National Debt (Strangely) Unchanged for 70 Days

July 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

The U.S. national debt for the past 70 days has been stuck at exactly $16,699,396,000,000, CNSNews.com reports, citing the Daily Treasury Statement for July 26.“That is approximately $25 million below the legal limit of $16,699,421,095,673.60 that Congress has imposed on the debt,” the report notes.Fed debt subject to the legal limits imposed by Congress first hit the $16.7B mark on May 17. The national debt has for every business day since then been exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00.“If the debt had increased by even $30 million at any time during those 70 days, it would have exceeded the statutory limit,” the report conceded.However, according to the Treasury, the debt hasn’t budged an inch. It has been stuck at exactly $16,699,396,000,000:

via TheBlaze.com.

How bizarre is that?

Can you imagine running your household and determining that you spent EXACTLY what you earned — down to the dollar — for nearly 3 months?

Or is it possible that the G is playing games with the numbers?

More Bankruptcy Coming (to a city near you)

July 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

The top 10 biggest U.S. cities on the brink of pension bankruptcy.

#1 Philadelphia – Unfunded liability of $9 billion, $16,696 per household, only 1 year before the pension accounts are empty

#2 Chicago – Unfunded liability of $44.8 billion, $41.966 per household, money runs out in 4 years

#3 Boston – Unfunded liability of $7.5 billion, $30,901 per household, money runs out in 4 years

#4 Cincinnati – Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $15,681 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#5 St Paul – Unfunded liability of $1.4 billion, $13,686 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#6 Jacksonville – Unfunded liability of $4 billion, $12,944 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#7 New York City – Unfunded liability of $122 billion, $38,866 per household, money runs out in 6 years

#8 Baltimore – Unfunded liability of $3.7 billion, $15, 420 per household, money runs out in 7 years

#9 Detroit – Unfunded liability of $6.4 billion, $18,643 per household, money runs out in 8 years

#10 Fort Worth – Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $7,212 per household, money runs out in 8 years

via Business Insider.

This list was put together using data from 2010-12.  So Detroit is on the list… and not at the top.  So how was Detroit the first to go?  Because the tax base fled in mass.  The constant media attention to Detroit didn’t help either.  But kudos to them for filing early and getting it out of the way.  The longer you wait the worse it is for everybody.

Chicago sadly has the highest debt per capita.  The debt per household is approaching the average annual household income.  Who’s going to pay that off?  How many will participate in paying?  As Obama would say, will be make sure that everyone pays their fair share?

Welfare-Funded Groceries Shipped to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti

July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.

via NYPOST.

Can we now admit that the system is broken?

Why is this not national news?  When are the taxpayers going to wake up and start demanding better?

IL Public Pension Debt at $133 Billion

June 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ten U.S. states have public pension liabilities that are at least as big as their annual revenues, according to a Moody’s Investors Service report released on Thursday that found the Illinois pension bill was equal to 241 percent of its revenues.  …

According to Moody’s, Illinois has the largest net pension liability in the country, $133 billion, equal to $10,340 per person in the state. The liability is equal to 19.8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

via Reuters.

It’s worth nothing that the $133 billion owed for the pensions does NOT include the over $45B in state issued bonds or over $8B in unpaid bills sitting on the Treasurer’s desk. (Source.)

The reality is every man, woman, and child in Illinois owes the state at least $14,400.

Every man, woman, and child in the U.S. owes the G $53,400.

So if you live in Illinois add up your net worth and subtract $67,800.  Of course, if your a taxpayer you actually owe about 2x this amount… but that’s another story.

China Economy to Overtake U.S. by 2016

March 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

China’s economy expanded last year at 7.8pc – its slowest pace in more than a decade – and recent data has fuelled concerns that any rebound in the country’s growth is losing steam.

However, the OECD was upbeat, predicting in a new survey of China’s prospects that the country’s economy could expand by 8.5pc this year and by 8.9pc in 2014.

While the OECD noted the slowdown in China’s aggressive expansion, it nonetheless predicted that growth should average 8pc in this decade at current rates of investment and reform.

After allowing for price differences, it forecast that China could become the world’s largest economy, overtaking America, around 2016.

via Telegraph.

High debt is a drag on growth.  You’re using sooo much money for debt service (paying interest) that could have gone to pay for more useful activity… education, roads, technology, etc.

China’s economy grew at nearly 8% last year.  U.S.’s economy grew at less than 1/2 that. (Thanks Obamacare and businesses fearing other Obama policies.)

Also worth noting that this story NOT being carried by any major U.S. news organization save the Washington Post and CNN International.  Not even a single link / page to the regular CNN site despite the story begin pick-up by Reuters news service.  To ABC/NBC/CBS/MSNBC and yes, even Fox this story is not news worthy.

 

Moody’s Downgrades Chicago’s Motor Fuel Debt

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded to A3 from Aa3 the rating on the City of Chicago’s (IL) $181 million of outstanding rated motor fuel tax debt. The outlook has been revised to negative.

via Moody’s.

Surprises no one.  Barely qualifies as news actually.

The City’s broke.  Unemployment (real unemployment, the U6 number) is out of control and people simply don’t have the means to support driving when they don’t have to.  Tie that in with Springfield’s ability and desire to continue to kick-the-can down the road and Chicago may just get screwed on its portion of the fuel tax.

It’s generally dumb anyway that Chicago gets a kick-back on the state’s fuel tax anyway as the city has it’s own fuel tax.  It’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Round and round the money goes.

 

 

 

SEC Hits Illinois with Securities Fraud Charges

March 11, 2013 § 1 Comment

Illinois broke federal securities laws in misstating the true health of the state’s depleted pension funds when going out onto the bond market between 2005 and early 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday.  …

The finding of securities fraud doesn’t subject the state to any fines or penalties but amounts to a warning to potential investors about the state’s past financial misdeeds.

The action focuses mostly on misstatements made during impeached ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration, though Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration wasn’t spared entirely in the federal order.

“Municipal investors are no less entitled to truthful risk disclosures than other investors,” said George S. Canellos, Acting Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in a prepared statement.

“Time after time, Illinois failed to inform its bond investors about the risk to its financial condition posed by the structural underfunding of its pension system,” Canellos said.

via Sun-Times Politics.

Wow!!  So, the article says (twice) that there are no fines or penalties that go with this… But what the article doesn’t say is that the State is now subject to a civil suit by bond-holders.

Q:  Where was Lisa Madigan while this was happening?

Just curious.

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