Economic austerity causes civil disorder. Reduced money growth cannot increase economic growth. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
The Tea and Republican Parties wish to cut federal taxes. In this, they are wise. For a Monetarily Sovereign nation, federal taxes have no positive function; they serve only to destroy money. The federal government neither needs nor uses tax dollars.
While, in theory, taxes can prevent inflation, in actual practice, tax changes would be inefficient and damaging. They are far too slow (When will they be collected?), far too political (Which taxes?) and not incremental (How much?). Although the federal government has managed to control inflation, federal taxes have not been the controlling device; interest rates have.
The Democrats wish to increase federal spending. In this they are wise. Many functions, beneficial to Americans, could use more federal support, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, research and development, food & drug inspections, infrastructure, education, homeland security, inspection and supervision of many industries, and on and on.
All three parties wish to reduce federal deficits. In this, all are unwise. A growing economy requires a growing supply of money, and federal spending is the method by which the government increases the money supply. It is absolutely impossible to stimulate the economy and/or to cut unemployment — our two most serious problems — without increasing federal deficit spending.
I suggest the one simple step that instantly would stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment would be to eliminate the FICA tax. I first recommended this in 1995, in my book, “The Ultimate America,” then in 1997 in “Free Money,” and more recently with this blog’s post, “Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA.” I suggest you read it to see the 10 reasons.
FICA is paid, ostensibly, half by salaried employees and half by employers. But, in true effect, it is paid 100% by salaried employees, because employers base salaries on total cost to the company. If FICA were eliminated, several things would happen:
1. Employers would be encouraged to hire more people or to pay higher salaries, because the basic cost of salaries would be reduced by the 15% FICA cost. More people employed, having more money to spend, is perhaps the most powerful economic stimulus. And/or
2. Corporate profits would increase, allowing for more corporate investment, another powerful stimulus. And/or
3. More dollars would go to so-called “fat cats” (company officers), who would spend or invest those dollars, thereby transferring dollars to other people, who also would spend or invest. All that additional spending and investing would be highly stimulative.
In total, the elimination of FICA would grow business, eliminate recessions and reduce unemployment, by adding dollars to the economy. How many dollars?
FICA collected by the U.S. government is projected to reach $935 billion in 2011. (Budget of the U.S. government) This compares with overall federal receipts of $2,567 billion or 36% of total receipts.
The projected 2011 cost of Medicare and Social Security is $1,233 billion, compared to projected overall federal spending of $3,833 billion, or 32% of the total. So depending on how you wish to look at it, the elimination of the FICA tax would reduce federal taxes by 36% or increase spending by 32%, assuming the federal government would pay for Medicare and Social Security, just as it pays for all other federal agencies.
The federal deficit would rise from a currently projected $1,266 billion to $2,201 billion.
Because Medicare and Social Security already are federally-run programs, the elimination of FICA would not increase the “intrusion of big government into our lives” as the Tea/Republicans profess to hate. There would be no change whatsoever in so-called “intrusion.” Nor would this be a step toward the “socialism” the Tea/Republicans also profess to hate. Further, it need not reduce benefits offered by these social programs, an effect the Democrats (or at least the Democrat voters) say they will not abide.
Yes, the federal deficit and debt will increase, but a Monetarily Sovereign nation can pay any debt of any size, any time, merely by instructing banks to credit the accounts of U.S. debt holders – which the government can do, endlessly.
So, but one question remains: Will the resultant increase in the federal deficit and debt cause inflation, (and if so, is this a worse outcome than recession and unemployment?)
Would a 73% ($935 billion) deficit increase cause inflation? From a percentage standpoint, we have had many such increases. The 2007 – 2008 increase was 186%. The 2008-2009 increase was 208%. Back in 1982-1983 the deficit increase was 780%. At none of those times did deficit increases cause inflation.
What about that nominal dollar increase of $935. Well, in 2008-2009, the deficit increased from $458 billion to $1,412 billion, an increase of $954 billion. No inflation. In fact, there has been no relationship between federal deficits and inflation for at least 60 years.
(You can see the lack of relationship between federal deficits and inflation discussed further at Item 12.)
Summary: Today’s huge problems are recession and unemployment, not inflation. Eliminating FICA would greatly stimulate business, reduce unemployment and increase wages, all without causing inflation.
Let’s do it now.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. The key equation in economics: Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings