Rule Five Fiscal Disaster Friday

The Imperial City’s debt load has shot past $100 trillion, (here’s the source) and nobody much in any of the three co-equal branches of the Imperial Government appear to give even one little shit.  Excerpts, with my comments:

The U.S. Treasury has published a major report revealing that the federal government has amassed $103.7 trillion in debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations. To place this unprecedented shortfall in perspective, it amounts to:

  • $315,315 for every person living in the U.S.
  • $806,181 for every household in the U.S.
  • 4.8 times the size of the U.S. economy.
  • 29 times annual federal revenues.
  • 91% of the combined net worth of all U.S. households and nonprofit organizations, including all assets in savings, real estate, corporate stocks, private businesses, and consumer durable goods such as automobiles and furniture.

Holy crap.  Holy crap.  We are so, so hosed.  And it’s absolutely, unarguably, batshit insane that we’ve gotten to this point.

The new data reflect the government’s finances at the close of its 2019 fiscal year on September 30th. Thus, they don’t include added spending that has been passed and proposed to support individuals, businesses, and the general economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yeah, well, so what?  What’s a few more trillion between friends?

This official report is mandated by a federal law that requires the Treasury and White House to produce a full accounting of the government’s “overall financial position” by no later than March 31st of each year. Beyond the national debt, it also includes the government’s explicit and implicit commitments. This method approximates the accounting standards that the federal government imposes on publicly traded corporations.

Here’s the big difference, though:  Publicly traded corporations are held accountable for fiscal shenanigans.  They are held accountable by their Boards, by their customers, and eventually by law enforcement and the courts.

The government, one could argue, is held accountable by the voters.  But as long as the voting public includes (at least) a plurality of voters that vote for nothing more than an ever-increasing fire hose of Free Shit, without any knowledge nor concern about the coming debtpocolypse, this insanity will continue unchecked.

And note President Trump’s reaction to the coronavirus crisis:  Throwing trillions of debt-funded dollars at it.  The President is certainly no fiscal conservative.  On spending issues he’s basically what he was most of his life, a moderate Democrat.

Unlike higher estimates of the federal government’s fiscal shortfall that extend indefinitely into the future, these figures only include Americans who are alive right now. Thus, they estimate the burden that today’s Americans are placing on future generations.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:  We have mortgaged our grandchildren’s futures, and history will rightly damn us for it.

Although the report discloses information of crucial import to U.S. citizens, Google News indicates that no media outlet has informed Americans about it since it was released on February 27th.

Of course not!  Not only do most Americans lack the economic knowledge to comprehend how awful this is, most don’t care; add to that the fact that most legacy media talking heads are statist jackwagons who enthusiastically support endless spending on Free Shit.

The article here concludes:

While some believe the U.S. government can spend and borrow with abandon because it is so large and can print money, one of the most established laws of economics is that there no such thing as a free lunch. The prolific economist William A. McEachern explains why this is so:

There is no free lunch because all goods and services involve a cost to someone. The lunch may seem free to you, but it draws scarce resources away from the production of other goods and services, and whoever provides a free lunch often expects something in return. A Russian proverb makes a similar point but with a bit more bite: “The only place you find free cheese is in a mousetrap.”

There’s another economic principle in play here:  Stein’s Law.  This states, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”  This insane roller-coaster of spending is going to have to stop at some point, and what happens then?

What happens to our major cities when the flow of Free Shit is cut off?

What happens when pols realize there is no more money spigot with which to buy votes?

What happens when Imperial subsidies stop?

What happens?

Sooner or later, we’re going to find out.  And what happens won’t be anything good.