3/15/2013 Daily US Cash Deficit

The US Daily Cash Surplus for 3/15/2013 was $17.7B, driven, as expected by $21.5B in corporate tax revenues. It wasn’t exactly a blowout, but for the month Corporate Tax deposits are running $2B over last year. If we compare fiscal year to fiscal year through 5.5 months, there is an 11% improvement…but, this is only $12B, so the magnitude isn’t really enough to move the needle much, and the rate of growth seems to be slowing….more on that another day.

2013-03-15 USDD

Looking at the charts, we can see that net revenues are still down and outlays are flat, for a $14B higher deficit than last year through 15 days. With corporate taxes behind us, absent some big surprises, it is looking more likely that the March 2013 deficit will come in under last year’s $139B due to month end timing of outlays. 3/30/2012 had about $45B in outlays ($10B is a typical uneventful day). ~$15B I am certain will not go out until 4/1 this year…Another $16B is Medicare outlays…I don’t know where that one will end up, so that’s $16B of uncertainty right from the beginning…I’ll just say that anywhere between $115B and $139B is looking likely, though timing of some large outlays could easily swing it either way.

Obama: Debt Sustainable for 10 years???

Here’s the full quote:

“We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.”

Oh my… I have a theory maybe I will expand upon someday, but the gist is this…Homo-Sapian, for some reason has evolved in a way that the vast majority of us are just atrocious accountants…period. I’m not bragging…I’m an atrocious engineer, artist, mechanic, photographer….plus a couple hundred thousand other things that I’m just plain bad at… So I state this as a fact…Perhaps 1-2% of the population is born with the genetic tools necessary to be a decent accountant.

The President, and probably all but half a dozen or so in congress clearly lack those tools, which goes pretty far in explaining how the heck we went about accumulating $17T in debt….and can still look at a camera with a straight face and say…well, you know, in my expert opinion, we have another decade or so to figure this one out.

Ladies and gentlemen….I have some news for you….in another decade, at this pace, the debt is going to damn near double again…to around $30T. As an Uncertified Public Accountant with a mediocre skill set I have a really hard time believing a) we make it that far, or b) that we have time…even if our President realized there was a problem, to fix it. Truth is, we probably crossed that bridge at least a few years ago.

As such, it is now inevitable that on and off balance sheet liabilities will be defaulted on in the not so distant future. Social Security and Medicare will be at a minimum receive haircuts in one way or another….benefits will be decreased, retirement ages will rise, and the ability for individuals to force the public to pay millions in end of life care in their quest for immortality will stop. Same goes for Government and Military pensions. The debt itself will also be defaulted on, either outright a-la Greece, or perhaps more likely, simply be inflated away as real inflation hits double digits while the clowns at the BLS continue to print CPI at 2% or less.

I won’t predict a time frame…it could happen tomorrow or it could happen a decade from now… What is certain is that it will happen…on that the math is crystal clear. With this not so surprising quote from the president, we are now assured that we as a country are incapable of even recognizing we have a problem, much less making the painful steps required to right the ship. The first rule of holes is to stop digging…instead, we are bringing in the heavy equipment. I will note that I am not expecting the apocalypse, the collapse of society, or even a Ron Paul presidency…just change as a new acceptance of reality sets in and people stop believing in the economic fairy tales that have been written in the last 75 years. The time to short tulips has finally arrived!!

3/14/2013 Daily US Cash Deficit

The US Cash Deficit for 3/14/2013 was $1.3B bringing the March Deficit through 14 days to $88B.

2013-03-14 USDD

 As expected, corporate taxes started trickling in…$4B, but 3/15 should bring a lot more…in the $20B range if last year is a guide. I wouldn’t be concerned about it yet, but through 14 days, 3/2013 is $2B under 3/2012 on corporate tax receipts…could easily just be timing. Other than that, the 3/2013 deficit is $20B over 3/2012 due to 2012 revenues from TARP and GSE MBS that have dropped off in 2013. Tax deposits are up by $6B, but this has been offset by a $6B increase in tax refunds. Outlays are pretty much flat.

3/13/2013 Daily US Cash Deficit

The US Cash Deficit for 3/13/2013 was $13.7B bringing the March Deficit through 13 days to $86B.

2013-03-13 USDD

This is getting interesting…13 days in, and 2013 has a $23B higher deficit, including $16B in lower revenues? At first I thought maybe I had a data error…but no…the numbers are correct, I just overlooked one more revenue source from last year…TARP…that has fallen off a cliff. Last year, through 13 days, Tarp had pulled in about $12B of cash. 2013…only $1B. So between TARP, the GSE MBS Income, and increased tax refunds (delayed from February), that’s about $30B of negative YOY revenue variances….offset by about $14B of higher tax deposits thanks to the tax increases and higher employment. We can chalk most of the higher cost up to timing of SS payments….that will sync back up tomorrow.
I won’t say it is likely yet, but it is certainly looking possible that the 3 month streak of YOY improvement gets broken, even with some favorable cost variances at the end of the month. The variables to keep an eye on are tax refunds and tax deposits…If we continue to see improvement in tax deposits, including corporate taxes we’ll see by next week, the streak could hold on for another month. If, however, tax refunds continue to outpace last year, growing from $10B delta to $20-$30B…that’s going to be tough to overcome.

 

3/12/2013 Daily US Cash Deficit

The US Cash Deficit for 3/12/2013 was $7.1B bringing the March Deficit through 12 days to $73B.

2013-03-12 USDD

Hmm… As expected, the GSE MBS Purchase Program Income payment of $10B counted in 2012 revenue has not come through again for 2013, resulting an a pretty big swing from yesterday’s YOY. Other than that, the two years are about as aligned as they are going to be until the end. Costs are flat and excluding the GSE income, we are pretty flat on revenue….increases in tax revenues are being offset by increased refunds. I am still expecting a YOY improvement…March 2012 had about $25B of April Payments pulled into 3/31 due to the way the weekend fell….2013 will not have this issue…those payments will go out 4/1, resulting in a favorable YOY timing issue that will work itself out in April. We still have a lot of days left in March, but through 12 days, we definitely are not seeing huge improvements YOY, or any improvement….which is going to be necessary if we are ever going to  materially break through this $1T per year deficit paradigm.