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Do you know what these federal agencies do March 17, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Debt and deficit, Trump, US Government.
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If Trump gets what he wants, these 19 federal agencies will be eliminated in 2018. Have you heard of them and do you know what they do?

Here is the list of agencies which are on the chopping block and how much each of them costs American tax payers in 2017.

Source: Yahoo news.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-budget-eliminates-19-federal-220948174.html

  1. African Development Foundation; $28.2 million
  2. Appalachian Regional Commission; $120 million
  3. Chemical Safety Board; $12.4 million
  4. Corporation for National and Community Service; $1.1 billion
  5. Corporation for Public Broadcasting; $445 million
  6. Delta Regional Authority; $15.9 million
  7. Denali Commission; $19 million
  8. Institute of Museum and Library Services; $230 million
  9. Inter-American Foundation; $22.2 million
  10. U.S. Trade and Development Agency; $80.7 million
  11. Legal Services Corporation; $502.7 million
  12. National Endowment for the Arts; $149.8 million
  13. National Endowment for the Humanities; $149.8 million
  14. Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; $140 million
  15. Northern Border Regional Commission; $5 million
  16. Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Self-sustaining
  17. U.S. Institute of Peace; $37.9 million
  18. U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness; $3.6 million
  19. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; $10.4 million

Total amount eliminated: $3.07 billion.

Is it enough? Hmm…. It’s less than 0.6% of the estimated federal deficit for FY 2018.

Looks like that we need to get rid of a lot more than 19.

  • FY 2016 Federal deficit: $587 billion (actual)
  • FY 2017 Federal deficit: 504 billion (estimate)
  • National debt: $19.9 trillion (estimate)
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America at its best; Just kidding. December 27, 2015

Posted by hslu in Congress, Debt and deficit, Oil, Politics, US Government.
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This is an example of the United States government at its best: spending our tax money!

Have you heard of the new highway bill that US Senate has introduced about six month ago? I bet that you haven’t.

Do you know what the bill was called? I am sure that you don’t know.

How much money are we talking aboutI know you don’t have a clue

Do you know what that highway bill was for? You might have guessed it but you may only be partially correct.

Wells, here are the answers you are dying to find out.

The new highway bill was fittingly called the “Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act.”

Yes, you are right; it is may be cited as the “DRIVE Act” according to the language in the Bill.

As far as I can tell after adding up all funding for 14 programs, the total appropriation for the bill is $193,532,100,000.00 for the next six years. For those math challenged individuals, that’s $193.5321 billion dollars.

The highway bill is to:

  1. Fix interstate highways, bridges, tunnels and other federally funded highway infrastructural projects.
  2. Recapitalize the Highway Trust Fund, one of many Trust Funds managed by the United States government. As you might be aware that the Social Security’s “Old Age Survivor’s Insurance” and “Disability Insurance” are two infamous ones. In case you don’t know, the Highway Trust Fund has run out of money for a while now.
  3. Re-authorize the Export-Import Bank which was designed to promote international trades. You might treat it as subsidies to Boeing, General Electric and other big companies in America.
  4. National Park Service
  5. United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  6. Federal Lands Access Program.
  7. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
  8. Highway research and development program.
  9. Technology and innovation deployment program

So where does the U.S. Senate plan to get the funding from to pay for the DRIVE Act?

From the tax money you and I paid to the IRS, of course.

But, that’s not entirely correct.

The Senate plans to steal $300 million from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank trust fund (Yes, you guessed it: it is called LUST fund.) However, there isn’t any money in the LUST fund. But that’s okay with the senators.

Some money will come from selling 100+ million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But wait; did any Senator watch CNBC recently? If any of them has, he or she must know that oil price have tanked recently; dropping from $100+ per barrel about a year ago to about $35 per barrel now.

Looks like the Senate is desperate now.

There you have it, folks. This is your government. This is America at its best.

Oh, did I mention that if you owe tax to the IRS; $50,00 or more, you better stay home at all times starting from January 1, 2016. This is because that the good Senators have authorized IRS and the Immigration office to confiscate your passport at the airport until you cough up the tax, interest on the tax and penalties.

Now, how do you like that?

BTW, how much does the American government owe and how much does the American government have to borrow just to pay its bills?

The funny thing is that most of them get to come back to Washington DC after each election. Whoever voted for these clowns please stand up and let us see who you are.

