Appetite for our debt is waning.

The small stock market rally was stopped cold today due to a upward movement in the sale of five year notes. For those that have been warning us about these days, this article is the beginning of the proof points on deficit spending. The market saw this news and dropped almost 250 points from 1:00pm until 3:00pm.

Here are the basics as I understand them. The increase in the interest rate on the 5-year notes sold by the US means that we had to raise the rate of return to attract buyers to our debt. Nested in this article is the fact that the UK has had issues that did not even sell out. So we raised the rate and sold the notes, why did the market react to this? Having to increase the rates means that there are less buyers for our debt. The rates can continue to climb to attract buyers but that interest expands the cost of all of the deficit spending programs. Should we hit the point as the UK has that sometimes there just are not enough buyers, what then?

Then we have three options.

Don’t spend (ha ha ha ha … sorry that was President Obama butting in) as much money. Which would limit the government’s ability to fulfill all of the promises to the banks and in the stimulus package. Many will say this is good, but for those dependant on every word and action from Washington this is not good news.

So another option is to tax and tax heavily to get the money from the US economy instead of elsewhere. This is not good and will likely lengthen and deepen the recession. This would counter all of the good news this week that the economy may be stabilizing.

Or we can simply print money that does not exist and pretend. But that devalues all of the outstanding notes and is likely to make the current problem worse, causing us to raise the rates anyway to attract buyers.

So this action in the 5-years notes is bad news… very bad news. The end of our deficit spending may be at hand or at least far more limited. And we have not even approached the 2009 budget and the 10Trillion in debt it demands.

What could you do with $9,000 dollars a year for three years?

+$1.15T being injected into the Financial market. Washington has now put in $9T to “fix” the economy. This is 89,000+ per household in the US. I am trying to find the statistics but I would think we could have just paid up the mortgages on everyone at risk for far less. But like many of these plans that too would have been rewarding failure by taking from the shrinking majority that pay taxes. So what to do.

I would expect that most people do not have a mortgage over $1500 a month. I looked it up. Based on all homes the number is $927. Yeah… always forget when you live in a big city or suburb. This number is also lowered by folks that have $0 cost for housing (paid off home mortgage). There is a number for homes less than four years old ($1,371). If you remove the 112,000 of these folks that have no mortgage the average rises to $1,392. These numbers are from 2007. So a gut check of $1500 a month works.

So for a cost of 9,000 a household the US government could have covered 6 months of payments on the average house for every person in the country. For nearly 44% of homeowners this would cover 100% of their housing costs. [Because of this cost discrepancy this would actually cost less than the price tag]. Allow this exemption for 5 years at a total of 45,000 per family. That would be about $4.5T.

Wouldn’t this have stopped the rash of foreclosures? That would have stabilized the securities market at created a floor on the price of securities. This would have, in turn, stabilized the banks. It would have also [not sure I like this] allowed people to buy houses off of the open market knowing that the first 5 years of mortgage was covered. This would have stabalized housing prices. With a bit of diligence to manage the out years, this could be constrained so that it does not simply defer the problems. For those without a “mortgage crisis” [93% of all homeowners] this would have created spendable income that would likely be used to pay off debt and/or buy things [stimulus].

In summary, for half of the current cost this could have been solved. I would have been content with 3 years (or 1/3 the cost). If some are worried about non-homeowners being left out, don’t fret. I set you up. These numbers include housing costs by households, which includes renters. I checked and there are actually less households (105mill) then homeowners (123mill – owners of multiple homes). Since we don’t want to reward on both homes, we can assume it will cost even less. So for three years every household would get $9,000…. Question..wouldn’t this in effect be an “across-the-board tax cut” [ewwww… I know those are evil]. And this one would be far bigger then the Bush tax cuts. It is important to note that some suggested this (and for only 2009) and were lambasted for not having a Government-centric solution.
..and so we spend.

The economy continues to worsen and the costs to taxpayers keeps rising. Once again proof that “government experts” spend more time reading books and talking to each other about how much smarter they are then the rest of us; no time living life like the rest of us. They look at macro-economic issues and forget that those numbers are driven by the hard work of every American, every day. They all need a new line of work. One that actually produces something for the country. I believe that will help the economy. We have a chance in 2010 to help that along.

Is Obama a muppet or the puppet master?

Those that know me well, know that, during the election, I had the opinion that Obama was a muppet. May argued he was left wing, and that may be true. Other argues that he was more center-left. Though I believed that he was likely far more left then his words, what he said and what he believed was of little consequence in this election. Besides foreign affairs the President if mostly a figurehead. He has little to do with writing or enforcing law. In this case a figurehead for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

I hoped that I was wrong or even if I was right that he would have a mandate and the quest for power would allow him to manage congress. But like the old Star Trek episode, “Patterns Of Force” where they “instituted a theoretical form of Hitler’s National Socialism upon the lawless Ekosians because he believed that it is the most efficient system of government ever devised”, the government has taken over and supplanted the figurehead.

Obama talked about “fixing roads” and “helping the states” yet the stimulus bill is full of pork and pet projects that dwarf the valuable spending. Now we have a “funding bill” that is full over 4900+ earmarked projects. So I, I believed that I was right. That he had no power and no control over the Congressional leadership and that they he was a puppet to the puppet masters.

At least I thought I was right until Tuesday and Wednesday. He spoke the other night about restoring the upper tax brackets to those under Clinton. To cut spending in non-critical programs and cut the deficit in half in 4 years. Then the news about his plan began to release on Wednesday including 650+ Billion to begin universal healthcare. The numbers simply do not add up. Then the tax increases began to to leak; including limiting home interest deductions [that should help the housing market]. A total “estimated” budget of 3.7 trillion on tax payer funded income of 2 trillion. If the economy contracts a bit more and/or the price tag goes up (duh) then we are talking about government spending on a pace that is double revenues. This does not include the “one time” spending in the bailouts. So we are looking a deficits that would require tax revenues to double or triple in the coming years.

There is no amount of taxation on “the rich” that can cover that bill. Since over 40% of wage earners already pay zero income tax, this burden will be carried by the ever decreasing population of the employed “wealthy” [which will now be defined as anyone that makes over the median income]. The GDP of the US is estimated to be 13.75 Trillion dollars in 2008. So we are talking about taxation at 30% of all GDP (higher to cover the bailouts). To put that in perspective: taxation has never been over 20% of GDP. In fact it is well understood that tax revenue and GDP are tied tightly together at about 18.5%. [I have found reputable sources that have out tax burden at about 30% already. Based on 13.75 Trillion in GDP and 2.67 Trillion in revenue..my simple math gives me 19.4%] . So we will need to get from 2.67 Trillion to well over 4 trillion [note that none of this includes growth in already expanding government programs].

Now it is possible that we will not actually pay for this. Seems that “paying for things” is simply out of vogue right now. But either we will pay for it or our children and grandchildren will pay for it with interest.

Based in these simple facts, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that the puppet is part of the game (that reminds me of a Twlight Zone episode). That he is using his popularity and oratory skills to say what we want to hear and then turn around and sell us out. So it looks like, some where right, he is a left wing liberal and intent on creating a socialist republic within the United States with an overall tax burden of 40+%. Either that, or his economists have failed 5th grade math and they are completely inept (since they don’t pay taxes maybe this is the lesser of two evils). 2010 is coming, I pray we will not be too late.