An alternative to popular faith

THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
A federal surplus is more prudent than a federal deficit

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
That is the popular faith.* But, a large economy has more money than does a small economy. Therefore, a growing economy requires a growing supply of money. Federal deficit spending is the prime source of that money. All six recessions, since the end of the gold standard (1971), have been introduced with a surplus or a reduction in deficit growth. All six were cured with an increase in deficit growth. When we have insufficient money growth we have recessions or depressions. The Great Depression immediately followed years of surpluses, and ultimately was cured with deficits.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Large deficits are unsustainable. The interest payments alone will grow to a point where they occupy the entire federal budget.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Unlike you, me, cities, states and corporations, the federal government uniquely has the power to create unlimited amounts of money, a power it gave itself in 1971. To service a deficit of any size, including interest payments, the government merely creates money ad hoc, by crediting the bank accounts of creditors.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
We cannot keep borrowing forever. Foreign nations will refuse to keep lending us money to support our profligate ways.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
The government does not need foreign nations to lend us money. The federal government borrows by creating unlimited amounts of T-securities from thin air, backed only by full faith and credit, then selling them for the money it previously created. The government just as easily and safely could create money from thin air, also backed by full faith and credit. This would eliminate the borrowing step as well as all concerns about debt. Federal borrowing is a relic of the gold standard days.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
The fact that the government borrows is prima facie evidence that the government needs to borrow.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Federal borrowing is a relic of the gold standard years, when the government did not have the unlimited ability to create money. Today, borrowing has zero advantages over direct money creation, and many disadvantages, not the least of which is the mistaken belief
federal debts are a problem.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Federal deficits increase the money supply, which reduces the value of money and causes inflation.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
The value of money is based on both supply and demand. Increasing the demand for money prevents/cures inflation. Demand is determined by risk and reward. The reward for owning money is its utility as an exchange vehicle and interest rates. To fight inflation, the government increases the reward by raising interest rates. Since 1971, there has been no relationship between inflation and federal deficits.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Raising interest rates to fight inflation will hurt business and the economy.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Since 1971, there has been no relationship between interest rates and economic growth. Low rates have not stimulated (as Greenspan and Bernanke have learned); high rates have not inhibited. The reason: For every borrower there is a lender. What helps one, hurts the other. It’s zero sum. For example, high rates help holders of CDs, bonds, T-securities. Also, changes in interest rates represent minuscule changes in business costs. Additionally, high rates have had a slightly stimulative effect, because they’ve forced the federal government to pump more interest money into the economy.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Our children and grandchildren will pay for today’s deficits through higher taxes in the future.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
The government pays its debts by marking a credit in the bank accounts of its creditors, and marking a debit in its own balance sheets. No physical money changes hands. The government can do this endlessly. It does not use tax money to pay its bills. When taxes are received, the government debits the payers’ bank accounts and credits its own balance sheets. Effectively, the tax money is destroyed. The government has no vault or fund of money. It merely makes electronic notations. That is why today’s taxpayers do not pay for the massive Reagan deficits. There is no historical relationship between tax rates and federal deficits.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
There is no such thing as a free lunch. One day, someone will have to pay for today’s federal spending.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Federal money is, in fact, a free lunch to the federal government. It pays its bills by crediting vendors’ bank accounts. This costs the government nothing other than a few electrons sent to the banks’ records. Nothing collateralizes our money other than full faith and credit.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
When the debt exceeds the value of all government assets, the government will be bankrupt.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Federal assets, such as the Grand Canyon and Washington Monument do not collateralize our money. As a holder of U.S. bonds, China is a creditor to the government, but China cannot lay claim to such federal assets as Lake Michigan or the Supreme Court building. China’s collateral is the U.S. government’s full faith and credit, nothing more.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
I have to pay my bills and be careful with my borrowing. Otherwise I will go bankrupt. The government is you and me. It must do the same as we do.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
The government is not you and me. It collects taxes; we pay taxes. It can create money at will; we cannot. As a sovereign nation, with the unlimited ability to create money, America cannot go bankrupt. The belief that the government is the same as its citizens gives rise to the myths about deficits.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
As our population ages, and more people collect Social Security, the program will go bankrupt unless taxes are increased or benefits decreased.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Social security is a federal agency, much like the Department of Defense, Congress, the Supreme Court and 100+ other federal agencies. No federal agency ever has or ever will go bankrupt, simply because the federal government itself, having the unlimited power to create money, cannot go bankrupt.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Technically, the government already is bankrupt, since it doesn’t have the money to pay all its debts, and must rely on future tax collections.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
The government has no money, yet doesn’t rely on tax collections. It pays its debts merely by changing the numbers in its creditors bank accounts. The government acts like a football scoreboard. When a team scores a touchdown, the scoreboard “owes” it six points. No one asks, “Where is the scoreboard going to get six points?” This is explained in detail at http://www.moslereconomics.com/2009/12/10/7-deadly-innocent-frauds/
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Many countries – Germany, Italy, Brazil et al – have suffered from hyper-inflation caused by excessive money printing.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
Each instance of hyper-inflation has been caused by unique circumstances, but generally, hyper-inflations have been caused by governments not addressing the root causes of their inflations. They mistakenly printed more money in response to inflation. This exacerbated modest inflations into hyper-inflations.
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THE WELL-KNOWN, ANTI-DEFICIT POSITION
Most prominent economists believe the deficit and debt are too large.

THE LITTLE-KNOWN, PRO-DEFICIT POSITION
That is exactly the way scientific progress is made. The vast majority of prominent scientists have a belief. Then a minority (sometimes just one person) proposes a new hypothesis, which at first is denounced. Eventually the vast majority begins to change its mind, and the new hypothesis becomes the majority. Then the process repeats.

*Faith is belief without evidence. Science is belief from evidence.