Yes, Virginia, There Is An Alternative

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
On Monday the dollar had a ferocious rally, moving up from 15.87mg gold to 16.77mg and from 1.21g silver to 1.32g. In mainstream terms, the price of gold dropped about a hundred bucks, and the price of silver crashed $2.20.
One notion we’re hearing a lot now is, “there is no alternative to stocks.” Certainly, stocks have been rallying. They were up in Sunday evening (as we reckon it here in Arizona) trading. Then Pfizer announced good news for its COVID vaccine, and that seemed to be the signal to bid up stocks even more.

This Is How A State Goes Bankrupt, Illinois Edition

Somewhere back in the depths of the 20th century, a bunch of governors, mayors, and public sector union leaders got together and cooked up one of history’s greatest financial scams. They would offer teachers, cops, and firefighters extremely generous pensions but would avoid raising taxes to fund the resulting future obligations. Grateful workers would vote to re-elect their benefactors, while taxpayers would appreciate the combination of excellent public services and low taxes.

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New Stanford Study Suggests Biden’s Agenda Will Have 4 Devastating Economic Consequences

By Brad Palumbo – Re-Blogged From Foundation for Economic Education
The study concludes that Biden’s interventions would, among other things, distort labor incentives, decrease productivity, and kill jobs.

Sympathetic media outlets have repeatedly asserted that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s tax agenda would only hurt the wealthy. But a new study shows that Biden’s tax and regulatory agenda could seriously hurt the economy overall.

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Employment’s Recovery Road Comes To An End

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Massive Tax Increase

The Federalist – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

Democratic VP Nominee Kamala Harris promised at the Vice Presidential debate Wednesday night that, if elected, she and Joe Biden will raise taxes on the American people.

When asked by moderator Susan Page, USA Today Washington Bureau chief and Nancy Pelosi biographer, about Biden’s plan for the economy, Harris proudly exclaimed that he would be raising taxes and that the Biden administration’s first step would be to remove the tax breaks created by President Donald Trump.

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UK Covid-19 Tax Rises Considered, While the UK Squanders Billions on Renewable Energy

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The British Government is reportedly considering tax rises of £30 billion+ to plug the hole in the government budget created by the Covid-19 lockdown.

My question – instead of punishing ordinary people by raising £30 billion of new taxes, why doesn’t the British Government plug their budget shortfall by cutting £30 billion of useless expenditure, by cancelling all subsidies for renewable energy, the foreign aid guarantee, and other assorted big government boondoggles?

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Should you be Panicked About the Current Federal Deficit and Debt

[This article follows much of what most Americans think is true about Deficits, Debt, and Interest Rates – I don’t. Please be kind in your comments as you explain what you think the author’s misconceptions are.  –Bob]

 

The federal debt has touched an historical figure in 2020 after the Covid-19 outbreak. It is way more than what the country has tackled since the end of World War II. With the current GDP, the 17.9% federal deficit is also double of what the country had during the great recession in 2009.

 

Why is there a federal budget deficit?

 

Even before the fatal Covid-19, the federal budget deficit was large due to recession and the increase in the government’s spending. After Covid-19, the government launched stimulus packages to ease the financial pain of individuals, which meant more expenses. Congress had to spend more on the unemployment benefits, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. On the other hand, the reduced income of the working people, suspension of federal student loan payments, recession, and less tax revenue has led to overall lower government revenue.

The federal budget deficit is the difference between government spending and revenue. In the fiscal year 2019, the federal government’s overall revenue was $3.5 trillion on September 30, 2019. But, the government spent $4,4 trillion, which meant that the total deficit was $984 billion.

 

If these figures have already made you worried, then hold your heart with your hand for a second. There is a lot more to come. According to the Congressional Budget Office declaration in April 2020, the federal deficit for the fiscial year 2020 will be around $3.7 trillion or 17.9% of projected GDP. If Congress continues to launch more relief plans for the people, then only God knows how much will be the deficit.

