It takes only two things to keep people in chains: Part II, Medicare

It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders

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In the previous post, we disclosed how the rich tell the Big Lie, in their efforts to ruin Social Security and thus to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest. (Widening the Gap is the #1 priority of the rich.)

Now, see how the rich use the Big Lie in their efforts to ruin Medicare.

Just to review: The Big Lie briefly is this: Federal taxes fund federal spending. You can read a more complete analysis, here.

The Big Lie is composed of several “sub-Lies”:

  1. Federal finances are like private finances
  2. The federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency
  3. FICA pays for Social Security and Medicare benefits
  4. Social Security and Medicare are “broke,” “going broke,” or will be “broke” at some future time.
  5. The Social Security and Medicare trust funds are insolvent or will be insolvent.
  6. Federal debt and deficts are “unsustainable.”
  7. Federal deficits cause hyper-inflation, like Zimbabwe and the Weimar Republic.
  8. Your children owe the federal debt.
  9. The government should run a balanced budget.
  10. The federal tax code should be “reformed” to “broaden the base.”

All ten of the above are absolutely false, their only purpose being to fool you, the public, into believing the federal government cannot afford [insert benefit here] without tax increases.

HEALTH NEWS FROM NPR

Paul Ryan’s Plan to Change Medicare Looks A Lot Like Obamacare November 26, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan agree that repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with some other health insurance system is a top priority.

The ACA (“Obamacare”) should be replaced, not because it is President Obama’s signature achievement, and not because it first was implemented by Mitt Romney, but because it is based on the Big Lie.

It requires the young people of the middle- and lower-income groups (the “99%”) to do what the federal government easily could, and absolutely should do: Fund healthcare coverage for all people.

But they disagree on whether overhauling Medicare should be part of that plan. Trump said little about Medicare during his campaign, other than to promise that he wouldn’t cut it.

Ryan, on the other hand, has Medicare in his sights.

“Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke,” Ryan said.

Ryan told the Big Lie.  Obamacare cannot cause Medicare to “go broke.” The federal government cannot “go broke,” nor can any federal agency  “go broke.”

Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government, unlike state and local governments, never will run short of dollars.

Even during wars, recessions, and depressions, and natural disasters, the United States government never has run short of its own sovereign currency, the dollar. And it never will.

In fact, the opposite appears to be true — Obamacare may actually have extended the life of Medicare.

This year’s Medicare trustees report says the program would now be able to pay all its bills through 2028, an improvement Medicare’s trustees attribute, in part, to changes in Medicare called for in the Affordable Care Act and other economic factors.

” . . . trustees report says the program would now be able to pay all its bills through 2028 . . . “

The trustees told the Big Lie. Medicare can pay all its bills forever, and this has nothing to do with Obamacare.  It has to do with the fact that the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, and therefore creates dollars by paying its bills.

So rest easy, President Obama, Rep. Ryan and you Medicare trustees.  The federal government will not and cannot run short of dollars to pay your salaries, pay your expenses, pay your retirement benefits — and of course, pay Medicare benefits.

And the irony of the Ryan Medicare plan, say some health policy analysts, is that it would turn the government program into something that looks very much like the structure created for insurance plans sold under the ACA.

Ryan’s plan would set up “Medicare exchanges” where private insurance companies would compete with traditional government-run Medicare for customers.

People would get “premium support” from the government to pay for their insurance under the Ryan Medicare plan.

The subsidy would be tied to the price of a specific plan offered by an insurer on the exchange, much like the Affordable Care Act subsidy is tied to the second-cheapest “silver” plans.

The above demonstrates the rich running like hungry swine to slurp from the money-trough, with Ryan leading the herd.

Medicare benefits currently are paid directly to hospitals and doctors, by our not-for-profit, federal government. The Ryan plan would insert private insurance companies as middlemen, to pay health care providers.

Billions of dollars, rather than going directly to health care providers, would flow through the for-profit insurance companies, who would siphon off some for themselves.

So, if insurance companies act as middlemen, taking some of the government’s money for themselves, rather than all of the money going to healthcare providers, how does that save the government money?

Answer: You, the public will have to pay the difference.

It would be a bonanza for the rich insurance companies, their highly-paid officers, and their wealthy shareholders. And importantly, it would be an additional tax on you –exactly the Gap-widening effects the rich want.

(The rich are made richer if they receive more and/or if the not-rich receive less.  Ryan’s plan accomplishes both.)

