Update on US Government Holy-Moly Debt, Interest Expense, and Tax Receipts, and How they Stack Up Against GDP

We shoulda known better.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

US government interest expense shot up over the past four quarters in line with higher interest rates and the ballooning pile of debt. At the same time, tax revenues fell from the peak levels in 2022 and are back where they’d been in Q4 2021, which had been a record high at the time.

So, interest expense as percent of tax revenues – the primary measure of the burden of the national debt on government finances – spiked to 32.9% in Q1, from 19.3% in Q1 2022. But wait… that 19.3% a year ago had been the lowest since 1969, thanks to the Fed’s interest-rate repression through early 2022 and high tax revenues from the growing economy, wage inflation, and big realized capital gains as people sold assets to lock in their many years of gains.

In the 1980s, interest expense as a percent of tax receipts was around 50%. In the decades since then, Congress has been footloose and fancy-free about its spending and taxing policies, and there hasn’t been any discipline, no matter who runs the show. It’s just that priorities shift. A high interest-expense burden might be the only discipline left that will put some common sense into these people in Washington.

This is the holy-moly gross national debt, and how it ballooned under the last 2.5 years of the Trump administration and the first 2.5 years of the Biden Administration. Over that 5-year period, the debt has ballooned by $10.5 trillion, or by 50%, whereof $6.7 trillion under Trump and $3.8 trillion under Biden.

Over the days after the debt ceiling gets lifted, the gross national debt will spike in massive leaps, as it always does after the debt ceiling is lifted, because the debt ceiling never actually limits the debt, and we’ll have some fun with that as it happens. And all this will be tacked on shortly (indicated in green in the chart below).

Spending bills are cobbled together and passed by Congress, though Presidents are big players in that game:

The US debt-to-GDP ratio dipped to 119% in Q1, having steadily declined from the spike in Q2, 2020, as nominal GDP (not adjusted for inflation) has surged, driven in part by inflation, and as the debt (also not adjusted for inflation) has surged at a slower rate.

Nominal GDP reflects economic growth plus inflation. Nominal GDP jumped by 7.8% in Q1 year-over-year. But the national debt jumped by “only” 3.4%, not counting the hundreds of billions that will be tacked on to it over the days following the lifting of the debt ceiling.

In other words if economic growth plus inflation are higher than the growth of the debt, the magnitude of the debt in relationship of the economy declines.

The Free-Money era – the Fed’s near-0% policy rates plus QE – created the biggest borrowing binge by the US government, as Congress and the various White Houses fully bought into this concept that money will forever be free and that debt doesn’t matter because debt is free too – though it now suddenly matters a lot because money and debt are no longer free:

Interest expenses on the national debt spiked to $232 billion in Q1 (not seasonally adjusted), a new record obviously, because of the mix of the ballooning national debt and the much higher interest rates on newly issued Treasury securities that replace maturing securities or fund the new deficits.

After the debt ceiling is raised this week, the Treasury department will issue a tsunami of Treasury bills, with interest rates well above 5%, and they will add to that interest expense in short order:

Tax revenues fell to $705 billion in Q1, roughly even with Q4 2021, which had been a record at the time.

In 2021 and 2022, tax revenues soared on soaring personal income taxes, including capital gains taxes – as investors sold securities and realized capital gains that had accumulated over the years, after the biggest asset bubble ever. There was also a surge in corporate income taxes as companies jacked up prices and thereby profits. And customs duties and excise taxes also rose. Everything worked together in 2021 and 2022 to produce this big jump in tax revenues.

Those tax revenues are reverting to trend, and the free-money party is over. The chart also shows the interest expense (green) to provide a better sense of proportion:

Interest expense as percent of GDP spiked to 3.6%, the highest since 2000, but well below the 1980s level that exceeded 5% a few times. This ratio is interest expense (actual, not adjusted for inflation or seasonality) divided by nominal GDP (not adjusted for inflation or seasonality).

One thing we can tell instantly: The Fed’s rapid rate hikes and the rapidly ballooning debt created one heck of a historic spike over just three quarters:

Everyone knows that it was nuts to boost deficit spending as it was done over the past 5 years; it’s inflationary and contributed to the spike in inflation we have now; and as interest rates adjust to this higher for longer inflation, and as old securities with lower coupon interest mature and are replaced with new securities with higher coupon interest, the interest expense is going to be a headache.

On the other hand, fixed-income investors that buy those securities with the higher coupon interest are loving it, as they’re finally getting interest on Treasury bills that exceeds the current rate of CPI inflation. And those folks are going to pay federal income taxes on the interest income – along with folks who are paying income taxes on the interest income from CDs, money market funds, and high-yield savings accounts. So there’s more tax revenue heading toward the Treasury.

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  186 comments for “Update on US Government Holy-Moly Debt, Interest Expense, and Tax Receipts, and How they Stack Up Against GDP

  1. SWE Josh says:

    “And those folks are going to pay federal income taxes on the interest income”. That’s a great point. I wonder if the government would prefer people invest in fixed income products that they can tax every year instead of having people park their assets in the stock market and have the gains untaxed for years (and possibly offset by losses). Some economists want to tax unrealized gains which would have a similar effect.

    • Economic Armageddon says:

      Taxing unrealized gains is insane. Aside from all the perverse incentives and disincentives to invest in the stock market, how would the government treat unrealized losses – with a provisional credit?

      Even in case the government doesn’t do anything like that, debt (as long as the cost of debt does not exceed the cost of equity) would instantly become the favored form of borrowing – similar to the ‘free money era’ debt binge we’re all suffering from today.

      • CRV says:

        Taxing unrealized gains has been done for almost twenty years by the Dutch Government. Even more insane: the Gov. taxes you 30% on an ‘expected’ return on investment of over 6.7%. If you don’t get that much, tough. You still pay 30% on that 6.7% imaginary gain.
        This has finally been dismissed by the highest court two years ago. But it will take until 2026 to revise the tax-laws and reprogram the systems to what is was before this nonsense: only taxing real gains.

        Never think Governments will not do the insane.

        • Who Cares says:

          You are wrong, the change is merely in the fictive RoI not a return to before.

          The law might have been created in 2001 but it only started functioning in 2017. Then got shot down at the end of December 2021.
          The reason it got shot down was not that it was a tax on unrealized gains. It was that the government to increase revenue instead of setting a RoI based on a low to medium risk investment strategy it went for a RoI that on average can/could be realized on a high risk strategy. This caused it to trip over the EU human rights convention, section 14 discrimination, since the majority of the people having to pay this tax would not go for a high risk strategy (or let their bank/broker/whatever do it for them). The finding of this law being discriminatory means that anyone could drag the government to court over it, get a reduction in their taxes (the court case in question reduced the tax having to be paid by the plaintiff by €2183,-, total for the years 2017 & 2018) while the government would have to pay the direct costs for the plaintiff.

          The Dutch government started in 2015 with looking on how to get a more realistic rate, a process that would be done at the earliest in 2025. And when the Dutch government codifies a fictive RoI or a way to assess the RoI that someone has on their investment is the moment that the this law is back

          TL;DR: This law does not get reverted, the Dutch government is in the process of the fixing the part that the Dutch supreme court found discriminatory, the fix will be done at the earliest in 2025, the fix being taxing people based on true RoI.

        • Bobber says:

          Why not just tax everything with an estate tax at time of death? ‘

          People can’t complain about a tax when they are dead. Nobody gets hurt, except some trust fund recipients looking for free money and a lifetime of leisure.

          Everybody should have to earn their stay, when able to do so.

        • Arnold says:

          There is no more greedier person than an heir.

        • Who Cares says:

          Bit of clarification to what I wrote.
          The tax is at a reduced RoI percentage until tax year 2024 (filed in 2025) and then for tax year 2025 the new rules kick in. You can ask a refund for the years back to tax year 2017, but the government won’t come to you.
          And I flubbed when I wrote true RoI in the TL;DR. It is more RoI is getting split out into different asset groups and at more realistic levels since it is still an approximation based on the past average gains.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          Even assuming this tax exists as described, the Netherlands doesn’t tax worldwide income. It’s easy enough for the most affluent to avoid it by changing their residency or if necessary, changing their citizenship and telling the government to get lost.

      • Question Everything says:

        I think SWE Josh might have in mind what I also do, which is the Government is desperate to find large pipeflows of cash. For me what comes to mind in relation to it is tariffs, retirement benefits reductions, international seas oil tanker piracy, weapons, sales tax revenue, property tax revenue, mortgage deduction removal, inflation against long-time savings, extra funding and effort for the IRS………It’s all tied in with creating major current flows of money in big jumps. It’s forcing a need for dollars through having to acquire them to pay taxes. If the dollar is to have no other inherent value going forward, they’ve probably schemed that creating demand for dollars to pay taxes is one last ditch effort to try to keep this game propped up.

        • Cas127 says:

          “schemed that creating demand for dollars to pay taxes is one last ditch effort to try to keep this game propped up.”

          The MMT’er morons/bastards have been promoting that tyranny-loving point like it is a feature not a bug (“Gvts can never go broke! They can always print! They can require infinitely dilutable USD holdings via taxation!”)

          Remember this the next time some academic moron preens about his liberalism. In the end, hugely subsidized academics are tools of the state (in multiple senses).

