Stockman Exposes America’s Fiscal Doomsday Machine

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
By Paul Martin

by David Stockman via DailyReckoning.com,
ZeroHedge.com
Sep 12, 2017

Maybe the Democrats did win the 2016 election. Or at least the the Deep State and its accomplices among the beltway political class, K-Street lobbies and the media did.

That’s because the media won a giant victory against something they deplore and despise more than anything else – the public debt ceiling. They sanctimoniously admonish that it’s a relic of the nation’s fiscally benighted past. They operate on a belief that this is an episodic tendency to threaten America’s credit and to offer Capitol Hill an opening to grandstand about the fiscal verities is a blight on orderly governance.

So the Donald’s latest burst of impetuosity — agreeing with Sen. Schumer to permanently abolish the public debt ceiling — has descended on the beltway like manna from heaven. Not Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or even the Great Texas Porker, Lyndon Johnson, dared to utter the thought of it — at least not in polite company.

Suddenly, and notwithstanding all the good he has done disrupting the status quo, the Donald has become the foremost enemy of America’s very financial survival.

The Federal budget is a Fiscal Doomsday Machine. The depository of American wars and entitlements have run rampant. Under the pile drivers of a global empire and the retiring baby boom, it is rapidly propelling the nation toward fiscal catastrophe. That grim outcome is virtually guaranteed if the only remaining safety brake — the debt ceiling — is summarily abolished.

Due to entitlements, debt service and the slow pipeline of appropriated spending there is no such thing as an annual Federal budget or accountability for how much Uncle Sam spends and borrows. Instead, the $4.1 trillion that Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the Federal government will spend in FY 2018, and the $563 billion it will borrow, reflects the dead hand of the past.

Entitlements and other mandatory spending alone is projected to reach $2.566 trillion or 63% of total FY 2018 outlays.

Another $307 billion will be required for interest on the nation’s $20 trillion public debt, while upwards of half the $1.22 trillion for so-called “discretionary” or appropriated programs also reflects funds appropriated years ago.

Altogether, $3.5 trillion, or 85% of outlays, will be essentially baked into the cake before a single Congressional vote is taken on anything regarding the FY 2018 budget.

The Federal spending machine is almost entirely on autopilot and heading for disaster owing to ballooning populations and debt. Ten years from now the combined cost of mandatory programs and debt service will reach $5.12 trillion compared to just $2.87 trillion during FY 2018.

Entitlement spending will be nearly double — even if Congress took a 10-year recess!

As shown below, that means the Federal spending share of GDP is now inexorably climbing toward 30% owing to baby boom retirements, even as revenue under current law is stuck at about 18% of GDP. The CBO’s latest projection of the widening fiscal gap — soon more than 10% of GDP annually — leaves nothing to the imagination.

America really does have in place a Fiscal Doomsday Machine.

The Rest…HERE

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