Monday, April 4, 2011

March Madness in Washington D.C.

It’s time for the citizens of the United States to demand that their elected representatives of this Great Country get a grip and implement fiscal sanity into the U.S. Federal Government at all levels. This posting is a wake-up call from those in-the-know about the fiscal insanity that is currently taking place with ‘our’ precious human resources, productivity and tax dollars.

Yours In Truth  Winking smile  Shelly

March Madness: U.S. Gov't Spent More Than Eight Times Its Monthly Revenue

Monday, April 04, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey

Erskine Bowles

Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsbility with his co-chair former Sen. Alan Simpson (R.-Wyo.) (AP photo/Alex Brandon)

( - The U.S. Treasury has released a final statement for the month of March that demonstrates that financial madness has gripped the federal government.

During the month, according to the Treasury, the federal government grossed $194 billion in tax revenue and paid out $65.898 billion in tax refunds (including $62.011 to individuals and $3.887 to businesses) thus netting $128.179 billion in tax revenue for March.

At the same, the Treasury paid out a total of $1.1187 trillion. When the $65.898 billion in tax refunds is deducted from that, the Treasury paid a net of $1.0528 trillion in federal expenses for March.

That $1.0528 trillion in spending for March equaled 8.2 times the $128.179 in net federal tax revenue for the month.

The lion’s share of this federal spending went to redeem Treasury securities that had matured during the month—most of which were short-term Treasury bills that have terms of one-year or less.

In fact, during March the Treasury redeemed $705.3 billion in Treasury securities of which $623.9 billion were short-term bills with a term of one year or less.

After the disbursements made to pay off the $705.3 billion in loans that came due in March, three of the other top four federal spending items for the month were entitlements programs. The other top item was payments to defense contractors.

The Treasury paid $49.8 billion in Social Security benefits in March, $47.4 billion in Medicare benefits, and $22.575 billion in Medicaid benefits. It also paid $37.9 billion to defense contractors.

To help pay off its $1.0528 trillion in monthly bills on only $128.179 in monthly tax revenue, the Treasury turned primarily to new borrowing. During the month, according to the Treasury statement, the government sold $786.5 billion in new securities. It also drew down its cash balance from $190.6 billion at the beginning of the month to $118.1 billion at the end of the month. It also reaped $18 billion from the sale of assets in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The federal government’s cash-flow situation was summed up pungently in Senate Budget Committee testimony by Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and is now the co-chair of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. (See video below.)

“I'm really concerned,” Bowles told the committee last month. “I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. A lot of us sitting in this room didn't see this last crisis as it came upon us. But this one is really easy to see. The fiscal path we are on today is simply not sustainable.

“This debt and these deficits that we are incurring on an annual basis are like a cancer and they are truly going to destroy this country from within unless we have the common sense to do something about it,” said Bowles.

“I used to say that I got into this thing for my grandchildren,” Bowles said. “I have eight grandchildren under five years old. I'll have one more in a week. And my life is wonderful and it is wild. But this problem is going to happen long before my grandchildren grow up.

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