Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: National Debt

Rosy CBO Report Leaves out Critical Factors

At first reading the latest report on the government budget and the economy released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is all sunshine and roses. In its summary of the 182-page report the CBO noted that deficits this year (from last October to next September) will be even lower than initially estimated, dropping to $514 billion, down from $680 billion last year and $1.1 trillion in 2012. And, in the very short run at least, further declines in deficits are expected through 2015, perhaps touching a low of

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The IMF threatens a dangerous “wealth tax” proposal

The populist notion of taxing the rich once again turned up in the International Monetary Fund’s “Fiscal Monitor Report” released in October, but scarcely anyone noticed. In an arcane chart-laden 107-page long report that was competing at the time with the government shutdown, the failing rollout of Obamacare, and other concerns, crises and disasters, why would they?

Here’s why.

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The Implosion of the Social Security Disability Ponzi Scheme Accelerates

Fresh data just released by the trustees of the Social Security Administration show that the number of people receiving benefits from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund has exploded over the last five years, reducing the surplus in that fund from $216 billion in 2008 to just over $100 billion in 2013. There were 7.4 million recipients in January 2009, but as of October 2013, there are nearly 9 million beneficiaries, not including

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The Bubble in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 30, 2013:

The complacency of municipal bond holders ended in July with the filing for bankruptcy by Detroit, an unhappy town of just 700,000 owing more than $18 billion to investors. Haircuts there have variously been estimated to be between 15 and 60 percent.

Since then, those holders have been looking around to find the next shoe to fall, and they have found it:

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Why are Puerto Rico’s Bond Prices Falling?

Despite the fact that Puerto Rican (PR) municipal bonds are triple-tax-exempt (no federal, state or local income taxes apply on their interest), those interest rates have skyrocketed since the Detroit bankruptcy first ended the complacency among municipal bond investors in July. High quality municipal bonds are paying little more than 1 percent annually but PR bonds, even though they remain investment grade (barely), have spiked

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There is no Debt Ceiling in place under the new Law

A closer look at what actually passed late Wednesday night reveals that the limit on the national debt wasn’t raised, it was eliminated altogether, at least until February 7th. What actually happened is that

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Mixed Reactions to New Law Reopening Government

Once the 11th-hour vote to avoid the potential default was passed by the Senate and the House and signed into law by President Obama, key players in the game of fiscal chicken just ended began issuing their justifications and frustrations. That game, variously called “political brinkmanship”, a “temporary fix”, “a temporary ceasefire” and “a political achievement for Obama”, does everything the president wanted while

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Fitch Threatens Downgrade; Boehner to Surrender

This article first appeared at The New American online on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013:

 

Despite mounting evidence that the government will have more than enough money to pay its essential bills and that the real national debt is $70 trillion, not $17 trillion, and despite pressure from Tea Partiers and constitutionalists to resist, House Speaker John Boehner is likely to bring the Senate bill to a vote in the House where, if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is right, it will

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The Press Release from the Treasury Department is Pure Propaganda

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 7, 2013:

The so-called “brinkmanship” press release by the Treasury Department reveals far more about the willingness of the media to report and repeat a canard that it does about the “crisis” facing the US if the government defaults.

Here are the title and just the opening paragraphs from the Treasury Department:

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Deficit down, national debt up, more taxes needed say two “nonpartisan” groups

Two government reports issued in the last few days show that despite higher tax revenues, thanks to the tax increases signed into law by the president earlier this year, deficits are still sky-high and the national debt continues its inexorable climb into the stratosphere.

Although the deficit for the first eleven months of the 2013 fiscal year was down slightly compared to last year at this time, real progress towards a balanced budget remains elusive. Through August the federal government spent

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University of California Study: The National Debt is really $70 Trillion

Professor James Hamilton, economics professor at the University of California, San Diego, just published his best estimate of the federal government’s “off-balance-sheet” liabilities and concludes that the real national debt, popularly estimated to be $16.9 trillion, is in fact more than four times larger: $70.086 trillion. This is because of decisions to

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Central Banks’ bubble is bursting, sending markets down worldwide

When the Japanese stock market lost more than 6 percent of its value on Wednesday in a massive selloff, pundits jumped on the move to try to explain what happened, and what it all means. Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG Markets, wrote:

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S&P Issues an Upgrade of US sovereign debt along with a warning

In the announcement by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Monday that affirmed its AA+ rating of United States sovereign debt while revising upward its outlook from “negative” to “stable,” the agency explained that in the short run there has been some perceptible improvement in the country’s fiscal situation but in the long run

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Social Security Trustees Celebrate: Trust Funds won’t be Broke for Years

With Friday’s announcement by the Trustees of the Social Security Administration that “reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through [the year] 2020,” it didn’t take long for groups like Strengthen Social Security (SSS) to chortle that not only is Social Security “fully affordable and structurally sound, [but it] will

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A video that explains everything about the national debt

Here is the link to the video that explains everything. It is clever, it is simple, it is devastating. No large numbers are involved. But the point is well made: this loser (us) is going to default on what he owes, or else pass the debt on to his kids. Guess what option he selects?

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Calvin Coolidge: the Man Nobody Knows

Thanks to a remarkable essay by a remarkable historian, the story of Calvin Coolidge is just now getting some attention and appreciation. Known as Silent Cal , historians have largely ignored him because he wasn’t a

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The Gloomy Report from the CBO is Too Optimistic

On its face the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office is gloomy enough, but careful sifting through it reveals

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House Backs Off on Debt Ceiling Threat, Prepares for Budget Battle

Calling it a debt limit “suspension,” the House GOP is voting today on a measure to allow the federal government to continue to spend until May 19th, at which time it will reconsider the issue once again. It also

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Krugman the fool

As Dr. Kenneth McFarland said many years ago, people should write a column only when they have something to say.  Unfortunately, Dr. Paul Krugman has to meet a deadline and therefore must write an article even if he doesn’t have anything to say. Sometimes it’s worse:

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Five good men in Washington

Katie Kieffer has named them: They are all Senators:  Rand Paul, Richard Shelby, Chuck Grassley, Marco Rubio, and Mike Lee. Each voted “no” on the fiscal cliff deal that roared through the Senate like a runaway pickup truck leaving the scene of an accident.

Katie says:

I expect my leaders to keep their word. If they tell me they are Republican, I expect them to

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.