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Post 14 Feb 2018, 10:50 am

Doctor Fate wrote:Is annual borrowing of 20-25% of our budget acceptable?

How much interest will we pay if treasury bonds hit 5%?


There you go. Those are the right questions. Not if a national debt should exist at all. Discuss.
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Post 14 Feb 2018, 12:02 pm

geojanes wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:Is annual borrowing of 20-25% of our budget acceptable?

How much interest will we pay if treasury bonds hit 5%?


There you go. Those are the right questions. Not if a national debt should exist at all. Discuss.


Personally, I'm scared ****. When we hit the next recession, and our deficits are still sky-hi, what tools will we have at our disposal?

Using % of GDP is the right metric. In the 40's we exceeded 100% of GDP but it was worth it to defeat fascism, end the depression, and rebuild Europe.

The amazing thing is that the US Treasury is still leant the money at very low interest rates.

The other amazing thing is that this is what Americans want, by and large. Stimulus to increase defense spending AND social spending is very popular. The vast majority do not want to touch social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Our government is responsive, but not responsible.

But now we will exceed 100% of GDP largely to take care of every single health need (and many non-needs -- ask anyone who has experienced the medical costs for little purpose for a loved one in their final month) of every American who cannot obtain private insurance, including those of us who are over 65, no matter what our circumstances. This is not the same dire emergency as winning WWII.
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Post 14 Feb 2018, 12:48 pm

Ray Jay wrote:Using % of GDP is the right metric. In the 40's we exceeded 100% of GDP but it was worth it to defeat fascism, end the depression, and rebuild Europe.

The amazing thing is that the US Treasury is still leant the money at very low interest rates.


Because it's the safest investment.

For now.
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Post 14 Feb 2018, 4:16 pm

Ray Jay wrote:
geojanes wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:Is annual borrowing of 20-25% of our budget acceptable?

How much interest will we pay if treasury bonds hit 5%?


There you go. Those are the right questions. Not if a national debt should exist at all. Discuss.


Personally, I'm scared ****. When we hit the next recession, and our deficits are still sky-hi, what tools will we have at our disposal?


I agree. As I posted here before, the labor force is only projected to grow at a rate of 0.5% a year over the next decade or so, but what I didn't say is that virtually all of that growth is due to do the projected doubling of the labor force participation rate of those over 75 years of age from ~11% to ~25%.

I don't know about you all, but as I've gotten older, I can't work as hard. I've gotten smarter at working, so I'm more productive, but I can't imagine 1) working when I'm 75, and 2) if I did, being any where near as productive as I am today. At 75 a nap would sound good.

Cut immigration, rely upon senior citizens working longer and harder, and that's how you're going to get 3% growth every year? It's truly magical thinking.
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Post 14 Feb 2018, 6:05 pm

geojanes wrote:
Ray Jay wrote:
geojanes wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:Is annual borrowing of 20-25% of our budget acceptable?

How much interest will we pay if treasury bonds hit 5%?


There you go. Those are the right questions. Not if a national debt should exist at all. Discuss.


Personally, I'm scared ****. When we hit the next recession, and our deficits are still sky-hi, what tools will we have at our disposal?


I agree. As I posted here before, the labor force is only projected to grow at a rate of 0.5% a year over the next decade or so, but what I didn't say is that virtually all of that growth is due to do the projected doubling of the labor force participation rate of those over 75 years of age from ~11% to ~25%.

I don't know about you all, but as I've gotten older, I can't work as hard. I've gotten smarter at working, so I'm more productive, but I can't imagine 1) working when I'm 75, and 2) if I did, being any where near as productive as I am today. At 75 a nap would sound good.

Cut immigration, rely upon senior citizens working longer and harder, and that's how you're going to get 3% growth every year? It's truly magical thinking.


Right now the US takes in about 1 million people per year. About 1/2 is humanitarian, and about 1/2 is economic calculus. I bet there are 10 million hard working, college educated (or better), English speaking skilled 20 and 30 somethings willing to come into the US, even with our warts and all. They will be productive for years and share in our national debt. They would increase our economy, complement our existing strengths, and diversify our culture in a possible way. They and their kids and their grandkids will fit in. At the same time they will see the world through immigrant eyes and enhance our vitality. Most people buying houses in my town are first generation Asian immigrants, and it's all to the good,

We have a lot of open space here in the US. How many more people can we fit in next year and the year after that? We'd blow past 3% annual growth rates in no time.
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Post 07 Aug 2018, 10:25 am

It occurs to me that many people underestimate the importance of a 1% lift in GDP. The US GDP is about $20T. If reduced regulation and better tax structure lead to an increase of 1% per year relative to not doing those policies, in 5 years you've increased the size of your economy by over $1 Trillion. That can pay for a lot of things including social programs and deficit reduction.

When we talk about Obama growth at 2.5% and Trump growth at 3.5% we are minimizing the importance of this variable.
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Post 07 Aug 2018, 11:38 am

Trump has averaged 2.7% growth: Obama was something thing 2.2%. (If you don't count 2009) Bush II...who cut regulations and taxes averaged less than Obama. And that 2.7% growth included last quarter's growth which included a one-time bump due to consumers having more money due to tax cuts and increased imports of US products due to a fear of trade wars (like soy beans).

It is hard to imagine that cutting regulations and taxes in a mature economy that is in a long growth cycle is going to change the economy in such fundamental ways. It is not going to increase productivity which is the prime engine of economic growth. It does not create new technologies which could both new create new products and improve productivity. And it is not going to reduce wealth stratification which in an economy that is 70-75% consumer based reduces consumer demand (somebody has to buy the products that are made).