 

The expected federal deficit in 2020 is very large. There is no doubt about it. In the last 50 years, the average deficit has been only 3% of GDP. Even in 2009, the year of the great recession, the federal deficit was 9.8% of GDP. But in 2020, the federal deficit is 17.9% of GDP, a historical figure in itself. The federal deficit was already high before Covid-19 due to the 2017 tax cut. But, the Covid-19 economic impact has stretched the federal deficit to an astronomical figure.

 

How about the federal debt?

 

The federal debt is all about how much the government owes to cover the deficit of the previous years. When the government continues to borrow money to cover its budget deficits, it’s debt burden also increases simultaneously. The federal government already owed $16.8 trillion to the foreign and domestic investors on September 30, 2019, including the US Treasury securities too. In June 2020, the same government owed around $20,3 trillion, which is huge.

 

Between 2007-2009, the federal debt was approximately 35% of GDP. Before the pandemic, the federal debt touched 80% of GDP. And, going by the way the government is borrowing money, it is expected that the federal debt will become 100% of GDP by September 30, 2020. Unless a massive change in the tax or spending policy is introduced, the federal debt is expected to grow and touch a gigantic figure.

 

Should you be worried about federal debt and deficit?

 

Honestly speaking, the government can hardly be blamed for the fiasco. The government had to introduce a liberal spending policy to reduce debt problems and consumer bankruptcy in the country. Job cuts, pay cuts, and hour cuts have pushed people into severe financial problems. People don’t even have money to pay off credit card debts or student loans. As such, the government had to bail out people in that sector too. Hence, it had to borrow money like never before.

 

Should you be worried about the current federal budget deficit and debt? As of now, there is no need to worry about it. The federal government is borrowing money at a super low-interest rate from global financial markets. There is not much competition from the private sectors on the borrowing front. It is not just the US, all countries are borrowing heavily to deal with COVID recession. The global interest rates are rock-bottom low. So, governments are still able to save money.

 

How much debt can the government handle? How much is too much for the economy? There is no clear answer to these questions. Top economists are also clueless about it. However, if the global interest rates remain this low, then the government can tackle more debts than you can imagine. Yes. The government is indeed borrowing heavily. The debt amount is gigantic. But this increase in the debt amount is mainly due to the abnormal economic situation created by the Covid-19. It is a temporary phase, not a long-run trajectory.

 

There was speculation that the enormous size of the debt amount would cripple the government’s flexibility if it faced a recession like that of 2009. Fortunately, the government could borrow money promptly during the pandemic. So, even if politicians are skeptical since a huge amount has been borrowed already, the government may continue to take out loans, especially to take advantage of the record low-interest rates. In June 2020, the U.S treasury borrowed money for ten years at an interest rate between 0.625% and 1%. From October 2019 to June 2020, the government’s overall outflow was 10.5% less than in the same period in the last year, even though the government has borrowed more now.

 

Conclusion

 

If the current economic policies are changed, then the federal debt and deficit are expected to increase as more people will qualify for Medicare and Social Security. It is projected that by 2030, the federal debt will become 118%. The current debt load is manageable. But it is equally true that healthcare costs are increasing at a faster rate than the national economy. The interest rates will also become normal in the future. So, the government will have to think about the steps to reduce federal debt and deficit in the future.

Author bio: Stacy B. Miller is a writer, blogger, and a content marketing enthusiast. Her blog vents out her opinions on debt, money and financial issues. Her articles have been published in various top-notch websites and she plans to write many more for her readers. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Business bankruptcy spike forecast as Paycheck Protection Program ends

Hardly any sector of the economy is immune to social distancing rules cutting into profits, with theaters, hotels, restaurants, gyms and retailers struggling to stay afloat.

Reopening plans have been reversed in nine states and paused in a dozen others, and more than half of U.S. states remain under business restrictions.

Think Deficits Are Bad Now? You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

The U.S. government was on track for a $1 trillion deficit this fiscal year, even before coronavirus. That’s the kind of budget deficits one would expect to see during a major economic downturn. The federal government has only run deficits over $1 trillion in four fiscal years, all during the Great Recession. The U.S. was on that path before the recent coronavirus economic upheaval even while Trump called “the greatest economy in the history of America.”

And now it looks like the U.S. is on the cusp of a legitimate economic crisis.

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Will Social Security Go Bankrupt?

