God Bless America Sunday, Jun 24 2018 


Image result for trump crosses arms

The disaster that is named “Cruelty” Friday, Jun 22 2018 

I am so angry, I can’t even write about the disaster that has hit America.

I’ll leave you to read about it yourself: The lost country that once was America

Remember to vote this November.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
RememberInNovember.net

 

How you can help protect Medicare and Social Security Friday, Jun 22 2018 

.

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:

The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders

============================================================================

You endlessly have been told that Medicare and Social Security Trust funds will, in the near future, run short of money unless benefits are decreased or taxes are increased.

In the post, Fake federal trust funds and fake concerns we debunk this false idea. Today, I’ll suggest what you can do to help protect your Medicare and Social Security.

First, as a quick refresher, here are excerpts from a very short article in THE WEEK Magazine, June 22, 2018:t

Nolan Finley: The annual report from the trustees of Social Security and Medicare shows that both programs “have accelerated their race toward the brick wall of insolvency.”

Social Security will spend more money this year than it takes in for the first time since 1983.

Finley and the trustees are wrong.

Social Security and Medicare are departments of the U.S. federal government. As such, they cannot become insolvent unless the U.S. becomes insolvent and/or Congress and the President want them to become insolvent.

The U.S., being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to create its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

It can pay any debt denominated in dollars. Because the federal government’s financial obligations are denominated in U.S. dollars, the U.S. government always can pay them. It even can pay any obligation denominated in a foreign currency, simply by exchanging dollars for that currency.

Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

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.”

In short, the United States government cannot become insolvent. 

The notion that a department of the U.S. government can become insolvent is like saying the mail room of a large, infinitely wealthy corporation can become insolvent — an obvious impossibility unless the corporation were arbitrarily to decide not to pay the mail room’s expenses.

Further, Social Security does not “take in” money. Those FICA dollars extracted from your paycheck do not pay for Social Security. Upon receipt by the Treasury, they disappear from any measure of the U.S. money supply — M0, M1, M2, M3, L — or any other code.

Your tax dollars effectively are destroyed upon receipt.

If you ask, “How much money does the federal government have,” you will not find the answer. What the federal government does have is the unlimited ability to create dollars. It “has” infinite dollars.

(If your business owned an infinite dollar-creating machine, how many dollars would your business have?  And would any department of your business be in danger of insolvency?)

Nolan Finley continues: “Without drastic changes, the Social Security Trust Fund is now expected to be depleted within 16 years, going bust by 2034.

Things are even grimmer when it comes to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund — Medicare Part A — which is projected to run out of money by 2016.

At 63, I’ll probably still collect my benefits but, ‘I feel for the generations behind me. There seems no chance they’ll ever collect anything.'”

These latter three paragraphs voice ideas promulgated by the rich to make the rest of us accept unnecessary reductions in our benefits.

You’ll notice that Finley did not mention Medicare Part B (mostly doctors)  and Part D (prescriptions). Why? Because these two benefits are run through the bookkeeping ledgers of the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Funds.

These mythical “trust funds” receive their bookkeeping credits from the federal government’s General Fund which never unintentionally can run short of its sovereign currency.

That is why no one ever talks about Medicare Part B and Part D becoming insolvent. They have access to an infinite number of dollars.

So, you might ask, why not fund Medicare Part A and Social Security the same way Parts B and D are funded — from the limitless General Fund?

The answer: The politicians, the media, and the economists are paid by the rich to keep you ignorant of the fact that Social Security and Medicare, Parts B & D have infinite access to money.

If you knew this, you might ask for increases in benefits, thereby narrowing the financial Gap between you and the rich — the very last thing the rich want.

In fact, there is a very good chance you didn’t know it until this very moment, and now you are sitting there thinking, “Is this really possible? They’ve been telling me Medicare can ‘go bust,’ but they only are talking about Part A, and they are lying about that, too.”

Yes, that is exactly what is happening. You are being lied to. And the cure for lies is the fresh air of truth.

I suggest you contact your Senators and your Representative, and rather than go through the entire argument about Monetary Sovereignty, simply say this:

“We repeatedly are told that Medicare will become insolvent unless there is a decrease in benefits or a tax increase.

