I was thinking more about government debt structure as I know so little about it. It
can be assumed that a relatively wide variety of instruments are in place. A large
number are T-bonds that the Treasury has used to float Social Security money into
government spending. Now, they just call at least 1/4 of Social Security income
"on-budget", which is a convenient turn of phrase.
Some instruments are time-based, some have different fixed or varying interest rates
and methods of capital repayment to diminish capital debt.
What we really would need here would be some damn good accountants. They are not
having too many clients with $4 trillion in debt, although thankfully at least the
U.S. has a better credit rating than some other countries that shall remain nameless.
So the point here would be as possible to pay off all capital (principal, rather) that
would be possible, to avoid any recurring interest rates that probably float high and
compound continuously. Eliminate this bad debt and consolidate into low interest
fixed or capped rate instruments. Perhaps terms of some instruments or bonds are that
they have some term which is 20 or 30 years. Anyways, consolidation would still be
great as then the government funds could work more for each other. It should be that
the federal government has enough fiscal leverage to at all possible actually save the
taxpayer's money as possible.
Here's to Zero-coupon bonds and the '80s, and some personal IRA's and partial opt-out
of Social Security in return for protected personal investment.
So, where does a citizen find information on the U.S. debt structure, anyways? Maybe
CBO or something.
Ross A. Finlayson wrote:
> If the government defaults on its debt, which is to some extent made up of T-bonds
> bought by the should-be Social Security escrow, then when that happens then there
> would be no more Social Security, and all of those citizens having given the
> government peacefully their FICA taxes in return for expectation of minimal
> retirement income would find themselves bereft.
> There is no point in the government carrying any debt, except to those collecting
> interest on it. Consider the statement that about 9 percent of gross federal
> income goes to pay interest on government debt. That means out of every dollar
> each citizen gives to the government, about a dime goes to service its debt. This
> is a terrible thing.
> So, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors about the government's books.
> Can anyone say where is to be found the IRS breakdown of its income, that is, who
> pays what to the government? It would be nice to have in one place all of the
> charts, graphs, and tables. As it is if it's available it's not very.
> Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> > On Mon, 14 Feb 2000, Ross A. Finlayson wrote:
> > > Now I turn the recent 2001 proposed budget of the U.S. Federal Government.
> > > The issue: it is not who watches the watchmen but who pays them. The
> > > United States is benefitting from unheralded state of productivity growth
> > > which rises, explicitly economically, from investment in research and
> > > development, and more vaguely Alan Greenspan, and very minorly, any
> > > politician. I am thinking that most people make more money than me,
> > > thus paying more taxes, yet I am still interested in where my 1/3 of total
> > > monetary productivity given to the government does go.
> > >
> > > Here's where it should go: paydown of the national debt. The younger
> > > generation didn't make it and doesn't want it, and the baby boomers will be
> > > living long enough that it would be bad for them if Social Security crashed.
> > Ross, many years ago I was a big anti-debt advocate (for the reasons
> > you outline). I'm not so sure anymore. I suspect that I could make
> > a pretty good case that properly directed government spending towards
> > the development of an "almost anything" box will produce so much growth
> > in the near future, that the national debt is irrelevant. Why do people
> > buy bonds? To have an income in the future. Why do they need an income?
> > To meet their material requirements. Now while Robin might disagree
> > that we don't throw away the economy overnight, I could see a very
> > interesting scenario where the government develops an almost anything
> > box, puts it in the public domain and simultaneously defaults on
> > any remaining national debt.
> > One thing I am pretty sure about is that in a few years, if it
> > becomes clear that biotech is going to significantly extend longevity
> > (e.g. William Haseltine, CEO of Human Genome Sciences, predicting
> > in the Oct 18, 1999 WSJ Health and Medicine section, pg R10, that
> > the life expactancy of people born in 2050 will be 150+ years)
> > then Social Security will be permanently broken and the only way
> > out will be to invest in nanotech lifeboat.
> > Robert
> I agree that growth is in a long term upswing, but planning on it is an invitation
> to inflation.
> Properly directed government funding is that towards research and development, as
> far as I know the only indicator of increase in productivity, that is the rate of
> increase in productivity is linearly and positively linked to R&D.
> Well, people will grow older, and be older longer. Social Security will have to
> be reformed, as is evidenced by rising retirement ages. Health care costs would
> be a rising burden, that would have to be solved. At least by that time
> contemporary drug patents would be expired so that the government could be
> mandated to purchase "generic" drugs in the majority of necessary cases.
> Perhaps at some point in the near future, the current retirement age could be
> correlated to life expectancy, then as life expectancy grew then the retirement
> age would rise correspondingly. We can expect that as life expectancy rises that
> productive span increases as well.
> About drug speech, Medicare prescription drug purchase sure would be a hell of a
> boon to pharmaceuticals who would be happy to charge the government for drugs that
> the elderly might not need. They should get the ones that they do need.
> So, about the fact that the U.S. government, over the course of its operations,
> has accrued a debt in the trillions, this is a problem.
> Besides the debt and social security issue is the critical one of where each
> citizen's taxes go below the incredibly broad level of a federal or state budget.
> Who is the government paying more than $300 billion for defense reasons, quite
> specifically? This is a general statement about detecting and eliminating fraud
> of the government, and thus of the people.
> It still seems apparent that the government should endeavor to eliminate debt it
> has incurred against the public monies.
> Could you explain what you mean by "almost anything box" some more. If it is
> meaning a nanotech or transmuter or combination, whoever makes one will become
If I had a combination matter transmuter/nanotech assembler I would make some
chocolate mousse, from sand. Ha ha. The possibilities are, of course, phenomenal,
especially with regards to matter to energy conversion and perhaps vice versa to power
this device. Then, you have some ethereal device that can produce anything from
anything, science fiction, certainly.
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