Warren Gibson By Warren C. Gibson – Re-Blogged From AIER

Just when one thinks everybody has gotten the message about the big problems facing Social Security, along comes John Tamny with a piece entitled “Let’s End the Myth About Social Security’s Looming Bankruptcy.” Really? Let’s go over the basics once again.

To his credit, he starts with a denunciation of Social Security. It was, he says, “always a terrible idea for countless reasons.” Yes! It was a terrible idea because it treats us all as dummies, unable or unwilling to provide for our own retirement. Because it tells us we have an “account” with the System, thereby fostering the illusion that our savings have been husbanded in a safe place where they will be available to us upon retirement. Because it provides returns that lag behind what prudent private investments return. Because even miniscule reforms, like tweaking the index used to calculate annual inflation increases, raise howls of protest from the likes of AARP.

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California Sues Energy Companies For Gas Price Gouging After Voters Nearly Revolted Over Fuel Taxes

By Chris White, The Daily Caller – Re-Blogged From WUWT

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued two energy trading companies Monday for allegedly colluding to increase the state’s gas prices. 
  • Becerra’s move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested in 2019 that oil companies are responsible for high fuel prices. It also comes more than two years after voters nearly revolted over the state’s gas taxes.
  • Local activist Carl DeMaio told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Becerra and Newsom are “arsonists” who start fires and then have the “audacity to say someone else is at fault.”  

California sued two major energy companies Monday for allegedly manipulating gas prices artificially.

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Fed Now Owns All Markets

Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, central banks have been in the business of keeping insolvent governments from defaulting through the process of pegging borrowing costs near zero. These money printers are now in the practice of propping up corporations–even those of the junk and zombie variety–by ensuring their cost of funds bears absolutely zero relationship to the credit quality of the issuer. To be clear, central banks have been falsifying public and now private bond prices to historic and monumental degrees just as the intensity of issuances and insolvency deepens.

And now, the Fed is bailing out bankrupt consumers with helicopter money in the form of enhanced and extended unemployment, grants through the Payroll Protection Plan and direct UBI to consumers through the CARES Act Recovery Rebates clause. All together there has been about $2.8 trillion worth of deficit spending so far.

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Democratic Senators Propose Giving $2000 in Monthly Payments to Everyone

Re-Blogged From Red State

The following story is brought to you courtesy of PJ Media. Click the link to visit their page and see more stories

Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey have gone all Andrew Yang on us and will introduce a bill that gives $2000 a month to everyone.

Yang, the tech billionaire and Democratic candidate for president, made the centerpiece of his campaign a monthly check to Americans of $1000. It actually received some favorable media coverage outside the mainstream. But it wouldn’t have had a chance in Congress.

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Calif. Gov. Newsom SUED to Halt $75M Virus Relief Payments to Illegals

‘The coronavirus challenge doesn’t give politicians a pass to violate the law…’

Headlines) California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to send $75 million in taxpayer funds to illegal aliens in the form of “direct cash assistance.”

But the conservative legal watchdog Judicial Watch is suing to stop the illicit welfare payments.

California Relishes Role as Liberal Trendsetter & Trump Foe

Gavin Newsom/Photo by Ecopolitologist (CC)

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What’s Next, Trillion-Dollar Coins?

By Stefan Gleason – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The massive set of stimulus measures rolled out last month by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve has left many Americans wanting more… and politicians scheming for new ways to dole out additional trillions in cash.

Most taxpayers have already received their $1,200 “stimulus” payments. However, that one-time payment will do little to repair the long-term financial health of the 26 million (and rising) who are newly unemployed.

And it surely won’t bail out all the small business owners who were callously deemed “non-essential” and forced to shut down during this pandemic.

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Will Fed And President Trump Save The US Economy

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The Trump administration will seek an additional $250 billion to support small businesses hurt by the widespread economic shutdown and slowdown. Will the government and the Fed save the US economy? What would be the consequences for the gold market?

US Epidemiological Update

As of April 7, more than 360,000 people were confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus in the US, and more than 10,000 out of them died because of the COVID-19, as the chart below shows. Actually, the US is entering the worst period of the epidemic, as hospitals are struggling to maintain and expand capacity to care for infected patients.

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The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market”

– Re-Blogged From The Economic Collapse

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

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Bailout BONUS Bonanza Going Bonkers … Again!

The banks that are begging for bailouts still cling to their bonuses. To terrorize us into letting them keep their bonuses, the banksters are threatening to release the button on their suicide vests and blow themselves up by not taking the bailouts if they can’t have their bonuses.

You would think the response to that would be a no-brainer: “O.K. Go ahead.” Then just walk off. Watch, however, as the European Central Bank Supervisory Board Chair pretends to be getting firm with the banks because it’s so important that we bail them out on their terms: (The first two-minutes-and-twenty-seconds are all you need listen to. Any more could cause medically unnecessary nausea or brain injury as he goes to say that his recommended conservative measures are “not reflecting a specific fragility” in the European banking system at present. No, there’s none of that. All is well in Bailout Bonus Bonanzaland. They’re just doing unnecessary bailouts.)

Bills Are Coming Due

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to the global economy, the work place and the spread of the virus.


UNDER REVIEW: This week, the U.S. reported that a staggering 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a five-fold increase over the last high sent in 1982. On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion aid package into law. Few believe it will be the last in the aftermath of this viral outbreak. Credit ratings agencies are taking note of the financial standing of the U.S., and other nations.

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“Squad” Member Proposes Minting Trillion-Dollar Coins

Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

[As I recall, this originally was an Obama idea. –Bob]

Is America headed the way of Zimbabwe — an economically wrecked country that notoriously began issuing currency in trillion-dollar denominations?

A proposal by a U.S. Congresswoman would have the Treasury Department mint $1 trillion platinum coins.

As reported by the Washington Examiner:

Rep. Rashida Tlaib has proposed sending everyone in the United States $2,000 immediately and then $1,000 per month to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

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U.S. Government Continues to Dump Funds Into an Electrical Sinkhole

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

When I read the WSJ article “The Best-Laid Energy Plans” about the Government planning and subsidies that were supposedly intended to make America the world’s green-electricity superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy, it brings to mind the most terrifying nine words in the English language: ” I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

In pursuit of a way to store the daytime intermittent electricity from solar panels, for use when the sun is not shining, the reality is closer to the financial failure at Crescent Dunes, a Nevada solar-energy plant that went gone bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee. No worries. It’s only taxpayer money,

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Congress Says Nay to Expanding EV Tax Credits

By – Re-Blogged From The Truth About Cars

year-end tax package. Automakers were hoping that would include an extension of electric vehicle tax credits, but it was a doomed proposition.

An extension was initially included in the bipartisan Driving America Forward Act, which manifested this spring, before being incorporated into the Democrat-friendly GREEN Act (Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now). That got it through the House but not the Republican-controlled Senate, which wasn’t interested.

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Furious French Protest Climate Policies, Cost of Living, Pension Reforms

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

President Emmanuel Macron. By Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Link. Image modified.

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The Fossil Fuel Dilemma

By David L. Debertin, – Re-Blogged From WUWT

California again easily could become one of the top three fossil fuel producing states in the nation, but the largely liberal state has made drilling for fossil fuels within the state very difficult if not impossible. So the drillers have wisely looked elsewhere for locations that pose less of a political burden. North Dakota and its leaders welcomed the drillers. The result is tax dollars flowing into the state treasury from a variety of oil-related taxes levied not only on the drillers, but on individuals receiving mineral royalty income. In the past dozen years or so this has meant that taxpayers outside the oil producing counties have seen state-level taxes drop and the state can pursue projects that benefit the residents in a host of different ways simply by using funds that would not have been available had the drilling not occurred.

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East Coast Govs Want to Jack Up Gas Taxes to California Levels

‘In the face of continued inaction and all-out climate denial from the Trump Administration, regional, cooperative efforts … are critically important…’

Several East Coast governors from both political parties are considering policies that would circumvent President Donald Trump’s de-regulated auto emissions standards and force drivers to pay more at the pump.

Raising gas taxes would allow states to invest additional funds into public transit, electric vehicles and other environmentally friendly infrastructure, thereby addressing rising carbon emissions.

More than a dozen states are considering the agreement, which is based on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, according to Politico.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, New York, Maine and New Hampshire are all part of the proposal. Eight of these states have Democratic governors, and the other four have Republicans.

Oil Industry And Left-Wing Enviros Find Common Cause In A Carbon Tax

Photo by JeepersMedia (CC)

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The Days the Music Died

The music died many times in the past. To name a few:

  • 1929 Market crash
  • 1933 President Roosevelt confiscates citizen gold and declares it illegal to own more than a few ounces.
  • 1971 President Nixon “closed the gold window” and severed the last link between the devaluing dollar and gold.
  • 1987 Stock market crash
  • 2000 Stock market and “dot-com” crash
  • 2008 Stock market and housing crash
  • 2019? Stock market and “everything bubble” correction/crash
  • 2020-2025? “Inflate or Die” QE, bond monetization, helicopter dollars etc.

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A Wealth Tax Consumes Capital

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

It seems one cannot make a name for one’s self on the Left, unless one has a proposal to tax wealth. Academics like Tomas Piketty have proposed it. And now the Democratic candidates for president in the US propose it too, while Jeremy Corbyn proposes it in the UK. Venezuela finally added a wealth tax in July.

A Wealth Tax

So how does a wealth tax work? The politicians quibble among themselves, as if the little implementation details that differ between them are important. But they share the key idea. The wealth taxman is to go to the people who have wealth, and take some. And next year, come back and take more. And so on.

It should be obvious that this is morally wrong. But we want to focus on the economics. To do that, we need to drill down into the nature of wealth. What is wealth?

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #374

The Week That Was: August 31, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: What I cannot create, I do not understand. – Richard Feynman

Number of the Week: 6,000 times more accuracy needed!


Nothing New in AGW: David Whitehead briefly reviews several new studies which demonstrate where and how Global Climate Models are failing. The first one listed, in Science Mag, discusses how humans have been changing the face of the Earth for up to 10,000 years. There is a large project underway, ArchaeoGLOBE, which is gathering data and various areas of the globe, to include change of land use from agriculture be it animal husbandry or farming. Archaeologists have discovered that humans have modified corn for some 10,000 years.

The ArchaeoGLOBE Project was based on a questionnaire to more than 200 archaeologists with 10 distinct time points from 10,000 years ago to 1850. Data were collected for four land use categories: foraging, hunting, gathering and fishing. Such work might provide valuable information on how humans affected different regions of the globe, and what tools were used. Also, the study dispels the common notion than human impact on climate did not start until about 1850, so human impact on nature and climate is nothing new.

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Our Costly Dalliance With Lord Keynes

In “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”, Keynes virtually created macroeconomics. But Keynes was a mathematician, not an economist, and did not fully understand free markets, so he was hardly qualified to emerge as the most influential economist of the last century. His misconceptions still inform the establishment, comprising governments and their regulated financial sectors. Given that there is dawning acknowledgement that these policies are propelling leading nations into a common financial and economic crisis, a forensic dissection of Keynes’s errors and motivations is overdue. This essay is a brief attempt to rectify this omission.

Hayek’s assessment of Keynes

Perhaps we should have listened to Friedrich Hayek, when he said that his friend Lord Keynes was not an economist. This description of Keynes by Hayek is extracted from a video interview with Leo Rosten in 1975:

“He was a man with a great many ideas who knew very little about economics. He knew nothing but Marshallian economics. He was completely unaware of what was going on elsewhere. He even knew very little about nineteenth century economic history. His interests were very largely guided by aesthetic appeal, and he hated the nineteenth century and therefore knew very little about it, even about its scientific literature.”

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Germany Considers a 19% Meat Tax to Combat Global Warming

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Anyone here believe that global warming zealots want to stop at 19%?

Germany may introduce ‘meat tax’ to protect the environment

Currently meat has reduced tax rate of 7 per cent but politicians say it should increase to 19

Phoebe Weston Science Correspondent @phoeb0  1 day ago

Germany could introduce a “meat tax” to protect the climate and improve animal welfare.

Currently meat in the country has a reduced tax rate of seven per cent but the Social Democrat party and the Greens are arguing that this should increase to the standard 19 per cent, with additional revenue spent on improving animal welfare.

New York Hot Dog
Monks Hot Dog, author Mark H. Anbinder

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Bubble Bubba Isn’t Doing Fine Anymore

Let’s take a look at how the average consumer is doing. I’ll call this typical consumer “Bubba” because I just read an article that claimed “Bubba’s doing better today than at any time since before the Korean War.” It disgusted me because I found it to be such a disingenuous set of lies wrapped in half-truths, all contrived to pacify the trickle-down peasants as that philosophy continues to short-change the middle class with its fake promise.

First of all, who cares about how Bubba was doing before the Korean War? That’s going back an awful long time to find a day the present could beat. It’s before my days, and I’m a grampa now. If you have to look back that far to find a time when Bubba wasn’t doing as “well” as he is today, you’re chasing a false narrative because working-class Bubba wasn’t even alive back then. Those pre-Korean-war Bubbas retired long ago, and frankly they are much better off today in retirement than today’s working Bubba.

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What the Green New Deal Really is About

By Allan M.R. MacRae – Re-Blogged From WUWT

On July 4, 2019, I published the article “THE COST TO SOCIETY OF RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM”.
There was a reason why this article was published on July 4. My article begins:

Ever wonder why extremists attack honest scientists who oppose global warming and climate change hysteria? Ever wonder why climate extremists refuse to debate the science?

IT IS BECAUSE GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE ALARMISM WAS NEVER ABOUT THE SCIENCE – IT WAS ALWAYS A FALSE NARRATIVE, A SMOKESCREEN FOR THE TOTALITARIAN OBJECTIVES OF THE EXTREME LEFT.

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Social Security Soon Will Slide Into Insolvency

By Robert Weisman – Re-Blogged From The Boston Globe

Some time next year, as the ranks of retirees swell, the Social Security system in the United States will pass an ominous tipping point and start the slide into insolvency.

For the first time in nearly four decades, the government program that provides retirement checks to older Americans will pay out more in benefits in 2020 than it takes in. That will force the program to dip into a rainy day fund that will be depleted in about 15 years.

And if the political dysfunction in Washington continues and lawmakers don’t fix the system, benefit cuts are in store for current and future retirees, most of whom haven’t socked away enough money in their personal retirement accounts.

Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, wants to expand Social Security, even as the program will pass an omnious tipping point.
Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, wants to expand Social Security, even as the program will pass an omnious tipping point.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images/File)

Higher Prices at the Pump Don’t Mean Fewer Emissions

    Terence Corcoran   By Terence Corcoran  – Re-Blogged From National Post

Newsflash: People do not change their behaviour in the face of rising prices when the product is essential to their economic success

Terence Corcoran and Andrew Coyne go head-to-head on whether a carbon tax is the proper tool to fight climate change.

According to the oracles of carbon economics, a carbon tax must be applauded because it is a “market-based” tax that acts just like a “market price” which, under the infallible economic laws of supply and demand, will automatically produce reductions in carbon dioxide emissions more efficiently than regulations and other big-government measures.

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Public Pension Funds Falling Short of Needed 7% Returns This Year

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

U.S. state and local government pensions, already with about $2 trillion less than they need to cover all the benefits that have been promised, are falling short of their investment-return assumptions this fiscal year — and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China isn’t helping.

The median public fund, which typically has a fiscal year ending June 30, returned 3.25% for the three quarters through March 31, according to Wilshire Associates Trust Universe Comparison Service.

Public Pension Funds Falling Short of Needed 7% Returns This Year

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Illinois Could Raise EV Registration Fee To $1,000, Hike Gas Tax

A bill at the Illinois legislature proposes to raise the annual registration fee for electric vehicles (EV) from US$17.50 to US$1,000 and to more than double the gas tax from 19 cents to 44 cents per gallon, under a plan to fund infrastructure advanced by Democrat State Senator Martin Sandoval.

According to the bill, introduced at the Illinois General Assembly, owners of fully electric vehicles “shall register the vehicle for a fee of $1,000 for a one-year registration period,” under the proposal that strikes out the current “In no event may the registration fee for electric vehicles exceed $18 per registration year.”

The bill also proposes to increase significantly the gas tax in the state, as well as the license fees.

EV charger

Magic Money Tree Economics

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Our Current Financial Circumstances

  1. The U.S. is $22 trillion in debt and burdened with $100 – $200 trillion more in unfunded liabilities. Just to pay the interest the U.S. must borrow. Debt is rapidly rising and cannot be paid unless “they” default or hyper-inflate the dollar.
  2. Chairman Jerome Powell stated, “The U.S. federal government is on an unsustainable path.” Even the Fed admits what everyone should realize.
  3. Global debt is $250 trillion. Some countries have descended farther down the debt-paved road to economic hell than the U.S.
  4. Pensions are under-funded, student debt is a disaster, the main street economy is weak, real estate prices and sales are falling, retail sales are down, real wages have been stagnant since the 1970s, and no credible plan exists to fix debt, deficits or devaluations.
  5. The political and financial elite profit from wars, inflation, devaluation, strip-mining assets, and income inequality.
  6. It’s an ugly picture with no easy answers. But debt, deficits and QE levitated stock markets to all-time highs.

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24 Points Pressing Hard Toward Recession

How US Government Debt May Impact Social Security

By Peter Reagan -Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Fiscal year 2018 wasn’t a good one for U.S. government net-worth. While that may hardly be surprising, it’s possible we’re reaching a “tipping point.”

From an official report released by the U.S. Treasury, Sovereign Man pulled out a few key highlights:

  • In fiscal year 2018, the government’s total net loss was $1.16 TRILLION.
  • … they spent over $4.5 trillion.
  • … nearly HALF went to Social Security and Medicare.
  • … spent a record $523 billion just on interest payments on the national debt!

 

How US Government Debt May Impact Social Security
(Pixelrobot/Dreamstime)

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Federal Borrowing Crosses The Rubicon

By Clint Siegner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

A year ago, Republicans in control of Congress suspended the cap on federal borrowing. The limit was automatically re-imposed on March 1st. Politicians now have a few months to hammer out legislation to raise the cap as the Treasury employs “extraordinary measures” to fend off default.

The federal deficit is mushrooming once again. The 2017 tax cuts have taken a bite out of receipts at the IRS and economic growth has not met expectations.

This year’s borrowing to fill the gap between government tax revenue and expenditures may reach a trillion dollars for the first time since 2012.

If Washington politicians follow the usual script, we can expect Republicans to posture as fiscal conservatives and then relent either just before or just after a federal shutdown.

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Maine Becomes The Most Recent Blue State To Reject A Carbon Tax

By Patrick Gleason – Re-Blogged From Forbes

AUGUSTA, Maine — The beginning of March brings bad news for carbon tax supporters, who have been successful in getting legislation to impose the regressive tax introduced at the federal and state levels, but not in getting it enacted, not even in left-leaning, Democratic-run states that should be most inclined to welcome this policy.

A February 28 Maine House Committee on Energy Utilities and Technology hearing on legislation that would impose the nation’s first statewide carbon tax ended with Representative Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery), the legislator sponsoring the bill, announcing that he will pull his proposal and will instead push for a “Carbon Pricing Study Group” that will explore the topic and issue recommendations at a later date. The committee subsequently voted on March 7 against reporting Rykerson’s carbon tax bill out of committee.

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US Budget Deficit And Interest

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

How to Calculate Pi by Throwing Frozen Hot Dogs

Re-Blogged From Wiki-How

Happy ‘PI’ Day, which is march 14th. (That’s 3/14 or 3.14)

Throwing a pie in someone’s face is good. Throwing food to discover pi is better. Believe it or not, of all the countless ways to approximate the most prolific irrational number in the universe, there are none quite as interesting or as surprisingly satisfying as throwing perfectly good food around your kitchen. In fewer steps than it takes to circumscribe your house in a circle of baguettes, you, too, can easily add a slice of pi into your dinner menu tonight. The best part is… it really works!

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High-Tax States Make It Hard for Rich to Leave

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

This tax season, many wealthy Americans are getting an expensive jolt.

