 JR
JR's picture

Great post and analysis, neutrinoman.

Let me drop this cherry on top from the conclusion by Robert Murphy, adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute and a faculty member of the Mises University, in his mid-2011 article regarding The Upside-Down World of Modern Monetary Theory - diamond-rated by Market Oracle:  

“I hope I've convinced the reader that something is very fishy with the MMT conclusions regarding private saving and government budget deficits. The error crept in at step one, with the equation GDP = C + I + G + (X ? M). The only justification for measuring ‘output’ (left-hand side) by the summation of spending (on the right-hand side) is that in a market exchange, the ‘value’ of something is whatever the buyer spends on it.

“However, if the government can raise revenues through present taxation or by borrowing now and paying back with future taxes, then this justification falls away. It's simply not true that $1,000 in private consumption or investment spending is an equivalent amount of ‘real output’ to $1,000 spent by bureaucrats who raised the money without the consent of their ‘customers’ and who may very operate under a ‘use it or lose it’ appropriations process.

 “The MMT worldview is intriguing, if only because it is so different from even the way conventional Keynesians think about fiscal and monetary policy. Unfortunately, it seems to me to be dead wrong. The MMTers concentrate on accounting tautologies that do not mean what they think.”

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article28035.html

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:31 | 2721385 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Nice chart! Now what about the $55T in wealth...

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:33 | 2721390 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

Not Not ONE mention of the military budget - of which well over 50% is secret and unauditable.....

Couple that with homeland security and the various militarized police budgets and we're starting to talk serious jack.

The rich need to ay the same taxes The average American pays....

But usually what I hear from the rich is whining and crying about the hardship they face..... Yea living off fat guv contracts or interest free laons all the while paying half the rate as others - then using their excess funds to bribe our politicians......
Who bail them out when their bets go wrong.....Or bomb another country to distract the masses.....
Great freaking system (for the jackals)

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:09 | 2721499 youngandhealthy
youngandhealthy's picture

The US politicians (and especially the Republicans) must be among the most stupid people in the world. Bush JR is the one that brought the US into this mess with 1) un-funded tax-cuts 2) un-funded wars 3) un- funded Medicare D. And you people ask why you have a problem? Europes problem is a breeze compared to the storm/huricane that will erupt when Mr P Ryan gets his fin-wiz in place. I will sell all USD assets I have...for sure.

 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:48 | 2721834 indio007
indio007's picture

US is onlt in debt on a cash flow basis . Throw in all the CAFR assets and you will quickly see all this debt talk is a sick scam not to pay back what was promised to various holders of retirement obligations (i.e. the baby boomers).

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 04:03 | 2722959 youngandhealthy
youngandhealthy's picture

Bhaaa.... Cash Flow over 30 years or so is not a liquidity problem it is a pure insolvency problem...for sure.

Mon, 09/03/2012 - 17:26 | 2758707 printweasel
printweasel's picture

 

"Why pay any taxes at all?" is exactly the right question.  The post does not actually go to the ridiculous extreme.  Consider this scenario:  the Federal Government decides to fund its annual budget by directing the Federal Reserve to create money in a checking account for the US Treasury.  Instead of Treasury issuing bonds that the Fed buys, the Fed creates money and gives it to Treasury directly.  The Federal Government spends from this account instead of selling bonds. By MMT, this should be equivalent.  In either case the Fed could attempt to achieve monetary goals by setting interest rates.  But direct finance would mean no interest owed by the US Gov.  In fact, no additional deficit at all.  No taxes need be collected, the IRS could be abolished.  What would an Austrian do in such a system? No federal income or capital gains taxes.  That would be a more desirable system than the current one.

The lesson is that taxes hurt more than currency debasement.  It's possible to hedge debasement, but difficult to avoid taxes.

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