We’ve written before about an organization that calls itself, “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.” (CRFB)
We suggest they change the name to “The Committee for Screwing the Middle Classes and the Poor.” To say that what they publish is rank nonsense, would do a disservice to the words “rank” and “nonsense.”
CRFB is a prime promulgator of the Big Lie, the lie that the federal government somehow can run short of its own sovereign currency, the dollar, with which to pay its bills.
The Big Lie devolves to the Big Screwing, the never-ending effort by the rich, to cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid and cut virtually every other program that benefits the middle classes and the poor.
Here are a couple of CRFB’s luminaries (quoting from their website), nearly all of whom are rich and all of whom are white:
Maya MacGuineas, the President of the CRFB as well as the head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. (She once was) dubbed “an anti-deficit warrior” by The Wall Street Journal.
Since deficit spending is the method by which the federal government grows the economy, MacGuineas should more properly be dubbed “an anti-economic growth warrior.”
Erskine Bowles was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with fellow CRFB board member Senator Alan Simpson.
Erskine and Bowles authored a report that recommended cuts in the federal spending that was pulling us out of the Great Recession. Remember “sequestration” and the “fiscal cliff”?
Peter Peterson is the founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is the founding president of The Concord Coalition. Prior to this, he served as chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers.
Peterson is a very rich man who does everything possible to make sure your Social Security and Medicare are cut. The Concord Coalition is, like the CRFB, an organization devoted to widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.
In true CRFB tradition, our intelligence and our pocketbooks once again are assaulted with an article like this:
Long-Term Budget Outlook Underlines Trouble Ahead for Social Security
JUL 29, 2016
The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) 2016 Long-Term Budget Outlook release came with updated projections of the 75-year solvency of Social Security.
CBO now projects that Social Security faces a 75-year shortfall of 4.7 percent of taxable payroll – 0.3 percentage points worse than its projections from December – but maintains an exhaustion date of 2029.
Social Security is an agency of the federal government. Neither the federal government nor any of its agencies can become insolvent unless Congress wants it.
Unlike state and local governments, which can be insolvent, the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it has unlimited control over both the supply and the value of the U.S. dollar.
The U.S. government invented the dollar, created it from thin air by the simple device of passing laws, which also were created from thin air. Because the government never can run short of laws, it also never can run short of dollars.
The U.S. government never, never, never can be unable to service any invoice denominated in dollars. Never has, never will. All talk about federal agency insolvency is 100% BS.
The rest of CRFB’s article attempts to put a scientific spin on its woefully false claims by touting such measures as: “actuarial shortfall” and “projections involving life expectancy, fertility, and growth in the consumer price index.”
But all the phony math in the world will not cover up the Big Lie, the basic premise, that the federal government can run short of its own sovereign dollars.
And then comes the real pitch to the suckers:
Now is the time to start making reasonable changes to Social Security rather than waiting until the last minute when the necessary changes become much more drastic.
Instead of discussing ways to expand a program whose funds are already strained, policymakers should be considering both spending and revenue changes to ensure the long-term health of this important program for millions of beneficiaries across the country.
To hide the truth from you, these con artists use the innocent-sounding phrase, “reasonable changes,” when they really mean: Cut Social Security benefits and increase the FICA taken from your paycheck.
And then they have the chutzpah to end with, “ensure the long-term health of this important program for millions of beneficiaries across the country.”
Please gimme a break. If these characters cared one whit about the “millions of beneficiaries,” they would demand benefit increases and tax cuts.
The fact of Monetary Sovereignty is this: You, and the rest of salaried Americans, could pay $0 FICA, while Social Security benefits were doubled, and still the federal government would not run short of dollars.
Why do you pay FICA? Why have Social Security benefits begun later and later? Why do organizations like CRFB lie to you again and again about mythical insolvency threats? Why even, was a complex, convoluted program like “Obamacare” necessary?
Because our political leaders are paid to lie by the rich, whose primary objective is to widen the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
The Gap is what makes the rich richer, and the wider that Gap, the richer they are.
So the rich bribe Congress (via campaign contributions); they bribe the media via ownership; they bribe the economists via contributions to universities and think tanks; and the rich pay the salaries of MacGuineas, Simpson, Bowles et al, and finally, the rich even bribe the Supreme Court justices with free vacations and other perks.
Bernie Sanders made a stab at narrowing the Gap, but he wasn’t believed by the very people who would have been helped most: The middle classes and the poor.
So now we are stuck with Hillary Clinton, who if she is like Barack Obama, will do very little to close the Gap, or worse yet, stuck with Donald Trump who with his ignorance and hubris, not only will do nothing to close the Gap, but who will destroy America’s economy.
It doesn’t need to be this way. The federal government easily could provide Social Security and Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America.
The first step is for you and enough other people to understand and believe Monetary Sovereignty, and to demand the same of Congress.
You need only to get up off your butt and make it happen.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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 afford better health care than 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 AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate taxes would be an 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.
3 thoughts on “The Committee for Screwing the Middle Classes and the Poor”
What is he hiding?
And some people don’t trust Hillary???
Trump would be just the man to offer an outlandish idea and see it widely disseminated. Imagine him saying that the government is never going to go broke paying decent pensions and other entitlements. He could go the whole hog and talk about government debt, budget deficits and tax destruction. It would all be up for discussion. It would do maximum harm to the CRFB as they cannot defend it if its pointed out that the government is monetary sovereign etc.
Sooner or later, politicians will subject Medicare and Social Security to the standard process of privatization.
Politicians will reduce benefits in stages, while they increase the FICA tax in stages. Politicians will also cut funding for the Social Security Administration so that only a handful of offices will be forced to serve the entire USA. (This latter phase has already begun. Most people who need SS disability must wait a year before they can even get a hearing.)
The goal is to make the masses suffer so badly that they beg for privatization, so that their 1.1 trillion dollars a year in FICA taxes are sent directly to the thieves of Wall Street.
When Medicare and SS are privatized, the masses will be screwed worse than ever. They will blame their suffering on Blacks, or on Muslims, or refugees, or “homophobes,” or “terrorists,” or (fill in the blank).
This insistence on blaming each other (rather than blaming rich criminals and their puppet politicians) is the core reason why the gap between the rich and the rest becomes wider each day.