        • Flea says:

          Be very alarmed when uncle is hiring 83,500 irs agents with guns .Reminds me of 1942

        • Augustus Frost says:

          Future taxes are definitely going up. Big pile of money to be gained by introducing a national sales tax if it’s constitutional. Or it may be implemented anyway, even if it isn’t. This is also a way to tax (again) retirement accounts on which taxes have already been paid, Roth IRAs and 401ks.

          Government is also going to default on parts of the “social contract”, that imaginary contract which doesn’t actually exist.

          It can’t or won’t happen because the government will “print to infinity” and the majority of voters don’t want it?

          Just wait until the Empire is threatened by a USD crash. Everyone else will be thrown under the bus to save it. What the majority of voters want doesn’t matter when the chips are down.

        • JimL says:

          “Be very alarmed when uncle is hiring 83,500 irs agents with guns .Reminds me of 1942”

          Tell me you use poor information sources without directly telling me you use poor information sources.

          You win.

          In the real world, that is not happening so you can relax and going back to watching “Murder She Wrote” reruns.

        • NBay says:

          Oh boy, the team Pepsi and team Coke stuff……while the class warfare and plutocracy bunch vote with DOLLARS and generate their buzz words, and doesn’t drink either brand of stupid sugar water. That’s for the lazy stupid economic losers.
          Good article with overwhelming food for thought.
          Cas is really a great example of one team’s work, and has company.
          What if God has NO sex at ALL, Cas, what sort of pervert would that make “it”.

      • LIFO says:

        Read section 475 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 USC 475), which requires to securities dealers to use mark-to-market accounting.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          Won’t work with the biggest asset mania in history.

          It’s an attempt to convert unprecedented fake wealth from the financial economy into actual consumption in the real economy at a massive scale.

          It’s no different than economic illiterates thinking it’s possible for everyone to get rich or save Social Security by “investing” in the stock market. Rising asset prices don’t make an economy wealthier, as nothing is actually produced.

          The whole does not equal the sum of the parts.

        • rojogrande says:

          Section 475 is in the part of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that addresses how taxpayers are to treat inventory held for sale in the ordinary course of business. Retailers are the most common example of businesses which hold inventory for sale to customers. However, in the case of a securities dealer, securities themselves are the inventory. The goal of Section 475 is to require dealers to use an accounting system which accurately reflects income and loss with respect to securities held in their inventory.

          Section 475 does not purport to tax unrealized gains or losses on investments, which are specifically excluded by Section 475(b)(1)(A).

      • LifeSupportSystem4aVote says:

        “…debt (as long as the cost of debt does not exceed the cost of equity) would instantly become the favored form of borrowing…”

        When is debt not the only form of borrowing?

      • William Leake says:

        “Increases in a TIPS principal value, as a result of inflation adjustments, are taxed as income in the year they occur, even though those increases are not realized until the TIPS are sold or mature.” Taxing unrealized gains already happens with TIPS. I could see it happening with stocks. Imagine if they did that to houses.

    • Rogerlagerfeldt says:

      As long stupid countries buys USD. US Will be superhappy….usd like gold…make reserves in gold/silver instead of newprinted usd

      • JimL says:

        I literally cannot understand the logic of basing our economy around how much of a metal ore is dug up out of the ground. Please explain.

        Furthermore, I am constantly hearing conspiracies among the crazy crowd about how banks are constantly manipulating the price of gold. If banks are big enough to manipulate the price of gold, imagine what an entity with the resources of a nation state could do.

        Why would we want to base our economy around something China could easily manipulate the price of?


    • Rogerlagerfeldt says:

      To make gold silver as reserves US standard will drop by 50%…

    • Silence Dogoode says:

      Will they pay me for my unrealized losses?

  2. andy says:

    I was worried there for a second, but the interest payments are only 3.5% of GDP.
    Phew, we can afford to squander another $40 Trillion.

    • Leo says:

      Aren’t we celebrating $4 Trillion spending deal. See the debt curve carefully and you will realize that it’s exponential!

      • Wolf Richter says:

        “Spending” is NOT equal “additional debt” or “deficit.” You’re forgetting the tax receipts.

        • Kenny Logins says:

          So you’re saying they’ll pay down the debt exclusively with those loans extra tax receipts?

        • Who Cares says:

          Well yes. The debt ceiling was created with the idea that it would force congress to live within the means it had. That means spending that would be roughly equal to income.
          But that is not how things play out just look at all the unintended consequences and hostage taking that have resulted due to its creation.

          I’m of the personal opinion that that clause in the 14th amendment precludes a debt ceiling but that is not me to judge that is for the US supreme court to do so. Which means the current president has to invoke it first and then get dragged into court.

        • Arnold says:

          That was never the intention of the Debt Ceiling.

          The annual Federal Budget serves that purpose.

        • Who Cares says:

          Sort of.
          The Federal Budget lays out what you are going to spend and where you are going to get the money to do that spending.
          And on the “where you are going to get he money to do that spending”-part one are loans. The debt ceiling blocks those loans from ballooning to infinity (or rather the point where the market stops providing the money for said loans).

          And when, like this year, the loans portion is legally required to be 0 since you are not allowed to take out more loans that means that the rest of the budget needs to be balanced to live within the means available (or your raise the means available or the amount you allowed to get from loans).

          Thus ultimately the debt ceiling was an attempt to force congress to live within the means available.
          Hasn’t really worked out.

        • Tom V. says:

          The original intent of the debt ceiling was to simplify the process of issuing debt such that congress would not have to approve each bond issuance. Manipulation of the process to threaten default is a modern interpretation.

        • phillip jeffreys says:

          Debt ceiling?

          Budget process”?

          Bahahaha. There has been no “process” since 2008. Baseline budgeting – the gift that keeps on giving!

          Debt ceiling is just kabuki theatre for what’s already baked in.

    • truthseeking says:

      “I was worried there for a second, but the interest payments are only 3.5% of GDP.
      Phew, we can afford to squander another $40 Trillion”

      If memory serves me well Alain Greenspan said, it is not the debt versus GDP to much concern but the percentage of revenues to finance the debt-currently close to 35%. At this growing rate in a short while it will be 50%. I can’t imagine how the gluttonous gov will survive if they have to pay $50 out of every $100 just for the interest on debt.
      So, the “Weimer Boy” better manage to bring inflation down, or the “peons” will not be able to put food on table anymore.

  3. phleep says:

    “A high interest-expense burden might be the only discipline left that will put some common sense into these people in Washington.”
    Kind of reminds me of an argument in the 1980s made in favor of corporate LBOs and piling on leverage: it would “discipline” those in charge of corporations. By the early 90s, plenty of those deals (and firms) had sunk beneath the waves. Sort of a sad commentary if that’s the logic we might pin our hopes on, but I’ll take anything I can get. It did also result in some improved, slimmed-down firms.

    • Leo says:

      It is so great to see all this tightening. I was so worried about all the splurging in crypto space. The demand for bitcoin was increasing way faster than it could be mined making bitcoin unaffordable.

      Now the sanity has come back to the market. Bitcoin at $28K is such a healthy Market. It’s a great time to buy cryptos because:
      1. To those who feel that it’s still overpriced, I should remind you “there is no supply “.
      2. Also, Most buyers bought it at leveraged money when interest rates were low. Now selling it would require refinancing at much higher rate to buy again. Hence the high prices.
      3. In long term cryptos only go up.
      4. If your horizon is 10 years, it will just even out despite high price now.
      5. The cryptos you buy with your har earned money increases GDP of the country. So it’s a patriotic thing to do.

      #Sarcasm (you know what I made fun of).

      • Dave Sparks says:

        How can the shop be sinking the band is still playing.

      • MattF says:

        Crypto is a claim on future ponzi participants’ money. As long as there is a ponzi, crypto will retain its value.

        In my mind crypto is a measure of monetary malfeasance. Until it goes to zero, the tightening must continue.

    • old school says:

      I was listening to a 3 year Buffet interview when 10 year treasury yield was 1/2%. He said something wise which was that if you live long enough you are going to see about everything that can happen actually happen in financial markets.

      Making financial decisions on how things were the last 10 or 20 years will probably be a disaster for people.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        “…everything, everywhere, all in good time…”.

        may we all find a better day.

    • Rogerlagerfeldt says:

      As long stupid countries buys USD. US Will be superhappy….usd like gold…make reserves in gold/silver instead of newprinted usd

  4. Prairie Rider says:

    Oh yeah, the monkey on Uncle Sam’s back just got a hell of a lot more expensive to carry. And the expense will simply make the monkey even heavier.

    “Cover me, when I run
    Cover me, through the fire
    Something knocked me out of the trees
    Now I’m on my knees
    Cover me, darling please

    Monkey, monkey, monkey

    Don’t you know they’re going to shock the monkey?

    There’s one thing you must be sure of
    I can’t take any more
    Darling, don’t you monkey with the monkey!”
    -Peter Gabriel

    Dad told me something that Congress and the President doesn’t believe in:
    “Son, if you can’t pay for it, you can’t afford it.”

    Wolf’s got it right:
    “Everyone knows that it was nuts to boost deficit spending …”
    “…a tsunami of Treasury bills … will add to that interest expense in short order: …”

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      DanRo – “…hey, hey, we’re the Monkees…”?

      may we all find a better day.

  5. Sit23 says:

    Will Biden end up increasing the debt by more than Trump? Big question. What are the projections?

    • whatever says:

      Are you counting the “Inflation Reduction Act”, which hasn’t even hit the books?

      Trump was no fiscal conservative, but to be fair the deficit was blown away due to all the Covid spending to prop up the economy after the shutdown. Back that out and the numbers are basically par for last decade plus.

