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●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which ultimately leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the gap.
A few days ago, we published “Do you know a ‘war-on” moron,” in which we criticized the so-called “War on Drugs” as being a harmful, counter-productive, crime-causing initiative against the lower income groups.
While these are exactly the effects our right-wing President and extreme right-wing Congress want, a most amazing thing happened recently:
Vote to Apply Sentencing Change Retroactively Could Let Nearly Half of Federal Drug War Prisoners Go Free Early
Jacob Sullum|Jul. 18, 2014 1:40 pm
Last April the U.S. Sentencing Commission approved a change to the guidelines federal judges use in selecting penalties for drug offenders, reducing prison terms for about 1,300 defendants a year by an average of 11 months.
Today the commission decided to make that change retroactive, which will have a much more dramatic impact. The commission originally estimated that retroactivity would make some 51,000 inmates—more than half of the drug offenders in federal prison—eligible for sentence reductions averaging 23 months.
But because it decided to delay retroactivity by one year, that figure will be reduced to about 46,000, with an average sentence reduction of 25 months. Many prisoners will go home years earlier than expected.
Of course, don’t expect anything to happen quickly. Many right-wing judges will drag their feet.
And, of course, these released prisoners still will have the stain of a narcotics conviction on their record, making it difficult for them to find jobs — our modern version of the medieval badge of shame.
But could it be the beginning of the realization that the “war on drugs” should end?
Maybe, but note, this wasn’t done by the President or Congress. It was done by the United States Sentencing Commission.
The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of government. Its principal purposes are:
(1) to establish sentencing policies and practices for the federal courts, including guidelines to be consulted regarding the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of federal crimes;
(2) to advise and assist Congress and the executive branch in the development of effective and efficient crime policy; and
(3) to collect, analyze, research, and distribute a broad array of information on federal crime and sentencing issues, serving as an information resource for Congress, the executive branch, the courts, criminal justice practitioners, the academic community, and the public.
Presumably, many members of Congress realize the bankruptcy of the the “war on drugs,” but don’t have the courage to speak out, lest they be branded “soft on crime” by the Neanderthalian elements now holding sway.
So is this an end run — or perhaps a trial balloon — by the sane minority, to avoid election consequences, yet to acclimate the populace to larger measures?
Unlike many special purpose “study” commissions within the executive branch, Congress established the U.S. Sentencing Commission as an ongoing, independent agency within the judicial branch.
The seven voting members on the Commission are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve six-year terms. At least three of the commissioners must be federal judges and no more than four may belong to the same political party.
The Attorney General is an ex officio member of the Commission, as is the chair of the U.S. Parole Commission.
It’s a perfect setup. No one is elected and no one can be “un-elected.”
It’s revealing that today, the best way for our federal government to accomplish something, is for it to be done by unelected officials, not subject to the extremes of Congressional and Presidential bias and electioneering criminality.
(Another example: The seven members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. A full term is fourteen years. Unlike Congress, they make instant decisions that can be implemented instantly.)
If the new sentencing guidelines prove to be a step toward ending the war on drugs, they are most welcome.
If unelected committees also will become the method of choice by which a moribund central government can stir from its coma, there are advantages, but there also are dangers.
Just as such unelected commissions can be forces for good, they also can be forces for evil, as witness our current Supreme Court.
But perhaps we should be grateful for this one step forward, albeit minuscule and fraught with danger.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)
10. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
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.
Two key equations in economics:
1. Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
2. Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.