Sunday, March 3, 2019

Bill Crawford: The New Republican Reality: Debt, Debt, & More Debt

"The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time," reported the Associated Press. "The Treasury Department's daily statement showed Tuesday that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017."

"It looks like a $9 trillion time bomb is ready to detonate, a corporate debt load that has escalated thanks to easy borrowing terms and a seemingly endless thirst from investors," CNBC reported.

"For the first time ever, consumer credit has risen above $4 trillion," said news accounts citing a Federal Reserve release. Since 2013 there has been a $1 trillion increase in the amount of debt Americans are carrying.

"Student loan debt in the U.S. more than doubled in the past 10 years, hitting an all-time high of $1.36 trillion in the third quarter of 2018," according to consumer credit reporting agency Experian.

All these debt bubbles pose high risk for another economic meltdown. The NY Times quoted 76-year-old influential fund manager Jim Rogers predicting a crash that will be “the biggest in my lifetime.”

Shhh. All these peak debt levels have occurred with Republicans in control of the Congress and White House.

No surprise really. Take the national debt. Republicans like to talk "eliminate the deficit" and "reduce the debt" and "balance the budget," but since George H.W. Bush was president have never followed through with the walk. It's really the height of hypocrisy these days when they talk down Democrats about spending and deficits.

Remember Donald Trump's campaign promise to eliminate the debt? In a March 31, 2016, interview with the Washington Post, he promised to eliminate $19 trillion in debt in eight years. Instead it has gone up $3 trillion.

Rising interest rates and escalating debt are a formula for economic turmoil if not collapse. Debt watchdog, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, reported in December that interest on the national debt "will nearly triple over the next 10 years, soaring from $315 billion in 2018 to $914 billion in 2028." Soon interest payments alone with top $1 trillion annually.

"Unless we make the hard decisions to close the structural imbalance between spending and revenues, federal debt will climb to unsustainable levels and put America’s economy and future prosperity at risk," the foundation declared.

Those decisions include uncomfortable spending cuts matched with undesirable tax increases. As we learned from the failed Obama-Boehner "grand bargain" that followed the failed Simson-Bowles plan, such decisions will not happen. The politics are too tough for our elected officials. Republicans can only cut taxes, not raise them, and Democrats can only increase spending, not cut it.

Sigh. As Pogo told us, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

P.S. Mississippi is not immune to the debt dilemma. State financial reports show our public debt continues to grow. The two largest components, bonds and notes payable at $5.6 billion and the PERS unfunded pension liability at $16.9 billion, total $22.5 billion. That's up from $19.7 billion in 2012.

Shhh. This occurred, too, with Republicans in control of the Legislature and Governor's Mansion.

Care about this stuff? Download former Sen. Tom Coburn's deficit reduction plan:, or the Simpson-Bowles plan:

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

You can’t turn a ship around on a dime, it takes time. President Trump is doing a fantastic job. He is getting the US some great deals in trade. We have the lowest unemployment in decades.

Anonymous said...

The deficits have created a false economy as a result of excess spending. Republicans and Democrats know that if deficits decline, so will the economy. And, if the national debt is paid down, down goes the economy. Both events take money out of the economy. Neither of the political parties wants that while they are in power. So, they play the game while knowing they can always print money. As Hyman Roth told Michael Corleone in "Godfather: Part II", "This is the business we've chosen."

Anonymous said...

i’m confused?? The Little Emperor got elected as Lt Gov by campaigning on a plan to lower the state’s debt. What gives?

Anonymous said...

22 trillion with a conservative leader who we have chance to improve our lives with or 90 trillion cost of a Green New Deal. By the way, I was at an establishment and several of the black employees were saying how well they had it now they have a well paying job. But, if you are a dummakrat you want your constituency to hail you as their sole provider while the conservatives thrive on self sufficiency.. Even Forrest Gump or Bobby Bushae were both smart enough not to chase Amazon away.

Cynical Sam said...

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon we are talking real money.

Rod Knox said...

The current administration seems destined to continue to pump liquidity into the Wall St market while keeping wages at poverty levels to make those banks that we bailed out wealthy beyond our imagination. And of course those Wall St bankers have had their taxes cut in half to ensure they can quickly accumulated more of the nation's wealth before the economy crashes. And it's likely that the Ministry of Troooth at Faux Noooz will find some success in blaming the coming financial debacle on the lazy poor people. Mississippians are usually last to recognize the problems and it's somewhat certain that trend will continue.

Anyone who thinks that .25% interest on bank CDs is the result of "the market" needs a mental evaluation.

Anonymous said...

"You can’t turn a ship around on a dime."

You'd have to be a complete idiot to think Trump turned anything around. Inherited a great economy and has spent us further into the hole. Fiscal conservativism is a lie.

But then again, he bankrupted every business she's ever run, so he's right on track.

Anonymous said...

12:51 Now if he can just make the trains run on time, he'll have the U.S. running as smoothly as his mentor had Italy going back in the 30's. Deficit spending don't matter unless it's those damn democrats anyway.

Anonymous said...

4:10 I hate to wake up a happy dreamer but, right about now, everybody including your conservatives are thriving on national credit a.k.a. debt. Dream on if it makes you feel better, but wake up in about six years of Trump and see what the national debt looks like. Republicrats unite!

Anonymous said...

Suddenly stupid Donkeycrats are worried about budget deficits and the national debt! ROFLMAO

Anonymous said...

