NO, NO, NO. The federal government does not borrow U.S. dollars. Saturday, Jan 18 2020 

And now comes Bloomberg, a respected fountain of financial information, with an article the effect of which (if not the purpose of which) it to confuse you.

Related image

Yes, I lie for the rich.

It starts out badly and only worsens.

Politics
U.S. to Start Issuing 20-Year Bonds to Fund Rising Deficit
By Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg.com
January 16, 2020, 6:12 PM EST Updated on January 17, 2020, 7:03 AM EST

The U.S. Treasury will start issuing 20-year bonds in the first half of 2020, expanding its roster of securities as the government seeks ways to fund a ballooning deficit.

T-notes, T-bills, and T-bonds do not fund the deficit. Period.

The government funds its deficit spending by creating new dollars, ad hoc. The federal government (unlike state and local governments) never can run short of dollars. It does not use tax dollars. It does not borrow dollars. It is Monetarily Sovereign, i.e. sovereign over its own currency.

Amazing that Bloomberg does not understand this . . . or does he?

Now, for the real reason for the new 20-year bonds:

Institutional investors have been clamoring for more longer-dated, risk-free securities that offer some nominal yield, amid a global total of $11 trillion of debt with negative rates.

“The 20-year bond fits more easily into the existing market structure,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in New York.

Right. The purpose of federal bonds is not to fund anything. The primary purposes are:

  1. To give holders of U.S. dollars what they want: A safe, interest-paying parking place for unused dollars, and
  2. To help the Fed control interest rates.

“This is a way of taking advantage of long-term interest rates that are low by historical standards without introducing a wild-card such as an ultra-long bond, which would have had more growing pains.”

Nah, the Treasury doesn’t need to “take advantage of” low interest rates. It could pay any rate, simply by pressing a computer key. The Treasury, having infinite access to dollars, doesn’t need to hunt for bargains.

“It’s much more useful than a 50- or 100-year bond, which only really work for a pension portfolio,” said Gene Tannuzzo, deputy global head of fixed income at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

“Twenty-year bonds are a much more natural fit in mutual funds and institutional bond mandates.”

Right. The whole issue has nothing whatsoever to do with “funding a rising deficit.” It’s strictly a financial deal for investors.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement that “we will continue to evaluate other potential new products” to finance debt at the lowest cost over time.

As usual, Mnuchin shovels manure. The so-called “debt” is nothing more than deposits in T-security accounts.

The Federal government does not spend those dollars. The dollars are not “borrowed.” The dollars remain in the accounts until the security matures, at which time they are returned.

That is how the “debt” is financed.

If you buy a T-security, and at some time before maturity, you ask how much money is in your account, you will find that all of your dollars still are there. The government will not have used them to “fund” the deficit.

At President Donald Trump’s request, Mnuchin in August began a second review into ultra-long bonds since taking office. Trump has said repeatedly the U.S. should seek to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

Image result for mnuchin

Yes, I lie for Trump.

The usual Trumpian misstatement:

    1. The federal government does not benefit from low interest rates, but
    2. The economy benefits from higher rates, which cause the government to pump more growth dollars into the economy.

Issuing extremely long-term debt would limit the cost to taxpayers of plugging a budget deficit that’s headed to $1 trillion annually.

No, taxpayers do not fund the federal debt. It is paid off by returning the dollars in T-security accounts.

Taxpayers’ dollars do not help fund any federal expenditures. All federal taxes (unlike state and local taxes) are destroyed upon receipt.

There’s a large gap between the 10-year and 30-year bonds so “there will be demand for it,” said Tony Farren, managing director at broker-dealer Mischler Financial in Stamford, Connecticut. It will appeal to “people that don’t want to go all out to 30 years,” he said.

— With assistance by Chris Anstey, Emily Barrett, Vivien Lou Chen, Adam Haigh, Stephen Spratt, Liz McCormick, Benjamin Purvis, and Nick Baker

Right. The 20-year bonds fill the gap between the 10-year and the 30-year bonds. That is the reason these bonds are being introduced, not to fund anything.

My guess: Mr. Bloomberg knows all this.

Image result for trump

Yes I lie for me.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

From “ticking time bomb” to “Deficit of Doomsday” Wednesday, Jan 15 2020 

Regular readers of this post are familiar with the “ticking time bomb,” the name the Debt Henny Pennys have given to the federal debt.

