NIA hasn't written about the whole debt ceiling issue over the past few weeks because in our minds it is completely irrelevant. Our elected representatives in Washington along with the mainstream media have been wasting thousands of hours of time and hundreds of millions of dollars debating a topic that has no meaning at all. The President, Senate, and House of Representatives are putting on a show to make it look like they care about cutting spending and balancing the budget. Except for a select few elected representatives like Ron Paul who care about protecting the U.S. Constitution and preserving what little purchasing power the U.S. dollar still has left, every other politician in Washington is putting on a complete charade in order to trick their constituents into believing there is a difference between the proposals from the Republicans and Democrats.
While our incompetent and corrupt mainstream media has been proclaiming there are major differences between the two bills proposed by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, NIA believes John Boehner might as well be a Democrat and Harry Reid could easily pass himself off as a Republican. There are absolutely no meaningful fundamental differences between Boehner's plan that was approved by the House of Representatives yesterday evening, before being killed by the Senate two short hours later, and Reid's bill, which was just rejected by the House today in a pre-emptive vote before the Senate even had a chance to vote on it.
Both bills are estimated to reduce the U.S. budget deficit by approximately $900 billion over the next 10 years. Of the $900 billion only about $750 billion are actual discretionary spending cuts with the rest being an expected reduction in interest payments on the national debt as a result of either bill passing. When you have an unstable fiat currency that is rapidly losing its purchasing power and could collapse at any time, it is impossible to accurately project what our budget deficits will be 5 or 6 years from now, let alone 9 or 10 years from today. As far as the next two fiscal years are concerned, both proposed bills from Boehner and Reid are estimated to only cut spending by a total of about $70 billion in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 combined.
The budget that former President Bush submitted to Congress in early-2007, projected the deficit to decline in each of the following four fiscal years. Not only did the deficit not decline the next four years in a row, but it nearly tripled in 2008 and from there more than tripled in 2009. Shockingly, Bush's budget actually projected a $61 billion surplus in fiscal year 2012, but instead we will have a budget deficit of $1.1 trillion based on President Obama's latest budget, which takes into account unrealistic GDP growth next year of 4.86%.
U.S. GDP growth for the first quarter of 2011 was just revised down yesterday by 81% from 1.91% to 0.36%. The advance estimate of second quarter GDP growth came in at 1.28%, well below the consensus estimate of 1.8%. NIA is going to really go out on a limb and predict that second quarter GDP growth will soon be revised downward as well. If this is the highest GDP growth the U.S. could muster after the Federal Reserve's $600 billion in QE2 money printing, this should prove once and for all that monetary inflation does not create real economic growth and employment.
The U.S. Treasury as of Thursday night had $51.6 billion in cash, with its cash position declining by $15.2 billion during the previous 24 hours. It expects to bring in $172.4 billion from August 3rd through August 31st in tax receipts, but is scheduled to pay out $306.7 billion during this time period for an estimated deficit of $134.3 billion. The U.S. is scheduled to make its next interest payment on the national debt on August 15th and it will equal approximately $30 billion. Over the last 9 months the U.S. has spent a total of $385.9 billion on interest payments on the national debt, which means it is on track to spend a record $514.5 billion this year on interest payments alone. Just a tiny 30 basis point increase in the interest rate on the national debt would totally wipe out the deficit reductions proposed by both Boehner and Reid.
The U.S. Treasury has been able to pay its bills in recent weeks by using many different accounting gimmicks. However, come Tuesday, there will be no more accounting tricks left to play and the U.S. won't be able to meet all of its obligations. Without a raise in the debt ceiling, the U.S. government will have to prioritize who it pays using the tax receipts coming in, which will probably include the $30 billion interest payment on the national debt (to avoid a default), $49.2 billion in Social Security payments, $50 billion in Medicare/Medicaid payments, $31.7 billion in defense payments, and $12.8 billion in unemployment benefits. With $23 billion of the $49.2 billion in Social Security payments due to be paid on August 3rd and $59 billion in t-bills due on August 4th, the U.S. Treasury's remaining cash balance could dissipate very quickly.
The 10-year bond yield reached a new 2011 low yesterday of 2.785%, its lowest level since November 30th of last year. It is approaching its record low of 2.08% from December of 2008 during the middle of the financial crisis. With threats of a U.S. debt default making headlines across the world, investors are once again rushing into U.S. bonds as a safe haven. It is almost as if the whole world has gone insane. The world is fearful of the U.S. government defaulting on its debt and not being able to pay off maturing bonds, so as a safe haven let's just all rush into the very asset that will soon be worthless due to either an honest default or default by inflation. The U.S. dollar bubble is the largest and longest running bubble in world history and U.S. bonds are currently mispriced big time.
U.S. dollar-denominated bonds should be the last asset in the world to benefit from fears of a U.S. debt default. One positive sign that NIA members are having success at spreading our message to the world is that gold reached a new all time high yesterday, rising $15 to $1,631 per ounce, with silver rising $0.31 to $40.10 per ounce. Thanks to the efforts of NIA members who worked tirelessly to spread the word about NIA's economic documentaries including 'Meltup', 'The Dollar Bubble', and 'Hyperinflation Nation', a larger percentage of the global population than ever before is educated about the global currency crisis that is ahead.