The federal government doesn’t need to save money; it has infinite money. Nevertheless, Ryan has invented a convenient excuse to funnel billions of dollars into insurance companies coffers. His excuse is the Big Lie.

One can be sure he will be well-rewarded by the insurance companies for his efforts on their behalf.

As for the public: You, the public, be damned.

 Like in Obamacare, people who choose plans that cost more than the government subsidy would have to pay the balance.

The changes would start in 2024, when people who are now about 57 become Medicare eligible.

Avik Roy, founder of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, agrees with Ryan that Medicare is going broke and that a program structured in this way would save money through “the magic of competition.”

“If you have 10 insurers competing for that business, you’re going to negotiate a better deal,” he said.

Ah, yes, that old black “magic of competition” will get you a “better deal.”

How about the “greater magic” of having no middlemen to suck dollars from consumers, while they contribute nothing to the process?

How about the even greater magic of having our Monetarily Sovereign government pay for the whole thing, saving you tons of money?

Most seniors today are enrolled in what’s known as traditional Medicare, where the government pays for medical appointments, tests and hospital stays on a fee-for-service basis.

Alongside that program is Medicare Advantage, an insurance plan provided by a private insurer which may offer seniors additional services like dental care at the same price.

The government pays a fixed monthly fee to the insurer for each Medicare Advantage patient, rather than paying for every service separately, as it does in traditional Medicare.

Henry Aaron, a health care economist at the Brookings Institution, says Ryan’s proposal aims to move almost all seniors into Medicare Advantage-style insurance by making traditional Medicare too expensive for the consumer.

There it is — “making traditional Medicare too expensive for the consumer.” That is the way Ryan plans to protect you from Medicare.

Feel better, now?

The health care and health insurance systems are very complex. Doctors move in and out of networks, copayments can vary and plans can change.

Millions of people on Medicare are also eligible for Medicaid, meaning they are poor and vulnerable, Aaron says. And at least 8 million Social Security beneficiaries have been declared financially incompetent and are assigned a representative to manage their money.

“What you’ve got here is a group of people who are very sick, poor, and often cognitively impaired one way or the other,” Aaron says. “Tossing people like that into a health care marketplace and saying, ‘Here, go buy some insurance,’ is a recipe for problems.”

Not only is it a recipe for problems; it’s completely unnecessary. The federal government simply should fund comprehensive Medicare for every man, woman and child in America.

Why insert middlemen insurance companies between the government and the doctors?

Seniors may feel the same way. Researchers at Brown University last year found that as people get older and sicker, they tend to drop Medicare Advantage and opt for traditional Medicare.

Ryan has been working on his plan to change Medicare for many years. A version of his “premium support” plan was included in several budget proposals he put forth when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee.

The Congressional Budget Office says the proposals would reduce federal spending on Medicare.

Yes, it’s a plan to reduce federal spending and increase consumer spending. Is that what we want?

And, why stop at a convoluted “Ryancare” plan to (unnecessarily) reduce federal spending. How about eliminating all federal support, and making the people pay for everything? Isn’t that the next, logical step?

At this point it’s unclear whether Trump shares Ryan’s ambitions to upend the current Medicare system.

Trump didn’t include Medicare reform on his campaign web site. But since his election, “modernize Medicare” has been included on the list of health care priorities on his transition web site.

We have moved to a new euphemism. The politicians usually have talked about “reforming” Medicare and Social Security. The word “reforming” always has meant, “Take from the poor and give to the rich.”

Now they use an even more mealy-mouthed term: “Modernizing.”

Whatever term is used, the method and the result always seem to be the same: First, tell the Big Lie. Then use the Big Lie to steal benefits from the 99% and give benefits to the 1%.

So long as the 99% fall for the Big Lie, the process will continue. It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

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 can afford better health care than can 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 benefitting 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-transferring 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 a 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

27 thoughts on “It takes only two things to keep people in chains: Part II, Medicare

    1. The Green Party’s call for a recount is being run by John Podesta and the DNC.

      Until now, Podesta had been one of the most powerful players in Washington D.C. Certainly he was the single most powerful player in the Democrat machine.

      Podesta first became acquainted with Bill Clinton while the two were in college. Eventually Podesta became the most influential person in the entire Washington Democrat crowd of neoliberal right-wing extremists (like Obama and Hillary).

      Podesta headed Bill Clinton’s campaign, and became Clinton’s chief of staff. Podesta also headed Obama’s re-election campaign. During the terms of Clinton and Obama, the most frequent visitor of all people to the White House was Podesta. It was he who sunk Romney by making sure the corporate media outlets widely publicized Romney’s snide comments about “makers” and “takers.”

      Podesta was Bill Clinton’s and Obama’s right-hand man; a politically indispensable behind-the scenes de facto chief of staff. It was Podesta who made sure that Obama filled all thirty-one top White House cabinet level positions with people chosen by Citibank executive Michael Froman. (who later became Obama’s trade representative for the horrendous TPP).

      Podesta also headed Hillary’s campaign, and was slated to be her chief of staff. It was Podesta who devised the dirty tricks that torpedoed Sanders.

      Everyone in the Democrat machine trusted Podesta, since he had a flawless 24-year record of success, but he accidentally killed Hillary by devising the strategy of “blame everything on Trump and his ‘Russian hacker’ agents.” Podesta initially devised this ruse as a means for Hillary to deflect attention from her email-related crimes. “The Russians did it.”

      Wikileaks? They are “Russian agents.”

      Podesta thought that this (along with endless attacks on Trump by the corporate media, and by hypnotized fake-leftist bloggers) would camouflage Hillary’s extreme ultra-right-wing neoliberalism. Podesta also assumed that he had the Electoral College in the bag. His boundless arrogance turned out to be such total stupidity that it ended Podesta’s own career and Hillary’s.

      Now in utter disgrace, Podesta is desperate to recover any scraps of influence that he might have remaining in Washington. He cannot have Hillary call for a recount, since this would make Hillary look like a sore loser. Therefore Podesta is using the Green Party to call for a recount. If Podesta can reverse the election, he will be a hero again, and will salvage his own career, which he ruined with his stupidity and arrogance.

      Therefore Podesta called in all his favors with people like Soros, who donated millions of dollars to launch the Green Party’s recount drive.

      Podesta is also consulting with top attorney John C. Bonifaz on the legalities involved in a recount, plus attorney Marc E. Elias, who was the general counsel for Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign. (Elias was also general counsel to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.) Bonifaz and Elias are being paid by George Soros (and perhaps by Warren Buffet, who was a huge Hillary donor).

      The recall drive is comical, because it is so obviously being run by Podesta and the Democrat machine.

      What is the Green Party’s publicly stated reason for demanding a recount? (Remember, this is John Podesta, who at age 67 has learned nothing, and can never change.)

      The formal reason, declares the “Green Party” (speaking for Podesta) is that there was there was “well-documented and conclusive evidence of foreign interference in the presidential race before the election,” and “The Department of Homeland Security has stated that senior officials in the Russian government commissioned these attacks.”

      (In reality the DHS merely said it had “reason to suspect” the Russians. This was dismissed as nonsense by all seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies, including the NSA, FBI, DIA, etc.)

      Yes folks. Behind the Green Party’s recall drive there is Podesta, once again trying his desperate ploy of “the Russians did it.”

      Hillary herself can do nothing, and is just waiting to see what happens. Her attorney Mark Elias publicly admits that he and the DNC are “working with” the Green Party to push the recall.

      As for Jill Stein, during the campaign she had correctly ridiculed Podesta’s nonsense about “Russian agents” as a DNC ruse. Now that Stein is enjoying the sudden spotlight, she has done an about-face. “Yup. The Russians did it!”

      That’s politics, kids. You think Trump is a clown? They all are.

      Like

      1. Incidentally, if I was Podesta at this point in his life, I would write a tell-all autobiography. If Podesta were honest about his career, it would be a best-seller, perhaps even a bombshell. It would reveal how the Washington game really works.

        For example, when corporate media clowns unanimously declare that “the Russians did it,” where do they get such garbage? Who thinks up such idiocy? They get it from key Washington operatives like Podesta.

        In politics you must have two things. Neither one is sufficient by itself. One thing is money. (Obama was backed by moneyed interests like the Pritzker dynasty.)

        The other indispensable thing is connections in Washington, plus access to an insider who knows how the game is played. That’s where people like John Podesta and Karl Rove come in.

        Politics is a game of bribes, bullshit, group-think, swindles, and connections. The prize is a six-figure salary, plus endless perks and all you can steal. If you are a particularly loathsome slime-ball, you will have schools named after you. The worst a**holes of all have their heinous crimes whitewashed into heroic virtues by Hollywood movies.

