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.

image

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.

Community Colleges Produce Poor Results

image

In the President’s State of the Union tonight he will unleash another signature plan of throwing money at something. This one is “Free Education” at two year community colleges. That will be a terrible idea and Cato Institute explains why:

Take completion rates. According to the federal Digest of Education Statistics, only 19.5 percent of first-time, full-time students at two-year public schools finish their programs within 150 percent of the time they are slated to take. So less than 20 percent finish a two-year degree within three years, or, say, a 10-month certificate program within 15 months. And that rate has fallen even since 2000, when 23.6 percent of students completed.

That statistic doesn’t change much when you account for student transfers. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, only 20 percent of community college students transfer to four-year institutions. Four years later, 72 percent of those have completed their degree or remain enrolled. That inches the success rate to roughly 34 percent.

For profit two year programs come with a steeper cost, but more people flock to them then community colleges.

Given the wide price difference, you would expect for-profit schools to be getting their lunch eaten by already dirt-cheap community colleges. They haven’t been. Between 1990 and 2010, for-profit colleges saw much faster enrollment growth than community colleges; 179 percent compared to 44 percent. Why?

There are many reasons, but one seems to be that for-profits are more responsive to students’ needs and desires than community colleges. They appear to offer more flexible scheduling, better focused training and superior student services. They can charge more in part because they provide a better service.


Cato’s write up is in depth and also tackles “the fraud” issue as well. Take a look at the rest of it here.

President Obama’s Coming Budget Showdown

image

With President Obama having a disastrous 4 years of losing Democrats in the House and Senate, he will now have to face his opponents in the federal budget ring. The media and his supporters have given him a pass on not getting a budget implemented in the last six years. This year will be different with the House/Senate being revamped with budget conscious members.

Rebecca Shabad at TheHill.com has an excellent timeline of what the President faces in the next coming months regarding the 2016 budget. I suggest taking a look at the article for the detailed write up after each date listed.

February 2: Obama’s budget deadline

February 27: DHS funding runs out

March 15: Debt limit suspension expires

April 1: GOP budget resolution?

September 30: Shutdown deadline

October 1: Fiscal 2016 begins

Obamacare & 7 Eleven

7 eleven

Via thehill.com

ObamaCare ads will now appear on 7-Eleven receipts at more than 7,000 stores nationwide as government health officials expand their outreach in the second year of healthcare sign-ups.

Information about ObamaCare sign-ups will appear on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new partnership with the tech start-up PayNearMe on Thursday at a store in Washington, D.C.

“Putting these reminders at the bottom of PayNearMe receipts will help get health coverage information into the hands of traditionally hard-to-reach consumers,” HHS wrote in a statement.
The partnership will help HHS “reach financially underserved and other cash-preferring consumers,” the statement reads.

How the Federal Government Sells it Debt

image

In the United States, the federal government not having enough money for spending is the new normal. One thing that never gets discussed is how the government sells its debt in the form of “bonds”.

What may surprise many is that banks and other financial institutions  do it for the government and they are called “Primary Dealers”. Once the government has a certain amount to sell, these dealers take it to market and sell it. Here is the list of dealers:

Bank of Nova Scotia, New York Agency
BMO Capital Markets Corp.
BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
Barclays Capital Inc.
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
Jefferies LLC
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC
Nomura Securities International, Inc.
RBC Capital Markets, LLC
RBS Securities Inc.
SG Americas Securities, LLC
TD Securities (USA) LLC
UBS Securities LLC

So next time you hear a politician claim banks or financial institutions are evil, they are the ones selling the debt to help that same politician in their spending addiction.

2015 Fiscal Year For U.S. Government Starts Today

The United States federal government starts a new fiscal year today. The President proposed a budget in March but has not worked with the Senate or House in finalizing an actual budget. U.S. federal government spending will occur through later appropriations legislation that is signed into law.

Here’s a snapshot of 2015 proposed spending and tax revenues from the President. Deficits and debt still accumulate at an historical rate.
image

Year To Date Federal Government Deficit $460 Billion

The United States Treasury just released up to date tax revenue collection relating to 2014 fiscal government budget. 2014 government budget ends in September.
CSN News provides a more detailed analysis:

Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $2,469,178,000,000 for the first 10 months of the fiscal year this July, but the federal government still ran a $460,450,000,000 deficit during that time, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.
After the current fiscal year, the second highest federal tax intake in the first 10 months of a fiscal year occurred in the first 10 months of fiscal 2007, when the government collected $2,432,115,460,000 in 2014 dollars – or $37,062,540,000 less than in the first 10 months of this fiscal year.

The total dollar amount already spent by the government stands at $2,929,628,000,000.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Early Indicator of “Obamacare”

obama healthcare

When Congress passed another healthcare plan designed to “help” the American people it had widespread implications. The bill has thousands of pages of not just law, but also regulations written after the bill was passed.

One of the programs within the bill for the HHS(Health & Human Services) agency to begin implementing right away was a “High Risk Pool” for people with already pre-existing conditions. I have been following this program for awhile now in the press. Here is the short version of what the program was created to do. Five Billion dollars was set aside to assist people with already pre-existing conditions until the full bill was implemented. Projections were to sign up anywhere from 350,000-500,000 people. Now the stats are out and should give many pause in seeing how costs of the total health care program will affect the United States government overall spending of this bill down the road.

Investors.com reported on April 10,2013:

ObamaCare funded the PCIP with $5 billion to cover patients with pre-existing conditions from 2010 to 2014. Less than a third of the people HHS projected would enroll in the plan actually signed up for the coverage. Yet despite the low enrollment, the plan is broke. In fact, it started running out of money at the beginning of this year, which means it busted its budget a full year ahead of projections. In a 2012 report, HHS conceded that it had miscalculated (though not until page 11 of its 15-page report): “On average, the PCIP program has experienced claims costs 2.5 times higher than anticipated.”

So what were the estimated numbers in 2010 for this one small program within the bigger healthcare plan? Here is a breakdown from the Heritage Foundation:

In 2010, the Obama Administration estimated that 375,000 people would enroll in the PCIP. But as of January 2013, over two-and-a-half years since the plan began, only 107,139 were enrolled—less than 29 percent of original projections.

Not only did costs skyrocket, but major changes to the program recipients as well:

In addition to suspending enrollment, CMS made major benefit adjustments in an effort to control program costs—mainly by increasing enrollee cost-sharing requirements. These changes included the consolidation of three plan options into one, increased co-insurance, and increased maximums for out-of-pocket costs (a 56 percent increase for in-network services and a 42 percent increase for out-of-network services).

This is not unexpected. History is filled with facts to teach us present day Americans about the fallacy of “Government Healthcare Programs” but we always choose the divine providence of “The Government” when it comes to social experiments. In the same article quoted above, they also had this historical data to show us the coming cost explosion from previous healthcare experiments:

In 1965, the Johnson administration figured Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990. Its actual cost was $110 billion. Now it’s almost $600 billion and climbing.

Washingtontimes.com had these historical numbers on November 18,2009:

In 1965, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance program of Medicare – the federal health care program for the elderly and disabled – would cost $9 billion by 1990. The actual cost that year was $67 billion. In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee said the entire Medicare program would cost $12 billion in 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was $98 billion.

Once 2014 kicks in which is full implementation of the law itself, we unfortunately will be on the side of waiting to see costs explode. Not only that aspect, but HHS will probably start changing rules once people have signed contracts for health insurance. Constantly changing rules is part of having “Centrally Planned” programs by the government.

Like I said, we unfortunately will have to wait and see.