Daily US Deficit For 2/4/2013

The US Daily Surplus for 2/1/2013 was $3.4B, bringing the monthly deficit down to $54B after last Friday’s $58B blowout. The charts look a little screwey today, but it is early and there are too many timing issues to count battling it out. Perhaps most interesting is that as of yesterday, we have no debt limit… at least until May 19th. I expected a flood of debt to flow back onto the balance sheet…around $100B or so, but debt only increased $41B. I’ll chalk it up to timing for now…we shall see.
In other news, the CBO released an updated 10 year budget outlook today projecting an $845B deficit for fiscal 2013. I have to assume they have much better information and more time than I do. It’s not a crazy number, but it does seem a bit optimistic. With 4 months in the books, we are averaging a $4B per month improvement over last fiscal year’s $1.092T cash deficit. At this pace, they won’t make it, but admittedly, the tax increases that kicked in last month should help. I believe that for the calendar year, I projected $1T, +/- $100B. Just for fun, let’s see who is better at this…a bureaucracy with a huge staff, or a guy with a ruler. I haven’t done a formal fiscal year forecast, but I don’t mind throwing a dart. There are 8 months left, so lets just assume that revenues increase $20B per month and outlays increase $10B over last year. That would give us a $10B pickup per month and land us right under $1T. For what it’s worth, I’m rooting for the CBO.2013-02-04 USDD

Daily US Deficit For 2/1/2013

The US Daily Deficit for 2/1/2013 was $57.7B…off to a roaring start due to the timing of outlays and the start of tax refund season. In all of January a mere $672M of refunds were issued to individuals, compared to $3.973B last Friday alone. If this February is similar to last, we can expect another $130B of refunds to go out over the next 18 business days. As usual, it is going to take a few weeks for the timing issues to work their way out of the data, so hang on!! **Chart Titles should read February** Whoops!!

2013-02-01 USDD

Daily US Deficit For 1/31/2013

The US Daily Deficit for 1/31/2012 was 4.8B, bringing the January total to $32.4B, $20B less than January 2012. Revenues increased $33B, 15B from increased withholding, $12B from increased nonwithholding payments, with the remaining coming from miscellaneous other sources. Note that due to the delay in the tax filing date 8 days to 1/30/2013, tax refunds, which I net against receipts, were $9B lower than last year.

Outlays Increased $13B over last year, with increases pretty much across the board with the exception of interest which was down $8B from $19B to $11B. Looks to be a timing issue, where 12-2011 payments were shifted into 1-2012, spiking last years Jan interest payments. The difference, $20B is the improvement over 2012. Will the improvement be sustainable? February will give us a good idea, but I don’t think we will really know until May when tax season is over.

If anyone remembers, at the beginning of the month I predicted a deficit of $10B, so I missed it by$22B…a substantial improvement over last months $50B miss. Looking ahead, last February had $80B of revenues (net of refunds) and 329B of outlays for a deficit of $249B. I could see next month going either way. I’ll just stick with last year’s number and hang on for what could be a wild ride.2013-01-31 USDD

Daily US Deficit For 1/30/2013

2013-01-30 USDD

The US Daily Surplus for 1/30/2013 was $0.1B. Just looking at last year, we have a big interest payment due 1/31 in the $10-15B range, so we will probably have a deficit in the same ballpark. I’ll post a short Jan update tomorrow, then hopefully a longer post next week…

Windows 8 Update 1/31/2013

In short…I no longer despise Windows 8. I don’t love it, and I probably never will, but I don’t hate it. In about a week, I have figured out how to more or less do everything I could before. The saving grace is the “Desktop”…a feature hidden under about a hundred useless apps that come pre-“pinned” to the new start page. So after I unpinned all but about 15 things, I discovered the desktop…which is pretty much like windows 7, less the start button. I will be spending 95% of my time there. I usually have 10-20 windows open at a time, and I don’t know how to do that any other way to do this in Windows 8.
I know that Microsoft is attempting to provide a unified experience with Windows 8 across all platforms, but what perhaps they are forgetting is that I use different devices for different things. No phone or tablet will ever replace my PC for “work”..including blogging. I need a big desk, a comfy chair, a couple of huge monitors, plus a keyboard and mouse to work. I can barely stand working in excel on a 16” laptop. Doing it on a 9″ touchscreen tablet is never going to happen. You can miniaturize everything else, but don’t try to shrink my display, my keyboard, or my mouse…they are just fine thanks!!. That said…Windows 8…outside of the “desktop view” looks pretty, but it doesn’t use space efficiently. I have a 27″ monitor for a reason…so I can have a ton of things open at the same time without scrolling. Windows 8…perhaps so it can be used on multiple touch screen platforms does not seem to realize this. Sorry, but I don’t need a gigantic excel icon…I’m not trying to teach a grizzly bear how to use a touch screen.
Just for kicks I did one simple speed test. I have one particularly large database in Access. The single table has about 5M rows and is 1.6GB. I lined up a 2 year Windows 7 old laptop with 4GB of memory with the new Windows 8 laptop, also with 4GB of memory. I closed everything else, and pushed the enter button simultaneously. The tables opened within a fraction of a second of each other… after a few minutes of processing.. so performance where I need it is about identical…no complaints here.
Anyway…it’s certainly not worth upgrading too, but thanks to the new hipsters at Microsoft, you’ll  be forced to make a change in 3 or four years when your laptop finally dies. It’s an annoyance…change for the sake of change, but you’ll quickly adapt.  If I were a teenage girl, perhaps I could appreciate the beauty of Windows 8 more than I do, but alas…that ship sailed a long time ago. To me, Windows 8 is like a new coat of paint on a dirty old work truck….It was fine before so what’s the point?