●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
Recently, I attended a bar mitzvah, a coming-of-age ceremony for 13 year-old, Jewish boys. During the ceremony, the boy recounted good works he had done, as part of his bar mitzvah obligations. He had gone door-to-door collecting cans of food, to be given to the poor.
Little did this boy know he was helping to foster what Mitt Romney refers to as the “culture of dependency.” You see, according to the “religious” right, America was built by self-sufficient heroes, who neither needed, nor asked for, help from others.
“Under a culture of dependency, poverty becomes a trap, and recipients get stuck. Long-term welfare recipients lose work habits and job skills . . .” (Matthew Spalding, vice president of American Studies and director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.)
Apparently, those who are poor, deserve their poverty, because they are lazy. They’d rather receive government help, than find a job and work. That is why food stamps and other poverty aids should be cut.
And everyone knows the sick are responsible for their illnesses and for buying their own health insurance, which is why Medicare and Medicaid benefits should be cut and taxed. The elderly, too, are at fault. They should have saved for their future, which is why Social Security benefits should be cut. It’s all part of self-sufficiency.
Poverty is such a pleasant lifestyle, that when you give people help, they cannot resist staying poor. Consider unemployment compensation. The benefits are so generous, it’s no wonder recipients are reluctant to seek work.
For example, if you lose your $50,000 per year job in Illinois, your benefits will be $450 per month, up to a maximum total benefit of $11,700 – well worth lounging at home, wouldn’t you agree? That same job in Alabama will earn you $255 a week and a maximum total benefit of $6,630. Most people receive less, but isn’t that tempting?
Then there’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka “food stamps.” In Illinois, your family of four can get a maximum of $668 a month depending on your other sources of income. (The more you earn, the less SNAP you get.) Who wouldn’t want that?
As Robert Samuelson disparaged in the 9/22/12 Chicago Tribune: “America has created a welfare state.” And as the “religious” right know, helping the unfortunate actually does them a disservice, because charity creates a drug-like addiction.
”Welfare is both a consequence and a cause of several conditions best described as social pathologies. These conditions include dependency, poverty, out-of-wedlock births, nonemployment, abortion, and violent crime.” William A. Niskanen, The Cato Journal
As you can see, federal charity actually causes dependency, causes poverty, causes out-of-wedlock births, causes nonemployment, causes abortion, and causes violent crime. Presumably, if we cut back on that welfare, there will be less dependency . . . etc.
The right wing knows this. They are the religious right. They read the bible.
*But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind – Luke 14:13
*Blessed is he that considerth the poor: Psalm 41:1, 2
*As for the rich in the present age, charge them not to be haughty . . . They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. – 1 Timothy 6:17, 18
*. . . we must help the weak. . . It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
*But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17
*You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31
Hmmm . . . Perhaps, the “religious” right reads a different bible. Or is it more likely that their own greed, selfishness and contempt for human suffering has given them a convenient rationale for not helping the needy?
When Romney receives cheers for saying, “There are people . . . who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,” to whom was he speaking?
What kind of people claim to be religious, yet despise those in need? Was America built on aid to those in need? Or was it built on so-called, “self sufficiency,” as the religious right wing claims? If so, no one told our letter carriers:
William Bland of Lebanon, KY, rescued a pregnant woman and child after they were involved in an auto accident. Bland waded into waist-deep river water to find the woman and her infant hanging upside down, barely above water, restrained by their seatbelts. When he couldn’t release the buckles, he ran to his vehicle, called 911, and returned with a letter opener to cut the seatbelts. Bland finally was able to get the woman and child out of the vehicle.
Walter Hayes of St. Louis, MO, saw a speeding driver strike a student who was crossing the street. Hayes immediately ran to the student’s aid, lying next to the child to keep the student warm and to help calm him.
Letter Carrier Melissa Kelley saved a customer from two attacking pit bulls. She chased them away using her satchel and dog spray. The man had been bitten on his arms and face and had his front teeth knocked out. Kelley stayed with him until paramedics arrived. Later, he thanked Kelley, calling her his “angel.”
Oakland, CA, Letter Carriers Alan Girard, Rick Quinonez, Gilbert Rangel, Tanya Joseph and Karen Hill bravely helped rescue 100 residents from an apartment fire.
The irony is, these postal workers gave of their own time and physical safety to rescue fellow Americans in need. But, federal support of the poor and lame, federal support of Social Security and Medicare, indeed all federal spending costs you no time, no effort and not one cent.
That’s right. The U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. While state and local governments, being monetarily non-sovereign, do rely on taxes to support spending, the federal government does not.
If FICA disappeared, this would have no effect on the federal government’s ability to pay Social Security and Medicare benefits. If all federal taxes fell to $0, the federal government still could continue to pay every bill, forever.
So here is the bottom line:
1. Federal “welfare” costs you nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
2. Federal “welfare” closes the gap between the richest and the poorest among us, which is why a candidate whose wealth is $250 million, sneers at the less fortunate, and resists helping them. He wants that gap widened.
3. There is no evidence a significant number of people would rather be on SNAP and unemployment, than have a decent, paying job. The “food-stamp mother,” who is too lazy to work, and has bunches of illegitimate kids in order to collect welfare, is an extreme rarity. Few people would relish that kind of life. It’s much more difficult than working.
4. Federal “welfare” payments stimulate the economy, benefitting every American, not just the poor. (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending – Net Imports)
5. Those who begrudge the social benefits paid by the federal government, simply are mean-spirited, unpatriotic bastards, who don’t deserve to call themselves religious or American.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%
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. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports