Balanced Budget Amendment Archive

The Rest of the Story

By John Lumbard, CFA. Miley Cyrus was scratched by a cat. A man tickled two girls on a playground slide, and he didn’t even know the girls.  TV newsrooms judged that these recent stories were more important than world crises, voter anxiety and rebellion, student debt, or the federal debt. Ah yes,...
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An Irresistible Force

By John Lumbard. In the upper left corner of this page you'll see a pretty little girl wearing a sign saying that she's $38,375 in debt.  That number is now $57,764, if you're willing to use the Enron accounting standards of the federal government, which don't acknowledge that she's carrying liability...
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It’s The Economy, Stupid . . .

By James Schaefer. House Budget Chairman Tom Price just released his draft for the new federal budget (WSJ, Opinion: The GOP's Budget Test, March 18, 2015).  It sets a blueprint for the federal budget in the coming fiscal year, and will reduce federal spending by $5.5 trillion over the coming decade.  If...
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The Price of Affection

By John Lumbard, CFA .... Argentina just defaulted on some of its bonds, for the very first time in 13 years. It’s their seventh default since declaring independence from Spain.  Investors kept buying Argentine bonds . . What were they thinking??? In the early 1900s the people of this bountiful land---their economy...
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It’s Time for a Diet

By James Schaefer. In "Blotting the Balance Sheet", (Wall Street Journal, April 26-27, 2014), James Grant reviews the book, The Reckoning, by Jacob Soll. In it, Soll highlights the fall of successful societies, and points some of the finger of blame at accounting, and the behaviors that follow. And he lays  blame equally...
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Young In America

By John Lumbard, CFA. According to The Daily Kos, 27% of recent college graduates (ages 21 to 24) are either unemployed or underemployed.  The Democratic Underground says that recent college graduates earn $3,200 less than they did 13 years ago.  Of course, it’s not just college graduates;  low starting salaries and...
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Land of the Setting Sun

By John Lumbard. When news came that we had not, like lemmings, jumped over a Cliff, celebrations broke out across the nation. Nearly a million people jammed the streets around Times Square, and the party lasted well after dawn. As the sun rose---coincidentally the first day of a new year---revelers quietly...
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The Bipartisan Debt Machine

By John Lumbard. Below you'll find the text of a speech that Senator Barack Obama gave in the Senate in March of 2006 (you want page S2237, if you'd rather read it there) regarding our debt and deficits---which at the time were growing rapidly under President Bush.  Now they're growing rapidly...
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The Value of Bipartisan Reform, or, We’re In This Together

By James Schaefer. It's amazing what  can be found on government websites.  The Social Security Administration posts a chart of their annual FICA tax revenue, from 1937 to 2009, a full seventy-two years' worth (link).  It shows the Trust Fund's cumulative surplus, and is reproduced below. From inception to 1987, the Trust...
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Non-Partisan

By John Lumbard, CFA. When we launched this blog in January of 2010 the federal debt stood at $12 trillion.  The debt owed to the public (not including, that is, the US Treasury bonds held in the Social Security and Medicare trust funds---which Congress doesn't have to pay interest on or...
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