The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology. Those, who do not understand monetary sovereignty, do not understand economics. Cutting the federal deficit is the most ignorant and damaging step the federal government could take. It ranks ahead of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff.
Here is what my local newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, says about the federal debt and deficit:
“First pay attention to Ireland, the latest nation to discover that when no one will take your IOUs, terrible things happen. In exchange for a bailout, Ireland has committed to huge spending cuts and brutal tax hikes that will inflict sever economic pain across the Emerald Isle for years.”
Right you are, Tribune. Tax hikes and spending cuts always cause severe damage to a nation and its people..
“Second, pay attention to Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The dogged co-chairmen of the president’s deficit commission are telling you how difficult it already will be to save the U.S. from reaching the day when no onee will take our IOUs.”
If that’s what Messrs. Bowles and Simpson are saying they are more dog-brained than dogged. The U.S., as a monetarily sovereign nation, does not need anyone to accept our IOUs, for this simple reason: A monetarily sovereign nation never needs to borrow the sovereign money it already has the unlimited ability to create. In fact, when the U.S. “borrows,” it simply exchanges T-securities it creates out of thin air for dollars it already has created, also out of thin air. Monetarily non-sovereign nations do need to borrow, because they do not have the unlimited ability to create money.
“The lesson from Ireland, the lesson from Bowles and Simpson, the lesson that official Washington still doesn’t want to hear: If we don’t make painful choices on spending and taxes right now, we’re going to invite chaos.”
Ireland is monetarily non-sovereign; the U.S. is monetarily sovereign. The Tribune doesn’t understand the difference. And because the Tribune and Messrs. Bowles and Simpson, and indeed the entire political establishment thinks U.S. finances are similar to monetary non-sovereign finances, we most certainly will have chaos. What these people imagine as a problem (deficits) actually is a benefit (money), and they try to cure this supposed problem with solutions that will damage us for decades. It’s like trying to “cure” good height by cutting off a person’s legs.
“(Bowles’ and Simpson’s) plan would raise the retirement age for Social Security [Keep paying FICA, but work ’til you drop], put federal health care programs on a strict budget [i.e. cut Medicare and Medicaid to improve health care], slash defense spending [for a stronger America] . . . It targets everything from federal payments to states reclaiming abandoned coal mines [Goodby environment] to restrictions that stop the Postal Service from shifting to five-day-a-week delivery [What next? Once-a-week delivery?]. Everybody gets gored one way or another.”
Yes, we all will get gored. But aside from worse health care, poorer retirement, more poverty, less national defense, worse education, worse environment and a thousand other reductions in the American life style, not only for us but for our children and our grandchildren, why worry? There is only one small detail. I almost hate to mention it, but: Where is the economic evidence that our federal deficit is too large? Nowhere.
Where do we see that the federal government can’t pay its bills? Nowhere. Where do we find that inflation threatens us? Nowhere. Where do we find that deficits cause recessions, depressions, stagflations, unemployment, poverty or any other form of economic miserey? Nowhere. According to the Tribune et al, the debt is big, ergo bad. Don’t ask for evidence. There is none. Just take your bitter pill on our say so.
Bowles and Simpson will make Osama bin Laden happy. Between them, they propose more damage to America than the Taliban and al-Qaeda together would be able to effect in a century. And all because of brutal ignorance.
“All together, the 16-nation eurozone has less debt and a much lower deficit in relation to its size than the United States has.”
The ignorance just grows and grows. The 16-nation eurozone is composed of both monetarily sovereign nations (which can service any size debt), and monetarily non-sovereign nations, which have limited debt-serving ability. The Tribune treats them as one. This respected paper sees no differences among the U.S., our states, counties, cities, businesses you and me. To the Tribune, whatever applies to one, applies to all.
“We’re not heading into trouble. We’re there.”
With thinkers like Bowles, Simpson, our political leaders and the Tribune editors, we are in desperate trouble, indeed.
But dammit, if they expect us to endure all this misery, and if they expect us to agree to harm our children and our grandchildren, and if they, in their own words, want to “inflict sever economic pain for years,” shouldn’t they at least be required to provide evidence all this is necessary?
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity. Those who say the stimulus “didn’t work” remind me of the guy whose house is on fire. A neighbor runs with a garden hose and starts spraying, but the fire continues. The neighbor wants to call the fire department, which would bring the big hoses, but the guy says, “Don’t call. As you can see, water doesn’t put out fires.”