The Republican tax overhaul signed by President Donald Trump more than a year ago provides plenty of perks for the rich. But not all well-off folks are treated alike under the new law. A controversial provision that helps pay for huge corporate tax cuts punishes residents of states with higher income taxes—most of which, but not all, lean Democratic.

By setting a $10,000 cap on how much Americans can deduct in state and local taxes, or SALT for short, Washington created a pricey problem for the privileged in some parts of the country. Now that the first tax season under the overhaul is here, that reality is hitting home—and the thought of moving to a low-tax state may suddenly look more attractive.

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This Is New: Governments Ramp Up Borrowing IN ANTICIPATION Of A Slowdown

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

The business cycle has its stages, and they’re usually both predictable and logical. For example, governments tend to generate a lot of tax revenue late in an expansion as more people get jobs and start paying income taxes and rising stock prices generate big capital gains. Meanwhile, less has to be spent on social safety net programs because everyone is working. Combine higher tax revenues and lower spending and you get shrinking deficits.

But not this time. Government borrowing soared around the world in 2018, even as economic growth, employment and stock prices peaked. Why the change? Well, apparently governments have decided – for the first time since the inception of the business cycle – to preemptively attack the next recession.

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Elizabeth Warren Mulling Tax on Wealthy Americans

By Jason Devaney – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., appears to be borrowing an idea from a new member of the opposite chamber by considering a wealth tax on the richest Americans.

According to The Washington Post, economists working with Warren — who recently formed an exploratory committee to look into running for president in next year’s election — are working on the plan with her.

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US Government Debt Bomb Much Higher Than Americans Realize

By SRSrocco – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

The U.S. Federal debt bomb continues to increase, even with the government shut down.  In just one day, the U.S. public debt increased $50 billion on Jan 15th.  While the total outstanding Federal debt has now reached nearly $22 trillion, it doesn’t include all U.S. government debt.

That’s correct… there’s a lot more debt than Americans realize sitting on the balance sheet of the U.S. Government.  For example, there are other obligations such as U.S Government Agency Debt that isn’t well-known.  According to the USGovernmentSpending.com website, U.S. Agency debt is the amount of outstanding debt issued by federal agencies (such as FHLB and GNMA) and government-sponsored enterprises (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).  The amount of U.S. Agency debt

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Of Discount Rates and Candy-Canes

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley -Re-Blogged From WUWT

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax,

Of cabbages and kings,

And why the sea is boiling hot,

And whether pigs have wings.”

Lewis Carroll, Aliciae per speculum transitus

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #344

The Week That Was: 2019-01-19, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Truth never dies but lives a wretched existence,”— Yiddish proverb [H/t Tim Ball.

Number of the Week: Advancing to # 3?

The Weather Engine: Last week’s TWTW discussed the two primary energy flows from the surface through the atmosphere into space as speculated in the influential 1979 Charney report: 1) carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbing and re-radiating (interfering with) some of the outbound long-wave radiation from the surface to space and 2) increased water vapor absorbing and re-radiating (interfering with) even more outbound long-wave radiation. According to the Charney Report, the increased water vapor is more significant than the CO2 in causing a warming of the planet.

Further, TWTW discussed the 1997 model of the earth’s “Annual Global Mean Energy Budget” as presented by Kiehl and Trenberth paper published by the American Meteorological Society. In their graph, Figure 7, one can see the component allocated to outgoing longwave radiation and the component allocated to increasing water vapor, evapotranspiration and latent heat. Other publications disagree with the specific numbers but accept the concept.

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2018 Saw A Global Revolt Against Climate Change Policies

By Michael Bastasch From The Daily Caller  Re-Blogged From WUWT

  • 2018 saw a global revolt against policies aimed at fighting global warming
  • Australia, Canada, France and the U.S. have all seen push back against global warming policies
  • That included weeks of riots in France against planned carbon tax increases

Despite increasingly apocalyptic warnings from U.N. officials, 2018 has seen a number of high-profile defeats for policies aimed at fighting global warming. Politicians and voters pushed back at attempts to raise energy prices as part of the climate crusade.

It started in June with election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ontario residents overwhelmingly voted Ford’s conservative coalition into power on a platform that included axing the Canadian province’s cap-and-trade program.

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