Category Archives: National Debt/Deficit

Barack Obama: The $20 Trillion Man

“Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive.  Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…stronger…faster.” So began the narration to one of my favorite boyhood television shows in the mid-1970s.  The $6M dollar man was everybody’s hero, because he could run faster, jump higher, and was far stronger than anyone else.  Yes, they pumped a lot… Continue Reading ››

Will the U.S. Default on its Debt? Say it isn’t so!

As we approach 5 November, the date that Treasury Secretary Lew has said the U.S. will run out of money, there are more articles coming out on the possibility of the U.S. defaulting.  Implicit in almost all the reporting is the false assumption that if partisan politics prevents an extension of the debt, the U.S. must default.  By framing it this way (either extend the debt ceiling or default), the advantage goes toward those seeking to expand the national debt. This narrative… Continue Reading ››

Is There At Least One (Maybe More) Good Thing About John Boehner’s Exit?

What is that one good thing (among others)?  It is that his exit is potentially a blow to the US Chamber of Commerce, that supposedly “conservative” group of business leaders who are really not conservative except in a very limited sense.  Here is what is going on. The Chamber has decided it will spend over $100 million dollars this election cycle to defeat candidates who are in their view “too conservative.”  Mike Flynn has a very interesting article in Breitbart… Continue Reading ››

The Millennial Problem

I know some college students read this blog, so I will begin by citing a pretty good article in the August 6 edition of Reason.com (a libertarian periodical) entitled “How the Federal Government Betrayed the Millennials,” by Veronique de Rugy.  Perhaps you don’t think the Feds did betray millennials (you know who you are).  After all, they voted—when they did vote—overwhelmingly for leaders of parties that will happily dole out billions and trillions of largesse.  They don’t seem to think… Continue Reading ››

Some Questions to Ponder: Just Asking

I have a few questions for thought today.  I am not answering them, though the reader may well have some idea where I am on them.  So just read and ponder.  Please feel free to comment too. I have not read the Iran nuclear deal yet, but I understand it will aid Iran in developing “safe” nuclear power.  Question:  Why is the US helping Iran develop nuclear power when the administration has shown no interest at all in developing it… Continue Reading ››

They Are Singing the Blues, Maybe

Here is a summary of a study by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University on the fiscal situation of  liberal states.  It looks like liberal states are predominantly profligate.  And how well are their citizens faring?  Take a look—and read the entire study.  Maybe these states might want to consult Greece (?). This summary comes from Breitbart News. Michael Patrick Leahy June 6, 2015 A new study from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center confirms what many of us already… Continue Reading ››

“This is not politics, this is math.” The debt crisis continues around the world

Financial markets are on edge with Greece this a.m., as Greece banks are closed and there will be a referendum to get public permission from Mr. Tsipras to break his electoral promise and impose austerity conditions to get more aid from the Europeans.  As a Euro skeptic from the beginning, I wonder when the charade of a common currency will end.  The Eurocrats dream was that a common currency would drive a common Europe and make them a common people.… Continue Reading ››

Greek Exit from Euro = Grexit = Chaos? or, = bumpy road to reality?

The Greek drama may finally be ending as soon as Monday, as end it must at some point.  Greece will exit the Euro, and the question is what will happen?  I don’t claim any special insight into what that will be, but there are a few points about this we should consider. First, Greece’s problem is very simple:  they have spent far more, and more importantly, promised far more, than they can pay back.  Their debt to GDP ratio is… Continue Reading ››

175 quadrillion Zimbabwe notes will get you $5…Sounds like a deal to me!

One of the joys of teaching economics is pointing out the foolishness of poor economic choices.  It is precisely by showing the linkage between cause and effect  and demonstrating unintended consequences that helps students understand “the economic way of thinking.”  As a monetary economist, there is perhaps no better visual aid than passing around an actual $100 Trillion Zimbabwe note.  These notes were basically worthless at the end of Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation in 2008-2009.  Yet I gladly paid $5 including shipping… Continue Reading ››

The immorality of government pension promises–promises that cannot be kept. The Governator weighs in as well with Warren Buffet.

We often lament the ever burgeoning national debt ($18T+), and especially so when we consider the unfunded liabilities (some estimates well north of $100T).  Yet while the national debt captures the public’s attention periodically, the disastrous condition of state finances is seldom discussed.  There are few good states, albeit red states are typically much better than blue states (certainly at the extremes; Connecticut, California and Illinois being particularly bad). Public sector unions are a large part of the problem, as… Continue Reading ››