budget

Bye Bye Chained CPI and Other Budget Surprises

The Obama administration is finally abandoning their endorsement of chained CPI for next years budget.  The reason is probably not good economics, but political.  Election season is near and this is just one of many policies the Obama administration endorsed which raised the ire of the retired.  A refresher, chained CPI is another method to adjust for cost of living increases at a reduced rate than what is currently used, CPI-W.

So Much for the Impending Economic Armageddon Federal Budget Deficit

Surprise, when tax revenues increase the deficit goes down.  Such was the news of a new CBO update on the federal budget deficit.

If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, CBO estimates, the smallest shortfall since 2008.

Food Stamp Usage Reaches Record High with 15% of America on Food Stamps

Food stamp usage has soared to a new record high of 47,102,780. As of August 2012, 1 in 6.7 people are on food stamps in the United States. That's 15.0% of people living in America are on food assistance. The United States population in middle of August 2012 was 314,484,000 and this figure includes everyone, including Americans overseas. Food stamp usage increased 2.9% from August 2011 and 0.9% from July 2012.

food stamp usage graph

Since October 2007, food stamp usage has increased 74.4%. Population has increased 3.9% during the same time period. That is how badly America is hurting.

CBO Bombshell - Our Congress Will Cause a Recession in 2013

fiscal cliffThe CBO has issued a new report on what all of those automatic budget cuts are gonna do in 2013. They will cause a recession.

Growth in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP in calendar year 2013 will be just 0.5 percent, CBO expects—with the economy projected to contract at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first half of the year and expand at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second half. Given the pattern of past recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research, such a contraction in output in the first half of 2013 would probably be judged to be a recession.

What the CBO is referring to is the fiscal cliff. Remember when the budget crisis happened, resulting in the United States losing it's AAA credit rating? Then, Congress and this administration just punted, didn't compromise, or better yet, base recommendations on actual economic theory, and allowed automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion across the board, to take place instead. These budget cuts will be dramatic and happen in 2012 and 2013.

If you declare bankruptcy, will everything be OK in a few days, weeks?

The crazies in the United States House of Representatives would have you believe it were so.  They say fix that budget before we'll raise the debt ceiling.  If we don't get our fix, they announce, there's no deal.  We'll just default until things get straightened out. (Image: George Romero)

Obama's Budget Betrayal - Questions and Answers

Question: Why did President Obama put Social Security and Medicare on the table in the budget negotiations when 80% of the people oppose cuts to these programs?

Answer: The president is not in office to represent those people. He was selected, funded and carried over the finish line by corporate America. Look at the appointment of Wall Streeter Timothy Geithner, the bailouts, and the failure to prosecute any of the crooks who caused the current recession. He's serving the people who put him in office. Those people don't need Social Security and Medicare.

Q: Doesn't the president need to worry about reelection? Why would he risk that by going against such a large majority?

A: President Obama has no personal or financial risk if he loses his job.. He has a tidy lifetime pension and will, no doubt, be on plenty of corporate boards, not to mention the opportunities for huge speaking fees. There is less political risk than you might think. The only Republican presidential candidate who might be other than certifiable is the largely unknown John Huntsman, former governor of Utah and Obama's ambassador to China. The rest would do much more harm to seniors than Obama concessions this time around (if they materialize) and people know that.

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