You see, the Debt Henny Pennys (DHPs) do not understand the difference between the finances of a Monetarily Sovereign government (i.e. the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan et al) and the monetarily non-sovereign finances of cities, counties, states, euro nations, you, and me.

Image result for bernanke and greenspan

Do the fools actually believe we use their tax dollars?

Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Alan Greenspan: “Central banks can issue currency, a non-interest-bearing claim on the government, effectively without limit. A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets (borrowing) to remain operational.

The DHPs do not understand that while Monetarily Sovereign entities cannot run short of their own sovereign currency, and do not even need or use any sort of income (including tax income), we monetarily non-sovereign folks can and often do run short of money, simply because we, as individual people, do not have a sovereign currency.

If I asked you how much money you own, you probably could give me a pretty good estimate. But if I asked you how much money the United States government owns, you could Google forever and never find the answer.

The reason: Being Monetarily Sovereign, the U.S. government has infinite dollars. It can create dollars instantly and endlessly.

Denying economic reality, the DHPs, do not want you to know that they called the federal deficit and debt (they mix the two), a “ticking time bomb” way back in 1940, when the federal debt was $40 Billion.

And they have used the same warning every year since.

(It reminds me of the cult leader who annually tells his flock the world is ending, so they give him all their worldly possessions and climb a mountain to sit and wait for the apocalypse. Then, when the world doesn’t end, they climb back down, financially poorer and having learned nothing, and a year later, the same thing happens.)

Today, the debt has climbed to over $20 Trillion, a 50,000% increase from 1940, and here we are, with the strongest economy in our history.

Well, here’s a new one from the DHPs: Out with the misleading, “Ticking Time Bomb” and in with even more misleading, “Decade of Deficit Doomsday.” Different words; even more ignorant.

The 2020s Will Be the Decade of Deficit Doomsday
America will have to pay for its spending spree and its wars.
ERIC BOEHM, a reporter at Reason.com, 1/10/2020

The decade that just ended saw a period of uninterrupted economic growth. In the decade to come, we’ll pay for squandering it.

Since the so-called Great Recession officially ended in the third quarter of 2009, the United States has enjoyed 42 consecutive quarters of solid if unspectacular economic growth.

That’s the longest run of uninterrupted growth since government economists began tracking the business cycle in the 1850s, far outpacing the average economic expansion of 18 months.

Employment has increased by 12 percent, the jobless rate reached record lows, and America’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by more than 25 percent.

It has been, by almost any measure, one of the best times in American history. Almost.

Ah, poor Eric Boehm, the author of the above. He describes the last decade’s economy in glowing terms, but forgets to mention one important fact: The economy grew because the federal government pumped money into it. How?

With deficit spending.

Increased rate of deficit spending (red line) cured the “Great Recession” (vertical gray bar) and led to increased economic growth (blue line).

Reduced deficit growth leads to recessions which are cured by increased deficit growth:

All seven recessions in the past 60 years have been introduced by reduced deficit growth and cured by increased deficit growth. 

Hanging over this decade of good news is the gloom of a missed opportunity.

After piling up trillions of dollars in deficit spending during the last recession, the federal government took some modest steps towards reducing that red ink during the middle years of the 2010s.

But after Republicans took full control in 2017, spending skyrocketed and the deficit inflated again.

Why is Boehm concerned about the federal deficit? Does he believe the government will run short of money? (It can’t.)

Is he concerned about inflation? (The Monetarily Sovereign government has absolute control over the value of its own sovereign currency, which is why we don’t have high inflation despite high deficits.)

Is Boehm ignorant about economics or is he a liar? (The only two alternatives.)

Since Trump was inaugurated, Washington has added $4.7 trillion to the national debt—almost entirely the result of a gigantic spending binge, but with a small assist from the 2017 tax cuts, which reduced revenues without offsetting spending cuts.

And that $4.7 trillion constituted growth dollars entering the economy.

Now, more than a decade after the last recession ended, the United States is carrying a record amount of debt: more than $23 trillion. The country is on track to add more than $1 trillion to that total in every year of the coming decade, with old age entitlements ramping up as Baby Boomers retire and the country as a whole ages.

It isn’t even “debt” in the usual sense. It’s the total of deposits into Treasury Security accounts (T-bills, T-notes, T-bonds) which are paid off simply by returning the dollars in those accounts to the account holders. No problem at all.

Banks boast about the amounts of deposits they hold, and they are monetarily non-sovereign. But Boehm fears the deposits our Monetarily Sovereign government holds.

Ridiculous.

“Debt matters because it’s the one issue that impacts all others,” says Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan policy center dedicated to fiscal issues.

“Debt threatens our economic health and hinders our ability to make important investments in our future. If we want to tackle big issues like climate change, student debt or national security, then we shouldn’t saddle ourselves with growing interest costs.”

The Peterson Foundation is as “nonpartisan” as Mitch McConnell.

The second paragraph (above) implies that the federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency with which to pay its bills.

It can’t.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the national debt will approach the size of the entire U.S. economy by the end of the current decade—and will keep on growing until it hits 144 percent of U.S. GDP in 2049.

The current situation, warns the Government Accountability Office (GAO), is “unsustainable.”

Rather than “unsustainable,” they should have called it a “ticking time bomb,” like the other DHPs do. Both characterizations would be equally inaccurate.

By the way, Japan (a Monetarily Sovereign government) has a “debt” (holds deposits) that total more than 250% of its economy. They never have had any difficulty servicing their debt, and never will.

Compare all this with early 2001, at the end of the second-longest economic expansion in history. The federal government was running a surplus.

The national debt was falling and amounted to only 31 percent of GDP. That’s what you’d expect to see now, since deficits typically fall when the economy is growing and grow when the economy is rotten.

Oops. Boehm “forgot” to mention that the surplus led to the recession of 2001. Why?

Federal surpluses bleed money out of the economy, and give them to the federal government, which destroys them.

Reduced deficit growth which transitioned to a surplus in 1998, cause the recession of 2001, which was cured by increased deficit growth

Indeed, since the end of World War II, the U.S. has seen deficits greater than 4 percent of GDP only in years when the country was either deep in the throes of a serious recession or emerging from one.

Boehm’s key words are, “emerging from one.” It’s the deficit growth that emerges us from recessions, by adding growth dollars to the economy.

Only by running deficits can America ever cure a recession or depression.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), citing federal government data says that in the short term, deficit spending—or tax cuts that aren’t offset with spending cuts—can juice the economy and boost growth.

But in the long term, high levels of debt drag down economic growth.

The CBO projects that the average American household will lose between $2,000 and $6,000 in annual wealth by 2040 if the current trajectory continues. It also says America’s GDP will shrink by 2 percent over the next two decades if current policies continue and the debt keeps growing.

The “long term” comment is absolute nonsense, as demonstrated by history and by logic.

History shows that the federal debt has increased more than 50,000% since 1940, and the economy today is growing exuberantly.

History also shows that reducing federal debt (i.e taking dollars from the economy) causes depressions and recessions.

1804-1812: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 48%. Depression began 1807.
1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Great Depression began 1929.
1997-2001: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 15%. Recession began 2001.

Logic shows that adding dollars to the economy (which is what federal deficits do) is necessary to grow the economy, and that is exactly what the government does to cure recessions and depressions.

And the CBO projections are probably too rosy. They predate the approval of a new bipartisan budget deal in late 2019 that is expected to add another $1.7 trillion to the national debt over 10 years.

That would be 1.7 million growth dollars added to the economy. Growth dollars help prevent recessions.

Furthermore, the CBO is required to build projections based on current policies. Those assume, among other things, that some of the 2017 tax cuts will expire in the middle of this decade. Politically, that’s unlikely to happen.

Tax cuts grow the economy. Tax increases stifle economic growth.

Worse yet, the CBO’s projections don’t account for the inevitable eventual end to this run of economic growth. If we’re running a trillion-dollar deficit in the good years, what happens when the next downturn occurs?

When the next downturn occurs, the government will increase deficit spending to stimulate the economy.

“A recession could quickly push the deficit up towards $2 trillion,” says Brian Riedl, a former Republican congressional staffer now based at the Manhattan Institute. A recession would likely trigger politically-motivated calls for even more deficit spending, causing the debt to skyrocket even more than it already has.

Why would there be “calls for more deficit spending”? Because deficit spending is the only way to prevent or cure a recession.

And these calls would not be “politically-motivated.” They would be economically necessary.

It might also cause interest rates to spike, compounding America’s debt problem. Every percentage point that interest rates rise will add $1.8 trillion in added costs over the decade.

Isn’t it fascinating that intelligent people can make truly ignorant predictions that are completely at odds with obvious historical fact?

First, despite massive increases in the federal “debt” (deposits) interest rates have not “spiked.” Quite the opposite. They are low. The federal government has absolute control over the interest rates on its own sovereign currency.

