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Current Events & Trends: Washington's budget impasse: the overlooked significance

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Washington's budget impasse: the overlooked significance

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Thankfully, Niall Ferguson picked up on the real problem, which is overlooked, writing an article in The Wall Street Journal titled "The Shutdown Is a Sideshow. Debt Is the Threat" (Oct. 4, 2013).

He stated: "In the words of a veteran investor, watching the U.S. bond market today is like sitting in a packed theater and smelling smoke. You look around for signs of other nervous sniffers. But everyone else seems oblivious." The analogy seems obvious.

He continued: "Yet, entertaining as all this political drama may seem, the theater itself is indeed burning. For the fiscal position of the federal government is in fact much worse today than is commonly realized.

"As anyone can see who reads the most recent long-term budget outlook—published last month by the Congressional Budget Office, and almost entirely ignored by the media—the question is not if the United States will default but when and on which of its rapidly spiraling liabilities." Ever-increasing spending on growing entitlements remains a very big part of the overall debt problem.

Ferguson concluded his article with, "Hey, does anyone else smell something burning?" (Source: The Wall Street Journal.)