The coming recession — and fake predictions. Friday, Aug 16 2019 

I predict a recession is coming. I just don’t know when.

Clearly, that is a fake prediction, because a recession always is coming. Perhaps tomorrow; perhaps in 50 years;  perhaps in a thousand years. But a recession always is coming.

Yet, the savants, who for many years predicted imminent recessions, finally were rewarded with the Great Recession of 2008. Now, they never fail to beat their chests, boasting about their prescience.

It works like this: When they are wrong, no one remembers. When they are right, no one is allowed to forget. Making such predictions is a no-lose proposition for an economist, or for any other forecaster.

Now the same savants (or perhaps different savants) are predicting another recession, and if we have a recession at any time in the next two, or even ten, years, you can be sure the chest-thumping will commence.

This chest-thumping will generate idol-worship amongst then masses. Here is a true example:

For three consecutive years, my wife (a football maven) correctly and remarkably predicted the exact number of games the Chicago Bears would win.

Despite her modesty, the word got out, and she became a goddess. So before the fourth year, our friends wanted to know her god-like predictions.

Sadly, her streak did not continue, and she was wrong because the Bears managed to acquire a handful of super game-changers.

Sic transit gloria mundi? Not exactly. Her reputation continues. People still want her predictions, which embarrasses her.

Predicting tomorrow is tough, but predicting that something will happen a year or two from now, is a pretty good gig. It can make one famous, especially if one happens to luck into the stopped-clock syndrome (right twice a day).

Here is an article, written in May of 2018, that is illustrative:

7 Smart Market Thinkers Predict When The Next Recession Will Start
John Mauldin Senior Contributor, President of Mauldin Economics

People often ask what I do on my travels and what it’s like to sit in dinners with serious market thinkers. So, let me tell you about my recent meetings with…

Art Cashin, of UBS and CNBC fame;
Peter Boockvar, who writes several letters every day covering markets and the latest economic data;
Lakshman Achuthan, founder of the Economic Cycle Research Institute and the guru on economic cycles. Membership to his “club” costs well into six figures yearly.
Randall (Randy) Forsyth, lead columnist at Barron’s
Barry Habib, who, according to Zillow, is the country’s top housing and mortgage analyst;
Brent Donnelly, Forex maven extraordinaire; and
New friend Jonathan Golub, Chief U.S. Equity Strategist at Credit Suisse.

[All made predictions about the “coming” recession.]

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

When Will the Next U.S. Recession Start?
The average prediction was for the second half of 2019—just in time for the 2020 U.S. elections. Golub was the outlier, being certain it will be 2022.

There were a couple of late 2018 guesses. Lakshman thinks the economy is beginning to cycle down but probably not enough for a recession this year.

My own vote is for late 2019, though I may turn more bullish as medium-term data comes in.

Well, as for the 2018 predictors — we probably will not hear from them, again.

If we have a recession this year (2019), you can be sure those oracles will broadcast their powers to the heavens. Otherwise, we will hear the sounds of silence from them, too.

“Sadly” for the oracles, we already are into latish 2019, the clock is ticking louder, and still no recession.

There was a temporary market jolt because of an “inversion” (short term Treasuries paying more than long-term Treasuries).  Inversions supposedly predict recessions; they came before six out of the last.

But inversions, in of themselves, are just predictions being made by bond buyers. People who make predictions based on inversions simply are saying, “Bond buyers predict a recession, so I will, too.”

Now, as of this writing, the marketers have returned to wondering what idiocy our President will throw at them next.

I, being a courageous soul, will make a far more daring prediction than the above mavens have. I predict we will not have a recession in 2019, or even in the next three years.

Predicting a negative is tougher. If I prove to be wrong, you will not let me forget it. But, if I am right, years will have passed, and by then I either will be dead or I almost surely will have forgotten what I wrote.

So it’s a “lose-lose.” Now that is courageous.

Here is my reasoning:

Federal deficits are rising.
In our post, “National Debt Clock: The Sign of Ignorance,” we discussed the fact that federal deficits are projected to rise above $1 trillion annually.