One quarter in essence does not prove Trumpian economics. Our economy is in a long (almost 20 years) cycle of 2.2% growth on average and nipping at regulations and cutting taxes won't change those fundamentals. And even if you (and Trump) are right...you have a long way to go before you're proven right. Hope you are...but I doubt it.
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Post 08 Aug 2018, 1:42 am

Freeman:
Trump has averaged 2.7% growth: Obama was something thing 2.2%. (If you don't count 2009) Bush II...who cut regulations and taxes averaged less than Obama. And that 2.7% growth included last quarter's growth …
There are lots of ways to analyze the data. Perhaps you should source this. https://www.statista.com/statistics/188 ... in-the-us/ This source suggests 2.8% if you exclude the 1st 6 months which is common.

I do agree that the trade war can destroy economic growth so we don't have to go over that.

Freeman:
It is hard to imagine that cutting regulations and taxes in a mature economy that is in a long growth cycle is going to change the economy in such fundamental ways.


Why is that hard to imagine? In fact, conservatives predicted that if you loosen regulation and lower tax rates that is precisely what would happen. And it is.
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Post 08 Aug 2018, 8:52 am

Ray Jay wrote:conservatives predicted that if you loosen regulation and lower tax rates that is precisely what would happen. And it is.


I'd be a little more cautious RJ. It was a good quarter, for sure, but it was just one quarter. Clearly, you cut the corporate tax rate and increase deficit spending, that's going to make a difference, since you're pumping 100s of billions back into the economy, but how much can that be sustained?

Bloomberg had an article on this:
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-07-16/rising-federal-deficit-fuels-u-s-economic-growth

it does seem like this deficit increase is an underappreciated factor in the U.S. economy’s strength this year. It may be unsustainable. It may bring big problems down the road.
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Post 08 Aug 2018, 10:42 am

GeoJanes,

Sounds like you are a great advocate of deficit reduction and balanced budget practices. Too bad no party is able to agree on how to do that.

The deficit is so large that trying to "grow" out of deficits is a myth. It takes both drastic budget REDUCTIONS and GDP growth. Sadly, there is no way that would ever be coming to fruition.
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Post 08 Aug 2018, 2:04 pm

bbauska
The deficit is so large that trying to "grow" out of deficits is a myth. It takes both drastic budget REDUCTIONS and GDP growth


What about considering taxation at an appropriate level as well?
Sweden had a debt to GDP at 74% in the early 90's and has managed to reduce it to 40% today. They have lavish social benefits.
Canada's was almost as high as the US today (106%) in 1995 but managed to bring it down to 68% before the 2008 crash.Its its at 85% today.. And still manages to have Universal health care and affordable university and a generous policy towards refugees.

The problem is what Freeman says "And it is not going to reduce wealth stratification which in an economy that is 70-75% consumer based reduces consumer demand (somebody has to buy the products that are made)."
When tax breaks are largely benefiting the top 1%, when corporate tax breaks have meant mostly corporations buying back shares ... There's nothing sustainable.
The US, particularly, and most western nations, have expanded their economies most as they grew their middle class ...where the economy grew the middle class grew, and in part grew because the middle class grew. ( a virtuous circle)
Little about Trumps tax cuts are benefiting the middle class. And virtually nothing about the trade war will benefit most of the middle class.
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Post 08 Aug 2018, 2:39 pm

And this is what I was saying about no party would ever agree on a plan that will resolve the deficit/unbalanced budget issue.

Thank you for so readily making the issue clear.
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Post 09 Aug 2018, 6:49 am

bbauska
And this is what I was saying about no party would ever agree on a plan that will resolve the deficit/unbalanced budget issue


Really? No Party? Ever?
If you mean any party, anywhere, then the examples I offered were examples where "a party" (in fact a ruling party of a sovereign nation) had agreed on a plan that worked to reduce the deficit. (At the same time largely maintaining the social programs that elevated the lives of working class and middles class citizens.

If you mean No US party... again I'd challenge your conclusion. The US has reduced its debt to gdp. In fact had a pretty good run reducing the debt to GDP from 1947 through to 1980... and again in the late nineties for a couple of years...

If you mean your government as currently structured.... okay. But then that's certainly because one particular party refuses to learn lessons from past US experience or from any foreign experience.
The US has three particular economic problems that cause social problems.
1) Wealth and income inequality
2) Debt to GDP, that is increasing debt service costs.
3) Over spending on military

Fixing #1 through taxation and implementation of programs to reduce the cost of health care and education would fix #2. Fixing #3 would also contribute greatly to reducing #2.
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Post 09 Aug 2018, 7:50 am

In the current political climate.
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Post 09 Aug 2018, 8:48 am

Personally, of your three issues, I only agree with two of them as an economic problem.

#1. Wealth inequality is a thing that has always existed to some extent, and I am glad that it does. If everyone makes 1600 a month, there is no incentive to better yourself.

#2 Debt is a major problem and must be addressed.

#3 Overspending on the military is a major problem and must be addressed.

I also think overspending on education, EPA, State Dept, HHS, Welfare, infrastructure and EVERYTHING across the board needs to be curbed and cut to bare minimums until the debt is reduced to NOTHING.

Now this is the time when RickyP will say that there needs to be a "one-sided" approach of only military reductions and no reductions in social programs. This is the kind of attitude that makes it impossible for compromise. When the Antifa attitudes are prevalent with your leadership (Maxine Waters et. al.) there is little room for a balanced approach.