Sustainable Government Archive

Welfare for The Middle Class

  “The U.S. program that pays elderly Americans’ hospital bills will exhaust reserves in 2028, two years sooner than last year’s estimate, trustees of the program said on Wednesday.” -- Reuters. In 2015 the federal government collected an all-time record of $3.25 trillion in taxes.  According to the White House Budget Office (see table...
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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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Debt Is Rising All ‘Round The World

By John Lumbard. Populism sounds like such a friendly and democratic word.  Only the grumpiest blogger would complain about politicians doing things that make them popular ....  Unhappily, the word "populist" has come to mean a politician who promises cash, services, or benefits to voters.  He doesn't offer to pay for these things...
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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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$18 Trillion!!!

    Chinese Citizens Gather In Beijing Square To Watch U.S. National Debt Clock Strike $18 Trillion News in Brief • World • foreign affairs • money • finance • china • News • ISSUE 50•45 • Nov 14, 2014   BEIJING—Celebrating the milestone with hugs, jubilant cheers, and singing, over 600,000 Chinese citizens...
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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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How To Get The Economy Moving Again

On August 8 George Schultz, Secretary of Everything (Labor, Treasury, and State;  also OMB director) penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, offering ides for renewal and reform to a country that seems to be suffering from Eurosclerosis.  We'll stick to the parts that affect the economy and...
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Opportunity

By John Lumbard. It’s springtime, and investor doubts and fears are in full bloom.  Profit margins are too high, unemployment is too high, the Fed is printing too much money, China’s growth is slowing, Europe is never, ever going to get out of its funk, and we don’t have high speed...
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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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