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The Treasury department has issued its spending and revenue report for April 2021, and it’s clear the US government is headed toward another record-breaking year for deficits.
Article by Ryan McMaken from Mises.
According to the report, the US federal government collected $439.2 billion in revenue during April 2021, which was a sizable improvement over April 2020 and over March 2021. Indeed, April 2021’s revenue total was the largest since July of last year when the federal government collected 563.5 billion following several months of delays on tax filing deadlines beyond the usual April 15 deadline. (Not surprisingly, in most years, April tends to be the federal government’s biggest month for tax collections.)
In spite of April’s haul, however, the federal government managed to spend much more than that, with spending topping $664 billion during April. This means the federal government ran a sizable deficit in April of 225.6 billion. This was a middling sum compared to other monthly deficits this fiscal year (which began on October 1), but deficits are adding up fast.
For the first seven months of this fiscal year combined, the US government collected $2.1 trillion in revenue, yet it spend nearly twice as much: $4.1 trillion, or 90 percent more than it collected.
Put another way: for the first seven months of this fiscal year (2021), the total deficit already totals $1.9 trillion. During the same period of last year, this total was $1.5 trillion.
For the first seven months of each year going back to 2000, even if adjusted for inflation, we see that 2020 and 2021 ran much larger deficits even than was the case during the Bush-Obama spending spree kicked off in late 2008 and peaking in 2011.
With five months left to go in the fiscal year, and with the deficit already approaching 2 trillion, it won’t take more than Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill to ensure that 2021’s deficit soars to new record-breaking levels. That is, the US on course to beat last year’s full-year deficit by the time this fiscal year comes to an end.
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In the second graph, we see that the full-year deficit for the 2020 fiscal year was a record-breaking 3.1 trillion. This was far in excess of any previous year, even adjusted for inflation. During 2009, for example, the deficit reached “only” $1.4 trillion.
The total national debt is now approaching $30 trillion, and was $27.7 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. Taken as a percentage of GDP, the debt is now exceeding even the extraordinary levels reached during the Second World War, making the current fiscal crisis the largest one, proportionally, to have ever occurred during peace time. In terms of annual deficits, only three years in American history exceeded 2020’s deficit as a percentage of GDP: 1943, 1944, and 1945.
The administration has yet to even begin talking about scaling back these astronomical spending levels. This is partly due to the fact that April’s jobs report was such a disappointment. In spite of predictions of over a million new jobs, the actual estimate came in around 266,000. As I noted in an article last week, a lack of new hires is due partly to the fact that more than nine million American workers are collecting some form of unemployment insurance payment. But that’s not all. Over the past year, 4 million workers have left the labor force altogether for a variety of reasons, and they’re not actively looking for work.
To some this might suggest it is time to scale back unemployment payments, but the Biden administration used the job figures to justify additional spending, claiming “we’ve got work to do.” What he means is: “we need to spend more money.”
These record-breaking deficits are also likely to mean more monetization of debt. Last March, after several months of some small declines in the size of its portfolio, the Fed again began buying up Treasuries and other assets to inject liquidity into the financial sector yet again. The Fed was already sitting on $4 trillion in assets in early 2020, but by June, total assets had skyrocketed to $7 trillion. Much of this was Treasuries, since as Bloomberg reports:
When the Fed began buying Treasuries in March 2020 to calm the market during the pandemic panic, it targeted the sectors that were under the most stress, in quantities as large as $75 billion a day. By June, the program stabilized at $80 billion a month…
In other words, the debt is being converted to cash. Needless to say, these purchases are badly needed not just to “calm the market” and keep hedge funds and bankers liquid. The purchases are part of an essential game to augment demand for Treasuries, and thus keep interest rates low so the US government doesn’t face an explosion of its total costs for debt service. In 2020, the US spent approximately $350 billion on interest payments. (For context, the budget for all veterans’ benefits is about $250 billion.) This number is only going to go up and consume more and more of the federal budget. Moreover, if interest rates go up, interest payments will increase even faster than the total debt.
Since January, the yield on the 10year Treasury has increased 50 percent from approximately 1 percent to 1.5 percent. If this trend continues, the US taxpayer will be on the hook for big increases in interest payments which will have to come out of other areas of the budget, or by printing more money which will only further devalue the dollar.
There’s no easy solution, and this is why those old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy economists have been warning against runaway spending for years. Eventually the taxpayers have to pay for it, either through a ruined currency, or by slashing government spending in other areas. Or through tax increases. But for now, politicians will keep kicking that can down the road, and hope they can blame someone else when the reality becomes undeniable.
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‘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.
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.
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Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
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I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
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