Craig Steiner, u.s.
Common Sense American Conservatism
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New U.S. commitments to the International Monetary Fund are setting off a fracas at home, with the White House muscling congressional scorekeepers to show a minimal impact on taxpayers and on the administration's own budget...
What this amounts to is the Obama administration arguing that sending $108 billion to the IMF is essentially like transferring $108 billion from "our" bank to the IMF's "bank" but that it's still our money. In reality, it isn't. According to the IMF:
The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. Holders of SDRs can obtain these currencies in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, through the arrangement of voluntary exchanges between members; and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions.
So the U.S. Government sending $108 billion to the IMF amounts to borrowing $108 billion from the public (or Federal Reserve), increasing our national debt by $108 billion, and sending that money to the IMF and we get something that's not a currency nor a claim on the IMF, nor which can readily converted back into dollars on demand.
What the Obama administration wants is for that $108 billion that the government borrows to not be counted against the administration's deficit even though it will cause the national debt to go up by $108 billion.
This simply reinforces what I wrote in the Clinton Surplus Myth and government accounting articles: There are so many sketchy accounting tricks that have been played by politicians over the years to make their deficits look smaller, the "official CBO deficit" no longer reflects reality.
The only way we can determine the real deficit is to look at the national debt. If the national debt went up there was a deficit. If it went down there was a surplus. It's really that simple.
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