Posted On: Tuesday - April 27th 2021 5:39PM MST
In Topics:   Economics  US Feral Government  Taxes
The '20 tax booklet, put out at the beginning of '21, shows '19 budget numbers. Each one is a year behind, understandably.
You really wonder who's been dropping the ball on this each year, as the IRS tax instruction booklet continues to include the 2 pie charts on income and outlays for the US Feral budget. The reader may want to go back to 2 Peak Stupidity posts, also written around tax time (well, one about a 1 1/2 months later). A bit after the '17 tax season, we posted a Quick glance at the budget from US-Gov crack Green-eyeshade boys, and a day after The cruelest day of the cruelest month, of the, I dunno, 8th cruelest year? in '18, we posted a Comparison of '15/17 US Government Budgets. Shouldn't the Feral Government have tossed these pies already with extreme prejudice?
There's some financial reality baked into these pies. It's not that I think these simple charts are the be-all-to-end-all. I imagine plenty of black budget "defense" money is left out or put in the other categories. There's a whole lot to it than what you see here, but I get the numbers out of it that I care about. (Well, that is, besides the running Total Debt, which I can get in tabular form elsewhere.)
As pissed off as I was a week or two ago that I STILL owed money after having extra taken out over the year '20 (pissed off enough to put off sending anything in till a week after the deadline), seeing these pie charts near the end of the .pdf booklet made up for it a bit. Sure, the finances of America and the American Feral government are beyond redemption, but it was just nice to see an attempt to do some basic accounting by those green-eyeshade boys in some office or another.
After pulling some up, I see these pie charts appear in older on-line 1040 "booklets" as far back as I've looked (2011, but I'll check way back later). I've decided to put some of this info a nice table to show the gist of the pickle the FED has put the budget and whole economy in after years of setting basement-level interest rates. Let's just compare a little bit from this '19 budget to the '15 one, shown in the link above, in which '17 is compared to '15. (We just so happened to get to this at 2 year intervals.)
These numbers are only to the nearest percent, but taking them for what we see, the net interest on the Federal debt has gone up by 33%, from 6% to 8%. This interest is being paid on a larget pie too. We calculated in the first post, with only the '15 pie chart, that the (also) 6% of that '15 outlays of $3.89 Trillion = $220 Billion, being paid on ~ $17 Trillion, gave an average interest rate of a low, low 1.2 - 1.3% being paid by the feds. (Is that the average rate for Treasury Bonds being redeemed? I don't know enough to state this categorically.) OK, so that 8% of the '19 outlays of $4.49 Trillion = $360 Billion. On a '19 end-of-year deficit of ~ $22 Trillion gives an average interest rate of 1.6%. Interesting... no pun intended.
The absolute amount of interest paid in '19, that $360 Billion is 63% higher than that $220 Billion in '15, an additional $140 Billion. Just that amount of additional interest is more than the Total US Debt amount in 1943, in the middle of WWII! Oh, but a buck isn't worth nearly as much, so why compare? That's one point of this all, pointing out that the US dollar is being made worthless. The other is that the FED is in, or has put the Treasury Department in, a real pickle. If the interest rates were let to rise to natural levels, the price of money, the whole budget collapses. Imagine rates of 7%, likely only 3 points above the REAL inflation level. That's 4 3/8 times the interest, meaning that 8% of the pie goes to 35% of outlays!
We haven't even considered the financial shitshow of the Kung Flu PanicFest year of 2020. I am soooo looking forward to my '21 tax booklet when it comes out next January! Will they keep the pie charts that I love so much? I'm guessing these have gone un-noticed by the muckety-mucks and the AA hires underneath them. Oh, and it could be because nobody but me does taxes by hand and even glances at these .pdf's anymore.
That longer-term tabular comparison is coming, hopefully by end-o-bidness week, as Peak Stupidity has other, less important posts to write first. Mostly for my own benefit, I'm including right here a link to a really nice page on the national debt over US history, from The Street.