Federal Government Spending For the Next 10 Years

Economics 21 had an interesting graph in their article titled “How to Fix the $960 Billion Budget Deficit”.

Here is how federal government spending will be broken up the next ten years.

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Almost two-thirds of additional spending will be driven by entitlements, primarily Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. America’s aging population is the primary contributor to the growth of Social Security and Medicare, while the Affordable Care Act substantially expanded the scope of Medicaid.

Adding interest payments to the budget brings the total increase in the debt from mandatory spending to 85 percent. Spending is projected to grow by $2.3 trillion annually by 2024.

$43 Hot Dog

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CNBC reports as the financial elite meet at Davos for the World Economic Forum they are shelling out some hefty money to eat food. Appearently hot dogs are a big seller:

Full of global leaders, policymakers, business gurus and the odd music star, the attendees at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos aren’t short of a dollar or two. But they might well be at the end of the week — with some of the food prices around town proving to be a little hard to stomach.

At the posh Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère, a conference hotspot, even humble menu items can be astronomically pricey. A hot dog with pickles, fried onions and mustard is priced at 38 Swiss francs (about $43.50). It’s 48 Swiss francs for a chicken Caesar salad with parmesan (about $55) and a draft beer at a local restaurant – in a pint-sized glass – can cost 6.50 Swiss francs, about $7.50.

I really don’t know how this yearly meeting of financial gurus does for the world economy. Probably a lot of it is nostalgia. But you do get a lot of lecturing of how to live your life from these people. This does remind me of a story related to Walmart. One year during their annual board meeting of directors the financial numbers weren’t too hot. The meeting was getting close to lunch and board members were getting ready for a big spread. The door opened and it was a Walmart associate with bread, lunch meat and some chips. The members looked stunned and the director said [paraphrasing] “If we are losing money, that means we have to cut expenses”.

I think I’ll buy my hot dogs at Walmart.

Why Gas Prices Will Go Back Up

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As crude oil prices have collapsed over the last few months oil producers have taken notice here in the US. Once oil prices reach a certain point, oil rig operators start shutting down rigs because it cost more to run them then what it’s worth in pumping oil.

Oil tycoon Boone Pickens is a guy you want to follow on predictions in the oil market and he just came out with one reason why oil prices will likely go back up in 2015. Robert Wenzel from Economic Policy Journal pointed to this interview for reference:

Boone Pickens was on CNBC this morning and he noted that some 75 rigs have been laid down, out of a total of around 1,500 rigs operating in the US. He expects that another 500 rigs will be taken out of operation over the next few months.

This is a big swing in oil production and something that needs to be monitored along with the strength of the dollar.

Inflation Graph: Massive Price Increases Last 14 Years

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As the Federal Reserve started printing money here is a listing showing how prices took off.

H/T: Economic Policy Journal

Dutch Central Bank to US: Pound Sand

The United States Federal Reserve is not trusted and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. In plain speak, the Dutch just told them they didn’t either. Also take this news as a great investment tip to start buying gold and silver as a precautionary investment.

The Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, has repatriated in utmost secrecy 122.5 tonnes of gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to its vaults in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, according to a press release from DNB published today.

“It is no longer wise to keep half of our gold in one part of the world,” a DNB spokesman said. WOW.

Live in Luxury While the World is Burning

Whether you believe in total economic collapse, government anarchy or the climate will implode there are options out there in how to make it through tough times. Many will have to become “Daryl” in order to survive, but those with money will have another option.

Via the Wall Street Journal (I encourage to click the link for more stories of buyers)

When Tyler Allen agreed to fork over $3 million in cash for a luxury condominium near Concordia, Kan., he wasn’t attracted by the indoor swimming pool, 17-seat movie theater, or hydroponic vegetable garden.
The real selling point of the 1,820-square-foot apartment: It will be buried 174 feet underground in a decommissioned missile silo sturdy enough to withstand a nuclear attack.

Mr. Allen, a 45-year-old Orlando, Fla., sports bar and nightclub owner, insists he isn’t a “tinfoil hat-wearing” type preparing for the end of the world. Rather, he cites growing security threats—such as a global health pandemic, cataclysmic weather and terror attacks. “There’s a Camp David for the president,” he says. “If you’re at a certain level where you can afford it, you can get that, too.”

The so-called Survival Condo complex boasts full and half-floor units that cost $1.5 million to $3 million each. The building can accommodate up to 75 people, and buyers include doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs, says developer Larry Hall.

Safeguarding your home is not just a niche anymore, revenue in the this type of business field is rising.

Spending on residential security rose from $7 billion in 2001 to $12 billion in 2011, and is projected to climb above $16 billion in 2016, according to Freedonia Group, a market-research firm based in Cleveland. That covers everything from routine security devices to the kind of reinforced chambers that gained widespread attention more than a decade ago and were featured in the 2002 film “Panic Room.”

Here are some photos:
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