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Trump, on a Future Debt Crisis: 'Yeah, But I Won't Be Here'

He’s probably not wrong.

||| Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/NewscomOliver Contreras/Sipa USA/NewscomThose who appreciate the Donald Trump presidency for its transparent refusal to apply lipstick to piggish federal policy have a new example to point to. The Daily Beast is reporting that Trump "has repeatedly shrugged" off any concerns about the massive and rapidly expanding national debt, reportedly saying about the day of debt-reckoning, "yeah, but I won't be here."

This sentiment is no surprise for the dwindling number of people in public life who worry actively about the long-term fiscal unsustainability of the United States. Trump campaigned, successfully, on "protecting" Social Security and Medicare, expanding the already-swollen military budget, and cutting taxes. There was no way in hell that that combination would reduce budget deficits and debt, and hoo boy has it not.

In many ways, the biggest surprise in this story is that there are still "aides and advisers" who "have tried to convince [Trump] of the importance of tackling the national debt." That concern is almost nowhere to be found in major-party politics anymore, Paul Ryan's crocodile tears notwithstanding. The only politician of note I saw bellyaching about debt and deficits in the midterms was Gary "Young People Are Getting Fucked" Johnson in the New Mexico U.S. Senate race, and he only got 15.4 percent of the vote in his home state, only half as much as his unknown GOP opponent. Democrats did not retake the House by promising long-term fiscal sanity.

||| ReasonReasonThe four basic options for Republicans who once professed to care about this stuff are: 1) quit (Ryan, Jeff Flake), 2) embrace the loneliness (Justin Amash, Rand Paul) 3) just stop talking about it (a majority of Republicans on Capitol Hill), or 4) opportunistically profess belief in the Growth Fairy, so you can experience the hands-on enjoyment of expanding government power while pretending you don't want to. The latter is the preferred tack of former House deficit hawk-turned White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and also longtime Washington free-market guy and Trump 2016 economic advisor Stephen Moore, who told the Beast, "when [Trump] was confronted with these nightmare scenarios on the debt, I think he rejected them, because if you grow the economy…you don't have a debt problem."

In the world that actually exists, not only is short-term growth (plus tax cuts) not magically wiping away debt, it's adding to the pile, which contributes to the very real risk that accumulated debt loads and service thereof will have a dampening effect on…economic growth. And keep in mind we're on year nine of twin growth spurts in the economy and Wall Street; when those bubbles pop, tax receipts will go down while demand for services will increase.

So yeah, President Trump doesn't give a rip about debt, except for the irritations of having to pay interest (which is why he's jawboning the Federal Reserve). If George W. Bush could double the national debt, Barack Obama could double it again, and Trump could win on a platform that was estimated to double it once more, you can see the thought bubble forming over his head: Fiscal responsibility is for losers.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when expressing such sentiments out loud was considered irresponsible, even reckless. But that taboo was erased right around the end of 2014, and shows no sign of coming back. Elected politicians on the federal level have learned that voters prefer candidates who never charge current taxpayers anything close to the cost of government. It will probably take an economic disaster, or year-on-year haircut for Social Security recipients, to put a dent in that dangerous dynamic.

Photo Credit: Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Most transparent president ever.

  • BigT||

    "Trump campaigned, successfully, on "protecting" Social Security and Medicare, expanding the already-swollen military budget, and cutting taxes"

    Um, tax revenues from income taxes INCREASED in 2017 and 1H18. Only the corporate tax revenue decreases, and what the hell, it was cut 40%. Give it a couple of years and it will be increasing as well.

    You'd think a so-called libertarian would understand this.

  • grb||

    Tax revenues have increased 46 of the last 50 years. They increased after both tax cuts and tax hikes. Revenue ALWAYS increase except after a major economic shock. Even then, it resets lower and immediately begins to climb again. Finding significance in a tax revenue increase is almost like discovering water is wet. Is it possible you didn't know that?

    Meanwhile, government costs more, whether the scope of government expands, contacts or remains unchanged. It is theoretically possible to cut government beyond its normal expanse, but no one is proposing any detailed plan to do so. Until that happens, lowering the sum cost of government is as much a fantasy as supply-side blather.

    Keeping things simple here (given the economic illiteracy common in the Right), lets continue : If the expanse of cost exceeds the expanse of revenue, the deficit increases and greater debt is added. If tax cuts make this increase worse, then tax cuts add to deficit and debt. Remember : Tax cuts NEVER pay for themselves. You'd have to be an imbecile to believe something so moronic.

    Trumps tax cuts - like Reagan's, W Bush's, Brownback's, etc - have reduced revenue and exploded deficit and debt. But, hey, that's what Republicans do, trash the nation's finances. It's been that way almost four decades. They also have a real problem being honest about this, with their "supply-side" mumbo-jumbo and silly excuses about "increased tax returns", but I guess that's to be expected

  • Charles Barr||

    The DEBT is not the DEFICIT. And the DEFICIT is not the DEBT. They are separate problems.

    Government BORROWING drives up the debt, not government SPENDING.

    The solution to our debt problem is simple: STOP ISSUING DEBT-BASED MONEY! Begin issuing pure "unbacked" fiat money to fund the deficit, rather than going further into debt. The inflationary impact of unbacked dollars is no worse than the inflationary impact of the same amount of debt-backed dollars. Issuing unbacked dollars will halt the increase in the national debt and its crushing $430 billion in annual interest. Paying off part of the maturing debt each year and rolling over the rest will eventually bring the national debt (and its taxpayer-financed interest payments) down to zero. See www.fixourmoney.com .

  • Vernon Depner||

    Why not pay all government bills with unbacked fiat money and cut taxes to zero?

  • Charles Barr||

    Immediately cutting taxes to zero would risk introducing too much cash into the economy at one time. However, we can use debt-free fiat money to limit price inflation and other harmful consequences of the deficit in two ways: (1) Support a federal budget that fully funds essential services, along with the minimum amount of "entitlements" that the voting public is willing to accept. And (2) continue reducing taxes to the point at which the advantages of allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money are offset by the disadvantages of further money creation.

  • ejhickey||

    Most people would say there is no such thing as "too much cash"

  • Vernon Depner||

    So, the real purpose of taxation is to prevent people from having too much money?

  • ElvisIsReal||

    I totally believe this would be possible in a real libertarian system where government was small. In this current system we'd just jack up inflation YUGE.

  • Charles Barr||

    Why? Adding a given amount of "printed" money to the economy should not be any more inflationary than adding the same amount of "borrowed" money.

  • GG00dmn||

    Vernon, money really isn't "backed" by anything tangible. Dollars are basically 0-coupon T-Bonds, right? Both US liabilities.

    But *some* taxes are necessary, kinda for the same reasons movie theaters need to tear your ticket stubs. They don't benefit from the paper or redistribute the tickets but it requires you to acquire tickets from them, by whatever means, purchase, win prize, free gift.

    What difference does it make to ordinary people if Govt pays interest on T-Bonds? Govt paying interest doesn't harm anyone. Other than, many of us actually RECEIVE that interest, indirectly, like for retirement funds. Banks collect some interest at whatever the Fed sets the rate.

  • Charles Barr||

    Re: "Govt paying interest doesn't harm anyone." Oh yes it does! Interest on the national debt scoops up over 30% of everyone's federal income tax, and this number is rising. That's big-time "harm". A burdensome national debt would be unnecessary if the government simply "printed" money instead of "borrowing" it, and the inflationary impact of unbacked "printed" dollars would be no worse than the inflationary impact of the same amount of debt-backed "borrowed" dollars. See www.fixourmoney.com .

  • BYODB||

    Wrong, Trump and Saunders have basically the same opinion on international trade. I get that you're just being a snarky douche bag, but Trump actually agree's with an avowed socialist on this one.

  • BYODB||

    I'm not so sure that he's any more honest than Trump. I'd put the probability that anyone with money is actually a socialist at pretty close to zero.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • TJJ2000||

    Deficit -
    Obama's 1st Term - Democratic majority in Congress = $5.094T - $1,273B/yr
    Obama's 2nd Term - Republican majority in Congress = $2.187T - $547B/yr
    Trumps 1st Year ( Congress Republican majority ) = $665 Billion Deficit
    Trumps 2nd Year ( Congress Republican majority ) = $779 Billion Deficit

    Looks like Obama's 1st Term Deficit over-shot Trumps deficit record to almost DOUBLE.

    Its horrible to see such deficits but trying to ditch on Trump with Obama Record just doesn't hold any water.

  • TJJ2000||

    A deficit IS NOT a "left for" factor the debt is; which we aren't discussing. It is YEARLY and does NOT include the previous year.

    Bush Last Year 2008 Deficit = $458B.

    Why did Obama and the Democratic Congress run the deficit up 308% in 2009? So they could bail-out (i.e. Corporate Welfare) the auto industry?

    Oh wait - maybe you think it was to "stimulate" the economy???? So if the left has issue with Trumps Tax Cuts ( as minor as they were ) to stimulate the economy how is it a 308% stimulus is deemed acceptable????

    I don't think the Trump administration should be running a deficit but trying to make his administration look worse than Obama's just doesn't hold even a speckle of water.

    P.S. 2018 unemployment lowest its ever been for 49-Years. The economy wasn't "sound" until AFTER Trump took office with a Republican Congress and used his "Pen" to undo the Obama mess.

  • TJJ2000||

    That is a lie. Bush's last year deficit was $455 billion (source CBO)
    ht tps ww w .cb o . g o v/ p u b l i ca t i o n/ 2 4 8 50

  • TJJ2000||

    Yes, you are right - TARP funded the auto bail-outs passed during the Bush administration. My mistake. But.. not only did it pull a net profit but it also only used 1/2 the ARRA price-tag entirely implemented by the Obama administration.

    Your party comparison of Trump and Obama still doesn't hold a speckle of water.

    Ya know - If the left is SO concerned about our out of control Deficit and Debt there is plenty on the right to support that. A Limited government after all is their very platform. If you want to get onboard with that great -- Whats the HOLD UP!!!

    But if you just want to try and blame the issue on party-lines but are utterly uninterested in solving the issue - you're just part of the problem.

  • TJJ2000||

    You're a psychopath.

    1. You commented that Trumps deficit is worse then Obama's.

    2. You avoid that Obama's entire 1st-Term Deficit outranked ALL of Trumps and instead blame Bush (for only the first).

    3. You back-peddle saying that I made it a partisan issue while simultaneously comment AGAIN that Trumps deficit was worse then Obama's and conclude "it blew up in my face"

    4. You say Bushes TARP act ending up being federal INCOME is "A diversion" and in response to admitting Bush passed TARP you claim me as "denying" it.

  • TJJ2000||

    1. I don't base arguments on "forecasts".

    2. I laughed like HELL that you "think" Bush's second term was influenced mostly by Republicans.
    Did you forget the Democrats had full control of Congress since 2007?

    3. Again; Deficit figures are based on YEARLY - Bush on his year / Obama on his year. And there is no argument that Obama's Bail-outs were 300% of Bushes.

  • TJJ2000||

    lol... 2009 Fiscal Year... Your blaming Obama's deficit on Bush.

    Granite the Fiscal year ended on 10/1/2008 and Obama didn't take office till 1/20/2009 but you're really grasping at straws here. Bush had nothing to do with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on 2/17/2009 that billed out $787B in and of itself.

  • TJJ2000||

    "Programs created by Obama that increased deficit - None" ??? lmao....

    Debt 1/20/2009 when Obama was sworn in $10.6T
    Debt 1/20/2017 when Obama left $19.947T

    You leftists are as blind as bats.

  • TJJ2000||

    And Obama extended Medicare/Medicaid through ACA. As a matter of fact it is no secret the entire left is behind BIG government control of healthcare as well as well EVERYTHING.

    If you (David Nolan) and Buttplug are SO against growing government entitlements you are by definition CONSERVATIVES. Why you both turn a blind-eye to Democrats entire platform of socialism/communism while nit-picking Republicans X, Y or Z acts in nothing short of some of the worst bigoted bias ever seen.

    Then there's Trump - Who has set many records for de-regulation and crack downs on EXACTLY the same entitlements your both complaining about running up the deficit over.... Yet; this all began by attempting to claim (which turned out to be false) that Trump was worse than Obama.

    Don't like extending government power??? support the repeal of Obamacare. Don't like corporate welfare??? support repeal of subsidizing (i.e. socialist/communist) plans.

    But the stupidest thing to do is to pretend the platform based on socialism/communism and ever growing government control is actually anti-government.

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    The 2009 fiscal year deficit largely belongs to Bush, because the vast majority of the spending was from his budget and emergency resolutions before Obama took office. However, Obama did add $253B to FY 2009 spending via the Fiscal Stimulus Act. This is unusual - the first spending attributable to the new President is generally spent in the next fiscal year.

  • Headache||

    Absolute BS! Congress only passed Bush's defense budget. The dems held off the rest until Obama took office.

  • TJJ2000||

    What is so called Absolute Proof? LIES, LIES and more LIES and cover up?

    Somehow you leftists like to blame Obama's first year of deficit on Bush. Claim TARP (which pulled a net profit) makes him to blame for the 2009 deficit yet won't acknowledge that the ARRA was passed ENTIRELY by the Obama Administration which was almost $1T.

