Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

Welcome to the United States of Lemming.

Like the proverbial lemmings, who commit suicide by following their leaders off a cliff, our leaders take our nation off an economic cliff and we blindly follow. In the United States of Lemming, there is a myth and there are facts. “Everyone” believes the myth, and “no one” believes the facts.

Here is the myth. The federal deficit and debt are too high, unsustainable, a drag on our economy, a burden on our government and an impediment to economic growth.

Here are the facts:

1. Reduced deficit growth leads to recessions. Look at this graph and tell me when recessions begin and how they are ended:

Recessions begin when deficit growth declines

That’s right. Recessions begin after a series of declines in deficit growth. Recessions end with increases in deficit spending. Now our government again plans to cause the next recession by cutting deficit spending.

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

2. Federal deficits = net non-federal savings – current account deficit. This is an accounting identity.

The current account = money flowing out the the country. This includes imports above exports (balance of trade), interest paid and foreign aid. For the U.S., the current account almost always is negative, meaning more money flows out of the country than into the country. To keep the domestic money supply from falling, the federal government always must run a deficit.

The rest of the deficit goes to net savings. In simplest terms, net savings are your dollars minus your debt. If you have $1,000 in the bank, but owe $200, your net savings are $800. The only source of net savings is federal government deficits. Without federal deficits, there can be no net savings. This is an accounting fact.

A deficit reduction of $1 trillion = a net savings reduction of $1 trillion for the non-federal sector (you and me). With 300+ million people in America, every $3 trillion in deficit reduction causes a $10,000 loss in each person’s net savings. That’s $10,000 taken out of your pocket, an additional $10,000 taken from your spouse, and $10,000 taken from each of your children. What do you think that will do to our economy and your personal finances?

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

3. Debt reduction (federal surplus) results in depressions:

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.

The reason is clear. Federal surplus = economic deficit. This too is an accounting identity. Federal debt is a reflection of federal deficits — the amount of money the federal government adds to the economy. For debt to be reduced, not only must deficits be reduced; they must be entirely eliminated. Federal surplus is an extreme form of deficit reduction.

Our current account already draws money from our economy. Combine that draw-down with a federal surplus, which also pulls money from our economy, and you create a massive, economic money loss. Our most recent federal surplus came at the end of the Clinton administration. Because the surplus was brief, it caused only a recession, which was cured by the Bush deficits. Had the surplus lasted longer, it would have caused a depression.

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

4. In 1971, the U.S. went off the gold standard, and became Monetarily Sovereign.. The purpose and the effect was to give the U.S. the unlimited ability to pay any bills of any size at any time.

To pay a bill, the federal government instructs a creditor’s bank to mark up the creditor’s checking account. This process erroneously is termed “printing money,” but nothing is printed.

When you and I pay a bill, money is transferred from our account to our creditors account. By contrast, when the federal government pays a bill no money is transferred. Instead, the creditor’s checking account is marked up and money is created by the payment of the government’s debt.

Because no money is transferred, no taxes or borrowing are required for the government to send these mark-up instructions. If taxes and borrowing fell to $0 or rose to $100 trillion, neither event would affect by even one penny, the federal government’s ability to pay its bills.

Despite concerns that deficits may cause inflation, historically this has not been the case. The value of money is determined by two factors: supply and demand. Inflation concerns center on increased supply. But increased demand is anti-inflationary. Demand increases when interest rates rise or when the value of goods and services increases. Both effects have been responsible for this graph, showing no relationship between federal deficits and inflation:

Deficits don't cause inflation

Deficit spending has not caused inflation. Yet, for unknown reasons, the federal plan, agreed to by virtually all media, all politicians and all old-line economists, is to cut deficits and reduce the money supply and our savings.

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

5. “Debt Outstanding Domestic Nonfinancial Sectors” is the measure of all forms of money in the nation. As you can see, this total debt growth parallels Gross Domestic Product, the most commonly used measure of economic growth.

GDP vs debt

By cutting federal deficits, the government will reduce Domestic Nonfinancial Debt which will reduce Gross Domestic Product.

The only way to stop this suicidal march is for each of us to contact the media, contact the politicians, even contact a professor you may know, and give them the facts.

Or, like the mythical lemmings, we can follow the crowd, accept our fate and jump over the recession and depression cliff.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.