A misnamed federal “deficit” (aka economic surplus) happens when the government takes fewer dollars out of the economy in taxes than it puts in by spending.

In short, the economy is projected to receive an additional trillion growth dollars.

I’d call that a “surplus,” but I don’t make the rules.

Historically (and logically) recessions occur when deficit growth declines:

Recessions (vertical lines) begin with deficit growth reductions, and are cured with deficit growth increases.

The reason deficit growth cures recessions: Recessions are caused by insufficient dollars in the economy, which reduces both supply and demand. Deficits add growth dollars to the economy.

Loan delinquency rates are low
The “Great Recession” of 2008 began when the delinquency rate on single-family home mortgages (green line) was 3.67%, and the rate for credit card loans (blue line) was 4.8%.

Today both rates hover near 2.63%.

Home mortgage delinquency rates (blue line) Credit card loan delinquency rates (green line)

When the public is not having great difficulty paying its mortgages and daily bills, future purchasing is more likely, which is counter-recessionary.

Now let’s look at the delinquency rate on all loans, personal and business:

At the beginning of the “Great recession,” delinquency rates for all loans had risen to 2.86%. In the first quarter, 2019, the rate was 1.53%.

The Republicans and the Democrats
Traditionally,  Republicans, the deniers of Monetary Sovereignty, have been the chief deficit scolds, demanding any federal spending that benefits the middle- and lower-income groups, be cut.

Thus, we have the constant GOP drum-beat for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, food stamps and other poverty aids, housing, education, and all regulations that protect the public.

While that drum-beat continues, it isn’t quite so loud these days, what with the Trump administration defending and passing trillion-dollar deficits, and debt ceilings losing their attraction.

Meanwhile, the Democrats, who now own the House of Representatives, and soon perhaps, the Presidency, usually love spending for the masses, Clinton’s second term being an ill-fated exception (His debt cuts caused a recession).

So, the nation can look forward to perhaps five years of growing, trillion-dollar-plus deficits continuing to pump major stimuli into the economy.

In summary: The combination of huge federal money inputs to the economy (erroneously termed “deficits”), and the low loan delinquency rates, bespeak economic growth for the next few years.

No recession, folks.  Lean back and enjoy the ride.

Now let us pray we don’t encounter a meteor or some other kind of black swan.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

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 you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

National Debt Clock: The Sign of Ignorance Wednesday, Aug 14 2019 

The Sign of Ignorance

In an August 10th post titled, “Unfunded Govt. Liabilities — Our Ticking Time Bomb? Nah!,” and in several earlier posts, we referred to the above as, “The inevitable, phony debt clock sign, which is funded, and then referred to, by those least knowledgeable about economics.”

In short, it is The Sign of Ignorance.

Now, here we are, only three days later, and we come upon an article in which the sign is top, center and huge.

The title of the article is, “It’s the Spending, Stupid,” — written by John Merline. The theme is the usual nonsense that federal deficits and debt are bad (for some unknown reason), and the solution is to cut benefits to the middle-classes and the poor.

Here are some key paragraphs from the article, :

The deficit is already bigger now than it was for all of last year, and heading to more than $1 trillion.

Two-thirds of the entire increase in spending is due to just other three items in the budget: health care spending (Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare), Social Security, and interest payments on the debt.

In other words, it’s entitlement spending – and more specifically, health care spending  – that is driving up the deficit, not tax cuts.

The truth is that getting the deficit under control is not hard. It doesn’t require tax hikes, just a modicum of spending restraint.

What that exercise in misinformation doesn’t tell you:

1. So-called federal “deficits” should be called economic surpluses. When the federal government runs a deficit, it actually pumps growth dollars into the economy.

2. When the government fails to run deficits, we suffer recessions and depressions.

3. Unlike you and me, our Monetarily Sovereign federal government has the unlimited ability to create dollars, which it does, ad hoc, every time it pays a creditor.

4. Though state and local governments, being monetarily non-sovereign, do use taxes to pay creditors, the federal government does not use taxes, and in fact, it destroys tax dollars upon receipt.

Another paragraph from Mr. Merline’s article:

Every Democrat running for president is busy trying to find new ways to double or triple the size of the federal government, while pretending that it all can be paid for simply by making the rich pay their “fair share.”

Here, the authors conflate federal government size (i.e. personnel) with spending. They try to use the popular “government is too big” meme, to imply falsely that spending on your social programs should be cut.

But, government spending cuts on the Social Security benefits you receive will not reduce the size of the Social Security Administration. Nor will stingier payments for Medicare reduce the size of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Writing smaller checks does not reduce the number of check writers.

The authors are correct, however, that Democrats are almost (though not quite) as guilty as Republicans in broadcasting the notion that federal finances are like personal finances.

Consider Bernie Sanders, trying to justify his good Medicare for All idea, by claiming it will be paid for by cost savings and tax increases.

Wrong, Bernie. If Medicare for All ever is adopted, it will not be paid for by cost savings, and federal taxes pay for nothing.

Medicare for All will be paid for by federal deficit spending, which the federal government can do endlessly, and which will pump growth dollars into the economy.

Sanders knows this, because early on, he had hired Professor Stephanie Kelton to advise him on economics, and she told him.

(Sadly, Sanders did not have the courage to pass this information on to the electorate. He believed they would not believe him, so it would cost him votes.)

Not one politician, Democrat or Republican, has had either the knowledge or the courage to reveal the facts to the American public.

(Warren Mosler tried, and it repeatedly cost him elections. But Mosler was a relatively unknown, local politician. The facts await strong support from a well-known, respected national politician.)

Returning to the article, here is another shameful paragraph:

Overall spending growth averaged just 3% from 1994 to 1999.

The economy boomed, and the budget went from a $255 billion deficit to a $236 billion surplus in just six years.

Hmmm. . . . so from 1994 to 1999, federal defict spending declined and the economy boomed?

Let’s look at what really happened.

The horizontal black line represents a balanced federal budget, where taxes equal spending. The red line falling below the black line represents a federal “surplus.” The vertical gray bar is a recession.

As you can see, the writer failed to mention one simple fact: The federal surplus (economic deficit) caused the recession, which was cured only when federal deficits again began.

The reason should be obvious. Federal surpluses remove dollars from our economy. Federal deficits pump growth dollars into our economy.

And it has happened before. If you are a fan of depressions, here is how to start one:

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%. Depression began 1929.
1997-2001: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 15%. Recession began 2001.

That’s right, to start a depression, just run a federal surplus (i.e., reduce the federal debt).

And, if you would prefer just a recession, just keep cutting the federal deficit until you get one.

Vertical bars are recessions, which are caused by percentage decreases in federal deficits, and cured by percentage increases in federal deficits.

And now one final word from Mr. Merline’s article:

That’s how it always works in Washington. Spend like a drunken sailor today, and promise to sober up tomorrow.

The problem is that with the national debt now topping $22 trillion, and scheduled to go up another $13 trillion in just a few years, tomorrow will be too late.

Oh, dear. “Tomorrow will be too late. Is that phrasing similar to “ticking time bomb”?  

For 80 years, since 1940, ignorant pundits have bemoaned the federal debt as a “ticking time bomb,” ready to explode at any second. And for 80 years they have been proven wrong.

Image result for national debt clock anita's way

The sign of ignorance

Does that unblemished record of failure deter them? Apparently not, for it certainly has not deterred Mr. Merline.

And whoever now pays for the Sign of Ignorance — and I refer to, the voting public.


(The infamous debt clock was installed in 1989, by real estate investor (not an economist) Seymour Durst.

And it still exists — in a new location — appropriately semi-hidden in a little alley called “Anita’s Way,” in NYC, where it broadcasts its ignorance to passers-by.)


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

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 you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Pouring water into the ocean, and other dumb federal tax ideas. Tuesday, Aug 13 2019 

Imagine a swarm of politicians assembled to discuss ideas about how to fill the Atlantic Ocean with water. Image result for child pouring water into the ocean

One wants to require each person in the U.S. to pour a bucketful of water into the sea.

