This page is a portal for articles and information about various aspects of the United States economy, including:
- The various ways in which the government allocates and spends money and incurs debt
- Various economic indicators
- Certain kinds of unavoidable expenses which can be improved or worsened by government regulation
- Anything else that seems related
- budget deficit: the amount of money which the United States must borrow in order to meet the federal budget; such borrowing increases the public debt. Opposite of budget surplus.
- budget surplus: the amount of money left over in the federal budget after everything has been allocated. This money can be used to pay off the public debt. (Note: not sure if it automatically does this, or if there are other things that can be done with it.) Opposite of budget deficit.
- public debt: the amount of money owed by the United States federal government to creditors who hold US Debt Instruments. This does not include the money owed by states, corporations, or individuals, nor does it include the money owed to Social Security beneficiaries in the future. Common synonyms include: national debt, gross federal debt, U.S. government debt Creditors charge interest on the public debt, so it increases each year unless there is a budget surplus sufficient to (at least) pay off that year's interest.
- external debt: that portion of the debt of all sectors of the economy (public and private) which is owed to foreigners. Foreign ownership of the public debt is a significant part of the United States's external debt.
A budget deficit increases the public debt; a budget surplus can decrease it, but only if there is still some left over after paying off that year's interest.
- The Debt To the Penny (currently $8 trillion) from the Bureau of the Public Debt
- graph of the US budget deficit/surplus, 1961-present
- Historical Income Tables - Households 1967-2001: divides income levels into 5 groups, adds in another column for the top 5%, and shows the percentage of the total pie each income range is receiving
- 2007 mortgage financial crisis:
- Subprime lending was either the straw that broke the camel's back or perhaps just the economic warning canary
- 2014-06-11 [L..T] U.S. Budget Deficit Narrows as Economy, Jobs Boost Revenue "The U.S. posted a $130 billion budget deficit in May and the smallest shortfall for the first eight months of a fiscal year since 2008, as a stronger economy and rising employment bolster revenue."
- 2014-03-21 [L..T] Out of Work, Out of Luck
- 2013-12-30 [L..T] For Economic Stability, Follow the French "The lie is that raising income taxes on rich people and hugely profitable companies hurts economies and even leads to unemployment. The truth is that raising income taxes on rich people and hugely profitable companies actually helps economies and causes companies to hire more and more people, thus lowering unemployment."
- 2013-09-17 [L..T] The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?
- 2012-12-29 [L..T] Chris Hedges Explains How Entire Regions Within the US Are Treated Like Exploited Colonies a recent interview conducted with Chris Hedges surrounding his latest book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.
- 2011-07-24 [L..T] JP Morgan Tells Investors Why Middle Class Americans Are Screwed
- 2011-07-14 [L..T] What Everyone Is Missing in the Debt Ceiling Debate
- 2011-07-13 [L..T] 5 Disastrous Consequences Of A Debt Ceiling Meltdown 1. Fed gov will have to cut back payments for services. 2. ...which will cause "real people" to be hurt. 3. ...which will hurt the economy. 4. ...and raise interest rates significantly. 5. It will actually increase the deficit more than would raising the debt ceiling in a timely manner -- assuming the ceiling is eventually lifted.
- 2011-07-12 [L..T] headline::Effort in Senate to Close Offshore Tax Havens
- 2011-06-01 [L..T] Overworked America: 12 Charts That Will Make Your Blood Boil "Why "efficiency" and "productivity" really mean more profits for corporations and less sanity for you."
- 2008-07-07 [L..T] Presidential economics: Do parties matter? some historical data on economic performance by political party
- 2008-06-25 [L..T] Money for Nothing “The Bear Stearns people dismissed my questions with ill-concealed contempt. Their computer models told them that home prices wouldn't fall much and that few people would default on their loans, barring another Depression. .. About the same time, Richard Bitner, the co-owner of a small subprime mortgage bank in Dallas, was coming to a different conclusion. Mr. Bitner wasn't relying on mathematical formulas. He was dealing with actual subprime borrowers...” The article is a review of Bitner's book Confessions of a Subprime Lender.
- 2008-03-07 [L..T] Freedom Means Responsibility “Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating behavior. Much paternalist scrutiny has recently centered on personal economics, including calls to regulate subprime mortgages.” McGovern's point about pay-day lending seems related to the point others have made about outsourcing: the terms (be that interest or wages) may seem completely abusive by our standards, but may seem a godsend (or at least far better than the alternatives) to those who choose them.