    Blind your eyes to Obama's new programs Green Jobs bill, the ACA, the EPA Clean Power Plan, New efficiency standards, Expanded unemployment, and never mind his 2010 deficit will be even higher; its just all Bushes fault???

  • Moo Cow||

    You really have no idea what you are talking about here.

  • grb||

    You're amazingly clueless - or dishonest (it's a close call)

    Fact : Obama's first day of his first term, the projected deficit was 1.3 trillion dollars - a projection which proved true. That was the situation BHO inherited from GWB.

    Fact : Year by year throughout Obama's two terms, he reduced the deficit. By his last year in office, it was less than half of what what he inherited. That's the situation he passed on to Trump. DJT immediately sent the deficit soaring back toward plus-trillion numbers by tax cuts.

    Fact : That's what has regularly happened these last forty years : Republican make matters worse; Democrats make matters better.

    Weasel away all you want, it still changes nothing. Your "logic" is equivalent to saying a plane climbing from the runway at 600 ft is piloted worst than a plane plunging to the earth in flames at 700 ft. Yeah, you've got your 100 ft delta, but you're kinda missing the big picture,

  • Headache||

    So,how does a projected deficit become an actual deficit? When Pelosi and Reed sent 2009 discretionary budget to Obama to sign in Feb 2009 and the stimulus in Mar 2009.

    After adding $8 trillion to the debt Obama finally cut his deficit in half. Big Fucking Deal!

  • Nardz||

    A symptom of the progressive disease, as exhibited by hihn and buttplug here, is the inability or unwillingness to distinguish fantasy from reality.
    Note the foundation of their beliefs: projection.
    To a progressive, fantasy = fact

  • TJJ2000||

    TARP made a net profit of $15B when it was ended in 2014.

  • Ghost on the Highway||

    Sure but Obama saved the economy or something

  • GG00dmn||

    Why is it horrible to see net fiscal deficits?

    Don't we citizens and consumers like to have net fiscal surpluses? For capitalism?

    Would it be better if the Govt pushed for net fiscal surpluses and we citizens, businesses, and consumers were left with net deficits?

    We tried that scheme with Clinton's surplus budget. We didn't "feel the pain" of our deficit (no huge recession) because financial deregulation permitted a housing and mortgage derivatives bubble to develop, and since this was backed by rising house prices, that covered up the fact that as a whole we were having LESS net financial savings but skyrocketing housing assets that offset the private debt overhang .... until the housing asset bubble couldn't hyper-inflate any more and asset prices collapsed.

    Then thanks to private sector deficits we had private debt and "worthless" or "toxic" assets.

    Personally, if the Govt runs a deficit instead of Capitalism running a deficit, that's better for Capitalism, because Capitalism in decline means "failure".

    What would happen if we tried to suck all $22 Trillion out of US capitalism .... all to make a balance sheet inside the Fed have less red pixels on it? I think we all know, Capitalism would totally collapse before it got close to subtraction of $22 Trillion (which would be 100% of net private financial assets or wealth).

  • wearingit||

    Ahh yes, anybody advocating for nordic style welfare state must be poor.

    Russell Brand tackled this one well- they claim you're just greedy when you're poor and advocate for democratic socialist policies but when you're rich and you do it you're of course not true to the cause either.

    Maybe people just don't want to talk about it.

  • Nardz||

    When people advocating nordic style welfare start - and continue every year for a decade or so - to voluntarily give 75% of their income/earnings to taxes/charity, then perhaps they will begin to be taken seriously.

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    Didn't Trump promise to balance the budget? Not that his promises mean anything, I'm just trying to understand the scope of the Trumptardnomics school of economic thought.

  • BYODB||

    If you're curious about his opinions I'd suggest you start by reading the Democrats platform from circa 1990. It'll give you basically the complete list of things Trump seems to believe.

  • TLBD||

    Voting has become: Do you think it will be better in 30 years with the Democrats in power now, or do you think it was better 30 years ago when the Democrats were in power?

    Neither are good choices, but the insanity of the Democratic Party is making it increasingly clear. I'd rather live with 1990s policy than whatever shithole country the Dems have dreamed up for a few decades from now.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn?

  • Tony||

    These people are talking about fiscal discipline at a libertarian website. You're telling them to fuck off... because? You are against fiscal discipline? You're a sociopath?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano's still ass-mad that I own him like Kunta Kinte.

  • Nardz||

    Hihn apparently doesn't understand what a simile is either

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano still ass-mad that he doesn't know shit about gun control.

  • GG00dmn||

    Fiscal discipline is exactly equal to private sector poverty.

    You would think that libertarians hate capitalism as much as they insist on net removing all the dollars. Communists were never smart enough to dream up a scheme like getting conservatives to destroy evil US capitalism for them, by destroying money.

    What's an economy with no money? Barter, not commerce, not capitalism.

    Positive benefit: Some people might be trading sex for food, cheap.

  • DarrenM||

    No, a BBA is not stupid. However, it does need some kind of enforcement mechanism. It would be stupid if we were to leave it to Congress or the President to decide if a budget is "balanced" or not. (The definition of "balanced" is another issue.)

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    I had no idea NAFTA 2.0 could contribute so much is such a short time.

  • JeffreyL||

    That' actually not necessary. Every dollar of debt issued by the US Treasury is issued in US Dollars. A simple act of congress can pay off the debt, in full. The bill simply instructs the Treasury to credit the accounts of Treasury Note and Bill holders for the nominal value or OID value and call it a day.

    The actual amount of US Debt is actually not all that meaningful. What is meaningful is the inflation rate. That tells you all you need to know.

  • GG00dmn||

    [The actual amount of US Debt is actually not all that meaningful. What is meaningful is the inflation rate. That tells you all you need to know.]

    VERY GOOD.
    If the Govt spends money into the economy too fast, revving up consumer purchasing too much, too fast, plus Govt itself competing to purchase resources, there's a risk at some point of "overheating".

    A supply shortfall is the same math as a excess demand. But in a DYNAMIC capitalist economy, various actors typically respond to excess demand by creating more supply. More shifts. More restaurants. More stores. Longer hours. More imports. More hiring. Whatever.

    The last time Demand-driven inflation was a serious risk was World War One or possibly World War Two, when the Govt needed to purchase all the steel, rubber, gasoline, etc. and they didn't want newly hired war workers to rush out and purchase new stuff at the same time, driving up prices. One thing they did was encourage Savings instead of Consumption .... buying war bonds are savings instead of consumer spending. They also had to institute some rationing.

    It would be difficult to create THAT degree of consumption pressure today. Even with these minor wars like Iraq, it hardly required gearing up all our factories exclusively for the war effort. I don't recall hearing "hold off on buying that washing machine or new car, or you'll be helping the enemy win". We have pretty strong production capacity and elasticity now.

  • SQRLSY One||

    http://thinkprogress.org/trump.....6d1dc03d7/

    Quote from top there, "...Republican presidential nominee has an unusual plan for our nation's finances: intentionally refuse to pay back America's debt."

    Trump promised to not give one hoot in hell about the national debt... He wants to stiff our creditors (many of them USA citizens, USA bond-holders). Trump went bankrupt 6 or 7 times, and it worked out well for him! Trump as Chief Scamster, Flim-Flam Artist, and Con Man promises to do the same thing for us as well!!! Wait and see what THAT does to the "full faith and credit" of the USA Government Almighty!

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • TuIpa||

    Why are you introducing yourself Hihn?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano self-identifies.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Tulpa and Trump,
    Sitting in a tree,
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G...

    (And all of Trump's horse's-asses,
    And all of Trump's boot-lickers,
    Couldn't put the economy,
    Back together again!)

  • TuIpa||

    Fred G. Sanford|11.26.18 @ 7:47PM|#

    So you live in a "trailier"? Is there room for both your wife/sister and your livestock? Xan I askong you?

    And to believe I though Trumptards limited their communication to grunts and hand motions.
    Fred G. Sanford|11.26.18 @ 7:52PM|#

    And not being able to spell is as dumb as it gets.

    Don't be so hard on yourself Fred!!!

  • Shirley Knott||

    Standard Keynesian doctrine. "In the long run we'll all be dead."

  • SQRLSY One||

    I see your future and I raise you mine!

    Unlike the rest of you poor slobs, I have a reliable crystal ball! So here goes…

    2020: National debt = 120% of GNP. Donald Trump easily wins re-election by promising a large budget for a new Department of Disputing Elizabeth Warren's Native American Ancestry, and for Making the Liberals Cry.

    2024: National debt = 130% of GNP. Elizabeth Warren is elected POTUS; She promised a large budget for a new Department for Making the GOP-tards Cry. Elon Musk's projects are fabulously successful, and Americans are emigrating en masse to Mars. Given the choice of either continuing to pay hideously large fees to the USA IRS, or renouncing America citizenship, the Martians pay $15,000 each to renounce America citizenship, but even the millions of Martian-American exit fees are like micro-farts in a hurricane… They make no difference in the national debt!

  • SQRLSY One||

    2028: National debt = 150% of GNP. New POTUS Bernie Sanders wins by promising free health care and PhD educations for everyone who can spell the word "free", plus, a free pony for everyone under 15 years of age. Some USA states are getting ready to split off of the USA, and renounce their "fair" share of the USA debt. Hispanic illegal humans are scrambling for the exits back south, as most employable Americans seek black-market low-wage jobs to escape exorbitant taxes.

    2032: National debt = 230% of GNP. All states have split off of the USA, leaving behind only Washington, DC, with the entire national debt. DC promptly declares bankruptcy. All states with nuclear-weapons bases, having very well learned from Ukraine having given up its share of USSR nukes, and getting invaded by Russia later on, have kept their own nukes.

    2036: Montana and Wyoming unite, feeling a patriotic urge to restore the united USA towards its former fully Glory Days. In a quest for military glory, they have a full-scale nuclear exchange with California. The USA's needs have now been met: Both the liberals AND the conservatives are forced to cry!

  • creech||

    As someone recently said "yeah, but I won't be here."

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Call Netflix. Your series has potential.

  • GG00dmn||

    What if Trump succeeds with part 2 of his tax cuts, this time for the Middle Class. That will make the private sector rich. (also spur more consumption and GDP)

    Who cares if the National Debt is 150% of GDP. GDP does not pay the National Debt.

    What happens is much like a CD reaching maturity at the bank.
    T-Bond balances for some customers are debited. Reserve balances for those customers are credited. That is, numbers are subtracted from Column A and added to Column B. Interest fees are added according to Contract. Done. That portion of National Debt is paid on time when due in full. Happens all the time.

    How could the Govt NOT BE ABLE to move Numbers from Column A to Column B on the Govt's computer system inside Govt buildings managed by the govt's central banking system?

    YOU can move money around online. YOU are not authorized to add money to your own accounts or anyone else's. You may only transfer funds or send your funds to someone else's account. Congress has that power. Congress can declare war and let the Executive nuke someone. Congress can sure as heck declare Appropriations to pay for those nukes or pay for anything else. INCLUDING Social Security checks.

  • BYODB||

    Of course, you leave out the bit that they meant to Republicans since it's simply assumed that Democrats don't give a flying fuck about deficits or spending.

    Not that it's a good thing that Republicans figured out their base don't care about deficits. They were pretty much the only people that thought it mattered, and now that everyone knows it doesn't matter we can expect no spending cuts, ever.

  • itsjustbob||

    Dem presidents and Republican Congress. Slick Willy became a much better President when Newt and the gang took over the House for the first time in 40 years

  • BigT||

    It was the end of big government!! I heard him say it. And "I never had sex with that woman."

  • BYODB||

    You support Democrats and Progressives Shrike. We all know it. The only weird thing is that you refuse to own it.

  • BigT||

    "And deficits shrank drastically during the 8-year terms of the last two Dem presidents."

    That first year was $1.4 trillion because shit for brains on both sides of the aisle bailed out the banks and the car companies and so on. After the sequester that Republicans forced on O'Banana the deficit came back to only 50% higher than Bush's average deficit.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "Afghan War"

    What the fuck was he supposed to do? Say "yeah, you attacked us and killed several thousand people. No big deal - just don't do it again".

    Buttplug calls a response to an act of war a "new program". Dumbass.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    By the Buttplug's definition FDR's response to Pearl Harbor was the Mother of All New Programs.

  • DarrenM||

    On the other hand, why are we still there? Does anyone remember?

  • GG00dmn||

    War *is* also a spending program. They used to be domestic spending programs like when the enemy was a major industrial power.

    Now, not so much because we don't need so many aircraft carriers, fighter jets, etc. We typically just replenish and upgrade. No more Rosie the Riveter.

  • GG00dmn||

    continued:
    Besides, Afrghanistan didn't attack America. Everyone knows that. Nobody ever said that. They didn't even have tanks unless they stole some from Soviets.
    They drove around in Toyota pickup trucks causing local mayhem. Most of the people had no comprehension of a skyscraper. Sheep herders and opium growers.

    The official story of the crime was that alleged MASTERMIND, Osama Bin Laden, a member of the Binladen family which is partners in the Saudi-Binladen Group investment and construction firm, OBL was living in Afghanistan at the time, after leaving or being being kicked out of Saudi Arabia and Sudan or Somalia.

    He had flown up to Afghanistan and parked his ass there which they accepted and welcomed him. He had helped Afghanis fight the Soviets (with money and preaching) when the US was backing the Mujahideen, he was also there in the background. Rambo III is that story. Also, Charlie Wilson's War is another Hollywood version of that.

    THEREFORE, Afghanistan was responsible for OBL. (to be continued)

  • GG00dmn||

    continued from part 2:
    Bush demanded they capture OBL and turn him over. The Afghan Govt (if you can call the Taliban a government) said "Yes, sure, no problem, just show us your evidence." Bush said, "F__k off, no evidence for you. Do what I say." Taliban said, "Nope, show us the evidence first."

    Except I read that Afghan leaders were saying that in public while negotiating thru back channels for a way to turn over OBL to America and (I assume) not seem too un-Islamic about it. I read at the time that our administration called "compliance" with our requests a "nightmare scenario" because that would preclude the Global War on Terror, which was already committed, so it couldn't easily be cancelled without causing internal political problems and foreign policy issues.

    Same for surrender of Saddam. Bush and Team did NOT want that to happen because then there's no reason to invade.

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    It's true that while Obama did not create any new programs that added to the deficit, he did accede to extending the Bush tax cuts, which added nearly $1T to the national debt in 2011 and 2012 alone. He also bumped up military spending during his terms. IOW, he was a tax-cutting war-monger. No wonder he gets along with GW so well these days.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Iraq War boondoggle *ended by Obama*

    Fuckin' LOL. The SOFA to pull the troops out of Iraq was signed long before Obama took office, shrieky-poo.

  • Bowerick Wowbagger||

    Why pay when everything's free?!?!?!?!?!?!

  • BYODB||

    Yet another bit of proof that the biggest problem that some people have with Trump is that he says what basically every other politician thinks, but would never admit to.


    Ok, that's probably not people's biggest problem with him. But it's up there.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    A growth spurt is certainly something you've never experienced.

  • Agammamon||

    Trump "has repeatedly shrugged" off any concerns about the massive and rapidly expanding national debt, reportedly saying about the day of debt-reckoning, "yeah, but I won't be here."

    "Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill. "

  • Juice||

    about the day of debt-reckoning, "yeah, but I won't be here."

    I wouldn't be too sure about that.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano and his delusional fantasias.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    If Hillary can't be indicted, can't nobody in Washington be indicted.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have a cunning plan. Tell all sitting, past, and future politicians who are letting this disaster happen that we'll be tarring and feathering each of them until that future crisis ends.

  • ElvisIsReal||

    I don't think it's much of a coincidence that politicians got bolder when we stopped running them out of town.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Yup, heard some moron on the radio this noon talking about how flush with cash California is. Yeah, as long as you ignore that pesky 2 to 3 hundred billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Fucking fuckity fuck I hate the dishonesty.

  • GG00dmn||

    I don't know details, but obviously a state like California has to pre-fund much of pension liabilities and better have something ready in the future so the funds are there in the future.

    Uncle Sam CANNOT pre-fund anything. Dollars we use are tax liabilities printed and not redeemed for tax. How can Govt pre-fund anything with its own liabilities? It creates those by a vote of Congress. What would it do? Store up a bunch of its IOUs in a safe at the Treasury? That's meaningless. Congress net-spends as needed, when needed. If they need a war, they order more Budget Authority for Defense Dept. If they need to pay out Soc Sec, they can order payments to Soc Sec recipients.

    Debiting payrolls can't logically make Govt "more solvent".

    When they "pay off Nat debt" in part, every month, as due, the owners of those Dollars (US liabilities) typically choose to park their Dollars *BACK INTO* new Treasury Securities (also US liabilities).

    We could forbid them to do so. But to what end?

    To make the "national debt" smaller by making them park their savings in Reserve accounts, thereby having Fed liabilities instead of Treasury liabilities? That helps America?

    That's like a bank forbidding customers to make deposits.

    CALIFORNIA is obviously different. They can't create sovereign California currency. Check that exact wording in the US Constitution. Cali needs X amount of tax revenue. Uncle Sam doesn't.

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano is still pissed that he's an ignoramus on gun control.

  • Mcgoo95||

    Hah! Only Hihn would know what RRWP was referring to. Moderators, this is the man you are looking for! Ban him! Or don't.... it's always entertaining to watch him get so easily triggered.

  • Nardz||

    "THAT WAS FUCKING STUPID"

    Now realize that this is the reaction that all have to every one of your posts, hihn - whether you're posting as (banned) Michael hihn, David nolan, Ellis wyatt, John galt, or any of your other handles.

    Hihn+expression=dumb

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano still thinks no on remembers him advocating handgun bans in contravention of Heller:

    3. The handgun ban and trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment.

    Anything else, Dumbfuck Hihnsano?

  • Mcgoo95||

    Wait? Did it actually work? Where did all his posts go? Holy crap!

  • Jerryskids||

    Just invest all those billions of Chinese tariff dollars coming into the country into tax cuts and the problem solves itself! Mexico will pay to build the wall and China will pay for everything else. Trump said the national debt was no big deal and he could easily have it paid off in 8 years, either he has a simple plan and you shouldn't doubt him or the guy just says whatever shit pops into his head and you shouldn't pay a bit of attention to him.

  • CapitalistRoader||

    The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.
    Sen. Awesome Boyfriend (D-IL), 3 July 2008

  • BYODB||

    Obama shouldn't call himself unpatriotic, it's mean!

  • GG00dmn||

    China doesn't supply the US with credit. China creates Yuan. Uncle Sam doesn't owe Yuan.

    China parks Dollars that it earns in Reserve accounts at the Fed (checking). China then transfers some of those Dollars from Reserve accounts to Securities accounts (savings). I believe that's in conjunction with Open Market Operations or else it goes directly to Treasury or goes thru Wall Street banks.

    Anyhow, they prefer their Dollars in Securities vs Reserves. Why not? Who wouldn't?

    China is buying less US securities today, because Chinese middle class is growing and buying more of production --- China's New Deal --- while ours is shrinking --- so they have less exports and China is earning less foreign US Dollars. Reportedly a trade surplus of zero for 2018. So fewer surplus Dollars to park.

    Uncle Sam's iron-clad promise to China is to move their Securities balance back to Reserve balance. That's it. That's the 14 Amendment fulfilled. That's paying off the so-called "China credit card", when due.

    No children or grandchildren are involved in this process which takes place every month.

    What if China wants to spend those Reserves? Those are transferred to some other country's Reserve account at the Fed.

    If country B has surplus Reserves, then country B may purchase US Securities and become proud owners of term-limited "National Debt".

    Again, no children or grandchildren involved.

  • Rich||

    "Young People Are Getting Fucked"

    "Well, young person, it's time to pay off your ancestors' debt."

    "No, thank you."

  • Ken Shultz||

    When inflation, boomers piling into Medicare, and/or the economy goes into a recession, we'll see cost cutting. It's all about GDP and the portion of it that the government can take without suffering a pushback.

