Saturday, October 17, 2015

funny money


So I bought a few silver eagles.  That's right...I bought some legal tender.  To be specific - I paid $19.66 per one dollar coin consisting of one troy ounce of 999 fine silver with a spot price at the time of $16.00.  They are very handsome coins considering where they come from.  My first thought was that this is one of the few things our government does really well...until I did some research.  Yes, their quality control is above par by almost all standards - but I began to think about why they go to such trouble to mint these.  Turns out they began back in 1986 as a means to try to balance the yearly federal budgets by minting their defense stockpile of silver which at the time was over 105 million troy ounces.  They have been pumping them out every year since then.  By 2002 the reserve was gone and from then on their profit margin has taken a serious hit as they now have to purchase silver on the open market to keep up with demand.  They are on schedule to produce a record 45 million silver eagles this year.  So why do they go to such trouble to make these?  Because the buck doesn't stop there.  Although they are legal tender, they do not go into circulation - rather they are collected, horded, and resold in the secondary market.  The twist to their scheme is that they tax the capital gain profit up to 28% when sold or exchanged.  Even with that, I don't believe we will ever see a balanced yearly budget again...not to mention a national debt of over 18 trillion with an additional 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities.  75,81,57,0,C

8 comments:

rj said...

Clinton had a balanced budget when he handed over the reigns to George W. Then 911 and spend spend spend in the middle east and on military contractors.

John Wells said...

The Clinton years showed the effects of a large tax increase that Clinton pushed through in his first year. It fell almost exclusively on upper-income taxpayers. Clinton’s fiscal 1994 budget also contained some spending restraints. An equally if not more powerful influence was the booming economy and huge gains in the stock markets, the so-called dot-com bubble, which brought in hundreds of millions in unanticipated tax revenue from taxes on capital gains and rising salaries.

Ronald Mahan said...

And now during the Obama years - America has an even more ballooned budget - teaching a great many people how to become reliant on Big Brother Government. Obama holds the record for achieving the greatest national debt - EVER. And I suspect our children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren will be paying for these mistakes - long after we are dead. What a legacy to leave them!

WhyR said...

Thank you,John. Yes, tax the rich and what happens- not a disaster, as Republicans warned, but a booming economy with jobs so plentiful workers to fill them could not be found. Lets do it again, only more so. Cutting taxes on the rich does not stimulate the economy, as nearly all Republicans claim. Take a look at what's happening in Kansas. Even George H W Bush knew this to be "Voodoo Economics",and that it didn't work. Yet, here it comes again, from every Republican candidate except Trump, because it benefits the only people Republicans care about- the rich.
A government's budget should not be balanced at all times, as this would hamstring monetary policy. The time for government to spend beyond its means is when the country is in a recession- get people in jobs and the deficit will be reduced.

Mr Mahan, I hope you remember what a recession the country was faced with when Obama took office- George W Bush signed the bank bailout bill; $700 billion plus added to the debt. I hope you're not blaming Obama for that. Yes, Obama added the stimulus, which should have been much larger, to do the job of getting more people in jobs quicker. Even though it was too small, the stimulus materially reduced the amount of time people were out of jobs. Not ideal, but certainly in the right direction. Right now the country's roads, bridges, infrastructure of all kinds are crumbling and falling apart- the country should borrow funds, at borrowing costs which are now at historical lows, and start projects that will PUT PEOPLE TO WORK, and thereby reduce the deficit.

John Wells said...

As long as you think it matters which party is in office, the country will continue to be doomed. It is all smoke and mirrors.

WhyR said...

It's going to be one of the two parties we have that will be in office. The parties' positions on almost any issue couldn't be more different. What the office holders do impacts all our lives in real, tangible ways. Throwing up our hands and giving up is not an option.

rj said...

What's not going to change is gun violence and mass murders, poor medical access for many, apathy and unequal education that perpetuates many of the issues. However the standard of living IS improving for the vast majority even if our social programs lag almost all industrialized countries. However, living in poverty is a totally different thing in Mexico, Central America or any third world country than is here in the US where anyone in poverty will be transported to an emergency room after they wreck their car while texting to their buddy.

Wendy E said...

Point one that most Democrats forget is that he raised taxes AND CUT SPENDING. No surprise, if you put more money towards paying your debt off and then also stop using your credit cards it will slowly get payed off. But the current Democrats were unwilling to even think of cutting spending just because they won the presidential election. which pissed off the Republicans who were already sore. They got so angry they stopped really caring about cutting the spending in any meaningful way and became absorbed in just blocking the Democrats. Who feel the same way. And now neither party is even interested in fixing anything anymore because they have been too busy trying to piss on each other for a while now.

Also Obama signed that bank bailout as well! So Yes, I am blaming him. The fact that he was in support of it, heartily in support as I recall, and was running for election. Pressured the then presidential candidate John McCain into also supporting it even though he was opposed to it before. He didn't dare play chicken while running for election... it was a no win situation. If he was right in his opposition no one would be any happier with him because of it, and if he was wrong he would look like a fool. None of them dare... and they are always running for re-election. I don't think there has been a single year without campaign adds since.

Sometimes I think man, Guy Fawkes...