Another says to use a firehose. A third wants to build a pipeline from the Pacific Ocean.

A fourth suggests that if everyone only urinated into the Atlantic . . .

The Atlantic Ocean, for all practical purposes, contains an infinite amount of water. So, why would anyone waste the time, effort and water, by pouring it into the Atlantic?

Only a pack of fool politicians would debate the best way to pour water into the ocean, but that is exactly what they are doing with regard to your federal taxes.

For all practical purposes, the federal government has an infinite amount of dollars. Who says so, aside from me? Many people, including:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman, 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.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve respondent: “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 (i.e. federal debt) to remain operational.

If the federal government cannot run short of dollars, and can “produce as many dollars as it wishes,” why does it require you to send it your precious dollars to pay taxes?

Why does the federal government require you to pour your precious water into the Atlantic Ocean?

There are several reasons why the government collects federal taxes, but two are primary:

1. To control the economy by punishing less “desirable” activities and rewarding more “desirable” activities. “Sin” taxes on cigarettes and alcohol supposedly reduce the consumption of booze and smokes.

Similarly, lower taxes on long-term vs. short-term capital gains supposedly discourage speculation. And most importantly:

2. To fool you into believing the federal government cannot afford to fund such social benefits as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, poverty aids, education, housing, transportation, food, clothing, etc.

By collecting taxes, and claiming some social benefits are running short of money, the federal government wrongly implies that it needs income in order to pay its bills.

Number 1 is understandable, but what about #2? Why does the federal government want you to believe it cannot pay its bills unless it has tax income?

The answer lies with Gap Psychology, i.e. the human desire to distance oneself from those “below” on any economic or social measure, and to come closer to those above.

The rich, who run our nation and our government, always want to be richer. “Rich” is a comparative term.

For the rich, getting richer does not mean making more money. Rather, it requires widening the Gap between the rich and those below them.

If you own only $100 but everyone else owns $1, you are rich. But if you own $1 million, and everyone else owns $100 million, you are poor.

The Gap is what makes you rich or poor. Without the Gap, no one would be rich (We all would be the same.) The wider the Gap, the richer the rich are.

Cutting benefits to the middle-classes and the poor widens the Gap, and thus makes the rich richer.

America’s politicians are owned by the rich. Don’t let their protestations and plans to tax the rich fool you. They and the rich know that most taxes on the rich are avoidable.

Donald Trump hasn’t paid taxes in years because of his loss carryforwards. Warren Buffet said he pays at a lower percentage than his secretary.

Keep in mind the following points as you read some ideas from Democratic contenders:

  1. Federal taxes pay for nothing. They so useless they are destroyed upon receipt.
  2. The very rich pay at a lower tax rate than you do.
  3. The primary purpose of federal taxes (as opposed to state and local taxes) is to justify widening the Gap by reducing your social benefits.

Here are a few of the candidates’ federal tax ideas, as discussed in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (09/2019)

Biden
*Increase the top income tax rate to 39.6% from 37%.
*Subject all income to Social Security payroll tax.
*$5,000 tax credit to cover caregiving for a family member.

Comment: The rich always avoid the top rate. Social Security is not funded by FICA. If caregiving is needed, that $5,000 is a pittance, that might cover just one month.

Sanders
*Raise estate tax rates
*Financial transaction tax
*Charge FICA on wages above $250K
*Increase top tax rate
*Increase long-term capital gains rate

Comment: The rich use trusts and other devices to avoid estate taxes. Financial transaction tax supposedly will reduce high-volume speculation — but why? FICA doesn’t fund anything. The very rich do not pay the top tax rate. No purpose for a long-term capital gains tax.

Warren
*Wealth tax on all forms of wealth worldwide
*Increase estate taxes
*$3,000 tax credit for family caregivers
*Adoption tax credit (no matter how low your tax bill)

Comment: Even with 10 million employees, the IRS could not measure everyone’s worldwide wealth. The rich use trusts and other devices to avoid estate taxes. Only $3,000 for family caregivers? Do adoptions really need to be encouraged?