    Two relevant links:

    Link One:

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....t-solution

    As Gillespie's and de Rugy's article from yesteryear show, taxes won't go much over 19% of GDP. Part of this is because economic activity decreases as the government eats more of our seed corn. Part of it is because the American people won't accept taxation levels much higher than that.

    Recession, expansion, after tax hikes after tax cuts, given Democrat, Republicans--doesn't matter. The government will not get more than 19% of GDP. As the number of retirees increases, we'll start seeing entitlements grow closer and closer to that number--given a normal rate of economic growth. If inflation kicks in, debt service will start to crowd out other spending, too.

    If there's a recession, it'll be worse. It won't matter if they raise taxes, they'll still get less than 19% of GDP--they'll just succeed in making the GDP pie smaller than it would have been otherwise. In the end, there will only be spending cuts left.

    I hate to see that happen because when we cut spending because we have no other choice, there will be a lot of needless suffering. Much better to do the smart thing now---rather than have it inflicted on us by the markets.

  • Gracchus||

    As Gillespie's and de Rugy's article from yesteryear show, taxes won't go much over 19% of GDP. Part of this is because economic activity decreases as the government eats more of our seed corn. Part of it is because the American people won't accept taxation levels much higher than that.

    Do you have a citation for that?

  • DarrenM||

    taxes won't go much over 19% of GDP

    I assume you mean tax revenue.

  • blondrealist||

    It's all about living standards - and the harm to living standards that high inflation will inflict. Economic growth has been pretty good, but as the article mentions, it's not keeping up with increased federal spending. The U.S. dollar has been holding up pretty well. Thank goodness the U.S. economy has been growing more than Europe. China's incredible GDP growth rates have been trending down. When the global economy gets stressed, the "safe" money flows back to Treasuries. That is something to keep an eye on. The Fed can try to control interest rates, but the market has more control - and if the markets lose enough confidence in the U.S. economy (and government) -then bond prices will drop significantly. The amount of debt relative to GDP isn't as important - look at how long Japan has been carrying super high debt-to-GDP ratios (without experiencing hyperinflation).

  • DarrenM||

    Yes. It helps to keep in mind that the theoretical point of all this is increased standard of living. I should add that this should also be sustainable.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Link Two:

    I'd be more sympathetic to Reason crying fiscal conservatism if only staff hadn't opposed cutting $1.2 trillion in direct spending--$772 billion of it from Medicaid--because of other things that the bill didn't do.

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    I feel like Stephen in front of the Sanhedrin. Your whole purpose was to look for the Messiah, and you found him alright. And when you did, what you do? You had him crucified!

    We had a bill to cut $772 billion from Medicaid, and the "libertarians" who opposed those cuts shouldn't stop hearing about it until we get within three Senate votes of cutting $772 billion from Medicaid again. Anybody who opposed HR 1628--because of what it didn't do--and still calls themselves a fiscal conservative is either ignorant or full of shit.

  • BYODB||


    ...because of what it didn't do--and still calls themselves a fiscal conservative is either ignorant or full of shit.


    Or because we have some interest in keeping the FedGov within their actual enumerated powers, and expect them to actually follow the laws they pass. But I guess as long as you're fine with the government declaring groups of professions in the U.S. essentially a slave class than yeah everyone should have jumped on the wagon.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What are you talking about?

  • Ken Shultz||

    That bill got rid of the individual mandate. Some of the "costs" in that CBO report are about how much money the federal government would "lose" in uncollected penaltax because the bill gets rid of the individual mandate.

  • chipper me timbers||

    all together now: "Fuck off slaver"

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano shrieks like a bitch.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano can't defend himself, so he shrieks like a bitch.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    because of what it didn't do

    You mean like "cut spending"?

  • Ken Shultz||

    You're a fucking retard.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The bill that you are praising didn't cut one dime in spending. It was a promise to maybe cut spending in the future. And I am tired of listening to mere promises to cut spending some time in the future.

  • DarrenM||

    Spending more than you take in increases deficits. Despite taking in more revenue, spending increase even more, so you have no rational reason to blame the recent tax cuts. If you were honest about things, you would instead blame them for increasing spending. You'll probably do a complete 180 when Democrats are back in power anyway.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano futurecasting.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off, Hihn.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    And the reason why is because Gillespie, Welchie Boy, and the rest of the fake libertarians who now control Reason don't actually oppose welfare and don't actually support across the board spending cuts!

    They are Obama/Soros left-liberals who want us to follow the western European model of cutting defense spending down to the bone to support a continuously expanding welfare state.

  • Josh The Radio Dude||

    He's right. He'll be in prison. Or, preferably, Hell. The death sentence IS the full penalty for treason, which he has committed repeatedly.

  • chipper me timbers||

    No libertarian should even consider agitating for balanced budgets.

    Not because balanced budgets are bad but because "balancing the budget" is always, EVERY TIME, a code word for raising taxes.

    Cut spending, cut spending, cut spending. We should be advocating for spending cuts even if there WAS a currently balanced budgets. The size of Leviathan is the problem here. Any journalist or pundit wringing their hands over the deficit is really truly just talking about raising taxes.

    If the budget were balanced now, they would want to raise taxes and they'd have some other dog whistle for it besides 'balancing the budget'.

    It's a scam folks.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Not because balanced budgets are bad but because "balancing the budget" is always, EVERY TIME, a code word for raising taxes.

    Or maybe it's a code word for "balancing the budget".

  • ThomasD||

    Ken is right, you really a fucking retard.

    If you are not going to cut spending then calls for "balancing the budget" must - by logical necessity - mean raising taxes.

  • GG00dmn||

    because "balancing the budget" is code word for shrinking the (net) money supply ... out here in the real world.

    Generally speaking, this hands over more power and income to the people Paul Craig Roberts called "banksters". That is, IF they choose to continue lending into housing markets (and other stuff).

    If banks cut lending, or consumers cut borrowing, then Recession or Depression, which automatically wipes out overall wealth, business profits, savings, AND tax revenue.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Caring about the debt seems to be a function of how close you are to collecting your piece of the pie.

    SHOCKED

  • JeffreyL||

    To the author of the article. Now explain Japan. FYI, the amount of debt outstanding is more than 2x that the of united states on a % of GDP basis. I don't remember anyone in the 2 years screaming about the coming implosion of Japan. Just like the US, every penny of Japan debt is denominated in a currency completely controlled by the Government of Japan. Take that as a hint.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano doesn't realize the national debt has gone up every year since FY58.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano having another bitchfit.

  • JeffreyL||

    Japan has had a sluggish economy for over 25 years now. The level of government debt has had absolutely nothing to do with this fact however.

