Q1 2017 GDP: 0.7%. Fed policies failing Main Street America. Strategic solution: The Leviticus 25 Plan

Economic growth is decelerating in America.. approaching stall speed….

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US GDP Collapses To 0.7%, Lowest In Three Years; Worst Personal Spending Since 2009

The Atlanta Fed was right once again, and slashing its forecast over the past 3 months today the BEA confirmed that in the first quarter US economic growth tumbled to just 0.7%, below the 1.0% expected, and the lowest print in three years going back all the way to Q1 2014.  ZeroHedge – Apr 28, 2017

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Initial Jobless Claims Jump Most In 5 Months; Higher Since Trump’s Election

The last two weeks have seen initial jobless claims rise 23k to 257k. This is the biggest 2-week rise since Thanksgiving last year and is back above the Trump election levels and the start of 2017 levels. ZeroHedge – Apr 27, 2017

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Q1 GDP Takes Another Hit As Wholesale Inventories Slide In March

With non-hope-based GDP forecasts for Q1 at cycle lows, today’s wholesale inventories decline will not help. After dropping in January, and rebounding in Feb, March saw inventories drop 0.1% (against expectations of a 0.2% rise). This is the first quarterly decline in wholesale inventories since Q1 2016 (when the world was feared to be heading into recession).  Apr 27, 2017 8:44 AM

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America’s economic health is failing.

America’s dynamic growth solution:  The Leviticus 25 Plan

  • $1.02 trillion annual budget surpluses
  • Powerful, sustainable economic growth
  • Reduced dependency on government
  • Medicare, Medicaid stability
  • Economic liberty for all Americans

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2280)

Eyeball deep in the global debt ‘slop hole, Part 2: Corporate debt

Record debt levels are choking corporations in America.

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Corporate Debt To EBITDA Hits All Time High

“When using the aggregated data, both gross and net corporate debt/EBITDA are at or near record leverage levels, well above prior cycle peaks.” – Morgan Stanley  Apr 21, 2017

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America is drowning in debt.  We need re-targeted liquidity, and here is the solution:

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2279)

 

 

Eyeball deep in the global debt ‘slop hole,’ Part 3: Total Non-financial Debt

Debt is surging in the U.S.

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Hoisington Quarterly Review and Outlook, Q1 2017

By Lacy Hunt and Van Hoisington

Excerpts:

Debt. Total domestic nonfinancial debt, excluding off balance sheet liabilities such as leases and unfunded pension liabilities, surged to a record 254.8% of GDP in 2016, 5.6% greater than in 2009 when Lehman Brothers failed (Chart 2). Total debt, which includes domestic nonfinancial, foreign and bank debt, amounted to 372.5% of GDP in 2016, compared with 251.9% of GDP in 2006, the final year of previous tightening cycle, which, in turn, was greater than in any earlier time from 1870 through 2006.

First, in the initial quarter of 2017, the year-over-year change in the monetary base was -4.8%. This comes after sharp contractions in each of the previous four quarters, the largest such decreases since the end of World War II (Chart 3). Some argue that this unprecedented weakness in the monetary base is not relevant since the depository institutions still hold $2.1 trillion of excess reserves (defined as the difference between total reserves and required reserves). The textbook writers emphasize that excess reserves are the key to money and credit expansion. But, the multiple expansion of bank reserves so diligently explained in the textbooks was written for a regulatory environment that no longer exists, which is the second different condition.

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America is drowning in debt.

There is one dynamic solution:  Grant U.S. citizens the same access to liquidity that was provided to Wall Street’s financial sector during 2008-2010 – to help them unwind their debt profiles and return to ‘financial stability.’

It is time to unwind debt at ground level – and pump up America’s Monetary Base.

It is time to restore economic liberty for American families and set them on course for long-term ‘financial health.’

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2276)

Default wave tsunami on the horizon: Housing, autos, student loans

America is beset by a severe liquidity drought, primarily do to debt service obligations. Massive capital flows are dedicated to debt service.

Debt bubbles are in full bloom.  And we are on a glide path for massive default waves, disorder in credit markets and financial turmoil.