P.S. Mississippi is not immune to the debt dilemma. State financial reports show our public debt continues to grow. The two largest components, bonds and notes payable at $5.6 billion and the PERS unfunded pension liability at $16.9 billion, total $22.5 billion. That's up from $19.7 billion in 2012.

Shhh. This occurred, too, with Republicans in control of the Legislature and Governor's Mansion.

So Mississippi Democrats grew the state debt to $19.7B and Crawford calls out the Republicans for adding another $2.8B (+14%) over the past 7 years.

Thank goodness Kingfish runs his columns for the jackassery.

Anonymous said...

@5:34 No more sudden than the stupid Repubs forgot about budget deficits and the national debt! ROFLMAO

Anonymous said...

Crawford, March 2014:

Debt Service and outstanding bonded indebtedness don’t usually capture much public attention. For years the Legislature regularly passed multi-million dollar “Christmas Tree” bond bills for all sorts of projects. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves changed that two years ago when he led the Senate to block the annual bond bill. Reeves said he is determined to reduce Mississippi’s dependence on debt.

Data indicates his approach has begun working.
From 2000 through 2011, Debt Service nearly doubled from 4.6 percent of General Fund appropriations to 8.3 percent. Since Reeves took office in 2012, the percentage has dropped each year, down to 7.5 percent this past year.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe we heard a peep of debt concern out of you @5:56 while the Obama Messiah was doubling the national debt.

Anonymous said...

The National Debt is the least of the problem for Mississippi. Let's remember it's a Welfare state.
Tariffs are the biggest problem and if something isn't done very soon it's going to be painful for farmers and any business that needs imported steel.

cholly said...

Obama came into office inheriting a vastly undervalued S&P 500 at 9 times earnings.

Trump came into office inheriting an overvalued S&P 500 at 19.5 times earnings.

On another point, Rod Knox's post above reads like fiction written by a third grade boy.

Anonymous said...

Trump has only filed for bankruptcy 6 times. We should do the same as a nation. That would really screw the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly, the Trumptards are huge supporters of debt and don’t care about being lying hypocrites. ROFLFAO!!

Anonymous said...

The GOP would have a more defensible position if they weren’t handing so much money to their donors. Their big middle class tax relief is looking like more of a sham each passing day. The American people aren’t even getting anything out of all our money they are giving away. No healthcare, no money for education, no big spend for research, it’s just a straight up robbery. Hopefully the religious right will wake up and stop getting conned by these thugs.

Anonymous said...

Dear "lowest unemployment" folks. Driving for Uber doesn't count (especially when it doesn't even cover the student loan payments you've got from attaining a college degree).

bill said...

Well, at least Crawford got one thing right. Republicans can't raise taxes and Democrats can't cut spending. Wait, is that two things?

Anonymous said...

The hypocrisy is making me ill.

Either the deficit and debt are problems or they aren't.

If you think they are, then damn well get the facts and understand the entire problem, not just one sector or even a few sectors of the economy. This is overall economic history, not just economics today. It's the sum of all parts and no one part is definitive.

Some of you believe things that are just not even close to being accurate and would be laughable if your ridiculous opinions weren't part of the problem!

It's about how you spend money as well as not wasting money. We have to prioritize in such as way as to reduce debt in the process. Rather than artificially stimulate or " save" some sectors of the economy.

For example we need to improve the infrastructure so it can support growth and well as create new sectors. It doesn't matter how many " widgets" you make if you can't transport them.

Nor does it matter how many "widgets" you make if people can't afford to buy them.

It is ridiculous to repeatedly create boom/bust projects which enrich a few at the expense of the entire economy.

It is ridiculous to " save" that which is doomed to become " obsolete".

And, in spending money, you damn well need to also look at what causes societies and their economies to fail. Focus on democracies and republics.

We've done this before. It never turns out well.

Keep on deciding that one person or party is always right and deserves your loyalty and support all the time for every damn thing. Keep believing that politic parties are about some high ideals and not about money and power.

Do remember that Democrats were anti-abortion in the first half of the last century and Republicans were pro-abortion. Remember the KKK were Democrats and now they vote Republican. If the parties had consistent principles, such would not have been possible!

And, HELLO, the debt and deficit are current examples of policy reversal.

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon, there is going to be a split in the Republican party. I know currently, everyone seems to be willing to forget about the constitution and just go along with all the shenanigans, but at some point the people will demand much, much more. You'll have the extreme right hate groups go along with the Trumptards get separated from the mainstream religious right, corporations, and billionaires.

Anonymous said...

@ 3/4, 12:33pm

The religious right, extreme right hate groups, and Trumptards are all pawns of the corporations/oligarchs/billionaires. The left's corporations/billionaires/oligarchs have their pawns as well. This will be never-ending until we all unplug from the matrix.

cholly said...

Hi Donna. Click an ad while you are here.

Anonymous said...

Repubs can't win w/o Trump voters. RINOs mouth 'compromise' then go ahead and capitulate. Drain the swamp and thin the RINO herd. Make America Great Again!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes,3:38 pm, it's all about winning and losing and not about the fate of our Nation.
It's about power. And, so , let's be sure to have a minority dictate to the majority.
And, whatever you do, do NOT look at the policies of the States that are actually progressing and are economically sound. Let's do what Mississippi has always done instead.

Anonymous said... NOT look at the policies of the States that are actually progressing and are economically sound.

Provide the Top 5 states that fit your claim. Put up.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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