  • blondrealist||

    You are correct. Japan's monetary system is very similar to our system. Seems that Japan has been fighting deflation for a long time. Their population is aging more rapidly (on a relative basis because they're not having as many kids and their immigration policy is very restrictive). They (individuals) have a habit of saving money rather than spending/consuming/borrowing.

  • jdd6y||

    The Japan example suggests this situation has 50-100 years left at least to run. There will be debasement/strategic, hidden, default, but the debt levels can and will go a lot higher before that. There is no impetus to rein them in. And the economy can support a shitload more debt.

  • Sig40||

    I honestly think that what many Trump supporters admire about the guy (and have in common with him) is his absolutely childish self-absorption, and this comment of his is a perfect example.

  • ThomasD||

    It's not so much admiration as the simple observation that his opponents will, when he refuses to play into their interests, manufacture discussion points out of whole cloth.

  • Sig40||

    And he doesn't do the same thing? I never ceased to be amazed at how partisans can turn a blind eye when it's "their guy" in the office.

  • ThomasD||

    OOOh, whataboutism!

    With bonus points for 'partisans.'

    (Get over yourself.)

  • DarrenM||

    At least he's honest about it.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Probably the first President since Eisenhower to actually be honest about it.

  • Echospinner||

    A fine line between clever and stupid.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Balancing the budget (via spending cuts, of course!) isn't just about reducing the power of the state over our lives. It is a moral proposition. I contend that it is fundamentally immoral to stick future taxpayers with the bill for what we consume today.

    And it's a real problem when so many people, even those in libertarian circles, seem to have little problem with such financial travesties.

  • Don't look at me!||

    The lesson to be learned here is that no president should have enough power to take blame nor credit for the economy . Nor should the government as a whole have outsized power over the economy as it does.

  • M.L.||

    Remember when Trump proposed a budget with sweeping cuts, slashing non-defense discretionary spending across the board and ending countless federal programs? He should get a lot of fiscal conservative credit for doing that. All of D.C. wanted to kill him (some literally) and the vitriol was even worse then before.

    But at the same time, unfortunately for fiscal conservatives, Trump is a "deficit dove." I'm sure he'd spend as much as he possibly could on military, infrastructure, industrial/technological advances, medical advances and the like, and generally supporting the superiority of U.S. industry.

    Even during the campaign, Trump made it clear that he believes deficits don't matter to some extent, and that in order to win, he thinks the U.S. needs to spend a lot of money, using debt. So that's the other side of the story; this isn't merely a situation where he thinks he's wrecking America's future but doesn't care.

    1/2

  • M.L.||

    2/2

    Curiously, Trump may also believe that if (or when) things go south, you could default on the debt and then renegotiate it. Just for one example, when Puerto Rico's debt became an issue in the wake of the hurricane, the President said "we're going to have to look at their whole debt structure . . . they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street, and we're going to have to wipe that out . . . you can say goodbye to that. I don't know if it's Goldman Sachs, but whoever it is, you're gonna have to wave goodbye to that."

    Anyway, I never agreed with Trump's deficit dove position. But, his position may have some unique merit, in that it acknowledges the political realities, and makes an assumption which is likely true: that a debt crisis is inevitable, and the national debt WILL have to be "restructured" in some way, shape or form.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off, Hihn

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I've said this before: There comes a point when you realize the debt isn't going to be repaid, and the only questions become,

    1. How big will it be before it is repudiated?

    2. In what manner will it be repudiated?

    3. What will we have gotten for it?

    And there are two strategies for responding to the realization that default is inevitable. One is to take the default as a moral wrong, and resort to austerity to minimize it. The other is to try to get as much as possible from your creditors before stiffing them.

    Austerity is politically impossible, or else we wouldn't have run up the debt to begin with. So it really just comes down to how the default is managed, and what we'll get in return for a ruined credit rating. That was, explicitly, one of the reasons I supported Trump in 2016: He's got experience taking large enterprises through bankruptcy, and coming out the other side.

    Mind, once you openly acknowledge that default is inevitable, you have alerted your creditors that the end is near, and they should unload the debt on somebody more careless. So I guess we're getting pretty close to the end game here.

  • blondrealist||

    The federal government is a currency issuer, so default isn't inevitable - at least not the in the way a corporation, municipality, or individual (all currency users, not issuers) can default on a loan. If the U.S. federal government's credit rate gets ruined, it will show up in very high rates - obviously. That could lead to hyperinflation, which would seriously harm living standards for most of us. Having said all that - from an operational standpoint, harmful inflation is not the same as default.

    The federal debt isn't going to be repaid, it will mostly just keep getting rolled over, just as it has throughout almost all of our country's existence. The only time the federal government wasn't in debt was for a brief time under president Andrew Jackson, when the debt was paid off and a real surplus occurred. (Then, within about 2 years, the economy experienced a deep depression.)

  • Brett Bellmore||

    From a creditor's standpoint, not being paid back, and being paid back in worthless currency, is indistinguishable. It would provide a salve to the courts, however, which might take exception to formally violating the Constitution's command that the validity of the public debt not be questioned.

  • ThomasD||

    Worthless is not the same as worth less.

    Something is still better than nothing, which is why debasement will happen and repudiation never will.

  • ThomasD||

    It is also important to consider just how much of the world's wealth is held (not merely denominated) in actual US dollars.

    Inflation is a tax on everyone who holds that currency. The US position as the worlds currency effectively allows it to tax most of the planet.

    Not to say that this is in any way a good thing, but to note that any US hyperinflation will effectively be a world inflationary event.

    Not good for the old lady living on Social Security. But potentially much worse for many in the third world. If you are not an actual subsistence farmer or hunter gatherer you could very well be forced into one of those modes of living. \

  • ThomasD||

    The debt will not be repudiated. It does not need to be. It is all denominated in currency controlled by the government.

    So the currency will be debased in order to meet that need.

    Thus it has always been. Back in the old days they actually used to put less specie in the coin, but that change was measurable. So we've 'solved' that problem by effectively putting nothing in the 'coin.'

    Plan accordingly.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Always good assessments, Brett.

    I pulled all my on investments out of foreign bonds and stocks 8 months ago. I saw the trend that is becoming the reality. The non-US economies are going from stale to toxic.

    USBonds are also bad because local government in the USA are overvalued on credit risk and they are borrowing like crazy.

    The big question will be to shift all US stock to cash and gold or buy more falling US stock waiting for the rebound.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I refuse to pay for executive cashouts as these executives sell their companies into bnkruptcy.

  • GG00dmn||

    I didn't know Trump said that about bondholders taking a haircut on P.R.
    Puerto Rico's debts would be restructured because PR has no national currency.
    Venezuela owes US dollars for imports of tech and mech and chem for oil prod. That's sold in USD and Euros, etc. Vn can't buy imports with Bolivars.

    America's debt consists of US Dollars stored in Securities accts inside Fed. NOT foreign currency. Huge difference. Weimar owed Versailles Treaty debts, in Pound Sterling and Gold.

    Euro states owe debts in Euros, not in Drachma or Lira or Francs. Britain, wisely, kept the Pound. Euro countries have to "get" Euros ... from other Euro countries.

    Where does USA go to "get" US Dollars? China? China doesn't make US dollars. China saves US dollars from trade, stored in US accts. USA doesn't go anywhere to "get" dollars to pay debts denominated in US dollars.

    conservative St Louis Fed does not concede all these points, but wrote:

    As sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. govt can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the govt is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational. Moreover, there will always be a market for U.S. govt debt at home because the U.S. govt has the only means of creating risk-free dollar-denominated assets (by virtue of never facing insolvency and paying interest rates over the inflation rate, e.g., TIPS—Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities).

  • shortviking||

    Daily reminder that tax cuts do NOT equal spending.

  • blondrealist||

    But if tax cuts reduce federal revenue, then the federal deficit will increase. That does not mean new spending on programs, but it does require more federal borrowing to make up for the reduced tax revenue.

  • ThomasD||

    "but it does require more federal borrowing to make up for the reduced tax revenue."

    Except that revenue has not reduced. Revenue is still up, even at the 'lower' rates.

    Spending is the problem, and if and until that problem is addressed there is no remotely libertarian justification for increasing taxation.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Even most liberals don't really believe this bullshit that tax reductions automatically mean lower tax revenue. If they did, you wouldn't see these one party democratic cities like New York and DC give such sweet reduced-tax deals to giant companies like Amazon.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Sure you would; Corporate handouts are an important step in laundering money back to politicians. You don't think your wife gets a well paid job on some corporate board just because she's that good, do you?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Mo' women, less problems!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    So, you're saying he's familiar with Keynes?

  • Warren||

    There was a time in the not-so-distant past when expressing such sentiments out loud was considered irresponsible, even reckless. But that taboo was erased right around the end of 2014, and shows no sign of coming back.

    Ha ha ha ha That taboo, if it ever existed at all, was erased at least as far back as 2004.

  • jdd6y||

    When the American people start giving a shit about accumulated debt, deficits, and interest rates then politicians should care. The people, clearly, do not care. As a gen Xer, I used to care because something could have been done 20 years ago. But now any responsibility will fall heavily on my shoulders without the baby boomers ever having to sacrifice anything after going full guns & butter their entire lives. I don't see any reason to care about the millennials if they don't care about it themselves, which, given their love for socialism, they don't. The shit will hit the fan one way or another. All governmental roads in the USA lead to Detroit-style insolvency. Why voluntarily devalue your existence when the destination will not change? The only hope is the mechanization of governments that would reduce the need to spend tons of money on marginally useless administrative personnel and their pensions. And that may happen. Robots giving building permits, responding to FOIA requests, and issuing parking tickets.

  • vek||

    As much as I would love people to become sane again, I don't see it happening. Someday when we're forced to, if we're lucky, we'll just have 5-10 years of 8-10% inflation, which will be able to reduce the real world value of the debt back to being manageable in just that decade. Bond holders will take it in the shorts, as they should for being dumb enough to own US government debt.

    If we're unlucky the entire currency will collapse violently. It could go either way. Either one could kick off any time. It's all a confidence game, because the fundamentals have been borked for ages... I plan to PLAN for any such eventuality in my personal life, so whatevs. Hopefully I'll be fiddling while Rome burns.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Better be planned for that plan because debt collapse is coming. It always does sooner or later.

    Prostitution will be legal though because the World will be in shambles. libertarian moment!

  • Curly4||

    Trump, on a Future Debt Crisis: 'Yeah, But I Won't Be Here' . . .
    This is the thought of all the politicians in Washington DC. as well as several of the states also. They pass bills that they know will take huge tax to keep going but by then these politicians have moved on to greener pastures after they have raped the tax payer for all that they can get. That is the way a politicians buys votes and the bureaucrats gets a retirement plane with a much higher retirement income than their working salary was in only twenty or at the most thirty years. That is also the way that these bureaucrats can work for only twenty years retire drawing a salary as great or greater that what they were drawing while working and then go back to work for different government agency and get a higher salary than what their last job was and still draw retirement at the same time.

  • tlapp||

    That is politics. Reactive not proactive. FDR signed SS into law when even his appointee Witte who headed the committed to create it warned it would leave huge unfunded liabilities to future generations with this funding scheme. LBJ was warned about using the same funding scheme with Medicare and responded get it passed and worry about it later. We have had 100 years of that same mindset. Even if Trump would put his business sense to work, why would he, when the House and Senate would never accept anything different.
    When it blows up 2 parties will point fingers at each other and still do everything to not address the deficit. Just look at what is happening in Greece, Italy, Spain et al.

  • GG00dmn||

    Trump is one of the few iconoclasts high up in the public sphere who are not worried about federal deficits or debt because they know it isn't a problem. He TOLD that to Hillary ... then the Left & Right ridiculed him and made him walk it back. I don't know that he understands this as much as understands it intuitively.

    When the private sector OWNS $50 Trillion in financial assets -- hey, capitalism *must grow*, right? bottom lines across the board must increase for capitalism to remain viable not be declining and dying --- then National Debt will be $50 Trillion to accommodate and store that savings.

    When the private sector OWNS $100 Trillion in financial assets --- then National Debt will be $100 Trillion to accommodate and store that savings.

    As long as Capitalism exists, as long as the Govt and institutions that manage fiscal and monetary policies and Laws continue to exist, the National Debt will continue to grow, as net private savings continues to grow.

  • James Pollock||

    The budget is a popular item of partisan discord.
    The truth is, the federal government, and thus the budget for the federal government, is incredibly complex and doesn't lend itself well to saying "Your guy was running things that year, so the debt is yours".

    If you own property, and you decide to save money by not performing maintenance on it, then someone else makes the decision to due the deferred maintenance... to who should the costs properly be allocated?

    It's a fact: Both parties are big spenders, because people like it when the government spends money, and they don't like it when the government stops spending money that they were getting. When the government spends money, that money shows up as income, to somebody. Some spending is less efficient than other spending, and some is completely wasteful. So the parties, and partisans, spend a lot of time suggesting that spending cuts should come from something the other side values but they don't. But we don't let either side keep control of the government long enough to actually do anything to reduce the cost of government, even if they were so inclined.

  • Vernon Depner||

    So, what's the end game? Can we just keep increasing the debt until the sun burns out?

  • TreII28||

    Wow, yet another example of Reason being most unreasonable. Running with a "well they said it's true...." story and rambling on for another 3 screens worth with no hint that it might be BS

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