Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Erskine Bowles: "I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history." Andrew?

...I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history.

A lot of us sitting in this room didn't see this last crisis as it came upon us.

But this one is really easy to see.

The fiscal path we are on today is simply not sustainable.

“This debt and these deficits that we are incurring on an annual basis
are like a cancer and they are truly going to destroy this country from within
unless we have the common sense to do something about it...

...This problem is going to happen...

...this is a problem we're going to have to face up

...It may be two years, you know, maybe a little less, maybe a little more.

But if our bankers over there in Asia begin to believe that we're not going to be solid on our debt,
that we're not going to be able to meet our obligations,
just stop and think for a minute what happens if they just stop buying our debt.

What happens to interest rates?

And what happens to the U.S. economy?

The markets will absolutely devastate us if we don't step up to this problem.

The problem is real, the solutions are painful, and we have to act.

Erskine Bowles

"The U.S. Treasury has released a final statement for the month of March that demonstrates that financial madness has gripped the federal government.

...the federal government grossed $194 billion in tax revenue
and paid out $65.898 billion in tax refunds (including $62.011 to individuals and $3.887 to businesses)
thus netting $128.179 billion in tax revenue for March.

At the same time, the Treasury paid out a total of $1.1187 trillion.

When the $65.898 billion in tax refunds is deducted from that,
the Treasury paid a net of $1.0528 trillion in federal expenses for March.

That $1.0528 trillion in spending for March
equaled 8.2 times the $128.179 in net federal tax revenue for the month.

The lion’s share of this federal spending went to redeem Treasury securities that had matured during the month
—most of which were short-term Treasury bills that have terms of one year or less.

...After the disbursements made to pay off the $705.3 billion in loans that came due in March...

...The Treasury paid $49.8 billion in Social Security benefits
...$47.4 billion in Medicare benefits,
and $22.575 billion in Medicaid benefits.

It also paid $37.9 billion to defense contractors.

...During the month...the government sold $786.5 billion in new securities.

It also drew down its cash balance from $190.6 billion at the beginning of the month
to $118.1 billion at the end of the month.

...The federal government’s cash-flow situation was summed up pungently
in Senate Budget Committee testimony by Erskine Bowles...



John S. Haynes said...

I wonder why I don't see this being reported by the major networks. I appreciate Erskine Bowles for his honest assessment of our budget crisis.

Karen said...

John, Where are you? I am a neighbor of yours from Milan and am wondering where you moved to? I haven't even seen your cat around. I hope the cat is with you.