DEFICIT BOOMS

Trump Hits A New High-Water Mark: The Biggest Federal Deficit In 6 Years

The federal deficit has soared 17 percent in the president’s first fiscal year.

President Donald Trump likes to boast that he’s breaking records with the latest low unemployment figures. Here’s another record for his administration: The 2018 federal deficit hit the highest level of the last six years.

The deficit jumped 17 percent (or by $113 billion) to $779 billion at the end of Trump’s first fiscal year, according to final figures released Monday by the Treasury Department. That’s mostly due to the massive corporate tax cut that slashed rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, choking revenue for spending, which climbed 3 percent. Much of that was a hike in defense spending and money to pay interest on the climbing federal debt, CNN reported.

The U.S. government’s $523 billion in interest payments to service its debt in 2018 — the highest ever — was more than the entire economic output of Belgium this year, Bloomberg reported.

Corporate tax collections in the U.S. fell 22 percent, or $76 billion, in the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

The total federal debt — which combines annual deficits — was 78 percent of the nation’s entire gross domestic product in June. It hasn’t been that large a percentage since World War II.

Trump promised the tax cuts would pay for themselves by boosting business, which would produce more taxes. But that hasn’t yet happened. The Trump administration estimates that the deficit will increase to $1.09 trillion in the next fiscal year.

The federal government usually increases spending — and deficits — to boost a faltering economy — such as during the 2008 recession triggered by the subprime mortgage and banking crisis. But the economy was already in a strong recovery when Trump moved into the White House, and he still boosted the deficit.

“By cutting taxes in 2017 when the economy was already quite strong, Congress and the administration not only missed a golden opportunity to begin to address the fiscal problem, they actually made the problem worse,” William Gale, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told CBS News.

The GOP had traditionally been the party that battled for a balanced federal budget.

Giant panda no longer Endangered

Animal lovers rejoice! The Giant Panda is no longer an endangered species.

The large Chinese bears have spent years as a dying breed, with many zoologists predicting their extinction to be imminent. Various environmental factors and their apparent unwillingness to procreate in captivity led many to assume that the end was near for the big cute beasts. But not so. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) were thrilled to announce the news that The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had downgraded the threat level. Giant Pandas are no longer an ‘endangered’ species. They are, instead, now listed as only a ‘vulnerable’ breed.

Incessant deforestation had been a major player in their woes, but it seems as though the combined and concerted efforts of so many people and organizations is now paying off.

Giant Pandas have been reclassified as ‘vulnerable’.

WWF Director General Marco Lambertini was ecstatic when he told the media this:
“For over 50 years, the giant panda has been the globe’s most beloved conservation icon as well as the symbol of WWF. Knowing that the panda is now a step further from extinction is an exciting moment for everyone committed to conserving the world’s wildlife and their habitats.”
“The recovery of the panda shows that when science, political will and engagement of local communities come together, we can save wildlife and also improve biodiversity,” he went on.

There has been 17% charted rise in the population of Giant Pandas in the decade up to 2014. That was when a nationwide census in China found that there were 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild.

There are now 67 active panda reserves in China, which look after and monitor almost two thirds of all the wild pandas in the country.

“It is a significant conservation success following years of enormous efforts on the part of the Chinese Government, communities and non-governmental organisations,” said Glyn Davies, the Executive Director of Global Programmes at WWF-UK.
“This is a cause for celebration and proves that a united approach can bring a substantial difference to threatened species, even at a time of great economic growth in China.”

 

Provided the bamboo forests there stay intact, there’s no reason why the Giant Panda can’t be with us for some time…

Find out a little more about this brilliant news in this CNN report: