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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: October 25th, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING – From Friday 3/13/20 (the day President Trump declared a national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic) through the close of trading last Friday 10/22/21, the S&P 500 has gained +72.0% (total return), an annualized return of +40.0% during the pandemic. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation.  It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).
  1. JUST FIVE SURPLUS YEARS – The budget deficit for the United States in fiscal year 2021 (i.e., the 12 months that ended 9/30/21) was $2.772 trillion. The US has run a budget deficit in 56 of the last 61 fiscal years, i.e., 1961-2021.  The only surplus years were 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 (source: Treasury Department).
  1. BACK IN TIME – The cover story for Time Magazine on 3/05/84 was “That Monster Deficit, America’s Economic Black Hole.” The article, written by Charles Alexander, chronicled how the nation’s projected 1984 budget deficit threatened to derail the United States’ economic recovery.  The just released fiscal year 2021 budget deficit of $2.772 trillion is 15 times the size of the fiscal year 1984 budget deficit of $185 billion (source: Time Magazine).
  1. DIFFERENT – The United States and China use different methodologies to report the quarterly change in the size of their respective economies. The US reported +6.7% growth during the 2nd quarter 2021 while China reported +7.9% growth over the same quarter.  However the US calculated the change in the size of its economy from 3/31/21 to 6/30/21, then annualizes that quarterly result, i.e., +1.63% quarter-to-quarter change, raised the 4th power equals +6.7%.  China takes the size of its economy as of 6/30/21 and compares it to the size of its economy as of 6/30/20, i.e., a “year-on-year” calculation that resulted in +7.9% growth (source: BTN Research).
  1. DOUBLE IN THIRTY YEARS – It would take $1,999 in September 2021 to have the same purchasing power as $1,000 in September 1991 (source: CPI Inflation Calculator, Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  1. THE MOST PAID – The maximum Social Security benefit paid to a worker retiring at full retirement age in 2022 is $3,345 per month, more than double the $1,660 per month maximum benefit paid 20 years earlier in 2002 (source: Social Security).
  1. NOT ALL INCOME – The maximum taxable wage base subject to the social security payroll tax will be $147,000 in calendar year 2022. An estimated 84% of earnings of all US taxpayers will be subject to the social security payroll tax next year, a levy that is 6.2% for employees and 6.2% for employers (source: 2021 Trustees Report).
  1. TAX THE OTHER GUY – 71% of voters surveyed in early October 2021 support an increase of federal income taxes on the top 2% of US taxpayers to pay for the “Build Back Better” social infrastructure bill that is being debated in Congress. For tax year 2018, the latest year for which tax data has been released, the top 2% of taxpayers had adjusted gross income of $359,368 or more, reported 26.3% of all adjusted gross income nationwide, and paid 48.0% of all federal income taxes (source: Vox and Data for Progress, IRS).
  1. YOU KNOW WHY35 million Americans got the flu during the 2019-2020 flu season, i.e., November 2019 through May 2020. Just 2,000 Americans got the flu during the 2020-2021 flu season (source: The Atlantic).
  1. TWO-THIRDS – As of Friday 10/22/21, 219 million Americans out of our 333 million population (66%) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the FDA (source: USAFacts.org).
  1. BONE DRY – California’s “Water Year 2021” (the 12 months from 10/01/20 to 9/30/21) was the 2nd driest year for statewide precipitation in its history. “Water Year 1924,” or 97 years earlier, was the driest year in California’s history (source: California Department of Water Resources).
  1. HERE AT HOME – The US population grew by +7.4% during the decade of the 2010s (2010-2019), our nation’s lowest percentage growth rate in any decade since the 1930s (source: Census Bureau).
  1. AGING POPULATION – Italy had 404,000 births in calendar year 2020, its lowest number of births recorded since 1861 or 159 years ago (source: BBC News).
  1. MAJOR PORTS – 40% of the cargo imported into the United States via ships come into the 2 California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (source: Financial Times).
  1. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY? – LSU announced on Sunday 10/17/21 that head football coach Ed Orgeron, just 2 seasons removed from a national championship with the Tigers, will not return to coach the team in 2022. Orgeron makes $8 million a year and he will receive a $17 million buyout to leave (source: LSU).

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