Pete Buttigieg
[In addition to some of the above]:
*Carbon tax

Comment: A carbon tax might be a good idea, depending on the details. The rest of his ideas are “pouring water into the Atlantic.”

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

I could continue, but you get the idea. Almost all of the proposals (except the carbon tax), make the tacit assumption (aka “the Big Lie”) that the federal government needs taxes in order to pay its bills.

But it simply is not true. Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, the St. Louis Fed all agree it simply is not true.

But the bought-and-paid-for politicians want you to believe you should pour your precious dollar water into the Atlantic tax Ocean.

The politicians propose exorbitant taxes on the rich, knowing the rich won’t pay them. The worldwide wealth tax is almost laughable. Note to IRS: Good luck trying to discover that house on the island of Fakarava or the Surin archipelago, then trying to appraise the 50 remote acres it sits on.

The purpose of these politicians’ proposals is to make you think they’re on your side, while they take dollars from the rich with both hands.

Perhaps one day there will be an honest politician who tells you:

“Though state and local taxes do fund state and local spending, federal taxes fund nothing.

So, we only will tax what we don’t like, and we will give you healthcare, shelter, food, education and the other things you and your family need for decent lives.

We’ll narrow the Gap and we’ll end poverty, and that is how we really will ‘make America great,’ not with bigotry toward non-Christians or people of color.”

Hmmm . . . Did I really use the words, “honest politician”? Well, one can dream.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

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 you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

Unfunded Govt. Liabilities — Our Ticking Time Bomb? Nah! Saturday, Aug 10 2019 

On January 10, 2019, RealClear Politics published an article titled, “Unfunded Govt. Liabilities — Our Ticking Time Bomb” by Myra Adams (A media producer and writer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the GOP nominee’s 2008 campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team.) 

Like all these previous articles comparing the federal debt to a ticking time bomb, the article was utter nonsense.

Here are some excerpts and comments:

Tick, tick, tick goes the time bomb of national doom. Every second the ticking grows louder, but you won’t hear the muffled sound that’s more akin to white noise.

The doom of which I speak is unfunded liabilities — $122 trillion in payments the government owes and has promised its citizens — without the funds to fulfill those obligations.

Across all media platforms, the threat goes largely unreported. Members of Congress from both parties are also deaf to the ticking.

The same is true at the White House, where Donald Trump, like Barack Obama before him, never mentions this impending catastrophe.

Oh, my. “Time bomb of national doom.” Hyperbole usually is used when facts are absent. That is the case with Ms. Adams’s article

Obama said,

“My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.  My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we are going to be bringing in more revenue.

“If we control spending and we have a smart entitlement package, then potentially what you have is balance – but it is not balance on the backs of the poor, the elderly, students who need student loans, families that have disabled kids.

“That is not the right way to balance our budget.” 

In short, Obama believed the debt was too high, but didn’t want to make the middle classes and the poor suffer, which by the way, is the only way to stop the “time bomb of national doom.”

Why? Because that so-called “time bomb,” consists primarily of federal deficit spending — the “unfunded liabilities” for entitlements — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, poverty aids, education aids, and everything else the government does to help the middle classes and the poor.

And, Obama knew that cutting these programs would be a political disaster. Sadly, he didn’t reveal that cutting deficit spending also would be an unnecessary economic disaster.

The article continues:

Image result for debt clock

The electric sign of ignorance

Among the hordes of 2020 Democratic candidates, count on the time bomb to be a topic non grata while Medicare-for-all gains momentum and Medicare-as-is remains a lethal bomb component.

Before you call me an alarmist, I refer you to the U.S. Debt Clock. Here you can watch our time bomb tick in real time with that $122 trillion in unfunded liabilities as one of the major “fuses.”

Ah, the inevitable, phony debt clock sign, which is funded, and then referred to, by those least knowledgeable about economics.