      The vast majority of both parties will happily spend until financial collapse, after all they have to buy all those votes.

      • Evan says:


        Are you really gonna make me “Let me Google that for you”, but – yeah – reducing the tax rate for the billionaire class in the Trump era / drastically eroding tax deductions for charitable giving created some enormous financial repercussions outside of the COVID spending.

        5 minutes reading would clear that up, but whatever. Like you’re gonna do that.

  6. Occam says:

    If economic growth and inflation exceed the growth in debt the magnitude of the debt as a percentage of the economy declines. This observation will become a popular justification for allowing inflation to run hot in the US as our national finances inevitably deteriorate due to demographics and welfare state promises plus the costs of empire. The Fed will eventually adopt yield curve control a la Japan, which means the Fed will continue to be a major player in the market for Treasuries and eventually agencies.

    • old school says:

      I think it depends on J. Powell and if he is the Volker 2.0 that he claims. If he is determined to get inflation down to 2% to save the credibility of the Fed then mostly we are going higher on rates and we are going to get a big purge in asset values as stocks, bonds and houses aren’t worth very much if rates go up another 2 or 3%.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “If economic growth and inflation exceed the growth in debt the magnitude of the debt as a percentage of the economy declines.”

      This is ancient economic knowledge. It has been known for eons and has been used by Presidents ever since I started paying attention. This is nothing new.

      You didn’t catch the actual drift; you looked into the wrong direction. The actual drift is that inflation will be allowed to run hot for years to reduce the burden of this debt. Meaning: higher inflation, higher rates for years. It works very well in reducing the burden of the debt. The US did it in 1947/48 and then again in 1950/51 to reduce the burden of the war debt.

      • Yort says:

        The trillion dollar question is will inflation be allowed to run hot for one year, five years, a decade or longer? Will inflation be allowed to average 3%, 4%, 5% or more?

        With the shifting weather patterns and effects causing higher inflation during society’s “transitional period”, near-shoring and other protective yet inflation causing measures across spiking across the globe, and high probability of future major skirmishes over the next decade between superpowers, how does inflation get back to the 2.0% range consistently, again?

        Unless something causes another great recession that spikes unemployment for many years and thus mean reverts the everything bubble 30-50%, how do we not have higher inflation for a long while? Note I’m not predicting such market collapse as I think the powers to be would do about anything to reverse such market collapse quickly, to the detriment of everyone’s future except for the top 1-2%.

        Therefore if 3-5% inflation is the new normal, is stagflation a worst case scenario? Yet we know what the govt and Fed will do if economic output drops too far for too long with inflation still running hot, and thus why markets still think the Fed put exists ad infinitum. Why the diatribe to NOT trust the “higher for longer” motto that the Fed heads want us to all believe, with no regard to future collapsing economic output and how that affects the upcoming 2024 elections?

        From peaceful Fed religion to Schizo Fed cult to Chaotic Fed nightmare…change happens fast, does it not? I attempt to remain fed agnostic, yet it is a constant challenge daily.

      • Juliab says:

        Higher for longer on inflation and interest rates is good if it will permanently lower asset prices and RE. That suits me and I like it

      • Matthew Scott says:

        Interesting to see you make a prediction like this. I can’t say I have seen you state this motivation before

      • fred flintstone says:


      • Harry Houndstooth says:

        There may be no avoiding the deflationary Von Mises wave after the helicopter cash insanity.

        Good news… even though the market is handing me my skin in a box for being triple short the market, especially SQQQ, my broker gave me margin, so I don’t have to ask my wife for more money. On sale under 22.

        • Artful Dodger says:

          Stay the course, Houndstooth. The stock market’s internals have been quite sick regarding advancers and new highs, bad breath, so you are hedging on a mini-level (unlike SVB which didn’t want to cut executive compensation to pay for hedge positions on their imploding bond portfolio). Insurance allows you to keep your invested positions instead of heading to cash.

          If I thought that cash yielding 5% plus was getting me ahead of inflation, I would pile more into my positions. However, I am looking at 7% to 8% my checkbook inflation, and the non-taxed Treasury bill interest income at the State level is helping my blood pressure go down on still not staying ahead of loss of purchasing power.

        • Bobber says:

          In my opinion there is no reason to short the market, especially with leverage, if your other option is to hold lots of cash in ST treasuries, earn 5%, and redeploy into stocks after a price crash. You get similar optionality without the huge risk of loss, and you get paid to wait.

        • Propheticus says:

          You cannot buy SQQQ, SOXS, SRTY, SDOW, etc. on margin. Free tip: You must make your stock market operations unkown to your wife at all times.

        • Harry Houndstooth says:

          Fidelity allows me to buy SQQQ on margin, but only about a third of my margin amount.

      • elbowwilham says:

        So why raise rates at all then? Or why so much so fast? And why do QT? They could let inflation run even hotter for a while.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          There is a HUGE difference between 5% CPI inflation, which the economy can deal with and adjust to, and 15% or 30% CPI inflation, which would be very disruptive in all kinds of ways. In addition, it would destroy the foundation of the dollar. No one has any appetite for that. You’re looking at Argentina — where leases and all kinds of other things have been priced in USD because inflation on the peso has been so bad. And recently, peso inflation went from 30%/40% to over 100%. That’s how it goes, once inflation gets away from you. You’re looking at 100% interest rates on local currency debt.

      • Edward Teach says:

        “Inflation is not caused by the actions of private citizens, but by the government: by an artificial expansion of the money supply required to support deficit spending. No private embezzlers or bank robbers in history have ever plundered people’s savings on a scale comparable to the plunder perpetrated by the fiscal policies of statist governments.” ~ Ayn Rand

    • Sams says:

      Within the calculation of inflation and GDP there are cross couplings. Calculation of GDP is “corrected” for inflation with some price index number. Then there is a debate about the base numbers GDP is calculated from.

      In the end the development of “growt”, CPI and GDP numbers may look fine even if economy as important in the long run for the country detoriate.

  7. polistra says:

    I’m just hoping and praying that Powell doesn’t lose courage. ALL the media and politicians and advisors and corporations are still rooting for eternal welfare for the super-rich.

    Savers are a significant part of the population, and companies that benefit from normal interest are also significant, but they don’t have a voice and aren’t heard.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      The rich are all doing fine. I see more Tesla’s around here than ever before. It’s good to know that buyers of these expensive vehicles get a tax break subsidized by all the hard working people who work with their hands in backbreaking jobs. Oh, thanks to the new debt ceiling bill we can start going after those student loans. We need to continue to make sure these freeloaders don’t use the bankruptcy laws to discharge these debts. Discharging debts in bankruptcy are only for the rich, thanks to the W administration. Keep up the good work!

      • Kurtismayfield says:

        I remember when Biden was called “Senator from MBNA”, and helped get the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act passed.

      • MM says:

        Wasn’t it the 2005 bankruptcy reform law that made student loan debt not dischargable in bankruptcy?

  8. Michael Engel says:

    When the Anti Regulatory Act was applied in Oct 2008 investors responded.
    1) Bitcoin was born in Aug 2011. Since birth BTCUSD took off for two years. Bubble #1 : from $2 to $1,153 in Nov 2013. Bubble #2 : between Mar 2020 and Apr 2021 : up from $9K to $65K. An amazing baby.
    2) Gold. Bubble #1 peaked in 1980. Bubble #2 was born in Oct 2008 when the Anti was applied. Up for 3 years from $681 in Oct 2008 and $1924 in Sept 2011. Bubble #3 : up from $1,450 in Mar 2020 to $2,089 in Aug 2020. Bitcoin was too strong.
    3) DXY hit nadir in Mar 2008. It osc wildly for 5 years during the raids. After Mar 2020 it reached 103 and faded when RRP, in The Fed storage, reached $2.3T. After the Fed raised rate the dollar rose from 90 to 115 in Sept 2022.
    4) EURUSD decayed before Mar 2020. Between Mar 2020 and Jan 2021
    the EURUSD popup from 1.06 to 1.23. Thereafter cont to decay. It reached 0.95 in Sept 2022. When the ECB raised rates it rose to 1.1, a thud. Germany entered recession.
    5) USDCNY was pegged to 6.8 for 2 years between Jul 2008 and June 2010. Since mid 2010 up and down around 6.8, with less interventions.

  9. MarMar says:

    “In the decades since [the 1980s], Congress has been footloose and fancy-free about its spending and taxing policies, and there hasn’t been any discipline, no matter who runs the show.”

    That’s not quite true. Under Clinton the federal government actually started running a surplus.

  10. Michael Engel says:

    Kevin caved in. CA ruled the house since Jan 3 2019. For CA politicians $36T is x5 times [MSFT plus AAPL]. Plenty AI left. Raising gov debt by future inflation rates is justified. Both sides got their dessert.
    US treasury might issue a 1Y bill for 5.5% slightly above the current rate 5.3%.
    US 10Y is 3.7%, the lowest. US treasury might issue a 10Y note for 7%/8% junk rate to please investors.
    After Jan 2025 Kevin might lift the debt ceiling to $40T/$50T.

  11. Natron says:

    I suppose if we keep having lots of war mouths to feed and with the upcoming boomer “30% can’t handle a $400 emergency crowd” “retiring” mouths to feed, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for controlling the debt anytime soon.

    Looks to me like the % interest over tax revenue ratio is gonna go a lot higher. Too close to a debt spiral for my comfort zone. :(

    • Harrold says:

      You would think they could cut spending by 1% a year without any pain for a long long time. The problem is both parties view federal spending as vote buying. Nobody will agree to cuts no matter how small because they fear voter backlash.

      So it will go on and on until one of 2 things happens. Either there is a hard default, or everybody is on the gov’t payroll.

  12. Michael Engel says:

    A genius : knowing when to stop.

    • BuySome says:

      A political genius: knowing how to sell da “Stop!” whilst gazzing up for da “Go, go!”.

  13. David S says:

    Another factor is that interest paid to the Fed and not used for their expenses was rolled back into the Treasury, causing the illusion of actual free money and lower net interest costs. Now with interest rates rising, and the Fed’s expenses are rising while still holding the low generating treasuries that have killed the regional banks, the Fed will hold onto those interest payments for a much longer time, as well as shifting more of those treasuries to the private market which as you mentioned is going to demand a higher ROI. It is going to take $1 trillion in interest payments to cause real outrage, but even then it will be the defense-hawks crying outrage that we are spending more on interest than on war and therefore we need to spend more on war, lol!

  14. Gary Fredrickson says:

    The graph shows interest payments of 45% to 50% of tax receipts from 1985 to 1992. Having lived during that time period I did not notice it at all. I did notice the huge inflation from 1974 to the mid 1980s. Bottom line end the inflation and the hell with the national debt, government could end that anytime by getting rid of the Trump Era tax cut for the rich, that isn’t even mentioned by either political party.
    The national debt isn’t going to impress anyone in government, they don’t even mention inflation anymore, the only pressure on money and debt is whatever the geopolitical winds blowout our way.

  15. Michael Engel says:

    1) One month to go til Q3. If we are going to get a recession the stock market should show it soon.
    2) Gen Z like to keep it simple. They buy flip phones, like Motorola Razor. The flip is the inverse of fancy Iphone 15 pro max bs.
    3) NDX might rise to BB #5 : July 7/8 2021 to close Apr 5/6 2022 gap, or even to BB #6 : Nov 5/10 2021, for parity/or slightly above Nov 22 2021 high.
    4) The Fed will cave in wall street wet dreams. The 1Y will stay put at 5.5% for Kevin. The 10Y might drop to 1.5%/1.75% for funfunfun. No treasuries bills tsunami.
    5) The dollar might stomp gold, silver and BTCUSD.
    6) The recession, if it comes, if it hit hard, will please the radical R. Kevin game theory : the $4T is the first step in the right direction

  16. Mike R. says:

    “Everyone knows that it was nuts to boost deficit spending as it was done over the past 5 years; it’s inflationary and contributed to the spike in inflation we have now”

    Actually, it was quite smart and bold if you’re the Fed trying to hold this mess together. There is no way out but inflation and the Fed and USG engineered this inflationary impulse, taking the COVID crisis as the “opportunity” to flood money into the hands of the “little people”. QE wasn’t working to create general prie inflation as it went mainly into assets.

    That said, it shows you how desperate we have become to try and save this beast. And the rest of the world is watching as well. All this heavy/steady inflation works against dollar trust with the rest of the world.

    Everyone believes that all this dollar rule will go on forever. Recent and monumental changes out in the world need to be considered and watched very closely. We are in a period of existential threat to the US dollar and the end game may not be pretty.

    • Miller says:

      Yep and the strategy of “just inflating away the debt” is doomed to fail for the US in the current environment anyway, because then that just massively increases the cost of government spending and out-lays more than the inflation reduces previous debt. Not even mentioning the additional costs of inflation adjustments to payouts and all the previous debt that gets rolled over. Like you said there’s also the pressure from outside, Bloomberg and the other outlets showing that countries in a lot of Asia, even the Philippines are rejecting US dollar payments and demanding it in their own or other currencies.

      The usual response to this is that no single other currency is set to take the USD’s place but this misses the point– it’s a myth that there’s ever just a single currency used in reserve to store value. There’s always multiple currencies and asset classes that central banks, funds and major asset holders use, and the main outcome of all this is that the US dollar and Treasuries are rapidly losing their perception as a solid storehouse that can be trusted to hold value. That’s the price of being a reserve currency to begin with, you can’t just turn around and rely on inflation and currency depreciation to deal with policy failures at home like our ballooning national debt and interest like Wolf is showing here, because that’s what both foreign and domestic holders of the currency expect you not to do for having a currency others want to use. That’s why even the Saudis and oil producers are diversifying away, and it’s not just one replacement currency but a death by 1,000 cuts of the reserve status into a lot of other options that progressively make it harder to borrow cheaply going forward (like we’re already seeing).

  17. Michael Engel says:

    7) The Irish gang : the $4T is a dry powder.

  18. THEWILLMAN says:

    “It’s just that priorities shift.”

    It’s interesting to look at the constants as well. As part of the debt ceiling deal, for example, both parties could agree that you need to work to get food stamps.

    Which is sort of an odd thing to think about because you’d think that if you work you should be paid enough to cover food.

    But now working people get to be taxed and have those tax dollars go to mass-low-wage employers like Walmart. Who now will have people forced to work at their below subsistence wages to qualify for government help with feeding themselves.

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      WILL – I understand that that happened awhile ago for some W-M employees…

      (…grappling with the modern ‘Murican contradiction of ‘capitalist’ market ‘efficiency’ while making the ‘work’ of its common citizens (and potential soldiery) adequately available, paid and respected…).

      may we all find a better day.

    • MM says:

      “Which is sort of an odd thing to think about because you’d think that if you work you should be paid enough to cover food. But now working people get to be taxed..”

      Crazy idea: working people could afford more food if they didn’t have a bloated federal gov’t leeching off their paycheck…

      • JimL says:

        “Crazy idea: working people could afford more food if they didn’t have a bloated federal gov’t leeching off their paycheck…”

        People on foodstamps probably don’t have a federal government leeching off of their paycheck. People on foodstamps likely do not pay income taxes.

        Instead we are getting squeezed from both the top and the bottom. The poor pay very little in taxes, the wealthy then donate to their congress critter slaves so that they pay very little in taxes. As a result, much of the burden is carried by the middle class and the well to do, but not rich. The 50-95 percenters carry this country.

        I would love to see someone defend the carried interst tax break that the ultra wealthy enjoy. I understand the reason it was created, but as it is currently implemented, it is a joke. No serious person can defend it. Yet everytime any type of tax reform comes up it is mentioned and then mysteriously disappears from the final result.

        Furthermore, is there a logical reason there is a cap on the tax rate for Social Security? Why do the highest earners pay at a lower rate than everyone else?

        • rojogrande says:

          “Furthermore, is there a logical reason there is a cap on the tax rate for Social Security? Why do the highest earners pay at a lower rate than everyone else?”

          Yes, because there is a cap on SS benefits. To garner political support, SS was touted as social insurance program (benefits tied to contributions, minimum work requirements, disability benefits, etc.) as opposed to a pure welfare program. Lifting the cap similar to medicare taxes is an option, but there is a logical reason behind the cap.

    • MM says:

      “have those tax dollars go to mass-low-wage employers like Walmart”

      That’s weird, because on my paycheck it says FIT which stands for Federal Income Tax. Are you saying that money goes to Wal Mart and not Uncle Sam?

      • WaterDog says:

        MM you seem uniformed.

        It has been reported that Walmart employees are paid so low they qualify for government aid.

        This is undoubtedly what is being referenced.

        There are many articles from 2014 and 2020 referencing this @ CNBC, Forbes, WaPost ECT.

        I believe the 2020 one is based off a Bernie Sanders report.

        Titles such as “Walmart and McDonald’s are among top employers of Medicaid and food stamp beneficiaries, report says”

        Opponents claim that government aid allows corporation to pay workers very low wages and essentially taxpayers are subsidizing corporate profits.

        As opposed to lowering corporate profits and paying a higher living wage or reducing the $20 million a year that McD’s CEO makes.

        Or, if you’re of the Republican/Libertarian persuation just remove government aid programs altogether… which ironically would probably have these people demand higher wages.

        The opposite of what these companies want.

  19. hatefedbs says:

    I am confused about the debt ceiling, if they raised it from 31T to lets say 34T, thats just a maximum burrowing cap. That’s not what it actually owes in debt at that moment, if all the treasury’s roll off the FEDs books, wouldnt that cause the total debt drop? Why is something like that not reflected in the “debt clock ” and such?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “if all the treasury’s roll off the FEDs books, wouldnt that cause the total debt drop?”

      No, it would have no impact on the total Treasuries outstanding or on the total US gov debt.

      Think of the Fed as just another investor. As it lets the bonds mature and roll off, it’s just lightening up its portfolio, and other investors will buy the new bonds that are being issued. The Fed’s holdings are part of the total Treasuries outstanding. In terms of the total US gov debt, it doesn’t really matter who holds them.

      What the Fed’s exit from the market will do is it will require other investors to absorb those Treasuries, such as you and me and pension funds. To create enough demand to absorb this flood of Treasuries without the Fed’s help may require higher yields to pull in more investors. Yield solves all demand problems.

      BTW, the “Debt Clock” is just an algo, it’s a fun toy. It does NOT reflect the actual debt outstanding. The actual debt outstanding goes up when new bonds are issued and goes down when older bonds mature and are redeemed. The actual daily numbers of the total debt can be downloaded from the US Treasury Dept., which is where my numbers come from. The Debt Clock is just for fun.

  20. John Galt says:

    I’d love to think that “higher for longer” will reduce inflation, but. . .it appears that our “economy” has evolved to produce increases in debt(money supply) regardless of 4-5% interest rates.
    This is the great challenge. We have installed in the cortex of every American over the last 15 years that “inflation? What inflation? I don’t see any inflation!” will be the norm.

    Then we broke it, with what? MASSIVE inflation.
    Now that’s stuck, and here’s the problem: for years we had low inflation in consumables, and services.
    Once inflation grew and stuck in those areas, it engrained itself, and coupled with massive asset bubbles. . .produced a consumer that sees all this turmoil and says: “Well I had better get mine now, before prices go up.” This is is very dangerous, and has played out in other nations countless times with rapidly rising inflation regardless of what the powers that be insist will happen.

    As much as I would giggle over a deflationary outcome, and in fact the euro system is currently starting to experience the beginnings of such an event. . .the people believe in inflation and so it will continue lockstep with debt creation.
    The two are one and the same, money is now debt, debt is now money and who the heck cares what the rate is? You better get yours(insert item here, house, car, boat, pool etc) now, before the price goes up in the future.
    Thanks fed, you finally got your inflation.

    • Bobber says:

      When your costs go up 5% a year, you have to increase your income 5% a year, just to break even. Companies raise prices, people demand wage increases.

      The “hurry up and buy” attitude accelerates things.

      Inflation is a harmful cycle for those who cannot get increases to their income, including those on fixed pensions. It’s a huge wealth transfer from conservative investors to debtors and speculators.

      • cas127 says:

        “Inflation is a harmful cycle for those who cannot get increases to their income, including those on fixed pensions. It’s a huge wealth transfer from conservative investors to debtors and speculators.”

        Hmm…just like the more or less 20 yrs of ZIRP that we finally emerged from in 2022.

        It is almost like DC/Fed runs a rigged casino designed to profit debt speculators and just plain old speculators.

        Including of course the biggest, the US Gvt/Treasury…

      • Sams says:

        A 5% increase is a doubling in 15 years. Probably not high enough that all people notice and get upset.

        Get 10% increase and the doubling is in about 8 years. Then people will notice.

        • Miller says:

          A doubling of costs within just 15 years absolutely will get people to notice. Even just the 5-10% we’re seeing now is getting Americans noticing, especially since the inflation is hitting so hard in essentials like food, healthcare, rent and vehicles that are not easy to avoid. Homelessness across US cities, even smaller ones is surging because Americans can’t afford rent, and crime goes up with it. Have an old friend working in retail who says that the price increases led to more shoplifting and theft (including what would be called looting anywhere else), getting so bad that American shops are changing their policies. So yes, Americans very much are noticing.

        • Cas127 says:


          People are definitely noticing and definitely pissed.

          But where is the man on the white horse, making this the central issue? (I’d settle for traditional sleazy political opportunist).

          The very fact that essentially no politician is focusing on this (left or right) tells you *absolutely everything you need to know about the core truths of the American political Establishment* (the Uniparty of Kleptocrats) –

          1) The Uniparty has *absolutely no fix* for the Debt Cancer it created other than inflation…therefore printing/inflation will never be allowed to be the primary focus of a mainstream politician again. Inflation is a corrupt tool but it is the only tool the corrupt Establishment has.

          So the first rule of Vampire Club is that you don’t talk about Vampire Club.

          2) The rapidly dying MSM (hurrah) stands exposed (again) as de facto State allied. In a media world where thousands of hours of broadcast anguish will be pumped out over policies directly affecting .5% of the population, there is essentially radio silence on near record inflationary increases affecting 99.5% of the population.

          The legacy MSM is (and long has been) a servant of the State and not the Public.

          3). People know this (thank you Internet) and that, at bottom, is why AltCurrency is a thing and why, for good or ill, the USD will implode much sooner that a lot of intelligent people think.

          When faith is clearly, repeatedly, and unashamedly betrayed…it is destroyed…via one mechanism or another.

          The present politico-economic relationship manifested by the DC dollar is going to self-liquidate.

          If violent, oppressive tyrannies can self-liquidate (USSR) then democratic simulations certainly can.

          It may turn out to be ugly and ruinous, but DC has made it inevitable.

  21. BubbaJohnson says:

    YEA HAW. Higher for longer you say? Get and stay out of debt, live within your means and life is good.

  22. spencer says:

    Charges on all debt, public and private sectors, are related to a cumulative figures; and since the multiplier effects of debt expansion on income, the ingredient from which the charges must inevitably be paid, is a non-cumulative figure, it is inevitably that a mathematical time will arrive when further debt expansion is no longer a practical or possible expedient, either to provide full employment or to keep debt charges within tolerable limits.

  23. Jackson Y says:

    Financial analysts are saying the spending caps in the new debt ceiling deal aren’t as drastic as the ones enacted in 2011, and the economy is in a much stronger position right now to absorb them, so the caps alone won’t cause a recession.

    However, if Federal Reserve tightening does cause a recession in the next 2 years, the government’s hands will be tied from enacting the kind of far-reaching stimulus & helicopter money (stimulus checks, PPP, expanded unemployment) it did during COVID? (Unless there were a crisis so severe House Republicans cave & cancel the spending caps.) Is this correct?

  24. fred flintstone says:

    As always, it’s all about technology……if AI is as mind breaking as Bill Gates says it will be then the deficits don’t matter……but if it takes a couple of decades and it turns out to be more like fusion power……we are going to be planting corn in our back yards……and front yards.

    • Miller says:

      We talked about it before but the AI hype right now is an even dumber joke than the recent NASDAQ and tech bubble hype waves in crypto and other areas. The AI tech esp the chat-bots isn’t doing anything revolutionary beyond the basic technologies well in development 10 years ago, but the implementation right now is actually taking away value from US industry by reducing the quality of the knowledge and information out there, and flooding the space with garbage. So now, to people in the real world doing real work, the AI is not mind bending or revolutionary, it just makes a mess of things. There’s no shortcut or AI magic-wand to get things done right.

  25. Swamp Creature says:

    Looks like the Debt Ceiling bill may go down in flames. Anyone who votes for this bill will be thrown out of office in the next election. They didn’t cut squat. Meanwhile they are funding 83,500 IRS Agents instead of $85,000. BFD (Big F.ckin Deal), to come knocking at your door with guns. The Reps broke their promise to the American people after they took Congress.

    • fred flintstone says:

      Swamp…..I had a good laugh when I read the result…..
      after a 50% increase in government spending over the past 4 years they agreed to only increase spending 1% over inflation next year.
      That’s like saying that if I smoke 100 joints a day and 4 years later smoke 150 joints a day that next year I’am going to get away from Mary by only smoking 152 joints.

    • Flea says:

      Guns shot two ways ,this could get ugly.What they going to do put 250 million in jail ,there IDIOTS

      • Pea Sea says:

        “There” just trying to enforce laws against people who are violating them. Don’t guys like you usually claim to big fans of law and order, and generally against the murder of law enforcement officers?

    • WaterDog says:

      US taxes are low.

      Check historic tax rates…

      70% tax rate in 1981 Single Filer $161,300 ($538,732)

      Down to 50% in 1982, 38.5% in 1987, ect.

      Currently 37% on $578k.

      Imagine 70%.

      Taxes are low. If you have a good accountant they’re even lower.

      If you’re a billionaire you probably don’t even pay taxes (just get a loan and never sell shares). Loans=No Taxes

      I honestly support 50% rates, a wealth tax and an inheritance tax.

      I’m now a “socialist.” In the ’80’s it was “republican.”

      The irony.

      • TerraHawk says:

        Why not return to feudal times and complete the circuit. The government could take almost 100% and leave the peasants to starve.

        • WaterDog says:


          So top earners are peasants now??

          Hahah that logic tho.

          If you starve on $500k+ single earner… you deserve it.

      • Publius says:

        In 1986 the top nominal tax rate was 50%, but the effective tax rate was 33.1%. In the 50s, the top nominal rate peaked over 90%, as many love to recite, but I’ve read one analysis that reported an effective rate of 16.9%. As long as the tax code is purposefully complicated, the effective tax rate won’t rise much.

        • WaterDog says:


          You must not know how tax rates work.

          Single Filer 2023:

          $0-11k is taxed @ 10%
          $11,001-44,725 @ 12%
          $44,726-95,375 @ 22%
          $95,376-182,100 @ 24%

          If you make $95,376 you’re in the 24% bracket. However, only $1 is taxed at 24% and every other dollar you make is taxed at a lesser rate. All the way down to 10%.

          That is to say we are all taxed at 10%… at least for our first $11,000.

          Effective rate is always lower than bracket.

      • MM says:

        If you think taxes are too low, you must be paying more in income taxes than required, right? You definitely don’t claim any deductions or accept a refund after filing…right?

        …or you don’t do that, because you only think taxes are too low *for other people* but not yourself.

        • WaterDog says:

          MM that is a stupid red herring argument.

          I could pay 100% tax and give every penny I own and it would absolutely not change the government debt or budget.

          Also, as Judge Learned Hand said:

          “Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

          Fixing the rule and complying with the rules makes more sense.

          It takes MANY taxpayers working together to make a society.

    • Artful Dodger says:

      Swamp Creature, I think McCarthy may not have the votes for such a wimped out Let’s Make A Deal, and where the sausage is really made is in all the closed door budget conferences when push comes to vote time. A lot of Conservative Elephants are going to stampede on this pretty sick example of leveraging a deal, afraid their constituents will have elephant guns locked and loaded for the next election cycle. How can the Repub’s claim fiscal superiority when they are abandoning the fiscal ship at the first sound of cannon fire??!

      I had to move a table made with elephant feet during my summer job with Neptune Worldwide Moving, and it wasn’t a pretty site. My partner and I were just about shot for the day after lugging that atrocity down three flights of apartment steps. Whew!

    • Pea Sea says:

      Oh no, people may not be allowed to cheat on their taxes anymore? What ever happened to the country of law and order (except for tax cheats) that I loved?

      • rojogrande says:

        It’s not that simple. I’m all for people paying all of the taxes they owe. I always pay mine. For many years my practice focused on Tax Court litigation, so I worked with the IRS a lot. Most Revenue Officers and Appeals Officers are honest and just trying to do their job. However, it was fairly common when the IRS had a particularly weak case they would offer settlements they knew were lower than the cost of litigating the case in order to squeeze money out of the taxpayer. The law, or any sense of fairness, has nothing to do with it. It was just “business.”

        IRS agents certainly love to catch tax cheats and I’m happy when they do, but the primary reason they exist is to generate more revenue. A lot of honest taxpayers are ground down under the imperative to collect more revenue. More Revenue Officers are probably needed to adequately enforce the tax laws, but an increase in taxpayer abuse also seems like an inevitable side effect.

      • JimL says:


        The only people who should be complaining about the IRS upgrading their computer systems and hiring more people to audit the wealthy are wealthy tax cheats.

        Anyone making less than $200,000 per year shouldn’t even notice the difference. If anything, they will be happier because their upgraded computer systems will get them their refunds earlier.

        • phillip jeffreys says:


          We didn’t see over the last decade how the IRS could be weaponized against political opponents.

          Pure as the driven snow

        • JimL says:

          In the real world, the IRS wasn’t weaponedized against anyone.

          In the crazy conspiracy nutter world where allegations and conspiracies rule, YMMV.

          We live in a democracy. A democracy requires informed and educated voters. Unfortunately there is a large segment of voters who believe whatever crazy crap their political masters feed them.

          It is hurting the country. Do better.

      • phillip jeffreys says:

        Did you cheat?

    • Gattopardo says:

      “Meanwhile they are funding 83,500 IRS Agents instead of $85,000. BFD (Big F.ckin Deal), to come knocking at your door with guns.”

      Do you really believe that??? It’s not like they don’t have plenty of agents who could be knocking on doors with guns right now. I don’t get the objection to more staff. You really want to have taxes paid purely on an honor system??

      Of course a better alternative is a super simple 3 or 4 tier progressive system with no deductions of any kind. Hardly anything to audit. Too bad Washington will always think it knows best, and want to steer money into things it deems deserving via deductions/credits, rather than just leaving it all the F alone.

      • OutsideTheBox says:

        SC has his own business. He doesn’t want the IRS looking at his returns too closely.

        • Swamp Creature says:


          I had to report every nickel this year. They raised the fees to $625 for every case so now I get a 1099 from every two bit shiester lender. The IRS is going after every little enterprise and collecting every nickel. I was better off when the fees were $525/case.

        • OutsideTheBox says:


          ” I had to report every nickel THIS year. ”

          Does this mean you DIDN’T report some income in prior years ?

        • Swamp Creature says:


          You sound like one of those IRS dudes who puts in a 1 and 1/2 day work week, works from home, doesn’t answer the phone and thinks this is all for God and Country.

      • Swamp Creature says:


        I do object to more IRS staff. Why do we need them? They don’t even answer the phones. When they do they give you the wrong answer every time. The dude at the truck I bought a hot dog from worked right across the street from the IRS building in DC. He told me they were on a 1 & 1/2 day workweek for two years during the pandemic. It took them 8 months to do my simple tax return in 2021.

        • Pea Sea says:

          IRS agents are hopefully backlogged with work, therefore there shouldn’t be more of them? I take my hat off to you; you are truly a once-in-a-generation intellect.

        • MM says:

          Its the government, they’ll find the most inefficient way to do it. Not like you can take your business elsewhere…

        • Swamp Creature says:

          Instead of hiring more IRS agents, they should abolish the IRS. Everyone should just pay 15% of all their income to Federal taxes.

    • Miller says:

      Yep, was talking to some extended family in a few states and Rep representatives esp are under massive pressure to reject this debt ceiling deal. Conservatives got basically nothing they wanted at all, no cuts, no border agents, no option to even make changes in the future. They’d basically gift a huge victory to the opposition if they approved it and the Reps would lose their base for good, some Reps who voiced even cautious support are now practically getting threats. Basically nothing in the original Reps House bill got into the deal, McCarthy gave up the whole house. Just don’t see this getting passed, just a single Rep can call a new Speaker election and the House committee alone could throttle this.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        This debt ceiling deal is not a done deal. It could go down any minute. McCarthy could lose his speakership if he keeps trying to pass this abomination of a bill which more democrats than republicans support. Even if it passes he’s lost the support of the base of the party, the Freedom Caucus. There are no caps on spending after the first year. The deal goes through two years into the lame duck session of Congress. Spending will be out of control, and we will be into a late 1970’s style hyper stagflation. ENJOY

        • JimL says:

          Yes, the nutter wing of the Republicans party that doesn’t understand the meaning of the word compromise doesn’t like the deal.


          When it comes to compromise, each side should give something to the others side.

          What are Democrats getting out of this deal?

    • Bobber says:

      Your ignorance shines as you parrot the garbage you hear on right wing click-bait media.

      IRS agents don’t carry guns, unless they are involved in criminal cases and their personal safety is at risk. That makes sense.

      People don’t get audited unless there is a big discrepancy on their tax return. Less than 1% of folks are audited.

      Everybody knows this, but that doesn’t prevent tax cheaters from trying hard to create a different impression.

  26. ru82 says:

    US debt chart look exponential. It doubles almost every 10 years. How will that ever stop? This is inflationary over the long run as the your currency is depreciated.

    In the short term. Good news is energy prices keep dropping. This will help tame inflation over the next few months. Yes, most inflation is in services but the input cost to many services are dropping. The guy that mows my yard is spending 30% less on his gasoline than a year ago. He only has one employee so he is not getting hit by wage inflation very much. Anyway, this is just an example.

    I read fertilizer prices are dropping with the crash in Nat Gas. This should eventually filter into food production. It just takes time. I read that spot Nat Gas might go to zero in some places in Europe this summer. Free nat gas. You would think that should help with inflation? Nat gas is at 1990 prices right now. Oil is at 2005 prices. In 2005, a barrel of oil would by two Ikea bookcases. Now a barrel of oil will not buy one book case. My point, is miraculously, there really has not been any energy inflation the past 20 years. Just think if energy rose at the same rate as housing.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      The fertilizer costs in your loaf of bread at retail price are minuscule. That’s not what determines the cost of food at the grocery store.

  27. cresus says:

    The USA lives far far far beyond its means. Especially militarily. We spend trillions overseas on never ending wars and equipment. While the lower classes suffer. This will only end when the dollar is no longer accepted abroad. It’s coming. Whether it is 5 years or 50 I don’t know. But this is not sustainable.

    • ru82 says:

      No kidding. I am guessing taxes will eventually be raised to pay for all the Government debt.

      Has anyone else noticed the rise in sale taxes?

      It seems like every time the local city wants to build something new (school, Jail, fire station) , they sell some bonds and pay for the bond with a new sales tax.

      Then when the bond is paid off, they have a vote and ask to continue the sales tax that was used to pay off the bond. The will use the excuse that if we do not vote yes for continuing the sales tax that they will have to lay off police, fireman, or teachers. Thus everyone votes yes. Funny but the city never says city administrator jobs are endangered. LOL Otherwise I bet the vote would swing no.

      I am now seeing sale taxes in some of my areas approaching 13%. When I was a kid it was 3.5%.

      • 8_mile_road says:

        Has anyone else noticed the rise in sale taxes?

        Yup, it is happening at my community (Elk Grove, CA). The city council raised the sales tax in April 2023. Now, we are paying 8.75% sales tax, combined by state and city levels.

        • Flea says:

          In Omaha 7.5-10% extra 2.5 goes to fire and police pensions

        • SoCalBeachDude says:

          That is way less than Los Angeles County which is at 10%.

        • William Leake says:

          California has no sales tax on groceries. I was traveling thru Utah and stopped to buy some groceries. They slap a 5% tax on groceries.

        • Kernburn says:

          8.75 is pretty low. I’m in an unincorporated part of CA and it just went from 7.25 to 8.25.
          Many parts of the South like New Orleans the sales tax is 10% or more. In Canada its 15% and the UK is 20% (but its included in the price)

      • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

        The sales tax shocked me when I moved from California to Georgia. I thought the cost at the grocery store was too high. I looked and sure enough the taxes are higher there. After talking to my coworkers they were very happy with the taxes because it helps fund kids education.

        Bottom line was that they pay higher taxes at the till due to all the added taxes and bonds

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          So Georgia has higher taxes than California ?

        • Miller says:

          Yep sales taxes and property taxes have been getting even more crushing in Texas despite the “low tax state” myth. This is one of the other many ways that inflation wrecks local economies, it pushes up costs for everything and soon enough local governments feel the squeeze and put that squeeze on citizens, who then have even less to afford essentials from the inflation also hitting their pocketbooks.

        • Pea Sea says:

          I love it when these guys leave the PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF TAXIFORNIA in search of the promised land in some FREE STATE in the REAL AMERICA, only to discover that the promised land has no Prop 13 and you have to pay sales tax when you buy eggs.

        • MM says:

          That’s because the free state of America is actually NH and not TX. No state income, excise, or sales taxes.

          Tbh, our property taxes kind of suck tho. Still plenty of greedy municipal gov’ts.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          MM – had a notoriously-cheap (or ‘thrifty’, depending on one’s POV) friend who carried the nickname of ‘Mr. New Hampshire’ (based on that state’s motto of: ‘Live Free or Die’…).

          may we all find a better day.

    • SoCalBeachDude says:

      The US Dollar has never been stronger or more important in global trade than it presently is and there is nothing that can even slightly challenge it less alone replace it.

      • Miller says:

        Again this has come up before but it’s not an issue of a single currency replacing the US dollar, it’s the death by 1,000 cuts it’s already experiencing as inflation erodes its value as a storehouse of value and countries and citizens (both domestic and foreign) look for other assets to replace it. It’s always been a myth that there’s ever just one reserve currency, there are multiple at any one time and other assets that serve as alternative stores of value.

        And in recent months yes, the dollar has been falling hard in this metric and de-dollarization has indeed been accelerating–even the most vanilla financial news sources like Bloomberg and Forbes have been admitting this. Countries throughout Asia esp have been rejecting the use of the USD in transactions and demanding payment in their own currencies, other currencies or other forms of assets, and value is being stored more and more in non-dollar assets whether commodities, equities, precious metals or a ton of other options. Oil producers are fast diversifying payment schemes and exchanges, and even the Philippines of all places made this demand despite the dollar de-facto being used there for decades in many shops.

        It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s “one currency” to replace the USD because there doesn’t have to be, that’s just a myth. What matters here is that foreign and domestic American holders are losing more and more confidence that the US dollar and dollar-denominated assets are a reliable storehouse of value, and they’re looking elsewhere in lots of different places, and the dollar is falling as a share of reserves and as a default form of value transaction.

        And while there’s a case to be made that more dollar devaluation would actually help the United States (boost industry and exports), that depends on how it’s done–a dollar swoon and loss of confidence from poorly controlled inflation is not this, it’s a mortal threat to the USA’s geopolitical status. That’s why like one of our econ profs said repeatedly, uncontrolled inflation has brought down far more great powers and major empires than any war ever has. And for Jerome Powell despite some positives moves, the Fed hasn’t done nearly enough to stop this erosion, especially with the obvious and most effective move (faster and stronger QT). Paul Volcker knew that sound money is the basis for every other geopolitical aspiration a country has, and it seems our leaders today are too feckless to realize that.

      • JimL says:

        Whenever someone says the dollar is going to be replaced, I always ask them about a thought experiment.

        If you were going to be randomly dropped somewhere in the world (population weighted, i.e. more likely in cities than rural), what currency would you want to have in your wallet?

        If I had $2000 in U.S. currency in my wallet, I would feel comfortable that I could find food and lodging anywhere in the world. Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, doesn’t matter, a shop keeper or mom and pop hotel will take American $100 bills.

        You might have to overpay, but it would be taken. Try doing that with Chinese Yuan or even a Euro. There would be much more hoops to jump through. You would have to go to a currency exchange first. No one is taking those currencies with no questions asked.

        No one is taking Bitcoin or Dogecoin for sure.

        • Sams says:

          $100 bills may prove problematic, notes of lower values are prefered. Then, a value of US$2000 in second hand tea spoons may work equally well in many places.😉

          There is also a huge difference in what currency notes that is useful to a person and if you are to pay for a shipload of oil. Saudi Arabia diversify and takes payment in Remimbri, India and Iran is to re open for Rupee – Rial transactions.

          Cash transactions are a small percentage of all transactions. What matter is country to country transactions and there other currencies are used more. Even barter between sanctioned or not credit worth countries may be on the rise.

  28. Dan Farrand says:

    Sounds like the bottom line from Mr. Wolf is pretty discouraging. The trick of borrowing our way to prosperity continues to work. What will constrain our Political class as teenager with the no limit credit card ? Apparently nothing.

    The Interest burden is not yet heavier than we can’t borrow to pay for. People will buy up whatever the Treasury offers to enjoy the yield (since we’ve gotten accustomed to no yield). Any reckoning at all appears 5 years off – an eternity in a political system with 4 year election cycles.

    The great principal is still in place: “Slowly at first, then all at once”.

    So it’s every man for himself (and his family and neighbors perhaps) and do what you can to stay out of the way.

    There will be no fiscal or financial constraint. That leaves only kinetic constraints.

    • khowdung Flunghi says:

      If something cannot go on for ever, it will stop. — Herbert Stein

  29. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    All this singing and dancing, this is the real Kabuki Theater. Brought to us by Wolf’s Hanamichi! Sit down please, the show is NOT over!

  30. gametv says:

    I’ve recently been looking at the Federal budget and it is really ugly.

    When you think about what is happening, the higher interest rates are filtering through to the debt and driving much higher interest rates. Interest payments will easily blow past 1 trillion a year and head up to 1.5 trillion a year possibly.

    So what I think is that at some point, the markets start to price in more risk to holding Treasuries, since the Congress is unwilling to either make cuts or raise taxes. The Republican debt ceiling gambit was more of a political stunt, so they could say they want to cut spending. The deal have negotiated is pretty pathetic in terms of real cuts. The military, which is just a cesspool of lobbyist influence got an increase, not a reduction. I see a coming debt spiral where inflation pushes longer term interest rates much higher and the yearly deficit grows out of control simply because interest payments are going through the roof.

    I’m pretty sure that every calculation of future interest payments and the growth of the debt assumes that interest rates are going to revert back down quickly. What if that does not happen?

    With China trying to dethrone the dollar as the medium of international exchange, the ability of the US to continue to finance deficits at such a low cost might be gone. If that is true, then things get very ugly, very fast.

    My guess here is that long term interest rates shoot much higher after the debt ceiling is cleared and the dollar will move higher as well, but that some time later, maybe six months to a year, the dollar starts to really get hit hard and people stop believing in the US government.

    I wonder if the reason some big tech companies keep heading higher, despite poor projected earnings growth, is that they are now being considered less risky than US debt? (keeping in mind that the risk with US debt is that interest rates remain higher and prices fall which means bond funds fall despite higher rates).

    • Miller says:

      Yep that’s already happening in many places, Bloomberg (and Forbes) have had articles on how countries in Asia for the first time in decades are rejecting the US dollar as standard payment, and demanding it in their own currencies or alternative currencies or forms of value. And these alternative storehouses take all kinds of forms. It could be that the latest tech bubble, despite terrible earnings (looking a lot like the 2000 bubble) reflects this. Although like we saw then and Wolf has shown with ex. the SPAC’s, a bubble of stock value so far beyond actual income like this is going to have a nasty pop.

      Though of course that doesn’t mean the funds would flow back into Treasuries either, especially if their value too is being eroded by inflation that the Fed is too meek, timid or incompetent to fight. Even outside of interest rates increase, quantitative tightening needs to be tougher and if anything would be more targeted at the reckless speculation that’s fueling a lot of this. Another reason JPow needs to take a page and a hard lesson from Volcker here.

      • gametv says:

        I am starting to wonder if the Federal Reserve will pivot from using higher interest rates to cool inflation and instead start liquidating more assets from the balance sheet.

        I think that policy makers are in a pickle. They can only roll off a certain amount of assets without realizing large unrealized losses. So instead they use increased short term interest rates to push down inflation. But when they increase short term rates, the deficit goes into the stratosphere.

        And with higher interest rates the banks lose their depositors and get hit very hard, which could lead to more bank failures.

  31. gametv says:

    one thing that might help to cool inflation is that part of the debt ceiling deal is re-starting student loan payments right away. that is going to take on average almost $500 a month out of the pockets of those borrowers.

    that could really cool consumption spending by a portion of the population.

    • Miller says:

      “ne thing that might help to cool inflation is that part of the debt ceiling deal is re-starting student loan payments right away.”

      That’s true, and this could be significant. Could be one of the strongest anti-inflationary tools in the near term. Even better would be to target the corruption leading to the education-industrial complex in the first place with its outrageous tuition increases, and to stop giving out student loans willy nilly to universities that recklessly raise tuition. And do the same thing to reign in the outrageous increases in health care costs, another big inflation source.

  32. John Galt says:

    The best part about “higher for longer” is that higher rates are inflationary for those invested in safe and liquid US bonds and treasuries.
    We always look at the fed funds rate and think “wow with rates that low, inflation is gonna rip” but do low fed funds rates really mean high inflation? In assets, maybe. Not always in things that average Americans are invested in.

    Think about this: if you have say 5 million to invest, and you can currently receive a guaranteed 4-5% from uncle Sam, why on earth would you go way out the risk curve buying stocks, or real estate?
    You’ll take the money, every day of the week.
    So instead of our economy getting the money that it needs to grow via debt and loans, it will get it through the bond market, and higher rates mean more guaranteed cash for those with investable funds. Inflation rages on.

    • JimL says:

      I think money invested in Berkshire Hathaway will outperform the 4-5% you claim superior over any time period.

      I will and have bet a lot of money on it.

      Stocks in general are very overvalued. In general does not mean all though.

