We are now at a point where if the U.S. government taxed Americans 100% of their income, the tax receipts generated would not be enough to balance the budget. Likewise, if the U.S. government cut 100% of its spending including defense, but kept paying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we would still have a budget deficit. NIA believes it will be impossible for the U.S. to have a balanced budget ever again.
The U.S. national debt is now $12.55 trillion of which $8.061 trillion is public debt. Due to the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates of 0% to 0.25%, interest payments on our national debt last month were only $16.9 billion, an interest rate of only 2.548% on our public debt. The reason for the spread between our 2.548% interest rate on the public debt and the federal funds rate of 0 to 0.25% is that a portion of our national debt is made up of long-term bonds at higher interest rates.
Our debt ceiling was recently raised to $14.3 trillion, which we are on track to reach in less than a year, sending our public debt up to about $10 trillion. If the Federal Reserve raises the federal funds rate up to just 2% during the next year, NIA believes the interest rate on our public debt could rise to 5% and our annual interest payments will likely rise to $500 million or 23% of projected 2010 tax receipts of $2.165 trillion.
The White House is not projecting for interest payments on the national debt to break the $500 million mark until fiscal year 2014. By then, even if we go by White House projections that the deficit will be cut to $828 billion in 2012, $727 billion in 2013 and $706 billion in 2014, in 2014 we will still be looking at a national debt of over $18.5 trillion with a public portion of around $13.14 trillion. We find it shocking that the White House is projecting an interest rate on our public debt in 2014 of only around 4%.
All of this means that the While House expects the Federal Reserve to leave interest rates at artificially low levels almost indefinitely. However, we know it will be impossible for them to do so without creating a huge outbreak of inflation in the prices of food, energy, clothing, and just about everything else Americans need to live and survive. In order to prevent hyperinflation, we need interest rates to be higher than the rate of inflation.
NIA believes the real rate of U.S. inflation to already be approximately 5%. If the Federal Reserve doesn’t raise the federal funds rate to above 5% in the short-term, in our opinion, an outbreak of double-digit inflation is inevitable. By 2014, it is possible the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise the federal funds rate up to above 10% and the public portion of our national debt could exceed $15 trillion. Therefore, in 2014 we could see the interest payments on our national debt reach $1.5 trillion, about triple what is currently being projected and 43% of the government’s projected tax receipts that year of $3.455 trillion.
NIA believes hyperinflation is possible by the year 2015. Besides the rising interest payments on our national debt, another major catalyst for hyperinflation will be social security payments, which adjust to the CPI-index. As the government’s CPI-index rises, so will the social security payments that it owes. This could cause a death-spiral in the U.S. dollar. Inflation is still the last thing on the minds of most Americans, but soon it will be their primary concern.
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