But let’s get back to the matter at hand.
Obama’s budgets added more debt in just three years than Bush did in eight. So now we’ve jacked the “mortgage” up to $15,000,000,000,000. Meanwhile, the Fed has kept interest rates even lower these last three years than it did during the Naughts. As a result, our mortgage payments have remained pretty low, considering the size of the debt.
Some, like Paul Krugman, will tell you it’s actually irresponsible not to run up more debt while rates are this low.
Here’s the problem: Obama has continued Bush’s shameful policy of financing our long-term spending problem with short-term Treasuries. We’ve racked up trillions in new debt, which must be refinanced each and every two or three years.
This year alone, we must re-fi $2,800,000,000,000 of existing debt, on top of the $1,000,000,000,000 or so of new debt we’ll tack on to the total.
But, hey, rates are low! Right?
For how long will they remain low? That’s the devil in the details.
The Fed has pumped trillions of free money into the system, to keep the economy buoyant. It’s done so largely by buying up debt from the Treasury to finance the spending orgy. Now, eventually, the economy will pick back up and the Fed will have to sell off all those Treasuries.
Why? Why can’t Ben Bernanke just keep the Treasuries under his mattress?
Well, when you have extra billions of dollars floating around during normal economic times, you end up with inflation. When you have trillions of extra dollars out there, and trillions more in deficit spending, you end up with hyperinflation. So Bernanke’s plan is this:
• Keep buying up Treasuries until he gets the desired stimulus (I know, I know) and the economy is growing again and people are working again.
• Then sell those Treasuries back to any willing buyers in order to suck those extra trillions back out of circulation.
Presto, change-o — Bernanke turns a $15,000,000,000,000 problem around on a dime. The money goes out, the money comes in, and Bernanke the Magnificent saves the world.