The US is Broke? It Had a $53 Billion Surplus Last Month
|January 24, 2014||Posted by Staff under Subsidies & Waste & Public Debt|
This 2014 excerpt of MarketWatch, Jan 13, is by Robert Schroeder.
The U.S. government recorded a record budget surplus of $53 billion in December, helping to bring the government’s deficit down 41% in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
Nearly $40 billion in payments from government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributed to the surplus, the largest on record for the month of December. The last time there was a December surplus was in 2007, of $48 billion.
Tax receipts were also up 5% in the month. Spending fell 8% in the same period, reflecting lower outlays on agri-business, military, and other programs.
The deficit for October, November, and December was $174 billion, $120 billion below the year-ago period.
In fiscal 2013, which ended Sept. 30, the budget gap dropped to $680 billion, its lowest level in five years. Thanks to record revenues and modestly lower spending, it was the first gap of below $1 trillion of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Ed. Notes: When we pay mortgages we pay for both the house and the land. It’s not the house going up in value; the house is getting older, more worn out. It’s the land, or location, that actually rises in value.
Why now? The recession has created winners and losers. While losers are pushed aside, winners get busy again. As the money flows from investor to business, from buyer to seller, winners use hefty amounts to buy housing, pumping up its locational value again, profiting Fannie and Freddie.
Having to spend more for land is not presently a good thing. Now it means spending less for things people do produce: goods and services. It means speculators get lured in and they’ll inflate site values. It means the business cycle (of 18 years) will culminate in recession, yet again.
OTOH, the US owes less money. That displeases the left who prefer government spending, the more the merrier. But even when public spending is not for war and bailouts, it still requires expensive bureaucracy who make choices that should be left to free individuals.
The cuts Congress has made so far to the military and corporate welfare are just the tip of the iceberg. Trillions more could be cut. We should replace taxes on earnings, sales, and buildings with fees and dues that recover the socially-generated value of land and resources. We should replace almost all social programs with a dividend paid to the citizenry. Then public revenue will go straight to the people (mollifying the left?) and government won’t operate in red ink anymore but boast a surplus every month.