An austerity measure is an official action taken by a government in order to reduce the amount of money that it spends on its citizens. Following the worldwide credit crisis of 2008, austerity measures became popular with high-debt governments. For countries with a high debt-to-GDP ratio, austerity measures often become a necessity. Examples of government austerity measures include an increase in the official retirement age (to reduce government retirement payments), a reduction in the number of days garbage is picked up (to reduce municipality costs), and a reduction in school days for children (to reduce government employee costs).
As it stands, the U.S. national debt has skyrocketed to above $17.4 trillion. With this year’s budget deficit expected to be around $500 billion, we’ll be at a national debt of $18.0 trillion in no time. In fact, a $30.0-trillion national debt is not out of the question by the end of the next decade.
Any way you look at these very big numbers, it is the American taxpayer who is on the hook for the years the government mismanaged finances…. Read More
In its monthly statement of receipts and outlays for the month, the Treasury Department reported that the U.S. government incurred a budget deficit of $107 billion for the month of March 2013. (Source: Department of the Treasury, April 10, 2013.) This monthly budget deficit was a result of the government spending $293 billion while only taking in $186 billion in March…. Read More
The Consumer Confidence Index tracked by the Conference Board plummeted 14% in March 2013 from the previous month. Of the respondents, 36.2% believed jobs are hard to get and only 9.4% thought there were enough jobs out there in the U.S. economy.
As consumer confidence goes the wrong way, I am seeing consumer spending edge downward. Consider core durable goods orders for February…. Read More
As mainstream economists continue to focus on the sovereignty of the smallest nation in the eurozone, Cyprus, my worries are focused on the four main economic hubs in the region.
Germany, the main economic hub in the eurozone, is hinting at an economic slowdown ahead, as the crisis in the region becomes more severe. The Ifo Business Climate Index for Germany edged lower in March…. Read More
The U.S. Department of the Treasury reported that the U.S. government incurred a deficit of $204 billion for the month of February 2013. So far, we are into the first five months of the government’s fiscal year (started October 1, 2012), and the U.S. government fiscal deficit has already grown by $494 billion. (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 13, 2013.)
The U.S…. Read More