And notice those words, “YOUR family share.” Ridiculous and a lie. Your family does not owe a penny.

Your parents never paid a penny for past federal debt; you will not pay for the present federal debt, and your grandchildren never will pay for the future federal debt.

Not one tax dollar ever is used to pay for the federal debt. This is explained later in this post.

Then the article becomes truly childish in its attempts to shock you:

Surely, such an incomprehensible number makes you gasp. But now, get ready to gag because in 2023 the “Debt Clock Time Machine” projects unfunded liabilities will be $157 trillion, a $35 trillion increase in only four years.

I would wager that a majority of citizens have no concept of what “just” $1 trillion looks like or even means. For the record, one trillion is 1,000 times 1 billion.

And, since $1 billion is thrown around Washington like a rounding error, it is instructive to remember that 1 billion itself is 1,000 times 1 million.

OMG! I’ll bet 1 million is 1,000 times 1 thousand! Am I right, Ms. Adams?

The Debt Clock displays federal tax revenue at $3.3 trillion, but spending at $4.2 trillion.

This annual imbalance means that not only are we promising too much down the road, we can’t cover our current costs, and we fall behind even more — every second of every day.

No, what it really means is the federal government is pumping .9 trillion growth dollars into the economy — dollars that go into the pockets of Americans. Without federal deficit spending, the economy would fall into recession or depression.

The so-called, misnamed federal “debt” was only $40 billion in 1940, and now, 80 years later, it is near $20 trillion.

And every year, for those last 80 years, writers like Ms. Adams have been calling it a “ticking time bomb.” (See: “It is 2019, and the phony federal debt “time bomb” still is ticking.”)

Strangely, it never seems to occur to the Myra Adamses of the world, that the “bomb” never explodes.

Being wrong for 80 consecutive years is a strong signal to change your mind. But they just keep on shoveling the bullsh*t.

And now we come to the “solution” that the rich want you to believe is necessary: Cut benefits to the middle and the poor.

Here it is, as delivered by Ms. Adams:

Reducing Social Security benefits — the main driver of unfunded liabilities — will be painful now, but even more painful in 2034 when present inaction forces draconian cuts.

What if every news network continuously displayed the $122 trillion unfunded liabilities debt clock — all 15-digits rapidly ticking in real time — at the same corner of the screen?

Perhaps then, when the public is fully aware of the problem, our leaders will be forced into discussing very tough and real solutions followed by legislative action.

But doing nothing is not an option.

What a marvelous idea. Every news network continuously displaying the most misleading piece of crap imaginable, just so the rich can get richer.

How does that make the rich richer? By making the middle classes and the poor poorer. “Rich” is a comparative term. The greater the Gap between the rich and the rest, the richer that makes the rich.

If you have $1 million are you rich? Yes, if everyone else has $1 thousand; no if everyone else has $10 million. It’s the Gap that determines whether or not you are rich.

Widening the Gap is exactly what the rich want. It’s called Gap Psychology: the desire to distance oneself from those below, and to approach those above.

Here are the facts:

1. The U.S. Federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

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

Former Fed Chairman 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.”

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 to remain operational.

2. Get it? No matter how much the federal government owes, it simply creates the dollars to pay its creditors. Even if federal tax collections were zero, the federal government could pay its bills, forever.

3. Not only that, but the so-called federal “debt” isn’t a real debt. It is the total of deposits into Treasury Security accounts (T-bills, T-notes, T-bonds).

The government doesn’t touch those dollars, because having the unlimited ability to create dollars, the federal doesn’t need to use the deposited dollars. So these accounts are paid off upon maturity, simply by returning the dollars to their account owners.

Thus, the sole effect (and possibly the sole purpose) of the “National Debt Sign” is to fool you, the public, into docilely accepting cuts to your federal benefits, just as the rich want.

People who use that debt clock sign to “prove” the supposed unsustainability of the federal debt either are ignorant of economics or are being intentionally deceptive.

It’s one situation or the other.

Ask Ms. Adams which is hers.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

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 you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

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