Social Security – Make sure you get what you are entitled to or else July 13, 2015

Posted by hslu in Debt and deficit, Economics, Taxes.
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The U. S. government is broke. The U.S. national debt is $18.3 trillion, about 105% of American’s GDP as of this moment on July 12, 2015. Economists have been saying that each American owes something like $57,000 the moment he or she is born but this figure is meaningless because only people with income is potentially subjected to federal income tax.

According to the latest IRS tax return data, 136.1 million taxpayers reported adjusted gross income of $9.04 trillion and paid $1.1 trillion in federal income taxes in 2012.  As a result, each tax payer owes $134,502 whether we like it or not.

So, will America become Greece someday? Will the national debt be paid off one day?

The answers are yes and no: America will be Greece some time in the future and the national debt will not be paid off; ever.

But, don’t tell this to the politicians because they are working on this very issue as we speak.

 

 

Are you kidding me? Where are they going to get the money from? Tax the rich again?

Well, they have better ideas: our social security benefits.

Yes, they are trying to work on social security benefit reform; better known as social security benefit cut.

Take a look of this:

Slide1Consider you’re forewarned here.

The bottom line is this: take what you are entitled to  and do it fast. It may take them a few years to get this into law but both Republicans and Democrats are working on it.

 

What is sad about this is American tax payers are doomed and they have no idea of what’s coming.

 

Obama the “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” December 2, 2014

Posted by hslu in Debt and deficit, Obama.
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Obama in July, 2008 said that President Bush was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” because Bush added $4 trillion to national debt in 6.5 years. The national debt was $7.4 trillion.

A few day ago, the national debt has surpassed $18 trillion mark and Obama added more than $7.4 trillion to that figure.

image
Source: USA Debt Clock.com

Hmmm, using his own words, Obama is even more “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.’

US not trustworthy October 25, 2013

Posted by hslu in China, Economics, Euro, Global Affair, Obamacare, Politics, stocks, Taiwan.
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Foreign countries will no longer trust America no matter how many times Obama calls Merkel. It’s like an egg on American’s face which can’t be washed off easily.

Obama’s order to force Bolivia president’s private airplane to land in Austria has already caused serious consequences in its relationship with many South America countries. These countries will think twice before doing business with the U.S. again.

NSA’s monitoring of domestic and international communication has stirred up hatred towards American’s policy. This kind of action is simply not acceptable according to international laws. No amount of denying from Obama will ease other countries’ concerns. Even France and Germany are leery of American’s action and they will not be satisfied with whatever Obama or American ambassadors told them for a long time.

US federal government shutdown and debt ceiling impasse has became a joke among financial markets and other countries in the world. America’s credibility has been seriously damaged too. QEs by US Federal Reserve has other countries worried and countries like China, Russia, Korea and Germany will re-evaluate their foreign reserve policies. They will likely diverting some of their foreign currency holdings to other currencies such as Euro because Europe has started to emerge from financial ruins created by America five years ago. It appears that Euro as the single currency for EU countries is no longer in question and there is even some talk of creating a de facto central bank for EU countries. 

China will speed up its move to create more direct currency swaps with other countries, especially in South America,  in an effort to increase their acceptance of Renminbi in bilateral trades. As such,  the status of American dollar being the world reserve currency will be in question.

The high drama of currency war has just started. America, being the bully of the world, will continue to enjoy the privilege of being able to print the world reserve currency whenever it feels like it.

With American’s national debt at 100+% of US GDP and with America government borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, the day of reckoning for the imperial empire is just around the corner.

Americans did it to themselves July 26, 2013

Posted by hslu in Congress, Economics, Euro, Global Affair, jobs, Obama, Politics.
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The 2008 financial crisis was the product of capitalism which was heavily promoted by the United States over the last several decades.

Look at the damage it did to the citizens of the world. In short, capitalism is a failed economic system because of the boom and busy cycles it has repeated over the past decades. Capitalism is also partly responsible for many uprisings all over the world because of the inherent inequality created by the system. Does Obama‘s 99% sound familiar?

Look at the lousy condition America is in right now. Obama has openly rallied the 99% against the 1%. This is 階級鬥爭 pure and simple and it has been very effective! What else can you say about the high approval rating he still enjoys in light of the continuing 14+% true unemployment rate for 3+ years?

He has successfully shifted the blame to the top 1% (by extension, the capitalism) and by doing so made the middle class his friend instead of his enemy. Of course, the bottom 47% was long in his pocket to begin with.

But he has left the country in a hole (debt and social welfare) much deeper than Americans can dig themselves out of.

The middle class in the US will suffer the most because the rich 1 to 5% (who’s counting, anyway) will shift their wealth around and minimize their federal taxes. They may give up their US citizenship all together if necessary.

The American poor will continue take handouts from the government like they have always been doing like nothing has happened. If anything, their benefits will even increase now that Democrats have been in power for 5 years with 3 more to go.

That leaves the once all mighty American middle class who has carried this country for so long.

They are no doubt exhausted. Their once good-paying jobs have gone to other countries which have learned the in’s and out’s of the capitalism so well. The old-style middle class Americans are not qualified for the high tech jobs that command $100+ K salary because they don’t have the skills. These jobs are reserved for the kids of many highly educated Asian, Russian and European immigrants who have helped built the America the way it was before the 2008 financial crisis. What’s left are jobs in service industries, nursing, waiter and waitress jobs, and the ones which can’t be out-sourced. the sad truth is that as a class, they get paid about 1/2 of what they used to make. Their kids fared even worse because of the sorry state of the American public education system from the high school and on down.

Unfortunately, the so-called new middle class will be the last ones left standing who will be responsible for paying down the rising debt and the costs of the bloated social programs created by Obama and his cohorts.

Don’t feel sorry for Obama. He will continues to enjoy his paid vacations (security details included) and pension thanks for the 53% who pay federal income taxes. The senators and Congressmen will collect their fat pensions and enjoy their health care system reserves solely for them.

Americans did it to themselves. They did it under capitalism. They have no one else to blame now that capitalism is crumbling down around them.

They will naturally merge into a socialism structure, a failed economic system if you ask me.

The dim light at the end of the tunnel will be a lower standard of living for everyone, the new middle class included.

If you don’t believe me, just look at France, England, Italy, Spain, Greece, and… Should I continue?

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100596232

 

Growth in America is History June 26, 2010

Posted by hslu in Economics, Global Affair, Politics.
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Timothy Geithner said that ‘the world can’t depend as much on US as it has in the past,’ because he knows that there won’t be any growth in US economy with so much national debt hanging over its neck; not to mention mounting annual deficits as far as eyes can see.

Is the United States on a downward slope and what does it mean to stock markets going forward?

There can only be one outcome: down!

PIGS and US National Debt May 10, 2010

Posted by hslu in Economics, Global Affair, Health Insurance, Obama, Politics.
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Everyone is talking about PIGS these days.

The PIGS countries got into trouble by borrowing too much to keep their socialist countries going. Greece’s situation is particularly worrisome and it needs an immediate financial bailout to avoid defaulting on their loans. Greece’s national deficit has soared to nearly 13% of its GDP; much higher than the 3% limit demanded by EU as a condition for Greece to join EU.

EU came up with a $146 billion rescue package in early May but the financial market got more nervous than before. Yields on these countries’ bonds soared and DJIA dropped nearly 1,000 point in a matter of minutes. Although it might be a technical glitch with respect to  circuit breakers on other exchanges in the world, it nonetheless showed the market was very nervous about the situation.

Now that EU has agreed to a $1 trillion rescue package over the weekend, it has bought some time for PIGS countries to resolve the near-term problem on a orderly fashion.

Well, the problem is not over because the debts are still there. But how much debt are we talking about? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Portugal     $286 billion                 86% of its GDP

Italy             $1.4 trillion                 118.6%

Ireland        $867 billion                78.8%

Greece          $236 billion                121.4%

Spain              $1.1 trillion                66.9%

Let me throw in the United States and see how big a hole Obama and Democrats have dug for Americans?

U.S.                 $14 trillion                  ~93%

Hmm, the United States isn’t much better than the PIGS countries because the level of debt will go up even more once national health insurance takes effect in a couple of years.

The only difference about the United States is that the US can print as much money as necessary to pay for its debts. PIGS countries can not.

The day of reckoning for the United States is coming.

National Debt of the United States November 2, 2009

Posted by hslu in Economics.
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United States owes a lot people a lot of Money

The United States is not looking very good because it owes a lot of money to a lot of people. The debt will grow bigger to as far into the future as eyes can see.

As of 2008, the national debt is estimated at 70.2% of the GDP. It will rise to 90.4% in 2009 and eventually reach 100% in 5 years (actually 99.8%.) I am willing to bet you a dollar that the percentage will exceed 100% sooner than 2014 because the government never gets its numbers right. Besides, the GDP growth rates used in the estimates may be too optimistic for years 2009 through 2014. In addition, this data does not include the public option being discussed in the Senate and House.