Second, the federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, can pay any amount of interest simply by pressing a few computer keys. It never can run short of dollars with which to pay its bills.

And third, if interest rates did “spike,” that would add growth dollars to the economy, thereby benefiting the economy.

“A nervous bond market could demand higher interest rates, further weakening both the economy and the deficit,” says Riedl. “So while the economy looks strong and the deficit seems irrelevant, the fiscal situation is quite fragile.”

The above paragraph is 100% bullsh*t, for the reasons explained previously. And the deficit is not “irrelevant.”  The deficit is necessary for economic growth.

America’s fiscal situation is not fragile at all. It is a rock-solid as any fiscal situation can be. It has the unlimited ability to pay bills, instantly and in any amount. Does that sound “fragile”?

Assigning blame isn’t the most important thing, but there is plenty to go around. The Trump administration and current crop of Republicans in Congress have made the problem worse than it already was.

Some of them—like former deficit hawk Mick Mulvaney and former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who made his name in Congress as the GOP’s budget-maker—deserve special ignominy for abandoning their fiscal conservatism when it was most needed.

Trump came into office promising to eliminate the national debt in eight years, and that’s even more of a joke now than it was then.

The “Trump administration and current crop of Republicans in Congress” are composed of the most incompetent, ignorant butt-kissers who ever have soiled the floors of the White House and the Congress building.

The fact that Trump promised what he didn’t do should come as no surprise to anyone who has been reading something more scrupulous than Brietbart.

(Still waiting to read Trump’s oft-promised replacement for Obamacare.)

Meanwhile, Democrats’ aversion to spending reductions and their refusal even to consider changes to entitlement programs—the biggest driver of the national debt—are equally large obstacles to any meaningful attempt at fixing this mess.

The party’s progressive wing is pushing for Medicare for All and expanding Social Security benefits, while elevating economic theories that say we should ignore the deficit.

The above is typical of the Party of the Rich — desperate to cut benefits to the middle- and lower- classes, but never eliminating those huge tax breaks for the rich.

In contrast to their elected officials, most Americans believe the debt and deficit are important.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted earlier this month found that 53 percent of Americans view the federal budget deficit as a “very big” problem facing the country.

That’s a larger share of the public than the portion that views terrorism (39 percent), racism (43 percent), or climate change (48 percent) as a major problem.

Sadly, the economic ignorance of the American public is equaled only by the economic mendacity of America’s politicians, media, and university economists, the majority of whom have been influenced (read: “bribed”) by the rich to lie about federal spending.

We had time. We may yet have more. But Washington is more likely to squander the 2020s, just like it did the latter half of the 2010s.

If by “squander, Mr. Boehm means “pump growth dollars into the economy,” then clearly the government has “squandered” the latter half of the 1900s, and we hope will continue to “squander” all of the 2000s and beyond.

Those who regularly preach doom because of government budget deficits (as I regularly did myself for many years) might note that our country’s national debt has increased roughly 400 fold during the last of my 77-year periods. That’s 40,000%!

Suppose you had foreseen this increase and panicked at the prospect of runaway deficits and a worthless currency. To “protect” yourself, you might have eschewed stocks and opted instead to buy 3 1/4 ounces of gold with your $114.75.

And what would that supposed protection have delivered?  You would now have an asset worth about $4,200, less than 1% of what would have been realized from a simple, unmanaged investment in American business. 

Warren Buffett

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Why do you want to starve the poor? The Gap Psychology of the rich. Saturday, Jan 11 2020 

Why do you want to starve the poor?

Oh, you don’t. Well, your government does. Here are excerpts from an article that appeared in a recent issue of the New York Times:

SNAP cuts can be costly elsewhere
Recipients of food stamps are healthier, studies found
By Austin Frakt and Elsa Pearson The New York Times

The Department of Agriculture recently finished work on a new rule that may take food stamps away from nearly 700,000 Americans by tightening work requirements.

Why do you wish to tighten work requirements on the poor? Is it that you harbor Puritanical instincts demanding that people labor to receive benefits from the federal government?

Image result for American poor workers

Too many benefits to the lazy poor.

Many of the rich don’t work, or they labor only minimally. Yet, they receive massive tax benefits from the U.S. government. Why the “special” rules for the poor?

Why don’t you demand that the rich labor in real jobs to receive those tax benefits? Why do you demand that the poor be required to work in order to receive their minimal benefits?

Give me one good excuse.

Fake Excuse 1. No, your tax dollars do not pay for food stamps, so you can’t use that excuse. The federal government creates brand new dollars to pay for food stamps. Federal tax dollars do not pay for anything.
Fake Excuse 2. And no, even if the government gave loafers food stamps, that would not lead to nationwide indolence. Food stamps comprise such a meager amount of money, you know full well that you wouldn’t quit your job in order to receive them.

Any others?

Image result for rich people on yachts

Not enough benefits to the hard-working rich.

Continuing with the excerpts:

Several times in the past year, the government has proposed cutting food stamp eligibility. The new rule is intended to save almost $8 billion over five years.

The problem with that reasoning is:

Fake Excuse 3. While food stamps are an important part of many poor people’s survival income, $1.6 billion represents pocket change to the federal government, barely noticeable to a government that spends trillions.
Fake Excuse 4. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, does not need to save money. It freely creates all the dollars it needs simply by pressing computer keys.

The article continues:

It’s not clear how much money would actually be saved, research suggests, given the costs that might come from a decline in the health and well-being of many of the country’s 14.3 million “food-insecure” households.

The Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. It affects low-income, single-parent, and black and Latino households the most, but it cuts across many demographic lines and affects 11% of American households overall.

Citing a strong job market, the Trump administration has said helping able-bodied adults was no longer necessary.

Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said: “We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand.”

Sonny, doesn’t believe in giving people money, because . . .  well, just because:

Sonny Perdue, 72, Secretary of Agriculture, Net worth: $5 million
The former Georgia governor built a fortune in agribusiness and real estate. Shortly after joining Trump’s cabinet, he transferred control of investments worth at least $8 million—including a stake in a multimillion-dollar grain-merchandising business—to his four adult children.

Correction: Sonny doesn’t believe in giving money to poor people who desperately need it. Giving billions to his rich kids is just fine, however.

Continuing the excerpts:

Food insecurity is linked to worse health outcomes, including poor mental health, high blood pressure and diabetes, with children particularly vulnerable.

Low-income people may be eligible for federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, better known as food stamps. The details vary by state.
“SNAP recipients often work, but their employment can be unsteady,” said Dr. Seth Berkowitz, an internist and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Seasonal variation in some labor markets — like agriculture or even retail consumer jobs when sales may spike around the winter holidays — can put people temporarily out of work, making it hard for them to keep food on the table. “The way these work requirements are imposed could pull support out from under people even when they are working.”

The real motive of the GOP (“Party of the Rich”) is not to force people to labor for their money, but rather to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest. (See: Gap Psychology)

Because there is no limit to the lust of the rich to be richer and ever richer, there also is no limit to the punishment they dole out to the poor. Whatever rule the Department of Agriculture publishes, it will not ever be enough to satisfy the rich.

Depend on this: Immediately after the rule is published, the Party of the Rich will begin to demand an even harsher rule.

One study found that receiving SNAP benefits was associated with a reduction in annual health care spending of about $1,400 per person among low-income adults.

Another study found that each additional $10 of monthly SNAP benefits was linked with a lower risk of hospitalization for Maryland residents enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.

In Massachusetts, an increase in SNAP benefits slowed the increase in Medicaid hospitalization costs.

The authors of the article, Austin Frakt and Elsa Pearson, in typical New York Times fashion, try to make their point based on cost, not on compassion or concern for Americans’ health.

This probably is wise, because compassion totally is missing from the GOP, from Trump and from the “religious” right (who are perhaps the least religious people on earth). That lack of religion is proved every day at the U.S. southern border.

And as for cost, it is a phony concern. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, can afford anything.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children WIC is similar to SNAP, but as its name suggests, it provides nutritional support only for low-income mothers and their young children.

What about low-income fathers? What about low-income teens? What about low-income adults who don’t have children?

The only social concern exhibited by the “religious right” involves the survival of fetuses. There is no concern for the pregnant woman or for the fetuses after they are born. In their world, abortion is bad, but feeding children and adults is worse. 

How do they know? Jesus told them.

For additional help, people often turn to local food pantries, such as those that partner with the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Local food pantries are funded by the private sector and local governments, none of which is Monetarily Sovereign. They can run short of money. The federal government cannot.

Illogic is taking money from those whose money is limited instead of taking it from a government with unlimited funds.

Research suggests food pantries are also effective at providing immediate relief. They have far fewer eligibility requirements than SNAP or WIC — sometimes none — but limit when and how often clients can receive food.

Some pantries are even on college campuses, helping the almost 40% of college students who report struggling to afford food.

Food pantries also serve as a community entry point for a variety of initiatives, including cooking and nutrition classes.

The federal government has the financial power to do all of the above, yet the burden falls on the private sector and local governments.

A review of 12 pilot pantry-based programs found these could improve participants’ nutritional knowledge and diet.

One of the interventions studied a novel approach to food pantry design that allows clients to choose their own food and take part in monthly nutritional goal setting.

Three months in, participants were less likely than those using a traditional food pantry to experience severe food insecurity.

A year later, they were eating more fruits and vegetables.

What a concept. Actually allowing poor people to choose their own food! Who would have believed it would allow the poor to eat more healthfully? Not the federal government, which is dominated by the Gap Psychology of the rich, who run America, and the “religious” right, which runs the GOP.

While interventions can help, they are not long-term solutions nor do they address underlying problems, like food deserts (communities where healthy food is hard to find) and food swamps (those where unhealthy food abounds). We eat what’s available and affordable, even if that’s bad food.

The Trump administration’s solution to food insecurity is to cut funding for food stamps. Presumably, the rationale is: By starving the poor to death, there will be fewer poor to feed. Problem solved.

Feeding America estimates at least 30% of those with food insecurity nationwide aren’t eligible for SNAP. In some states, it’s nearly 50%.

Tightening eligibility for the program, as new work requirements would do, would only increase that number.

And that, dear friends, is how we make America great, again.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

"Who is the dummy?" Sunday, Jan 5 2020 

A few notes on: “Who is the dummy?”

Related image

A note on religion:
‘He was sent to us’: at church rally, evangelicals worship God and Trump (at least Trump was mentioned second by His worshippers who will continue to venerate him for all his many sins, just so long as he supports white supremacy and opposes a woman’s right to abortion).

Evangelicals praying to Trump.

A note on party before country, “That was then, this is now” version:
Then: Lindsey Graham, who is one of the president’s closest allies, warned that should the Turkish carry out an invasion of Syria, Congress would impose bipartisan sanctions that he expects to be “veto-proof,” and he said he has already spoken to Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen about the sanctions.
Then: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement that said that a “precipitous withdrawal” posed the danger of allowing ISIS to “regroup,” and he argued that a new conflict between Turkey and “our partners in Syria” would risk Turkey’s ties to the U.S. and cause it to be more isolated.
Then: Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted, “If reports about US retreat in #Syria are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.” He noted that it would “confirm #Iran’s view of this administration,” potentially causing an escalation in their attacks and possibly a broader regional war.
Then: Maine Senator Susan Collins called it a “terribly unwise decision by the president.”
Then: Utah Senator Mitt Romney tweeted that the pullback is a “betrayal” that “says America is an unreliable ally.” The move, he said, “facilitates ISIS resurgence” and “presages another humanitarian disaster.”
Then: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on “Fox and Friends” that “if you make a commitment, and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”
Then: Fox and Friends Host Brian Kilmeade urged McCarthy, “Call the president before it’s too late.”
Then: Trump tweeted: “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off-limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”

Now: A member of U.S. Special Forces serving alongside the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria told Fox News on Wednesday they were witnessing Turkish atrocities on the frontlines.

“I am ashamed for the first time in my career,” said the distraught soldier, who has been involved in the training of indigenous forces on multiple continents. The hardened service member is among the 1,000 or so U.S. troops who remain in Syria.

“Turkey is not doing what it agreed to. It’s horrible,” the military source on the ground said. “We met every single security agreement. The Kurds met every single agreement [with the Turks]. There was no threat to the Turks — none — from this side of the border.” 

Now: Not “totally destroying and obliterating the Economy of Turkey (you’ve done before!).”
Now: “Kremlin-controlled state TV hosts throw buckets of mud on #Ukraine, insist it should investigate Biden and conclude that ‘Republican majority in the Senate won’t allow President Donald Trump—whom we elected— to be impeached. It’s impossible,’”
Now: Surveys have shown that Trump retains very high levels of support with Republicans: Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Kevin McCarthy, and Brian Kilmeade.

A note on Trump’s promises: Then: Trump pledged to release an unredacted transcript of his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Now: Ha!

So, now, about the title question: “Who is the dummy?”

Answer: We all are. He is the President, raking in illegal money and false honors. It is we who put him there. And half of America still believes what he says.

H.L.Mencken: “No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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