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Federal Asset Privatization, Not a Higher Debt Ceiling (SPR a good place to begin)

By Robert Murphy -- June 2, 2011

As the battle rages over the federal debt ceiling, more pundits and even some politicians are taking a serious look at a solution that any private organization would have considered from the beginning: selling off assets to satisfy creditors.

Contrary to the doomsday rhetoric of Treasury Secretary Geithner, it is simply not true that the Congress needs to raise the federal debt ceiling, lest Uncle Sam default on existing obligations. On the contrary, large (but feasible) spending cuts, coupled with aggressive privatization of federal assets, would balance the books. There is no need to raise taxes or the debt ceiling.

The bonus to privatization is also market entrepreneurship in place of bureaucratic management. So the asset transfer would be good for both taxpayers and the private sector writ large.

I’ll outline the numbers, then focus on the possible objection to privatizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a topic that should be of the most interest to readers of Master Resource.…