It may indeed serve public purpose to sell federal property.
In fact, the burden of proof of public purpose is with the federal government as to why it would own any specific property in the first place.
However, selling property does remove net financial assets from the economy, make the dollar ‘harder to get’, and is thereby a contractionary/deflationary bias that reduces aggregate demand/output and employment.
The continuing problem is that deficit reduction doesn’t currently serve any public purpose that I can discern, but it’s actively being pursued by both sides, now trying to out do each other in what’s shaping up to be a death race to the bottom.
The good news is that at least so far the Saudis seem to be following/allowing crude oil prices to decline. Possible reasons range from the demand destruction or looming supply increases due to the higher prices, to the possibility they got short in their personal accounts. There’s no telling why they do what they do, and as a simple point of logic they remain swing producer/price setter.
Falling crude prices serve to directly make US dollars ‘harder to get’ as the US bill for imported crude and products falls, and thereby offers substantial and ongoing fundamental support to a US dollar that has to be one of the most oversold items of all time.
The only negative for the US dollar I can see is the chart, which has been telling me there continuous portfolio shifting away from the US dollar, which, when assisted by the rising crude prices, combined to keep the US dollar in decline. Without the support of the rising crude prices the tide could be turning.
By Jeffrey Zients
May 4 — As we look at our fiscal situation, the President understands that the Federal Government must do what American families are doing all across the country: find ways to live within our means and invest in the future. That means cracking down on waste and getting the most from taxpayer dollars.
Since President Obama took office, we’ve made unprecedented progress in reforming the way Washington works – saving billions of taxpayer dollars through IT reform, cut contracting spending, and eliminated duplicative and ineffective programs.
In his State of the Union address, the President discussed another area that is ripe for savings and reform — the real estate footprint of the Federal government. For too long, the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars have gone to waste, funding empty buildings and holding on to valuable properties the government no longer needs. That is something that shouldn’t be tolerated at any time, but especially with this challenging fiscal environment, it’s unacceptable.
Today, we’re sending legislation to the Hill that will cut through red tape and politics to rid the government of the burden of excess property and save taxpayers at least $15 billion. We look forward to working with members of Congress to pass this legislation, the Civilian Property Realignment Act.