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Dangerous bubbles: “The Warning Signs Are There

  • Eric Rosengren, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, recently made a startling tacit admission. We may be in the midst of yet another real estate bubble. Major financial institutions in this country are in possession of over $14 trillion worth of residential real estate loans. That’s well over $40,000 for every man woman and child in America.
  • Low interest rates have fueled a bubble in subprime auto loans, and that bubble appears to be reaching its limits. There are now over 1 million ordinary and subprime auto loans that are delinquent, a number that hasn’t been this high since 2009.
  • There is now well over a trillion dollars worth of student loan debt in this country; much of it owned by low income families. And there’s little hope that these students will ever see a return on their investment. That’s why at least 27% of student loans are in default. While more than one in four students are in default now, that number was one in nine a decade ago. And if current trends continue, there could be $3.3 trillion of student loan debt by the end of the next decade. Clearly, this isn’t going to go on for much longer.
  • And who could forget the stock market? Despite experiencing low GDP growth every year since the last recession, the stock market continues to break new records. Many of the companies on the stock market (especially tech companies), have a market cap that is between 20 and 100 times their sales or earnings numbers. Some are much higher, despite experiencing slow growth, or even no profits at all.

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America needs robust liquidity at ground level:

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2275)

 

America’s Socialism ‘Slayer:’ The Leviticus 25 Plan

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;  the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”  -Winston Churchill

“Socialism means slavery.”  -Lord Acton

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common, but one word, equality.  But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”  -Alexis de Tocqueville

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Why Politicians Win (And Workers Lose) Under Socialism

Authored by Hans-Hermann Hoppe via The Mises Institute,

ZeroHedge, Apr 20, 2017 – Excerpts:

Socialism leads to the politicization of society. Hardly anything can be worse for the production of wealth.

Socialism, at least its Marxist version, says its goal is complete equality. The Marxists observe that once you allow private property in the means of production, you allow differences. If I own resource A, then you do not own it and our relationship toward resource A becomes different and unequal. By abolishing private property in the means of production with one stroke, say the Marxists, everyone becomes co-owner of everything. This reflects everyone’s equal standing as a human being.

The reality is much different. Declaring everyone a co-owner of everything only nominally solves differences in ownership. It does not solve the real underlying problem:  there remain differences in the power to control what is done with resources.

In capitalism, the person who owns a resource can also control what is done with it. In a socialized economy, this isn’t true because there is no longer any owner. Nonetheless the problem of control remains. Who is going to decide what is to be done with what? Under socialism, there is only one way: people settle their disagreements over the control of property by superimposing one will upon another. As long as there are differences, people will settle them through political means.

If people want to improve their income under socialism they have to move toward a more highly valued position in the hierarchy of caretakers. That takes political talent.

Under such a system, people will have to spend less time and effort developing their productive skills and more time and effort improving their political talents.

As people shift out of their roles as producers and users of resources, we find that their personalities change. They no longer cultivate the ability to anticipate situations of scarcity to take up productive opportunities, to be aware of technological possibilities, to anticipate changes in consumer demand, and to develop strategies of marketing. They no longer have to be able to initiate, to work, and to respond to the needs of others.

Instead, people develop the ability to assemble public support for their own position and opinion through means of persuasion, demagoguery, and intrigue, through promises, bribes, and threats. Different people rise to the top under socialism than under capitalism. The higher on the socialist hierarchy you look, the more you will find people who are too incompetent to do the job they are supposed to do. It is no hindrance in a caretaker politician’s career to be dumb, indolent, inefficient, and uncaring. He only needs superior political skills. This too contributes to the impoverishment of society.

The United States is not fully socialized, but already we see the disastrous effects of a politicized society as our own politicians continue to encroach on the rights of private property owners. All the impoverishing effects of socialism are with us in the U.S.: reduced levels of investment and saving, the misallocation of resources, the over-utilization and vandalization of factors of production, and the inferior quality of products and services. And these are only tastes of life under total socialism.

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America’s plan for freedom and liberty:

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2272)

 

 

Eyeball deep in the global debt ‘slop hole,’ Part 1: Total Household Debt hits $12.58 trillion

With the U.S. economy in full crash-mode in 2008, Total Household Debt spiked up to a record high of $12.58 trillion.

Here we are, nine years and trillions of dollars of Fed-driven pump-priming liquidity infusions into the global banking system, back up to the magical $12.58 trillion record high.