        Meanwhile, outside the Washington sewer, ordinary peasants who service the stench are disposable pawns who cheer for the masters who despise them.

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        1. The recount can cut both ways. If there was some nefarious work on the rolls etc, maybe a recount would increase Trump’s win. They seem to me to be playing a dangerous game, but if Podesta is as thick as you say, he just might achieve the opposite goal.an own goal.

          Like

  1. One reason why the Big Lie continues is that both Republicans and Democrats echo it. Both right-wingers and fake leftists (i.e. “liberals”) echo it.

    For example, most liberals claim that average people are poor because rich people don’t pay enough federal taxes. That’s the Big Lie in action.

    However a much stronger reason why the Big Lie continues is that average people love it. They use it in order to have something to blame outside themselves. The Big Lie lets average people imagine themselves as innocent and righteous “victims” of the rich.

    The truth is that average people insist on slavery. They defend it with their lives. They would rather die than be free, since they would rather die than give up the Big Lie.

    If you doubt this, try explaining the Big Lie in the comments section of another blog. The response will always be ridicule or silence (i.e. apathy). Ridicule is easily debunked, but apathy persists even when people are in agony.

    Trump told CNN that the U.S. government has no debt crisis, since the government can always “print” more money. No one cared. No one paused. The peasants on all sides continued to cherish the Big Lie.

    The stupidity, selfishness, and self-righteousness of average people (80% of them) are what cause medical costs, insurance premiums, and the evil of people like Paul Ryan to skyrocket. It will cause the Gap to continue widening until the USA collapses from inequality, just like the Roman Empire.

    Eventually the U.S. Empire will be replaced by a new empire, which will go through the same cycle.

    In the meantime we have little worms like Avik Roy with his “magic of competition” (i.e. the magic of neoliberalism and privatization). The Roy-worm squeaks: “If you have 10 insurers competing for that business, you’re going to negotiate a better deal.”

    Unless, of course, the insurers collude, which they always do. We see this same collusion between the big banks (e.g. the LIBOR scandal).

    So the question becomes, are the Roy-worms and the Paul Ryan-rats genuinely evil? Or do they simply provide what the peasants want — i.e. poverty, slavery, and the Big Lie?

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  2. Here are two blogs that censor MMT/MS truths. One is Wolf Richter’s “Wolf Street” and the other is MishTalk. by Mishgea. The latter only says MMT doesn’t work but he hasn’t deleted my posts like Wolf too frequently does.
    On the other hand “The Conversation” posts it all and there are many followers who comment in it. In fact it’s where I first heard about MMT. Highly recommended!

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      1. I don’t know who he is. A fellow on Youtube shared the video.

        He is an MMT guy so he might also promote JG and other things MS disagrees with and might need a little “guidance” if you will.

        Also, Ms. Harris, these Libertarians you mention are neo-liberals who realized that millennials with conservative tendencies also care about civil liberties; so they now preach about gay rights and other liberal values, but continue to be deficit hawks.

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        1. “He is an MMT guy so he might also promote JG and other things MS disagrees with and might need a little ‘guidance’ if you will.” ~ Vato Loco (Crazy Dude)

          He is understandably frustrated. With humans, frustration causes hostility. (When hostility is turned inward, it becomes depression.)

          These days I have matured past much of my hostility regarding this topic. I only become inflamed when I see someone who I thought was intelligent and a humanitarian suddenly spout nonsense. This makes me feel let down, and even betrayed in a sense.

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    1. Nice video. “Steve” calls himself a real progressive. He mentions the duopoly. Perhaps he agrees with me that there is a distinction between (a) fake leftists (e.g. Democrats and self-styled “liberals”) and (b) true leftists. Our enemy is not Republicans, but the right wing duopoly, which consists of both Republicans and Democrats. To pretend that one is better than the other is to support the duopoly.

      Some quick thoughts…

      [1] Steve says that Libertarians hate government. Actually Libertarians love government. So do all advocates of “small government.” The bigger the better, as long as government’s function is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest. “Big government” is whatever narrows the gap. “Small and efficient government” is whatever widens the gap.

      For Libertarians, Social Security is “big government.” However a mammoth Orwellian police and surveillance state, ruled by banker tyranny, is “small and efficient” government. Regulations about food safety are “big government,” but mandatory vaccination (to boost Big Pharma’s profits) are “small government.” “Liberty” means sacrificing your liberty.

