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politics

Budget requests hit record ¥105.4071 tril, fueled by pandemic spending

25 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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As the population shrinks the year on year budget rises? Is it just me?, politicians seem to be out of control. Certainly couldn't run my household like this.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Certainly couldn't run my household like this.

You could if you had your own money and a money printer that you could use at will and were able to issue IOUs that you could buy back using your own money. And if the accumulation of IOUs under your control were too much of a worry, you could burn them, and no one would care, because they belonged to you anyway.

The budget is numbers on a spreadsheet and little else.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

confetti

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good. Japan needs to boost AG demand as soon possible. We should more on defense and on rebuilding the north.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"The first budget under Suga underscored a struggle for the heavily indebted government to curb snowballing debt that tops twice the size of Japan's 500 trillion yen economy."

All of the debt is own by Japan. I guess the report forgot to mention that fact as usual.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

As the population shrinks the year on year budget rises? Is it just me?, politicians seem to be out of control. Certainly couldn't run my household like this.

spot on!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

In the future tax rates are jumped. That’s all

There is no choice to recover economy fighting the pandemic outbreak.

I wonder why the salary of lawmakers don’t cut ??

7 ( +7 / -0 )

All of the debt is own by Japan. I guess the report forgot to mention that fact as usual.

Congrats for a budgeoning debt and a declining standard of living. Japan owing itself is someting to brag and feel good. What an illusion.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In the future tax rates are jumped. That’s all

There is no choice to recover economy fighting the pandemic outbreak.

I wonder why the salary of lawmakers don’t cut ??

Because, my friend, the lawmakers here don't care about the people. They see Japan as their personal Piggybank.

> Congrats for a budgeoning debt and a declining standard of living. Japan owing itself is someting to brag and feel good. What an illusion.

very very well said!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And you WOULD THINK that at my national university there would be serious talks of cutting the budget. Right? I mean a HUGE deficit. GDP down 29%. Nope! Business as usual.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't know which is better/worse.

Japan 1.6 times over budget or

USA facing the abyss with the president hellbent on holding up economic rescue stimulus (until he is reelected).

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

You could if you had your own money and a money printer that you could use at will and were able to issue IOUs that you could buy back using your own money. And if the accumulation of IOUs under your control were too much of a worry, you could burn them, and no one would care, because they belonged to you anyway. 

The budget is numbers on a spreadsheet and little else.

Well, Jeff Lee, on one hand I agree with you, but on the other it is the "faith" of foreigners in the value of the "yen" that will determine things. IF the foreigners say, tomorrow, "Hey, your currency is like Zimbabwe's and it is garbage, then they will rattle the markets, the yen falls, and imports sky rocket. Then the whole show comes tumbling down, because Japan is VERY dependent on fossil fuels and food imports. But, hey, we get that Abe and Suga inflation that they dearly wanted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Inevitably spending rises with disasters, the trick is how to balance it towards the least amount of damage in the short, medium and long term.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is crazy, way too many politicians for the population all of whom have Aids payed by the government then the Chauffeur cars, flights, appartments. I have tried to work out how many tax payers does it take to support 1 politician? But it's opaque so I can't do the math. Now again they want more money while claiming the 3rd biggest economy in the world with one of the highest child poverty rates in the top 5 economies. Changed the law to allow 100 hrs overtime unpaid a month. Do these old men actually care about people? I think NOT. They just see us as cash cows and meat sacks easily disposed of. But now less of us because not many people can afford a child, let alone have time.

It's not a great example of leadership

5 ( +5 / -0 )

this is why they ask for more babies. JGOV need more taxpayers to rip them off

9 ( +9 / -0 )

JeffLee

If only my tax payments were ‘numbers on a spreadsheet’ then I could afford Kobe beef every mealtime...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This comes out at about 820,000 yen per capita, which is less than other online reports of government spending which typically have Japan around 16,000USD per capita in 2016. For context, that is not high for an OECD country. Here is a typical link.

https://ourworldindata.org/government-spending

I assume here that the numbers in the story do not include lots of other spending included in the online numbers. Which begs the question of what meaning the numbers in the story is supposed to have. Who cares about budget A if supplementary budgets B, C, and D are already in the pipeline?

For all the money wasted, Japan also clearly underspends on certain things. It makes more sense to me to argue about priorities than about numbers which don't even sound accurate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, Jeff Lee, on one hand I agree with you, but on the other it is the "faith" of foreigners in the value of the "yen" that will determine things. IF the foreigners say, tomorrow, "Hey, your currency is like Zimbabwe's and it is garbage, then they will rattle the markets, the yen falls, and imports sky rocket. Then the whole show comes tumbling down, because Japan is VERY dependent on fossil fuels and food imports. But, hey, we get that Abe and Suga inflation that they dearly wanted.

This is the precise reason why Japan will never ever default on its own debt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In point of fact, the govt spent far more on the military and debt servicing than on anything else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The govt spends most on the "social security", the military spending is much less.

Apparently the "debt servicing" cost is up by 2 trillion yen this time around.

Maybe it'll be the biggest item in time, given the way things are going.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

budget requests for social security and debt servicing came to 32.9 trillion yen and 25.5 trillion yen respectively, or more than half the overall budget.

Those two things alone are probably more than tax revenues for fiscal 2020, too.

Enjoy, while it lasts!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't worry, while most of the budget is going to graft and corporate welfare and Olympic and GoTo follies, in a few years the bill will come with regressive tax increases that will be said to be necessary because of pandemic relief and pensions. And still there will be no "balancing" of the budget.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Congrats for a budgeoning debt and a declining standard of living.

On the other hand, with a falling population we can move away from Tokyo and find land and housing much cheaper. That is kind of an intangible benefit of less crowding, more nature, easier living. The US is such a rat race. Since I was born housing, education and health care in the US has only gotten more expensive at a faster rate than inflation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On an MMT view of the world JeffLee is indeed right.  But not sure that theory has been proven yet and so endless money printing may still have dire consequences for a declining economy like Japan's

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As @ Cricky says, you wouldn’t run your own household like this. The majority of politicians, not just in Japan, completely ignores fiduciary duty to the electorate / taxpayers, spends with reckless abandon, and kicks the can down the street. It won’t be their problem when it all comes due.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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