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Household Debt Increases Substantially, Approaching Previous Peak

February 16, 2017

Significant Changes in Debt Composition and Substantial Increases in Aggregate Household Debt in 2016 Overall

NEW YORK – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which reported that total household debt increased substantially by $226 billion (a 1.8% increase) to $12.58 trillion during the fourth quarter of 2016. This marked the largest quarterly increase in total household debt since the fourth quarter of 2013, and debt today is now just 0.8% below its peak of $12.68 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2008. Every type of debt increased since the previous quarter, with a 1.6% increase in mortgage debt, 1.9% increase in auto loan balances, a 4.3% increase in credit card balances, and a 2.4% percent increase in student loan balances. This boost in balances was in part driven by new extensions of credit, with a large increase in the volume of mortgage originations and a continuation in the strong recent trend in auto loan originations. This report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

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We are getting ‘set up’ for another round of massive debt default and liquidity chaos – with millions of Americans again losing their jobs and millions of families losing their homes.

It is time to insulate U.S. citizens against that eventuality:

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2270)

 

WSJ: “Give Medicaid Dollars Directly to Patients” – flawed. There is a much better plan: The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan

The recent Wall Street Journal editorial by Justin Haskins and Michael Hamilton of the Heartland Institute was a step in the right direction.  At the same time, it was severely compromised by several major flaws…

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Give Medicaid Dollars Directly to Patients – WSJ

Apr 12, 2017

As Republicans take another crack at devising a plan to replace ObamaCare, here’s an idea they should consider: Give each Medicaid patient a health savings account—and put $7,000 in it every year.

Under ObamaCare, Medicaid has become the only option for millions of Americans. But that doesn’t mean much if the doctors in their communities don’t accept new patients through the program—and 30% of physicians don’t.

Full article accessed via Lux Llibertas:

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“Give Medicaid Dollars Directly to Patients” – flaws:

This plan does nothing to offer exemptions from ObamaCare.

This plan does nothing to benefit working families NOT on Medicaid.

It does nothing to untangle and change the complexion of other government health care programs like Medicare, VA, FEHB, TRICARE.

This plan is an ongoing, open-ended cash-based subsidy.

There is a better way.

The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan is the only comprehensive, citizen-centered health care plan in America.  It ‘resets’ the health care industry to present a clean, efficient and responsible system.  Most importantly, this plan restores individual freedom and liberty for all participating Americans.

The Plan:

  1. The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan is available to each and every U.S. citizen – with no coverage mandates. Each U.S. citizen who wishes to participate will be granted a full and complete exemption from the ACA.
  2. This plan offers freedom of choice and equal justice for all. Those Americans who might wish to stay with the ACA may stay (‘If you like your ObamaCare, you can keep your ObamaCare’).
  3. Each participating U.S. citizen shall receive a credit extension, through a special Federal Reserve Citizens Credit Facility, of $25,000, electronically deposited into a Medical Savings Account (MSA) – for direct allocation toward family health care needs.
  4. Private insurance – Families shall be allowed to enroll in high-deductible ($10,000 – $15,000) major medical plans, to include basic, ‘no frills’ medical plans which best suit their individual needs and desires. These streamlined plans would lower premium costs for employees and employers, encouraging employers to cost-share savings with employees through incentive-based employer MSA contributions.
  5. Policies would not be automatically loaded with expensive government healthcare mandates.
  6. Those with extraordinary medical issues may be included in a high-risk category, with such plans being eligible for a government subsidy (similar to current Medicare Advantage).
  7. Federal / state programs – Individuals enrolled in Medicare / Medicaid / VA / TRICARE / FEHB programs would maintain their covered status, with an annual deductible of $5,000 per year per enrolled family member, for a period of five years for those benefits. The dedicated MSA funds would fully fund the offset for the higher ($5,000) deductible feature for that five-year period. MSA funds could also be used to pay Medicare supplement premiums and other potential co-pay obligations.
  8. Where health care services paid by patients directly with MSA funds, providers would not be bound by federal / state rules pertaining to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), and other unnecessary administrative burdens.

Benefits:                                                                                 

Lower health care costs – With the elimination of millions of minor insurance claims across the nation over the course of each month, system-wide efficiency would improve, medical costs would drop significantly, and the direct patient-provider relationship would be restored. Medical professionals would not have to answer to HMOs, insurance companies, or government agencies in providing basic day-to-day healthcare access for their patients.

Scoring – if 300 million U.S. citizens were to participate in the plan, the total dollar transfer into family-based Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) would amount to $7.5 trillion.

The potential cost savings from the $5,000 deductible provision for the approximate 150 million people currently enrolled in Medicare (55 million), Medicaid (72 million), VA (6.16 million), TRICARE (9.5 million), and FEHB (8.2 million) would amount to just  under $3.75 trillion over the first 5 years (or, one-half the $7.5 trillion initial roll out cost).

Summary:

This plan would generate trillions of dollars in cost savings from streamlining, vastly improved efficiency, and reductions in waste and fraud.

This plan would improve quality and ease of access to health care for all participating Americans.

 For patients: It would dramatically lower the cost of health care, while improving quality and access for all who chose to participate.

 For providers:  It would restore the patient-provider relationship and significantly reduce massive cost and time burdens imposed by a centralized system.

 The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan an integral part of a larger, comprehensive economic plan:

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2267)

U.S. Fed paying $22 billion annually Interest on Excess Reserves (IOER) to world’s largest banks. The big winners: foreign banks.

The Fed is giving ‘free money’ to the world’s largest banks, and the big winners, according to the Wall Street Journal, are foreign banks.  The latest report: $22 billion annually.

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   (FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 12/24/15) 
   By Katy Burne 

Some of the biggest beneficiaries of the Federal Reserve’s recent interest-rate increase will be foreign banks.

Units of foreign banks this year [2015] received nearly half the roughly $6.25 billion in interest the Fed paid banks on the money, called reserves, they park with the Fed, the central bank’s data show. Those institutions control just about 15% of all bank assets in the U.S.

The Fed’s interest payments to banks are likely to roughly double next year because in mid-December it raised the rate it pays on reserves to 0.50% from 0.25%. The amounts could rise even more in coming years if the central bank continues lifting the rate, called the interest on excess reserves rate, or IOER.

Foreign banks receive a disproportionate share of the interest payments because they own an outsize share of total reserves.

[snip]

U.S.-chartered banks, including those owned by foreign banking companies, pay premiums to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. — ranging from 0.05% to 0.35% — based on their assets, including reserves but minus other capital measures. But U.S. lenders that don’t take deposits, and firms incorporated overseas whose U.S. operations don’t take deposits, don’t have to pay FDIC fees.

Both foreign and domestic banks can borrow money overnight at low short-term rates and park them at the Fed at a higher rate, earning a profit or “spread.” But for some foreign firms, the spread can be larger because they often don’t have to pay the FDIC fees.

To illustrate: Before the Fed’s rate increase, banks paid about 0.13% to borrow overnight in the federal-funds market and earned 0.25% on their reserves — a difference of 0.12 percentage point. A foreign bank could get a spread of 0.12%. Domestic banks that paid FDIC fees of about 0.07% on average on their insured deposits would be left with a spread of about 0.05%.

After the rate increase, both types of banks could pay about 0.35% to borrow overnight and get 0.50% on their reserves. That is a 0.15% spread for some foreign banks. But domestic banks, after paying the FDIC fees, get a roughly 0.08% spread.

The New York branches of Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG each had about $40 billion in reserves at the Fed as of June 30, earning about $100 million in interest.

[snip]

Raising the IOER rate to 0.50% from 0.25% will increase the Fed’s interest payments to banks to about $13 billion annually, assuming reserves stay at the same level, said Karen Petrou of Federal Financial Analytics Inc.

The Fed is subsidizing both U.S. and foreign banks, said Joseph Gagnon, a former Fed economist now at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and the latter have a proportionately larger advantage. “I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention,” Mr. Gagnon said.

[snip]

The Fed started paying interest on reserves in 2008. It plans to use the IOER rate as its primary lever for controlling short-term rates, in part because its postcrisis stimulus policies left markets awash in money, rendering its old tools less effective.

Still, some Fed officials have expressed concern about how it looks to have the central bank making big interest payments to banks.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said in an August radio interview that if Congress isn’t comfortable with the size of payments to banks, in particular foreign ones, “They should definitely tell us right now, because . . . we would need to change our exit strategy dramatically if we cannot rely on the interest on excess reserves as being a tool of monetary policy.”

