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Debt Ceiling Redux: Government Still Sits on Too Many Assets to Default
ATR ^ | 2012-10-31 | Kyle Pomerleau

Posted on 11/01/2012 9:07:22 AM PDT by 92nina

Today, the Treasury announced that it expects the federal government to reach the debt ceiling near the end of this year. Matthew Rutherford, the assistant secretary for financial markets at the treasury said that “treasury has the authority to take certain extraordinary measures to give Congress more time to act to ensure we are able to meet the legal obligations of the United States.” This announcement corresponds with a recent letter sent to Treasury on October 15th by Senators Hatch and Sessions asking what plan the government has to prevent defaulting on its obligations. While Treasury has stated it can take "extraordinary" measure to stave off full default, if policymakers want to buy time, the answer is much simpler. With current debt standing at $16.1 trillion of the $16.3 trillion limit, we have pointed to major assets that Treasury could sell to prevent America from hitting the debt ceiling:

By selling off the government’s ownership of General Motors, the government could net $12.5 billion in savings. It could also demand that GM pay back its outstanding 30 billion in TARP funds.

Days gained on federal debt: 13

The government currently owns of 85 million acres of untapped oil and gas reserves. Income from auctioning federally-owned leases could total $61 billion

Days gained on federal debt: 20

The federal government currently owns more than 650 million acres of land- almost 30 percent of all land in the United States. Based on land values estimated on past exchanges, selling federal lands (exempting National Parks) could be worth as much as $230 billion.

Days gained on the federal debt: 75

If the federal government were to get back all the money the Department of Energy plowed into Solyndra-type loan guarantees, it would net $34 billion.

Days gained on the federal debt: 11

The federal government is estimated to hold over 900,000 buildings and structures. According to the GAO, the government consistently under utilizes or abuses its real property. Selling nonperforming real estate assets and reform federal real estate management would save at least $4 billion.

Days gained on the federal debt: 1

Total number of days gained before the debt limit must be raised: 122

Treasury could give Congress nearly 18 additional weeks to debate and reach comprehensive spending reform. Congress should use this time to shift their focus from the debt problem and refocus on the government fundamental problem: overspending.

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TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Reference
KEYWORDS: congress; debt; deficit; economy
The government is quickly approaching the debt ceiling again. What actions could Treasury take to give Congress more time for real reform?
1 posted on 11/01/2012 9:07:32 AM PDT by 92nina
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To: 92nina

Sell citizenships at >$1M each, and retire the debt.

(Controlling for foreign thieves, of course.)

Who would we get? The most productive people in the world.

2 posted on 11/01/2012 9:26:14 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (0BAMA CHOSE to watch a MUSLIM SNUFF FILM rather than a HEROIC AMERICAN RESCUE FILM)
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To: 92nina

I am very certain the government couldn not sell the land or auction the oil/gas quick enough to meet the deadline.

I also doubt that GM could cough up the cash either, and certainly the libs won’t ask.

The government won’t do a thing but raise the debt limit. The libs will try to get enough limit just to make it to the end of January so that ‘Romney will ruin the country’.

3 posted on 11/01/2012 9:27:59 AM PDT by RadiationRomeo (Step into my mind and glimpse the madness that is me)
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To: 92nina

The dirty little secret about our “debt” is that it is not all real debt. With much of the spending the government has actually purchased things which are retained: buildings, cars, bombs, ships, food, oil, condoms etc., etc.

Do we have any idea how many assets the federal government has? It owns almost the whole STATE of Nevada and large portions of almost every state, particularly in the West.

Now it is true that there is no real market for much that the government purchases i.e. aircraft carriers, subs, etc. But, still, you cannot get a real grasp of government finances unless you look at assets purchased with the debt.

Of course, none of this should be taken to mean that there have not been trillions of wasted spending over the years. Or that government should not be reduced in size and spending.

4 posted on 11/01/2012 9:30:09 AM PDT by arrogantsob (The Disaster MUST Go. Sarah herself supports Romney.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

I think a Dutch Auction every year for about 1,000,000 citizenships ought to do it.

Could we find one million people per year around the world who would part with $1M each? That would be $1 Trillion. If that were only applied to the debt, we could start paying it down.

Of course, we need to cut the living daylights out of government spending, primarily programs that cause dependency.

We could also permanently cut marginal tax rates, a proven method of increasing economic activity and therefore revenue to the treasury.

That’s my three point plan:

1) Permanently cut marginal tax rates.
2) Permanently cut welfare dependency programs.
3) Offer citizenship for cash to foreigners.

I think the economic growth caused by each of these would be so massive, we would pretty quickly run up a surplus and pay off the debt. All of it. Maybe in a decade or so.

The political price is impossibly high, though. It’s a nice pipe dream. Nobody will go for it, because it “hurts the poor, advantages the rich and foreigners.” Never mind that it would work well for everyone except Federal Bureaucrats and the Democrat Party.

5 posted on 11/01/2012 9:40:12 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (0BAMA CHOSE to watch a MUSLIM SNUFF FILM rather than a HEROIC AMERICAN RESCUE FILM)
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To: RadiationRomeo
The government can issue what amounts to currency, the value of which is the property itself. This is rather how you do it with gold. You own a pile of gold. You then issue currency payable in gold.

There have been times when the United States operated with several different sorts of currency, so this is not a real problem ~ modern computer systems should make it work much easier than in the past.

The property values used in this article are way below the actual values ~ some of the hydrocarbon reserves are in the multi-trillion dollar range!

6 posted on 11/01/2012 10:21:22 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: arrogantsob
The aircraft carrier groups could easily be used to force the payment of tribute ~ an ancient and traditional method for imperial bodies to live well!
7 posted on 11/01/2012 10:24:29 AM PDT by muawiyah
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