Just add tax cuts and ballooning expenditures. The media chose to silence the report to death.
“If a tree fell in a forest and nobody heard it, did it really make a sound?” asks our favorite fiscal gadfly and Director of Research at Truth in Accounting, Bill Bergman, referring to the media coverage that the Treasury Department’s “Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Report of the U.S. Government” has received, which was, at the time he wrote it 24 hours after the February 15 release of the report: “Nothing. Zip. Scratch.”
“Where We Are Headed”
That $1.156 trillion in Net Operating Cost occurred in fiscal 2017. But these are the good times, the boom years, if you will, when shortfalls should shrink into oblivion. So what will happen to the shortfall when the economy slows down or goes into a recession? That was a rhetorical question.
For fiscal 2018 and going forward, the tax cuts will lower revenues by about $150 billion per year on average over the next ten years. And for fiscal 2018 and 2019, Congress passed the two-year budget resolution that will add about $150 billion on average per year to the outlays. Both combined will drive up the deficit by about $300 billion a year on average.
“Where We Are Headed” a chapter heading (pages 9 and 14) says. I can supply my own chart, based US Treasury data, to show exactly “where we are headed” in terms of the US gross national debt:
Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com,
United States Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin has a sweet gig. He writes rubber checks to pay the nation’s bills. Yet, somehow, the rubber checks don’t bounce. Instead, like magic, they clear.
How this all works, considering the nation’s technically insolvent, we don’t quite understand. But Mnuchin gets it. He knows exactly how full faith and credit works – and he knows plenty more.
In fact, Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, says she admires him because “he understands the economy.” And Mnuchin, no doubt, admires Linton, a Scottish actress 18 years younger, because “she loves SoulCycle Snapchat filters that make people look like puppies and piglets.” Naturally, Mnuchin gets the importance of puppy and piglet filters and how this bizarre fad fits into the big picture of the economy.
Unlike Mnuchin, we find the economy, and its infinite and dynamic relationships, to be beyond comprehension. But that doesn’t deter us from attempting to make some sense of it each week. When it comes to Snapchat filters we know nothing – and we could care less. Still, who are we to question Snap Inc.’s $24 billion market capitalization?