“Were you aware that this applies only to Medicare Part A? Medicare Part B and Part D are paid out of the federal General Fund, which means they cannot become insolvent.

“So the question is: Why doesn’t Congress merely specify that Medicare Part A benefits be paid the same way as Medicare Part B and Part D?

“That would completely eliminate all the concerns about insolvency.

“(The same would be true for Social Security. It too should be paid from the General Fund.)”

A letter would be good. A phone call would be better. A letter + a phone call would be better yet. Repeated phone calls and letters would be the best.

If enough people do this, maybe, just maybe . . .

Anything is possible if enough people want it.

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

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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 The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Sessions defends it but Trump says it’s Democrats’ fault. Wednesday, Jun 20 2018 

Image result for Charles Coughlin

Father Coughlin

.

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:

The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders

===============================================================================================

Separating immigrant children from parents: Sessions defends it, but Trump blames Democrats.

Huh?

That’s like the child who denies involvement, “I didn’t do it and I never will do it again.”

In classic Charles Coughlin style, Atty. General Jeff Sessions used quotes from the bible to justify his bigotry:

Sessions says the Bible justifies separating immigrant families.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” — has been read as an unequivocal order for Christians to obey state authority, a reading that not only justified Southern slavery but also authoritarian rule in Nazi Germany and South African apartheid.

When Southern preachers blasted Northern abolitionists for defying the Fugitive Slave Act in the decade leading to the Civil War, they cited the same lines.

In 1744, clergyman Elisha Williams remarked that the text was “often wrecked and tortured by such wits as were disposed to serve the designs of arbitrary power.” Sessions’s comments yesterday kicked up a similarly intense response.

The same Bible verse was also cited by South Africa’s white Afrikaner minority as the country was locked down under a series of racist laws after World War II.

When you’re a bible thumper, and you use the bible to justify your actions, but your own church says you’re immoral, you know you have a problem.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointed to the Bible to defend the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, but in a letter dated June 18, Methodists accused Sessions of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and “dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church.”

The charges each relate to Sessions’s “zero-tolerance” border crackdown that has evoked bipartisan outrage, while the last is specifically linked to his use of the Bible to defend the policy.

Sessions’s support and advocacy for “holding thousands of young children in mass incarceration facilities with little to no structured educational or socio-emotional support” and for “directing employees and staff members to kidnap children from their parents” falls in violation of the Methodists’ Book of Discipline, the Methodists contend in the letter.

“While other individuals and areas of the federal government are implicated in each of these examples, Mr. Sessions — a long-term United Methodaist in a tremendously powerful, public position — is particularly accountable to us, his church. He is ours, and we are his. As his denomination, we have an ethical obligation to speak boldly when one of our members is engaged in causing significant harm in matters contrary to the Discipline on the global stage.”

And now that Sessions has taken credit for separating children from their parents, and even has used the bible as his basis, President Trump says it’s all the fault of the Democrats:

“Immigration is the fault, and all the problems that we’re having because we cannot get them (the Democrats) to sign legislation, we cannot get them even to the negotiating table, and I say it’s very strongly the Democrats’ fault.

What’s happening is so sad. It’s so sad,” he said.

Sessions takes “credit,” but it’s all the Democrats’ fault, and it’s “sad, so sad,”  but the bible says it’s good.

And the GOP dominated Congress must come up with legislation, and though Trump has no idea what that legislation will be, he wants you to believe the Democrats should sign it.

It gets worse. President Trump, the Thomas Edison of facts (i.e. he invents more of them than anyone) has new facts to back Session’s “zero tolerance” act, (the act that is the Democrats’ fault):

Trump falsely claims Germany has migrant-driven crime wave

President Trump, on Tuesday, insisted that Germany’s crime rate has spiked due to its open-door policy toward migrants, a false claim he has used to bolster his “zero tolerance” stance on illegal immigration.

“Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted. Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!” Trump tweeted.

German government statistics for 2017 showed the country had its lowest level of crime in 25 years.

Trump on Tuesday also reiterated his support for the zero-tolerance policy, which has resulted in roughly 2,000 children separated from their families who illegally crossed the United States’ southern border.

Why does Trump support separating children from their parents, though it’s “sad, so sad”?

Politics. He’s pandering to his hard-line, immigrant-hating, brown-skin-hating base.

Majority of Republicans support family separation policy

A Quinnipiac University poll found: Republican voters support the policy 55 to 35 percent. They are the only listed party, gender, education, age or racial group to support the policy, according to Quinnipiac.

Sixty-six percent of American voters oppose the policy, according to the poll.

And then we have excerpts from the following article:

This is what tyranny looks like

Tyrannical rule often begins this way, as something that looks like a mistake–perhaps over-excited law enforcement people or confused bureaucrats. 

That’s the way it was in Argentina in the 1970s, when young people began mysteriously disappearing in night-time arrests by paramilitary and secret police.

In Turkey, following a 2016 coup attempt, as the months went by, and the detentions and arrests expanded to more than 100,000 this year–including university professors, journalists, and judges–it became clear that something much more than a response to a coup attempt was occurring.

Unfortunately, America’s sudden fixation on separating migrant children from their parents bears similar hallmarks of tyranny.

Key among these qualities are lots of seeming confusion and double talk by government officials, and finger-pointing about the origination and rationale for the heavy-handed policies.

A major goal of the confusion is to promote secrecy. Reporters don’t know such basics as how many centers there are to house children separated from their parents.

Even prominent politicians seem unable to extract significant amounts of information. Reporters and politicians were allowed a short tour of (presumably) the most attractive facility. Some reporters characterized this model center housing young children as a bunch of “cages.”

NPR: “According to the Texas Civil Rights Project, which has been able to speak with detained adults, multiple parents reported that they were separated from their children and not given any information about where their children would go.

 The organization also says that in some cases, the children were taken away under the pretense that they would be getting a bath.”

The secrecy also makes it difficult for Americans to fully appreciate the horror being visited on migrant families.

There is the mother who was separated from her five-year-old son six weeks ago. They still haven’t seen each other, and she’s frantic she’ll be deported without him: “On the afternoon of their second day in detention, two male agents entered the cell. They didn’t say anything. They just walked over and grabbed Jairo. He clung to me, cried and screamed. They had to pull him away.’

She pleaded with the agents to tell her what was going on. In the next few hours, the agents started taking other children, too.”

The contradictory and confusing explanations offered by officials overseeing the entire child-separation horror are also designed to suggest that no one is responsible for the outrage.

That helps communicate that the events are somehow blips, exceptions, not part of any larger goal.

The President has been the master of the double talk going on, seeming to change his tune by the day and hour.

He has blamed Democrats for somehow having made family separations mandatory. Except it is the policy of his own attorney general, which Trump presumably approved.

Then the White House followed yet another path: “The harshest family separation policy is that too many Americans have been permanently separated from loved ones because of crime spilling across our border.”

The larger message inherent in the immigration tyranny is that it could be more widely applied to American citizens regarded as enemies–journalists, university professors, opposition politicians”..the list is endless.

This message becomes clearer by the refusal of the administration to back down in the face of widespread condemnation.

Certainly putting law enforcement people through the repeated heartbreaking exercise of breaking up families and imprisoning children will serve to harden them for the real work that could be coming up before long.

To summarize the Trump/ hard-line, GOP position:

  1. In April, Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy on illegal border crossings
  2. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney defended the “zero tolerance” policy, saying the Trump administration was merely enforcing existing laws (laws that do not mention separating children from their parents).
  3. Session’s zero-tolerance position is good.
  4. The bible justifies it, though Session’s Methodists and other religions do not.
  5. And it’s “sad, so sad”
  6. But it’s all the Democrats’ fault for not signing the legislation.
  7. Though Trump has no idea what that legislation says or even exists.
  8. And though the GOP has a voting majority in both houses of Congress, the lack of legislation is the Democrats’ fault.
  9. Germany’s crime rate is up, because they let so many immigrants in (though Germany’s crime rate actually is down.)
  10. Enemies (foreigners we don’t like), even infant children of enemies, are to be treated harshly. Nothing is too cruel. Nothing is too horrifying. We can do whatever we want to those people, because . . . .
  11. The precedent has been set. If you voice your disapproval, you are an enemy, so you are next, and there is nothing I, the President, can do about it. And remember, it’s all the Democrats’ fault.

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

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