- 2007-12-26 [L..T] [[2007-12-26 Bush's very good year|]] “Against all odds, and despite the usual drumbeat of criticism, President Bush had a very good year. .. The troop surge in Iraq is succeeding. America remains safe from terrorist attacks. And the Goldilocks economy is outperforming all expectations.”
- 2004-02-20 [L..T] Soldier for the Truth: Exposing Bush's talking-points war The neocons had three reasons for the US to invade Iraq: (1) sanctions were working, not leaving US companies in a favored position for doing business in Iraq; (2) the US needed a location for military bases; (3) the US needed to ensure that oil would continue to be traded in dollars.
- 2006-12 Wealth, Income, and Power: some data about wealth and income distributions; debunks the idea that highly-paid CEOs are merely getting the price set by a fair market competing for their services
- 2006-09-19 THE LOW POST: Your Tax Dollars at Work by Matt Taibbi
the economy vs. the majority party
- 2006-03-21 Are Republicans or Democrats Better for the Stock Market? by Jeremy Siegel, Ph.D.
- 2004-01-22 Surprise: Dems are better for rallies by Alexandra Twin, CNN/Money Staff Writer: "Despite 'market friendly' Republican policies, stocks rise more and volatility dips under Democrats."
News & Views
- 2007-12-21 video Death Of The Dollar: Paul Craig Roberts and others discuss the ill health and possible demise of the dollar.
- 2007-10-20 At the Edge of a Nightmare Scenario: SIVs Pose Risks for Money-Market Funds by Robert Wallach: "The financial world has never experienced a 'bank run' on the entire money market industry, but with markets in general spooked and even WSJ stating that it is impossible to determine how much exposure a money market fund has to SIV problems, delicate is by no means an overstatement of the current situation."
- 2007-10-19 Dow Closes Down 366 Points; All Major US Indexes Down More Than 2%, on the 20th anniversary of Black Monday, no less
- 2007-10-01 Wall Street Rallies Into Record Territory: "Stock markets rallied into record territory today as investors bought back into the banking and housing sectors, a sign that Wall Street could see an end to the summer’s subprime housing woes and a lower risk of recession."
- 2007-09-29 35K state workers get layoff notices: "Thirty-five thousand state workers were told to stay home from work Monday as Michigan's budget crisis intensified and a partial government shutdown loomed ever closer."
- 2007-09-28 US headed for housing depression: "American homebuilders are now holding more than 8 months supply of built but unsold houses on their books (and remember these are new and completed new homes: the figures for existing homes will be out in the next day or so)."
- 2007-09-07 Are The Banks In Trouble? by Mike Whitney
- The day the stock markets saw red: increasingly bad signs in the US markets are an echo of global economic trouble. "In the US, it was the worst week for the stock market in nearly five years, the S&P 500 index dropping almost 5 per cent." – although to read CNN, you'd never know it.
- Flippers fuel foreclosures: "Real estate speculators drove prices up in some of the hottest markets during the boom. Now they're making foreclosures jump."
- 2007-08-14 Helicopter Ben Releases Dollar Hyperinflation by Webster Tarpley
- 2007-08-10 Markets dragged down by credit crisis: "Global stock markets fell today, in a mass sell-off stemming from the subprime mortgage financial crisis in the United States."
- 2007-08-08 American Home Mortgage Gets Bankruptcy Court OK: "Fundamentally, it is a wasting asset. It's diminishing over time. This asset is shrinking as each day goes by. We're asking to be able to sell this business in short order," said James Patton, an attorney with the law firm of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, which is representing bankrupt American Home Mortgage.
- 2007-07-31 Global credit crisis fuels stock market turmoil
- 2007-07-30 U.S. foreclosures rise 58 percent in first half of 2007, data firm reports
- 2006-03-03 Current Budget Projections (Congressional Budget Office): HTML PDF
- 2005-10-14 US budget deficit shrinks in 2005: "Despite falling from 2004's record $412bn figure, the federal deficit for the fiscal year ending last month was still the third highest on record."
- 2004-12 The US Budget Deficit: On an Unsustainable Path (most of article is in PDF form)
- 2004-10-14 U.S. budget deficit expands to $412.5 billion
- 2004-02-02 Does the US budget deficit matter? (analysis by Steve Schifferes, BBC News Online economics reporter)