An alternative to popular faith

I live in Chicago, and I’m angry with the Chicago Tribune. It continues to be clueless about economics. In a June 15th editorial, the Tribune said, “With 79 percent of Americans rating (the federal debt) ‘extremely serious’ or ‘very serious,” it tied with terrorism for the top (‘scariest threat’). So what does the Obama administration plan to do about it? It proposes to pile on more debt. . . . Americans have good reason to be so worried about the . . . that someone will have to repay.”

Does the term “exploding national debt” sound familiar. If you go back and read TICKING TIME BOMB , MORE BOMB NONSENSE and DEBT BOMB REDUX you will see that the Tribune and its media friends have been referring to the federal debt in explosive terms for the past seventy years! Think about it. For seventy years the media has told you a debt bomb is been ready to explode, and today we are no closer to any of those dire forecasts than we were in 1940.

Does daily failure of prediction stop the Tribune? Nope. Tribune readers keep following their prophet up the mountain to await the end of the world. When the world fails to end, do they ever begin to question their leader? No, they march back down, and sit mesmerized as their prophet repeats the same old predictions – for more than seventy, long years.

Here is what outrages the Chicago Tribune today: “$50 billion in emergency spending to help state and local governments . . . avert massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters . . . Block a 21 percent scheduled cut in reimbursements to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

Yes, helping avert layoffs of teachers, police, firefighters and doctors truly is awful, especially when compared with the unsupported, unproven, patently wrong “risk” of a federal debt that in the Tribune’s misguided words, “someone will have to repay.”

If you read some of the posts on this blog, starting with SUMMARY you will see there is no “someone” who has to pay. Taxpayers neither owe nor service the federal debt. There is no relationship between federal income and federal spending. The so-called “debt” merely is a balance sheet calculation of net money created by the federal government, a calculation that neither inhibits, nor is inhibited by, federal spending.

A curse be upon the person who first labeled this balance sheet column “debt” rather than the correct, “net money created.” Incorrectly calling it “debt” has misled millions of otherwise intelligent people, and worse, has prevented important programs (See: CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN) of benefit to us all.

I’m angry with the Tribune, not because they are clueless. Each of us is clueless about many things. I’m angry with them because they have such power to make a positive difference in our economy, but instead they are too intellectually lazy to learn, preferring to parrot the popular myths of the day. What a waste.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity