Posts Tagged ‘U.S. deficit’

Captain Rick: The Senate and House passed a short-term spending bill that prevented a government shutdown at the end of the week. It has White House backing.

This legislation allows Congress to ‘kick the can down the road’ until after America elects a new President and new members of Congress. With a bunch of ‘lame ducks’ residing in congress at that time, you can bet they will again ‘kick the can down the road’ with another short-term spending bill to fund the government until after a new President and Congress take office in January. That’s when the excitement begins …

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Fights over raising the debt limit broke out between the Obama White House and ruling Republicans in Congress in 2011 and 2013, unsettling Wall Street and foreign investors. The two sides struck a deal in 2015 to suspend the debt limit until Obama left office. The federal debt limit has been suspended since late 2015, but the law is set to be reinstated on March 16, 2017. The current debt limit of $20.1 trillion will be breached and another funding emergency will be at hand to prevent another U.S. government shutdown.

Government shutdowns in the past have become a ‘joke’ in that certain federal employees are told to stay home without pay, until Congress passed legislation to fund the government, which often included increasing the national debt and awarded compensation for all lost pay … meaning their time off was really an extra paid vacation; an insult to hard working employees of ‘Main Street’ America. The ‘Shutdown Game’ can not continue much longer because America is coming ever so close to falling off of the real and pending ‘Fiscal Cliff’. Many federal programs like Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare and even Social Security are projected to implode in coming years without serious spending/taxation reform.

The U.S. National Debt has more than doubled since President Obama took office; from $9 trillion to $19.5 today. It is exploding at rate of $1.35 trillion each year. More than $10 trillion of ‘red ink debt dollars’ have been spent to keep the federal government functioning during the Obama Administration.

About 15% of money spent by the federal government has no revenue to support the expenditure and thus adds to the national debt. Much of this debt spending goes to states and cities in the form of federal grants. Our states and cities ‘drink up’ the grants like it is ‘free money coming from heaven’. Their philosophy is ‘if we don’t get the grant, some other city or state will’. What an awesomely greedy and fiscally reckless way to think. Shame on every city and state in America for slurping up these slush grants which add to the mushrooming U.S. National Debt. Our cities and states are a main contributors to the growing problem of America’s National Debt … debt which will be placed upon future generations to pay back … including our children and grand children. It’s a serious matter to think about.

I hope the next President and Congress will begin to balance the budget and curtail deficit spending. Saving America from falling off of the real and pending ‘Fiscal Cliff’, will not be easy. It will require ‘belt tightening’ by people, cities and states across America and most importantly by the U.S. Federal Government and our elected representatives in the U.S. Congress.

Captain Rick: The U.S. Economy took a nose dive in the first quarter of 2014…the first slowdown since early 2011. Some economists are blaming the sudden drop in GDP on the cold and snow in the northeast. The weather had an effect…but perhaps not as much as other factors like the curtailment of ‘Quantitative Easing’ … the pumping of tens of billions of U.S. debt dollars into the economy each month to make the economy look like its doing OK, when it is not. Another alarming factor is the stalling of house sales in America. The current real estate boom might be nearing its peak.

This drop of GDP into negative territory is a sign that another recession might be looming.  A recession is generally defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. There is still one more final tweak that will be made to the official GDP number at the end of June. The current –1.0% estimate, a significant drop from the first estimate of .1% last month, could be revised up or down. Overall, the U.S. economy continues in limp along in anemic growth…and now negative growth, as shown in the chart below.

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BLUE LINE: 3.0% GDP Growth is required to keep up with U.S. Population Growth. GDP above the blue line represents real growth that adds real jobs. GDP below the blue line indicates real economic decline that is loosing real jobs. GDP below the blue line, but above zero line (‘Recession’), is what Captain Rick calls the ‘Anemic Zone’.

RED LINE: 2.2% GDP Growth is the average of what the U.S. economy scored in the past 12 quarters (3 years). This demonstrates that the U.S. economy is stuck in the economic ‘Anemic Zone’…not mustering enough growth to keep up with population growth. 

GDP…What is it?

‘GDP’ represents ‘Gross Domestic Product’…a market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year. GDP performance (increases and decreases) present a broad-based picture of the health of a country’s economy. High GDP growth is typical of a healthy economy. Low GDP growth (below 3%) is typical of an unhealthy economy. Negative growth is typical of an economy in recession. 

What does this GDP data mean concerning the future of America?

America is stuck in a land of anemic growth…actually declining in real growth because its economy can not consistently rise above 3% growth … a level required to produce enough jobs and income to keep pace with population growth. In reality, this means that America is declining in economic strength. In the coming few years America faces an astronomical increase in expenditures due to entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and welfare programs like Medicaid and Obamacare. America’s relatively level revenue will not be able to cover the mushrooming expenditures. Congress will not be able to address this problem by simply ‘kicking the debt can down the road’ as it has in recent years. At some point soon, the fiscal mess that is brewing will explode as America plunges over the pending ‘real fiscal cliff’.  At the bottom lies America as a third world country.

What can be done to better America and other countries?

Lots can be done! Take notice of what our elected officials do. Vote them out and replace them if they do not perform to your expectations. You might even consider running for an office. The world is in extremely short supply of intelligent people who care about our lands and well being of our people. Go for it. Run for an elected office. Help our world from plunging over the pending ‘real fiscal cliff’…before its too late.

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Captain Rick: Obama’s 2014 ‘State of the Union struck a new low among my unbroken record of watching every one since 1960. Obama’s meaningless hype, wishful thinking and the constant bobbing of his head from side to side to view the teleprompters…looking like he was watching a tennis match…almost hypnotized me. It was a nice try on his part…but it just put me to sleep. 

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Credits: Thanks Ken of California for contributing the above graphic

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Captain Rick: The Budget Act of 2013 kicks the ‘U.S. Debt Can’ down the road yet again. Passed by the U.S. House and expected to be passed by the U.S. Senate next week, I sense renewed concern for the fiscal demise of America. This act does not stop Americas insatiable thirst for debt spending. Debt will continue to rise at a reckless pace. The U.S. debt ceiling will again be reached in February 2014. I would wager it will again be raised. I would also wager that America’s train will plunge over the real fiscal cliff in the coming years. At the bottom lies America as a third world nation. The frustration I feel is well summed up by Matt Salmon, my Arizona representative in the U.S. Congress. Matt is a person that uses intelligence and wisdom to speak and vote … a very rare find in Washington DC these days.

ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Guest Report

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Salmon Statement on the Budget Act of 2013

Washington—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Amendment to H.J. Res. 59):

“I applaud Chairman Ryan and our Republican Budget Conferees for working under difficult circumstances to negotiate a compromise with Senate Democrats, and I appreciate that this deal offers some positive items, such as helping to bring back regular order for the appropriations process, approving the Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement, restoring badly needed resources for our military, and making small changes to some mandatory spending programs.

“However, for me and most of the constituents I have heard from in my district, this deal falls short of something I could support.

“Unfortunately, this deal fails to even make modest reforms to our nearly bankrupted entitlement programs and it, once again, increases government spending  in the short-term with only a promise to make spending cuts in the long-term.

“If we are not willing to make tough choices now, then how can we expect future Congresses to stop kicking the can down the road?

“This was a grand opportunity for our nation’s leaders to reform and preserve the fiscal longevity of our entitlement programs, and this deal does not rise to that challenge.

“Furthermore, I have never believed that Congress should raise taxes or increase fees to justify more government spending. Sadly, this deal does exactly this by raising fees on air travelers.

“As we move forward under these new spending caps, my hope is that Congress and President Obama will finally recognize that our fiscal problems are not solved by raising more revenue and increasing spending, but by cutting spending and addressing our biggest crisis – unsustainable entitlement spending.