During the financial crisis of late-2008/early-2009, gold and silver prices declined along with all other assets. Today, NIA estimates that half of the world's investors seeking a safe haven are buying dollar-denominated assets like U.S. Treasuries and the other half are seeking safety in precious metals. By mid-2012, investors will most likely no longer look at U.S. bonds and other dollar-denominated assets as a safe haven. During future times of uncertainty, NIA believes that precious metals will receive nearly 100% of safe haven buying, just like the U.S. dollar received 100% of safe haven buying in late-2008/early-2009.
Once the debt ceiling is inevitably raised, the U.S. Treasury will have a lot of catching up to do in order to get its house in order, and we will likely see the largest amount of debt ever sold by the U.S. government in a single month. With QE2 having finished at the end of June, the U.S. will be relying on foreigners in these upcoming record Treasury auctions. In our opinion, we are likely going to see interest rates rise at an unprecedented rate that will shock the world.
Don't believe the mainstream media's laughable claim that there is a shortage of U.S. Treasuries. It was just reported yesterday that Cambodia, one of the most rapidly growing emerging market economies with GDP growth this year of 6.5%, is moving away from the U.S. dollar, which currently accounts for 90% of their currency in circulation, in favor of its own currency the riel. NIA believes it is only a matter of time until China ends its currency peg with the U.S. dollar. The world is flooded with trillions of dollars in U.S. Treasuries that will soon have no buyers except the Federal Reserve. There is no chance of yields falling below record lows from December of 2008.
The mainstream media has been reporting all week that if the U.S. defaults on its debt as a result of a failure to raise the debt ceiling, it will be the first time that our nation has defaulted on its debt obligations. Most NIA members know that the real U.S. debt default already occurred in 1971 when President Nixon closed the gold window and stopped allowing foreign governments to convert their U.S. dollar holdings into gold. Since then, the U.S. currency system has been completely fiat and the national debt has increased by 3,400%.
For the past 40 years, the U.S. government has been running on fumes left over from when countries were able to convert their paper U.S. dollars into gold. The price of gold has increased by 3,900% during this time period, meaning the U.S. dollar has lost 97.5% of its purchasing power. Meanwhile, the median household income has only increased by 384%. In terms of gold, the median U.S. household is earning 87.9% less income today than they did in 1971. The U.S. debt default of 1971 was many times more significant than the pending debt default, because back then our foreign creditors expected to receive real money and not a piece of paper with no real value that we print. The average American family has experienced a dramatic decline in its standard of living since 1971. The U.S. dollar and its reserve currency status is currently serving as the last thread that is keeping our "house of cards" economy propped up.
The U.S. debt ceiling is very similar to a publicly traded company's authorized shares. When a public company consistently loses money like the U.S. government does, they print new shares just like the Federal Reserve prints dollars and when its total outstanding shares reach the shares authorized, the company's Board of Directors simply raises the shares authorized, which allows it to continue issuing shares and diluting shareholders. Since 1962, the U.S. has raised its debt ceiling 74 times. Any public company that needed to raise its authorized shares 74 times would likely have seen its stock price decline by 99.99% from above $10 to below 1 penny.
NIA is strongly against an increase in the debt ceiling because there are ways for our country to stay afloat and continue operating without getting deeper into debt. The U.S. is currently supposed to have 8,133.5 tonnes of gold reserves at Fort Knox. We don't know for sure if these gold reserves still exist because the last audit of our gold reserves took place in 1954 and we had the little minor issue of our real debt default in 1971. Assuming that all of our gold is still there, this gold is worth $426.5 billion at the present time, enough to cover our U.S. government's deficit spending for almost four whole months. The U.S. government also owns valuable land, buildings, monuments, and other types of Real Estate, that could also be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Although we don't support selling all of our gold and Real Estate, if the U.S. government isn't going to implement real spending cuts that will lead to a balanced budget, we rather sell our assets than see the dollar-denominated savings and incomes of all Americans lose its purchasing power.
If we continue raising the debt ceiling and getting deeper into debt in order to pay back the debts we already have, we are defaulting on our debts through inflation. With gold at a record high of $1,631 per ounce, the market is clearly telling us that a default through inflation is coming. As the Chinese, Japanese, and our other creditors are paid back in U.S. dollars that are rapidly losing their purchasing power, they will be reluctant to increase their purchases of U.S. Treasuries in the future, which we desperately need them to do in order to fund our spending increases. With the Federal Reserve likely to become the Treasury buyer of last resort, the world will lose their confidence in the U.S. dollar and hyperinflation could potentially break out as soon as 2013.
NIA believes it is very likely that U.S. GDP will begin declining again in late-2011, which will officially put the U.S. in double-dip recession territory. In our opinion, the U.S. is still in the early stages of a hyperinflationary depression and the so-called economic recovery reported by the government and mainstream media has been completely phony and only due to misleading and manipulated economic statistics that don't factor in the real rate of U.S. price inflation. We expect Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to do everything in his power to avoid a double-dip recession at all costs.
By the end of 2011, we are confident that not only will we see QE3 under a new name, but the Fed will act to force banks to lend their $1.6 trillion in excess reserves. It is a joke that we are debating spending cuts of $70 billion over the next two years, when only very dramatic across the board spending cuts of 50% or more of the total budget will give the U.S. any hope of balancing the budget and avoiding hyperinflation. Best case scenario, if the U.S. government cuts spending by 50% or more in all areas of the budget including entitlement programs and is able to prevent hyperinflation, NIA still believes we will see the U.S. dollar lose 90% of its purchasing power this decade with the price of gold rising to above $16,000 per ounce.