  33. LJ Hoke says:

    Debt Ceiling doesn’t limit debt. So when 6 Dems prevent a debt ceiling raise in 2030 against the wishes of President Youngkin and House Speaker, Jeffries, we will have wished the 14th had been invoked by Biden. What will the demand of 6 liberal Dems be? The end of meat eating? Ban Fossil Fuel? Outlaw bird feeding? Getting rid of the cost, market turbulence, and potential cataclysm of debt ceiling BS should be a bipartisan slamdunk.

  34. Anon1970 says:

    “Everyone knows that it was nuts to boost deficit spending as it was done over the past 5 years … ” It was even more irresponsible for the Bush 43 administration to push for two tax cuts and start two wars (2001 and 2003). Was he planning to impose steep reparations on Afghanistan and Iraq? It didn’t work for Germany in the first quarter of the 20th century as the Germans lost the war. It also didn’t work for the US.
    Will the cost of US meddling in Ukraine be the final financial blow to middle class Americans?

    • Swamp Creature says:


      It’s all about profits for the Defense Contractors. You need to look no further.

  35. Porcelain Economist says:

    When a country has mortgaged all of its future revenues, the state by necessity lapses into tranquility, languor, and impotency.” David Hume

  36. Beardawg says:

    So we aren’t even close to an “Interest as a % of Revenue” ratio like we had in the 1980s. That was 40 years ago and look what happened in the interim – interest ratio to revenue dropped like a rock.

    I thought we were headed down an irreversible path to doomsday. Been hearing that about the national debt for 20 years.

    Another debt ceiling charade has passed – nothing more.

    • gametv says:

      Beardawg – You need to take a second look at that chart Wolf posted on interest payments as % of GDP. Look at how fast it is skyrocketing. After the debt ceiling is passed, that will easily move from 4% to 5% within a few months. I wonder if it even stops at the same peak as in the 70’s.

      The difference is that in the 70-80’s, the amount of debt relative to the economy was much lower, but the interest rates went much higher.

      I just have a feeling that we are actually in much worse shape now in other areas.

  37. Swamp Creature says:

    I’d like to see what happens if this Debt Ceiling deal goes down in flames at the last minute, after everyone said the deal was all but signed on the bottom line.

    • Flea says:

      My guess gold goes thru the roof,stock market reset .Mid June

    • JimL says:

      I am guessing that if this negotiated deal fails in congress, then a clean debt ceiling bill will quickly pass.

      Not increasing the debt ceiling is utter insanity. It would inflict lots of pain worldwide, and especially in the U.S.

      Anyone with half a brain does not want that. No one. It would be a self inflicted wound. Actually worse it would be a stupidly self inflicted wound. If it gets to be 11:59 and there is nothing else, enough Representatives will not want to fall onto self inflicted craziness and pass a clean bill.

      • Sams says:

        Less one representative oust the speaker and no bill is passed before a new speaker elected…

        Kind of a fillibuster, no new speaker before a new bill is negotiated. With the compication that who to negotiate must be decided first.

      • phillip jeffreys says:

        Wanna bet?

        Can kicking is not a strategy either.

  38. Beardawg says:


    I see your point, I really do, but the interest as a % of GDP (chart) is just 2 diff metrics reflecting the same trend as interest as a % of revenue. They track the same. The recent rise is notable, but historically insignificant. 3.5% to 5% is a HUGE increase, and our Fed will not let Treasuries bear more than inflation (as in 80s). As such, as much as most of us might hate to admit it, once that ratio gets dangerous, it will flatten and probably reverse well before the ranges where it did in the 80s/90s.

  39. Nacho Bigly Libre says:

    Source: fiscaldata dot treasury dot gov/americas-finance-guide/national-deficit/

    2017: 0.67T
    2018: 0.78T
    2019: 0.98T
    2020: 0.93T + 2.2T COVID fear spending

    4 years deficit of 3.36T + 2.2T.

    Where did you get the 6.7T in 2.5 years data? That was partisan cherry picking and twisting the numbers.

    • rojogrande says:

      The US fiscal year ends on September 30. So the 2020 fiscal year ended on September 30, 2020. Therefore, you’re missing nearly the final 4 months of the Trump administration when spending was enormous due to the pandemic.

      Also, the article was talking about a $6.7 trillion increase in the gross national debt, which is different than the annual deficit. At the beginning of the pandemic trillions in Treasuries were issued that weren’t all spent immediately. If it’s not spent, gross debt can increase without increasing the deficit. The excess borrowing just goes to the Treasury General Account at the NY Fed. The numbers are not being twisted, you just don’t understand what you’re reading.

      The graph in the article says the information comes from the Treasury Department.

      • Nacho Bigly Libre says:

        Thanks rojogrande. I realized the mistake (deficit vs debt) after I posted the comment.

        Data seems to be when monies were borrowed (issuance of treasuries) and not when it was spent.

        So, a whole lot of the money from treasuries issued in 2020 was really spent in 2021?

        Reality really sucks I guess.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Nacho Bigly Libre,

      My data is actual total Treasury securities outstanding, per day. The data is released daily by the US Treasury department. I own some of them, though not all of them. This is the ACTUAL debt the US owes and pays interest on.

      You can download the data in an Excel spreadsheet. Then you can add them as you wish. Here is the link:


      Reality sucks.

      BTW, in the calendar year 2019, the total debt increased by $1.227 trillion, and in the calendar year 2020, it increased by $4.576 trillion.

      Reality just really sucks, doesn’t it?

  40. JimL says:

    Ugh, let’s wade onto some partisan waters here. I don’t want to, but it is what it is.

    Let’s look at some of the most expensive budget decisions of the past 30 years that added to the debt:

    1. U.S. adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    2. Bush Tax cuts (multiple)
    3. Bank bailout during the housing crisis.
    4. The Trump tax cuts.
    5. COVID relief.

    If I am missing anything, please let me know.

    I think two of those (bank bailouts and COVID relief) were emergency stimulus. Yes, they probably could have been done better. No doubt. Call me Kensyian, but I think it is appropriate for governments to stimulate the economy during crisis. Yes, I really wish they would do so in a more fair/productive manner, but not unreasonable.

    The wars and the tax cuts are more voluntary. There wasn’t a need.

    I see one party that wants to spend money in crisis to stabilize the economy. Could it be done better? Of course. Then I see the other party saying that when things get stabilized, rather than rebuild the national balance sheet and save for a rainy day, they prefer to lower taxes on the wealthy.

    Neither party wants to REALLY cut day to day spending, but that is just a minor problem. Emergency spending and then a refusal to recover is the problem.

    • gaston says:

      Or the parties exist to be able to point the finger at the other guy, wink wink while nobodies looking and carry on approving their expansion behind the guise of fighting the “other guy”.

      At least it feels that way.

      Here’s one….”controversial” topic that the American people poll in agreement at nearly 90%, which is very rare.
      Elected officials don’t even give it the time of day or talk about it in any seriousness. I’ll let you guess what it is.

  41. rjs says:

    i don’t follow it very closely, but every time i read about a Treasury auction, it seems demand for Treasuries remains quite high…that would suggest to me that perhaps there’s not enough Federal government debt

    • gaston says:

      Are you saying demand should be the driver of debt? Almost like the government supplying a market?
      I could be obtuse, but I’d consider demand of treasuries a marker of financial strength, not as an indicator to sell more unless needed. I guess that need is subjective.

  42. phillip jeffreys says:

    Take a gander at CBO’s Feb 2023 The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2023 to 2033 projections. Even with conservative assumptions it’s not pretty.

  43. DV says:

    Every reasonable person saw it coming. The idea has always been to inflate the economy relative to other economies while keeping reported headline inflation at bay. Never mind that the real inflation was much higher than reported. The second goal was to keep debt under control, relative to GDP and otherwise. They nearly managed to pull it off. Except that the public debt spiked to Greek levels and inflation had to be unleashed to deal with the problem.

    Given that persistently high inflation is dangerous in many other ways, efforts had to be made to take it under control too. Such as releasing SPR, raising rates, etc. However, higher inflation is yet to hit public procurement and public employee costs. So expenses there are yet to spike.

    Then comes the stock market, the important source of tax revenue. Crazy share buybacks helped to keep it from collapsing and just as the valuations of at least some technology names came down to reasonable level (although you can hardly call them reasonable based on the conventional measures), they launched this new craze, AI.

    You may say that the situation has been managed more or less successfully so far. What happens next?

    New debt will be issued and, yes, it will spike again, even relative to GDP. And the interest expense will shot up, as more debt will have to be refinanced. A lot of it is coming due in 2024 and subsequent years. So the yields need to come down by that time. But the budget deficit is still something like 7% of GDP. So the real question is going to buy all the new and even some old debt and at what yields? Foreign governments are not going to do that. So it will have to be domestic buyers funded by Fed.

    People see new QE as inevitable, just as the new bout of inflation. The tolerance is so thin that even a mild recession or even stagnation will entail a lot of strain. Let alone war or some natural disaster or something like another pandemic.

    The key question is whether yields can be kept under control or the tsunami of new debt will cause them spike along with the debt service cost?

    The long-term technical levels for domestic US gas (at 18 million btu) and DXY (at 55) suggest a major dollar devaluation and epic money printing.

  44. slick_fish says:

    On the bright side, the government only has to wait a couple more years for 2025 when most of the provisions of the Trump (temporary for most of us) Tax Cut that briefly reduced our income taxes expire for all but corporations and all income tax payers will have the opportunity to pay more in income taxes to help remedy the situation.

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