US Natioanl Debt as % of GDP - 1930 - 2014

With the country rapidly moving to the left under Democrats, the government will certainly grow much bigger in the next 3 years. If a year from now, the Republican Party is still too weak to challenge the sitting president, we will have 7 years of experimenting with massive social programs.

Sadly, the debt will grow through the roof and the future generations will pay through their collective noses. They have to go by with less which means lower standard of living for generations. This doesn’t include the unfunded mandates such as social security, Medicare, Medicaids and food stamps. Rest assured, the retirement and health care benefits of the congressmen and Congresswomen are included though. We don’t have to worry for them because they are being taken care of on the backs of you and I.

The US is spending about 6% of its annual federal budget on interests due to low short term interest rates. This figure will go up as economy turns around and interest rates start to rise. It is not unlikely that the US will spend as much 15 to 20% of its national budget just on interest payments alone in the future.

Since about 50% of the budget goes to entitlements, that leaves very little to education, health care, energy, social programs, transportation, foreign policy, nations building, military and national security.

What could be even more troubling to me is the socilizing of the United States will put a big dent on entrepreneurship which will slow down the driving engine behind the growth of the US in the past 100 years. With incentives taking away from people with ideas and the drive, they will take their talents to where they are treated the best, i. e., with the biggest monetary rewards like China, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan if its government and opposition party get their acts together. The brain drain will be the final nail on the coffin of a long and painful death of the United States.

 

The Crushing Debt of the United States July 5, 2009

Posted by hslu in Economics.
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The Crushing Debt of the United States

Let’s assume that you run your house’s finance like the Congress and White House running the United States in 2009. Here is what you have done so far:

Combined Household Income                     $100,000/year

Household Spending                                  $185,367/year

Guns, Knifes and ammunition                     $40,580

School                                                       $4,251

Interest on Interest only Loan                     $6,617

Borrowed from Friends and Enemies          $85,367

Owed to Friends and Enemies                   $456,000

Assets                                                      Buildings in many States

Commercial Values                                   Uncertain.

Rental Income                                          None.

Maintenance                                             My responsibilities

Utilities, Phone, Garbage, etc.                   I pay.

Residential Home Equity                          $0

Vacation Home                                        Unlikely

Gold Coins                                         $10,683

401(k)                                                     $0

Checking/Savings Account Balance            $0

Stocks, Mutual Funds, Bonds                    $0

Promise of inheritance to your kids          $261,490

Medical Expenses Guarantees                 $1,307,488

Annual Raise

2009          -14.6% (It was a tough year. But it wasn’t my fault)

2010           ~2.0%

2011+         5% or lower.More like 2.5% per year

Plan to Save in the Future                         NO. Maybe in 10 years.

Start to Pay Down Debt                           Hmm…. Eventually but not sure when.

Plan to Borrow more Money                    Why not. It has been easy.

Are you feeling much better now knowing that your house is in much better shape than that of the house of the United States? What is the ratio of your mortgage loan amount to your annual income? I hope it is lower than 4.56 times. Of course, the major difference between your house and the house of US is that the latter has a printing machine which is running 24/7 on 355 days of every year. But you have to make money the old fashion way: You earn it.

Here are some actual numbers for our Federal Government from public sources and estimates:

Income   (billion)                 ——————- 2008 (Actual)              2009 (est.)

Individual Income      —————————— $1,145.8                       $953.0

Corporate Income Taxes  ———————— $304.3                          $146.8

Other Texas    ——————————–        $174.0                         $157.7

Social Security Tax and Contribution          $900.2                        $899.2

Total              ——————————-         $2,524.3                    $2,156.7

Spending ==========================================

Defense            —————————            $729.7                       $821.7

Health Care    ——————————           $671.4                       $784.2

Pension         —————————–              $558.7                      $736.2

Welfare        ——————————              $313.4                       $395.4

Interest         ——————————            $252.8                       $142.7

Education          ——————————-       $101.9                        $91.7

Protection         ——————————        $47.1                         $53.3

Transportation   ——————————       $77.6                        $94.3

General Government    ————————–  $20.8                         $23.1

Other Spending    ——————————     $99.4                        $851.6

Total          ——————————              $2,959                     $3,997.8

Annual Deficit—————————-               $458.6                      $1,841.2

National Debt ————————–                $9,985.8                 $11,500(7/3)

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