Should the federal government give Louisiana billions of dollars?

Louisiana flood damage at least $8.7 billion, governor says
Associated Press, EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and MELINDA DESLATTE, September 3, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says his state had more than $8.7 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in August, and the figure will increase as officials finish assessing damage to roads and other public infrastructure.

The governor’s office Saturday released a letter Edwards sent Friday to President Barack Obama.

In it, the Democratic governor asked that Congress this month approve $2 billion in federal aid for Louisiana for housing, economic development and infrastructure. He said it’s a “very reasonable request,” adding to other programs assisting in Louisiana’s flood recovery, such as aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“While short-term relief for immediate needs available through FEMA for items such as temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs and other disaster-related needs are greatly needed and greatly appreciated, our full recovery will not be realized without additional help,” Edwards wrote.

Edwards said flood damage has been documented to more than 55,000 houses in Louisiana, and that could double as aid applications and inspections continue.

More than 80 percent of damaged homes lacked flood insurance because most were outside the 100-year flood plain. He said initial evaluations show the majority of flooded households were for people with low to moderate incomes, and 20 percent were renters.

More than 6,000 businesses flooded, with more than $2.2 billion in damages to buildings, equipment and inventory, Edwards said. He also said there are “conservative estimates” of more than $110 million in damage to agriculture.

Estimates are that about 30 state roads washed out and 1,400 bridges will need to be inspected


What is your answer: Should the federal government rescue individuals (most uninsured), businesses and infrastructure?

The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it has the unlimited ability to pay any bill of any size, without tax increases. In fact, the federal government creates dollars by the very act of paying bills. That is the government’s money-creation method.

So, the federal government’s aid to Louisiana would cost us taxpayers nothing. The aid will be free to you, free to me, free to every American.

If the federal government does not help Louisiana, the people of the state will be thrown into permanent destitution. Many homes gone, many businesses gone, much agriculture gone.  Without homes and jobs, recovery without aid will be all but impossible.

Federal aid would do more than benefit the people of Louisiana. The input of dollars will benefit the entire American economy, by increasing the sales of all businesses, all over the country, that sell to Louisianans. This includes businesses in your state, perhaps even in your city.

So if saving thousands of men, women and children from poverty costs you nothing, and will benefit the entire American economy, should the federal government give Louisiana the needed money?

I suspect you, as a logical and compassionate American, would agree that federal help should be given.

Hey, it costs me nothing, and even benefits me, so why not?

But that being the case, why would we help only at times of massive, and sudden crisis?

If we are willing to lift people from poverty, while helping ourselves by stimulating the American economy, why not do it every day?

Poverty in America is not sudden. It is a life-consuming, grinding, existential reality for millions of people. If we are willing to help Louisianans who have lost their homes, lost their jobs and have trouble even paying for food, why wait for a natural disaster?

Why not help the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the jobless, now? And why not fix our roads and bridges, now

Hey, it costs me nothing, and even benefits me, so why not?

And if we are willing to lift people from poverty, why not help them stay out of poverty, by giving them an education?

The states and cities already provide free K-12 education, because we long have known how important education is for America, and that effort does cost us. (States and cities being monetarily NON-sovereign, do collect taxes to pay for schooling).

But K-12 isn’t sufficient in today’s more complex world. America’s growth and leadership rely upon educated  people. So why not provide free 13+ education?

Hey, it costs me nothing, and even benefits me, so why not?

We respond to the big things — hurricanes, big floods, forest fires — but sometimes we fail to respond to the day-to-day, individual disaster many people suffer.

Should we help individuals affected by a mass disaster, but not help individuals affected by a personal disaster? They all are suffering individuals, whether in groups or one at a time.

A child devastated by a sudden hurricane neither is less, nor more, impoverished, hungry and homeless, than a child devastated by life’s ongoing, daily circumstances. 

Why not prevent poverty rather than trying only to fix it after the fact? Do we really need hurricanes repeatedly to wake us up to the misfortunes many Americans face?

There is no reason why an infinitely wealthy government, that actually creates dollars by spending, should not care for all its citizens. That, after all, is the purpose of government.

(And no, we can’t use the “hyper-inflation excuse.” Not only has America never had a hyper-inflation, but being Monetarily Sovereign, we have the unlimited ability to control the value of our sovereign currency, the dollar.)

Yes, we should continue to provide aid to those affected by widespread disaster, but additionally, we should institute the Ten Steps to Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate the FICA tax
  2. Free Medicare, Parts A, B & D, plus long-term care insurance, for everyone
  3. Provide an annual economic bonus to every many, woman and child in America, and/or for every state, a per capita economic bonus
  4. Free education, including post-grad, for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate corporate taxes
  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%

Instituting The Ten Steps to Prosperity will accomplish far more than the occasional response to disasters. It will prevent the ongoing disaster many of our fellow Americans live.

Hey, it costs me nothing, and even benefits me, so why not?

If you agree that helping individuals and states in the wake of natural disasters, then the same logic should lead you to support The Ten Steps to Prosperity.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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.
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 ANNUAL 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.
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.
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.
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.