Bi-winning the Future of the Economy

Originally posted elsewhere on 3/11/2011 in reference to Obama’s “Winning the Future” slogan, and Charlie Sheen’s declaration that he’s “bi-winning”

Just looking at those issues of great economic concern, here are a few that Obama is currently bi-winning:

  • Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s biggest mutual fund, has stopped investing in the U.S., having sold all the fund’s holdings in United States Treasury notes. Instead Gross has begun investing in Spain, yes Spain, one of the PIGS of Europe, so called because of their faltering economy and indebtedness. According to Gross,

    [Spain] has a better balance sheet than the United States.

  • If/when other big investors follow suit, the U.S. will have to increase interest rates on our bond offerings to overcome investor misgivings. We are currently only offering an interest return of 2%, which is unusually low for our bonds. If rates increase to a more typical 6%, due to the way our debt has ballooned in an effort to spend our way out of the last recession, the U.S. would have to pay out $640 billion in overall interest immediately. According to Sen. Tom Coburn, the sheer magnitude of this sum that would come due at once would put the nation in “an impossible situation.”
  • Rather than make any proposals of his own to address our growing federal debt, in February of last year Obama established a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to draw up a set of recommendations. However Obama did not incorporate their recommendations to any significant degree in his own budget proposal last month. Consequently members of the commission are going rogue and trying to influence members of Congress directly. One of the co-chairs of the commissions, Alan Simpson, believes that unless the U.S. gets its budget quickly under control, it is highly probably that there will be a mass dumping of U.S. Treasury bonds within the next year, producing what co-chair Erskine Bowles calls “the most predictable economic crisis in history.”
  • In response to criticisms that his proposed budget cuts were too meager, Obama replied

    We’ve taken a scalpel to the discretionary budget rather than a machete.

    However in an opinion piece at CBS News Chip Reid offers this rejoinder:

    Forget the machete, or the scalpel: Obama takes a butter knife to the budget.

  • As a result of the Middle East descending into chaos, Phil Flynn, a market analyst for PFB Best Research, says in a Fox News interview that we are potentially facing the biggest oil crisis ever. Such an oil crisis puts us at the tipping point for entering a double-dip recession.
  • Meanwhile in related news yesterday:

    U.S. offshore regulators asked a New Orleans appellate court to postpone a judge’s March 19 deadline for them to act on certain Gulf of Mexico drilling permits delayed by the Obama Administration’s drilling ban.

  • And despite the fact that every time Obama repeatedly mentions nuclear energy as one of the ways the U.S. can meet our energy needs, his administration decided to unilaterally disregard the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. A panel of three judges on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have ruled that the executive branch cannot nullify an act of Congress, but the Obama administration hasn’t budged. Consequently a number of plaintiffs have brought a lawsuit before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to stop the Obama administration from withdrawing licensing for the Yucca Mountain waste disposal facility.

Here is a brief, but sobering look at the testimony of Simpson and Bowles before Congress on how the U.S. federal debt is endangering our economy.


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