“We must make do with less government or our children and grandchildren will pay the heavy price as we continue to see a skyrocketing debt and runaway government spending.

“We must make big strides in the direction of a smaller and more efficient government in order to get our country back on the right path.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
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Captain Rick: A shutdown of the U.S. Government will most likely begin on October 1, 2013, the beginning of the new fiscal year. There is currently no budget agreement to fund the U.S. Government for the coming year. The Democrat led Senate and the the Republican led House are in a stalemate that does not appear likely will be rectified by October 1. The real showdown will come on or before October 17, when the U.S. Government reaches the debt ceiling of $16.699 trillion and will begin defaulting on its financial obligations, an event that has never before occurred.

The last threat of shutdown occurred on March 27, 2013. It was averted by an agreement to allow Sequester spending cut’s (part of the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ legislation that became effective on January 1, 2013) to gain some flexibility regarding where to make spending cuts, in lieu of the mandatory across the board cuts.

My goal is to help increase understanding of the extremely important events that are unfolding…

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U.S. Government Shutdown … What will happen? Non essential elements of the government will begin shutting down. These are things like National Parks and Monuments and the federal employees and contractors that support them. The employees would be furloughed. Contractors would have their payments delayed. At no time in the past has a shutdown lasted for more than a month. In every case the contractors eventually got paid and the furloughed employees were awarded back pay, so in essence, they received a nice long paid vacation, compliments of the U.S. taxpayers. In every previous case of shutdown, it ended up costing tax payers more than if the government had remained open.

What does a shutdown accomplish? Nothing, except increased cost. It is however, a necessary reminder that our government needs spending to remain less than revenue. In reality the U.S. has been spending far more than it receives in revenue, especially in recent years.

U.S annual spending: $3.52 trillion

U.S. annual revenue: $2.69 trillion

U.S. annual deficit: $825 billion

Total U.S. National debt: $16.95 trillion

U.S. GDP: $15.91 trillion (U.S. Debt exceeds GDP…a wake up call to get the fiscal house in order…or prepare for economic destruction)

Who is to blame? First and foremost to blame is President Obama. He is our president, elected to lead our nation in a positive direction…yet he has demonstrated the most reckless spending in American history, especially with his Fed’s continuation of pumping $85 billion per month of ‘Quantitative Easing’ debt dollars into the American Economy (adding directly to the U.S. National Debt) in an effort to make an economically sick nation look just anemic. It is all ‘smoke and mirrors’ that is doing nothing more than increasing America’s debt at an astronomic expense and burden to future generations.  Second to blame is the entire U.S. Legislature, including the Senate and House, Republicans and Democrats. None of them impress me as having the intelligence or ability to agree on a plan to withdraw America from its insatiable addiction for debt spending far beyond its revenue. I believe most of them have their ‘pockets’ fed by ‘big money’.

Obama passes blame and creates fear in news conference: Today I listened to President Obama speak in a news conference casting fear upon Americans by placing blame for his reckless spending on the shoulders of the U.S. House:
“If Congress chooses not to pass a budget by Monday, the end of the fiscal year, they will shut down the government along with many vital services that the American people depend on,” The Senate “acted responsibly” by passing its bill, and “now it’s up to the Republicans in the House of Representatives to do the same.”
He asked Republicans “to think about who you’re hurting” by letting the government shut down, and said “it would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction.”
He also made clear that a government shutdown wouldn’t stop the Affordable Care Act from being implemented. “That’s not going to happen. More than 100 million Americans currently already have new benefits and protections under the law. On Tuesday, about 40 million more Americans will be able to finally buy quality affordable health care just like anybody else.”

Reality Check. What really happened: This was one of the most disgusting, fear-causing set of statements I have heard President Obama make recently. What really happened is that the House sent a bill to the Senate that included defunding Obamacare (a program with an enormous cost that America can not afford at this time of financial crisis). The Senate revised the bill to remove the Obamacare defunding and sent it back to the House. In opposition to Obama’s statement, I believe the Senate did not act responsibly. If the House does not pass the bill on Monday (which it should not), it will not be the House that causes the shutdown as Obama warns. It will be the result of the failure of the President and the entire U.S. Legislature combined. Obama said that a shutdown will stop many vital services. This is not true, unless the shutdown lasted for a long period of time…or Obama chooses to focus on certain entities for political gain. Obama’s scare tactics of asking Republicans to ‘think of who they are hurting’ by the government shutdown are absolutely despicable. President Obama should ask himself who he is hurting by spreading such fear and lies. This shutdown does throw a ‘wrench’ into Obamas ‘gears’ to make the economy look ok, when it is really sucking badly. Obama is fixated on Obamacare, a mark he hopes the world will remember him by. He will push it, even if it contributes to the financial destruction of America.  In reality, 40 million Americans are going to find out that ‘affordable health care’ is not really affordable and the majority of them will pay (or evade) the penalty to avoid it. The resultant unexpected, massive costs will lie firmly on the backs of American tax payers and add directly to the U.S. national debt.  I have this on my list of future blog reports. It sounds to me like Obama is running scared and is choosing to hide his fear by casting false fear on Americans. That scares me. Does it scare you?

View the comments (below) for ongoing updates of important happenings at the U.S. Capitol concerning this unfolding story.

I have done my very best to chronicle the events that contributed to this first U.S. government shutdown in nearly 18 years…as displayed in my comment updates below. This report could be among the best chronicles on the web. I am honored that Google and other search engines have picked up on this report.  The views for this report have exceeded those of all other ANJ reports by a factor of 10X+. The view stats from the past week far surpass any previous week. It tells me that there are lots of people that are tuning into this blog post to get the real facts…not the hype found on virtually all web news sites and especially TV news casts.

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Captain Rick: An email I sent to my world-wide list of e-friends about defunding Obamacare to prevent U.S. Government shutdown on October 1 went wild. I have never witnessed such an enthusiastic response.

I share the conversation below. I welcome everyone reading this to join in this conversation by placing a comment below.

I am listening to what you have to say…

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How this discussion began on September 19, 2013: I shared the following with my email audience in an email publication called ‘Atridim Breaking News’.

ATRIDIM BREAKING NEWS: Rep. Salmon Stands with Senators Cruz and Lee and House Conservatives in Support of Defunding Obamacare

 

Captain Rick: I think this effort in the U.S. House is noble but will fail when it is passed to the ‘dead beat’ U.S. Senate…but I give my Arizona friend Rep Matt Salmon a ‘thumbs up’ for his outstanding efforts to defeat Obamacare…which is on course to help bankrupt America…even more so than it already is.

This is all part of the program to reach an agreement to prevent a U.S. government shutdown on October 1. I have a strong hunch that a shut down will happen…the first since 1995. It should happen. It needs to happen. It must happen to wake up America to realize that our wildly, drunken debt spending to make a sick economy look OK must end to protect America’s future…if one even exists.

The U.S. has been spending stimulus (debt) dollars at the rate of $85 billion per month. It is ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. Its making our economy look OK in the short term, but is doing untold damage for our economy in the coming years…setting up a U.S. economic train wreck that will have the magnitude to reduce America to a third world country. If you think I am kidding…stay tuned. It will all unfold before our eyes in the coming years.

I see little hope from the morons in Washington to solve our extremely sad fiscal problems facing America. There are a few good people fighting to save America. My friend Matt Salmon is one of them. Matt, have you considered running for President of the United States of America in 2016? If not, you should! You would receive my vote above all potential candidates. America desperately needs an intelligent mind at the controls to steer America away from the pending train wreck off of the real fiscal cliff…just ahead.

The conversation begins:

Anita of Arizona: We need our top Republican legislators to take out John McCain and Jeff Flake.   Matt would be a perfect candidate.  He’s clearly a principled, conservative Republican fighter!

Captain Rick: I totally agree. Jeff and John once stood tall representing Arizona…but as two of the ‘gang of 8 idiots’ in the U.S. Senate promoting amnesty for illegal immigrants, they appear to have sold out to liberal interests. If I didn’t know better, I would guess both of them are democrats. They fit in well in the democrat U.S. Senate, which is on track to fiscally destroy America. Hopefully America will come to its senses in the next election and do a general house cleaning of fiscal waste in the U.S. Senate by voting in some conservative blood. Short of that, I envision a continuation of America’s fiscal train ride heading at high speed for a monumental dive off of the real fiscal cliff just ahead.

Steven of Wisconsin: I think you are dead wrong on this issue of health care reform.  Obamacare as it is called will prevent health insurance companies from not giving insurance because pre-existing conditions, from spending less than 80% of the insurance premiums on health care, and from not covering dependents under the age of 27.  These things are already helping the common folk like me.  I don’t know why you and your conservative friends constantly undermine the middle class and support things that are not in our best interest.  Where were your friends when we bailed out the big banks, gave huge tax breaks to oil companies, and started two very costly wars?  Those representatives like Cruz do nothing for America but tear down and obstruct.  They restrict voting rights and women’s rights!  They aren’t the patriots and saviors of America.  They are the ones that caused our economic downturn and do nothing to improve America.  Voting 42 times to repeal Obamacare is insane. It doesn’t help my family or my budget.  But history will repeat itself…those same “conservatives” tried to repeal social security a million times and did not succeed because it helped Americans and is still helping us today.  It has very low overhead and is secure.  This is why I continue to support single payer health insurance.  Obamacare is not perfect….neither was social security when it passed.  Your attitude continues to support and promote the upper 1% of this country while the middle class shrinks to almost nothing.  Of course you blamed much of this shrinkage on unions which I did not respond to at the time because I ignored your comment.  But the lower and middle class will rise up along with the unions because they have no choice.  You continue to listen to yourself and Fox News.  The problem is you believe everything the right wing puts out there.  You will wake up after the next election and realize that America has spoken; you will not like what they said. Remember last election how surprised so many of your conservative friends were when Obama won the election!  They really did believe what they were spouting.

Captain Rick: Steven, thanks for your candid and expounded reply.  My voice (‘attitude’ as you refer to it) via ATRIDIM NEWS is designed to be provocative, to draw people in my world-wide audience out of the ‘woodwork’ to say what is ‘on their mind’. Your reply assures me that the design is working. I trust this will help assure my readers that I listen to, respect and report FEEDBACK received from everyone.

Concerning your statements about ‘my conservative friends,’ I must mention that my audience of friends from over 50 countries around the world represent every ‘walk of life’ and ever ‘point of view’. Not all of them share my ‘point of view’. You are one of those friends…and I am pleased you shared your ‘point of view’.

Ken of California:  Steven of Wisconsin, With respect to your comment “You continue to listen to yourself and Fox News.  The problem is you believe everything the right wing puts out there.”

I listen to the voice of reason!

The liberal notion of giving a free lunch to every bum out there only breeds a society of blood sucking leaches.

We live in the land of opportunity, but the opportunities are up to you! They are not for the government to rob from the working class to give to the lazy.

Kendall of California:  Captain Rick – Really like this email format in which you deliver updates and opinions. It could be just me, but there doesn’t seem to be a link to take me to the post so that I may leave a comment. Not quite sure which post its referring to. Or do I simply leave my comment in this email? Could that be the whole point.

If the ladder is this case, here is my two cents: First, Captain Rick, I really support and enjoy your style of allowing all voices to be heard, but still manage to maintain a civil environment. I appreciate that. It allows a reader to enter the fray without running for cover from unwarranted, off-topic deragotory remarks. That being said Ken of California: The points that you pertain to make are missed by shooting generalizations that each person that finds theirself accepting government assistance, are lazy bums. If you follow the same logic through, than following the Enron era and Bernard Madoff regime, all corporate executives are ruthless villians out simply for themselves. Neither is true. Indiviuals taking advantage of good intentions occur at all levels, in each circuit, every single day. I have read and listened to some very convincing arguments, and understand both sides. But even then, a voter has to choose. Unless you truly believe that every student who takes out a government loan, every family that finds theirselves being unable to make ends meet, and that every person who works can afford health insurance, than labeling the millions of honest, hard-working Americans, both Republicans and Democrats alike, as lazy bums, does nothing to educate those on why you cast your vote. Unless, like I said, that is what you believe. In that case, what fact book are you using so that I may have a look too – Kendall of California.

Captain Rick: Kendall, sincere thanks for your words of kindness for ‘my style’ of allowing voices to be heard while maintaining a civil environment … and for your appreciation. You guessed right in simply commenting by reply to this email. I know it seems very ‘old-fashioned’, but you must keep in mind that the e-friends that I have gathered from around the world over many years do not all partake of the social media that many of us do. Many are not on Facebook or WordPress, etc. The one media that they all do have in common is email. And so, I am pleased to present this seemingly ‘old-fashioned’ means of allowing my friends to join our conversation. Perhaps this is a bit like ‘going back to the future’.

PJ of Arizona:  All Steven of Wisconsin needs to know about the fallacy of ObamaCare is contained in this snippet from the most recent Seeing Red Arizona:

 

“In 2008, people in poverty represented 13.2 percent of America’s population. In 2012, the impoverished had risen to 15.0 percent of the population.

An even bleaker picture is painted in the Congressional Budget Office report, which sends an urgent message to Americans, as it says the nation’s debt is on an “unsustainable path.” Implementation of Obamacare will exacerbate the crisis. CBO warns federal debt held by the public will hit 100% of GDP by 2038.

A Fox News report details the results of a new poll showing an overwhelming majority of Americans are concerned about their health care plan under Obamacare. A majority — 68% — want to go back to the 2009 health care system. Concerns are not only shared by Republicans and Independents, but by a 56-percent majority of Democrats.

Gordon of Arizona: I really think that this scare of a shutdown is just another tactic like what happened back in the Bush era. Remember what they said? ”If we do not initiate the stimulus and bail out these large corporations right now, THE SKY IS GOING TO FALL!”. Looking back, we would have been much better off now if we had let them fail. My opinion is: LET THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWD! The local people will pick up the pieces (if that is what it comes to) and do a much better job of running things than Washington.

The conversation continues:

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Captain Rick: The Dow Jones and S&P hit new highs on September 18, 2013, as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it will continue bottle feeding the U.S. economy with $85 billion debt dollars each month…for at least another month…to cast the impression that the American economy is doing well.

The fact is that the American economy is not doing well at all. GDP is limping along at a very anemic rate, not even keeping up with population growth. Real unemployment is near record levels. The Fed’s ‘Quantitative Easing’ program is doing nothing more than covering up a very sick economy that would all but die without the nursing bottle, while significantly increasing the U.S. national debt. The Fed’s continued ‘economic bottle feeding’ is not improving the American economy. It is only prolonging and amplifying America’s monumental financial downfall in the future…one that is shaping up to reduce America to a third world country.

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401K’s are posting temporary inflated values.  Intelligent investors will reap what ever ‘phony’ profits have accumulated by switching them to a cash or prime fund before the Fed’s money feeding bottle dries up.

America’s representatives in DC are setting stage to again focus on the staggering $17 trillion U.S. national debt and find a way to prevent yet another pending government shutdown on October 1, 2013. America can not continue spending nearly twice what it receives in revenue for much longer. Those that think that it can…or that these days of phony economic well being will last forever…are simply living in a dream world.

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

U.S. Debt Crisis

Fed Financial Policy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101

Economy

Dow Jones

Captain Rick’s Investment 101

Stock and Bond Market