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President Biden on Wednesday pitched a new plan to Americans before a joint session of Congress: more spending.
Article by Jon Miltimore from FEE.
The just-released $1.8 trillion plan, presented just weeks after Biden signed a $1.9 trillion in COVID relief spending into law, includes “free” community college as well as universal preschool for all three and four-year-olds.
“Mr. Biden could usher in a new era that fundamentally expands the size and role of the federal government,” The New York Times reported.
How Much Debt Is Bearable?
The announcement comes months after the Congressional Budget Office released a report projecting a $2.3 trillion deficit in 2021.
Biden’s plan will almost certainly make the deficit worse. Though the plan contains various tax increases to fund its programs, the taxes are likely to fall well short of government outlays, economists say.
“The laws of economics are more rigid than the laws of the federal government, and these tax hikes are unlikely to yield the windfall Biden expects,” Joshua Jahani, the managing director of Jahani and Associates, noted in a recent NBC News article.
As a result, the $28.2 trillion national debt will swell even faster. Worse, when unfunded liabilities are included in the balance sheet, as private companies are legally required to do, the debt exceeds $120 trillion.
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How much risk these obligations present is unclear.
There is a school of thought that suggests these debts pose no serious risk. After all, in theory, a government can roll over its debt indefinitely. However, in a recent article for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, economist David Andolfatto noted that ultimately the government doesn’t decide how much debt is bearable. The market does.
“There is presumably a limit to how much the market is willing or able to absorb in the way of Treasury securities, for a given price level (or inflation rate) and a given structure of interest rates,” Andolfatto wrote. “However, no one really knows how high the debt-to-GDP ratio can get. We can only know once we get there.”
A Dangerous Level of Debt?
Andolfatto is right that no one really knows the debt tipping point. But it’s worth noting that the US debt-to-GDP ratio—essentially a country’s debt compared to its annual economic output—was 129 percent at the end of 2020. In other words, the official US debt was nearly a third larger than the entire US economy.
The United States is not Greece, of course. Its economic potential is far greater, and it is operating under a currency it controls. But there’s no denying that the US is in uncharted territory. Today, the federal government debt-to-GDP ratio is higher than it was at the conclusion of World War II, when the nation assembled one of the largest armies the world has ever seen. Perhaps even worse, the government is piling on debt faster than ever.
Eventually, as Andolfatto notes, the market may very well decide enough is enough, and the demand for Treasury securities will dry up. Indeed, this is likely one reason cryptocurrencies are suddenly flourishing.
In seemingly the blink of an eye, cryptos have gone from being discussed in the corners of Reddit rooms and university lounges to a market of more than $2 trillion. It’s no exaggeration to say cryptos are now mainstream; they are being gobbled up by hedge funds and star athletes signing 10-figure contracts.
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And it’s not hard to see why. The market is hedging. Like rats on a sinking ship, many are eyeing an exit, sensing that the dollar’s day may finally be coming to an end as its value is eroded by mass pumping.
In a popular 2016 article, author Richard Ebeling explored how central planners in ancient Rome destroyed the economy.
A lot of what Ebeling describes—debt, massive spending, inflation, and price controls destroy—sound eerily familiar to modern ears. And Ebeling naturally explores the age-old riddle: why did Rome fail?
For centuries, as any history buff knows, thinkers from Edward Gibbon to Peter Heather and beyond, have asked this question. The answers vary. Some blame barbarians, others immigration. Some claimed Christianity was at fault, while others point to disease or the weakening of Roman legions.
All of these theories are interesting and worthy of examination, but I’ve found no single better explanation than the one offered by economist Ludwig von Mises who concluded Rome’s decay stemmed from its rejection of individualism and free markets.
“The marvelous civilization of antiquity perished because it did not adjust its moral code and its legal system to the requirements of the market economy,” Mises wrote.
“A social order is doomed if the actions which its normal functioning requires are rejected by the standards of morality, are declared illegal by the laws of the country, and are prosecuted as criminal by the courts and the police.
The Roman Empire crumbled to dust because it lacked the spirit of [classical] liberalism and free enterprise. The policy of interventionism and its political corollary, the Fuhrer principle, decomposed the mighty empire as they will by necessity always disintegrate and destroy any social entity.”
The American president and statesman John Adams once reportedly said there are two ways nations are destroyed.
“One is by the sword and the other is by debt,” Adams reputedly said. (Though the quote is widely attributed to Adams, it’s not supported by written documentation.)
There is no question debt is a serious problem. (Just ask the ancient Romans and modern Grecians.) But if Mises is correct, the explosion of debt may merely be a symptom of a much larger problem: a collapse of the spirit of liberty and the growth of a system hostile to free enterprise.
We should learn from one thing we have that the Romans didn’t: their ominous example.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
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The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $4100 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.
We Often Feel Like David Taking on Giants
Today’s Goliath is the Mainstream Media Industrial Complex that brainwashes the masses.
Our mission is very straightforward: To counter the false narratives and nefarious agendas destroying America today. It isn’t easy for obvious reasons; despite incredible growth over the last year we are still a very tiny fish in a huge media pond. But we’re fighting and we will continue to do so, Lord willing, for as long as we possibly can. The battle for America’s present and future is too important for us to back down to the giants that stand in our way.
We need help. I don’t want to say “desperately,” but the need is definitely great. If you have the means, please donate through our GivingFuel page, PayPal, or our brand new GiveSendGo page. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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