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So the U.S. Federal Reserve is doling out billions of dollars annually in free money handouts to the world’s largest banks, the very banks whose leveraged speculation strategies precipitated the great financial crisis.  The very banks that foreclosed on millions of American home owners.  The very banks that engaged in blatantly criminal FX and LIBOR rate manipulation, mortgage fraud and predatory lending.

And meanwhile, U.S. citizens are scraping along, neck deep in debt, stalled out with stagnant real median household income growth, lathered up in suffocating social welfarism…?

And Congress is sitting their heads up their ‘rear ends’… and no plan whatsoever to change anything related to the economic mess we are sitting in.

You have got to be kidding me..(!)

It is time for U.S. citizens to be granted the same access to liquidity that the Fed has provided, through various funding facilities, to Wall Street’s financial sector and continues to provide via IOER payments.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2260)

 

 

“Can we avoid another financial crisis?” Answer: Yes. Solution: The Leviticus 25 Plan

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Steve Keen: “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?” (Spoiler Alert: No!)

“Too many illogical and irrational assumptions are the reasons why mainstream economics is suffering from a crisis of confidence… too many countries rode a wave of private debt explosion during the last boom, and are now in the equivalent of economic purgatory.”  ZeroHedge, Apr 17, 2017

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Mr. Keen has immersed himself in ‘fighting the existing reality,’ a continuing exercise in futility – in light of our present situation.

It is time for dynamic, outside-the-box thinking…

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”     – R. Buckminster Fuller

There is a new master plan for America that will restore economic liberty for all Americans.  It will refire the economic growth engine, generate massive tax revenue and $1.02 trillion dollar budget surpluses for each of the next five years, reduce debt serfdom and dependence on government.  And it will restore financial stability and social calm for American families.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2257)

 

UBS: Subprime loans now perched at $1.25 trillion

It is just a matter of time – there will be another subprime default wave…

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UBS Blames Fed For “Crisis High” Subprime Defaults; Says Auto Is Just The Beginning

ZeroHedge, Apr 4, 2017 – Excerpts:

For months now we’ve been writing about the mysteriously rising subprime delinquencies afflicting auto ABS structures despite repeated confirmations from the Fed and equity markets that ‘everything is awesome’ (see “Auto Bubble Burst Begins As Subprime Delinquencies Soar To 2009 Levels” and “Signs Of An Auto Bubble: Soaring Delinquencies In These 266 Subprime ABS Deals Can’t Be Good” for a couple of recent examples).

Shockingly… 2016 vintage subprime auto ABS structures are even underperforming 2007/2008 vintage securitizations.

[UBS:]  Is subprime auto lending too small to matter from a financial stability point of view? In isolation, yes. According to TransUnion, subprime auto lending balances outstanding total $179bn, or 16% of all auto loans outstanding. And subprime balances are about 1.2x above balances as of Q3’09. However, our earlier thesis would suggest subprime auto may be too narrow a lens to view the debate. More broadly, the good news is that subprime mortgage debt outstanding totals $567bn, or 7% of all mortgage loans. Subprime balances are about 0.4x 2009 levels. The bad news is subprime student loans balances total $370bn, or 30% of all loans outstanding. And balances are 2.3x 2009 levels. Subprime credit card debt totals $113bn ($88bn bankcard, $25bn private label) – reflecting 12% and 20% of all loan balances, respectively, and about 0.8x 2009 levels. And subprime personal loan balances total $17bn, or 16% of all debt, and 1.1x levels seen in 2009…

In short, we estimate subprime consumer debt outstanding totals a still significant $1.25tn, comprised primarily of mortgage, student and auto loans.

But, as UBS concludes, the next massive subprime debt unwind won’t be that big of a deal because this time around all of the risk has been laid off on taxpayers…

Comparatively, however, debt levels outstanding are down from 2009 peak levels near $1.9tn. In addition, loan loss risk is increasingly borne by the government (e.g., student, FHA-backed mortgage loans), not the banks.

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If banks have off-loaded a large amount of the risk, and tax-paying citizens are to a significantly degree ‘on the hook,’ for the next subprime default wave,’ then then there should be a mechanism to preemptively roll a significant amount of that risk back off the shoulders of citizens to alleviate what could develop into a  devastating financial stress on citizens.

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 –  $75,000 per U.S. citizen

The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 (2251)