      The Koch brothers call themselves libertarians, meaning they want the liberty to enslave you. When they rail against “big government,” they mean any government other than the sovereign nation of Koch.

      [2] In the video, Steve says, “The wellspring from which all progressive issues come from is that of economics.”

      I say the true wellspring is gap dynamics, which Rodger often discusses. That is, the wellspring is politics between people. We study politics through the lens of economics. The refusal to understand the facts of MS is the single biggest barrier to political equality.

      [3] When we note that the “national debt crisis” is a hoax, let’s always clarify in the same sentence that there is no PUBLIC debt crisis. There is, however a PRIVATE debt crisis, which consists of student loans, underwater mortgages, over-leveraged corporations, over-issuance of bonds by local governments, and so on. If we fail to clarify this, then people will hear “there is no debt,” which is obviously false. They will eagerly switch off, since they were already looking for an excuse to switch off.

      [4] Too many people share the delusion that the Fed is a secretive and omnipotent cabal. However, as Steve notes, the Fed is simply concerned with monetary policy. (Granted, the Fed is evil, because it promotes Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.)

      Furthermore most people refuse to understand the difference between monetary policy (which concerns interest rates and bank reserve requirements) and fiscal policy (which concerns government spending and taxing).

      [5] Steve says that deficit hawks are literally murderers. I agree. Austerity is literally genocide.

      [6] Steve says, “If you elect stupid people, and you think we must reduce the national debt and deficit, the economy will tank.”

      Only the real economy will tank (i.e. Main Street). Meanwhile the financial economy (i.e. Wall Street) will keep going strong.

      Like

      1. @Elizabeth…it is amazing.. at times I could not agree with you more, for example your comments (comment #6) under Rogers post “Why the ACLU recently gained so many members” but then there are other times when you have no clue to what you are talking about….

        for example when say above…

        Begin…

        “1] Steve says that Libertarians hate government. Actually Libertarians love government. So do all advocates of “small government.” The bigger the better, as long as government’s function is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest. “Big government” is whatever narrows the gap. “Small and efficient government” is whatever widens the gap.

        For Libertarians, Social Security is “big government.” However a mammoth Orwellian police and surveillance state, ruled by banker tyranny, is “small and efficient” government. Regulations about food safety are “big government,” but mandatory vaccination (to boost Big Pharma’s profits) are “small government.” “Liberty” means sacrificing your liberty. ”

        The Koch brothers call themselves libertarians, meaning they want the liberty to enslave you. When they rail against “big government,” they mean any government other than the sovereign nation of Koch. ”

        End….

        To state it plainly, this is just BS. I don’t know one Libertarian who believe this!!

        So you believe there can be “fake leftist”.. people who self identify as progressives or leftist but in your mind they are “fake” but that can never happen on the right? Anyone who self identifies as a libertarian is an actual libertarian regardless of what they actually stand for but if someone on the left self identifies as a progressive then depending on what they actually stand and depending on if it meets your definition they could be fake ..right?? So George Soros, the lefts version of the Koch’s is probably a “fake leftists” but Koch has to be a libertarian…I keep repeating this because I want to make sure I have it.

        I guess I am reacting to this because of all people I would figure you would know better…I guess not…disappointing!!

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        1. “To state it plainly, this is just BS. I don’t know one Libertarian who believe this!”

          Of course libertarians believe it, but they try to use bullsh*t to sugar-coat their belief. Libertarians worship selfishness. They want the liberty to enslave others. They are sociopaths, just like their hero Alisa Rosenbaum (nee Ayn Rand) who endlessly blasted things like Social Security disability until Rosenbaum needed it herself because of her lifelong chain smoking. Such selfishness and hypocrisy is classic libertarianism.

          As for George Soros, no he is not a fake leftist. He is a right wing oligarch.

          Like

  3. OFF TOPIC

    Today in France, François Fillon won the center-right Républicains’ primary. This makes Fillon the presumed favorite to win next year’s presidential election (although Fillon could conceivably end up like Hillary).

    Fillon is an admirer of Margaret Thatcher, and an unabashed neoliberal who has vowed to “reform” and “modernize” France.

    As Rodger Mitchell says, “Reform” has always meant, “Take from the poor and give to the rich.” The new word for this theft is “modernize.”

    Mr. Fillon campaigned on a pledge to cut 500,000 public-sector jobs, slash public spending by €100 billion ($106 billion), slash corporate taxes, and eliminate France’s 35-hour workweek.

    The Wall Street Urinal is applauding him, saying that French workers are still too resistant to economic “overhauls” (i.e. resistant to neoliberal attacks). While the U.S. and U.K. went neoliberal under Reagan and Thatcher, France turned leftward under François Mitterand. When Germany scrapped most of its welfare system over a decade ago, France failed to follow. The result is a French economy in which the government spending is 57% of GDP, of which more than half consists of welfare and other transfers. That money should instead be going to the rich.

    The Wall Street Urinal says the French economy’s growth rate is widely estimated at less than 1% a year, because French workers have not yet been sufficiently crushed.

    That’s a lie.

    The truth is that the French economy is held back by a combination of the euro plus a huge trade deficit. At present, 3 billion more euros leave France each month than come in from abroad. This means that France is going ever further into debt, and is having to impose ever harsher austerity.

    François Fillon has vowed to dramatically increase France’s austerity and neoliberalism. Could average people vote for this? Yes, if Fillion can rally the young against the old.

    Young French workers are doomed to a lifetime of insecure temporary contracts. Meanwhile public sector workers have powerful unions. Older workers have protections from being laid off. Big corporations enjoy protections that self-employed people do not, and that small- and medium-size businesses do not.

    Therefore Fillion seeks “fairness” for all workers, meaning he wants to equally reduce all French workers to disposable slaves, like young people already are.

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    1. The euro is a race to the bottom, where the unelected EU bankers effectively will replace the elected governments of the euro nations.

      Much of that has happened already.

      One must admire the EU bankers not only for instituting a brilliant enslavement strategy, but for convincing the populace to want it.

      It’s almost as brilliant as the U.S. debt hawk strategy to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest. Here too, the ignorant vote for their own demise.

      Like

      1. Side point…

        The euro bestows advantages to nations like Germany that have trade surpluses. Such nations have euros flowing in from abroad, sucked out of nations that have trade deficits.

        However this does not mean that average Germans live in luxury. Neoliberalism rages in Germany too, such that German workers must work longer and longer hours for less pay, and are increasingly reduced to temporary employment contracts.

        Neoliberalism in Germany is not (yet) as severe as in nations like Greece (for example there is no student debt). However it is growing (Germany has Europe’s lowest rate of home ownership.)

        Neoliberalism and the Big Lie are global phenomena. Nations only differ in how intensely they have been infected by the plague.

        BY THE WAY, Spain has Europe’s highest rate of home ownership, followed by Ireland and Greece. This makes Spain, Ireland and Greece especially vulnerable to privatization of public services, because even when the people starve, they starve in their own houses. They are dying in droves, but not in the streets. So what do they have to complain about?

        After all, neoliberalism is all about “reform” and “modernization.”

        Like

  4. Wow, when someone has the balls to call obama, hillary, bill “right wing extremists” you know they are the biggest left wing hypocrites.

    Congrats eh… You won..

    Like

    1. Bill Black favors Keith Ellison for DNC chair.

      Unfortunately Keith Ellison echoes the Big Lie, just like every other politician.

      http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/

      Also see

      http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Keith_Ellison_Budget_+_Economy.htm

      The Congressional Progressive Caucus (co-chaired by Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva) is calling for tax hikes and defense cuts in order to reach a balanced federal budget by 2021.

      http://www.keithellison.org/news-clips/economist-courageous-progressive-budget

      Like

  5. “It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders”

    A perfect example:

    Panetta, Daniels, and Penny Offer Recommendations to President-elect Trump

    President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office facing the highest national debt burden of any new president in history other than President Truman during World War II.

    Please join us on December 1st for an event featuring former Secretary of Defense and White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, former Governor and OMB Director Mitch Daniels, and former Congressman Tim Penny, Co-Chairs of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, as they discuss concrete steps the newly elected President should take early in his administration to lay the foundation for a stronger economy and more sustainable fiscal future.

    Too bad that during WWII, the economy crashed and the U.S. was unable to pay its debts.

    What? That didn’t happen? Someone tell these folks.

    Like

    1. QUESTION: If the U.S. government can print infinite dollars, then why did the government have such a high “debt burden” during World War II?

      ANSWER: The government had no “debt burden” at all, just like today. During the war, unemployment was effectively zero, but consumer goods were rationed for the war effort. Everyone had cash, but nothing to spend it on. This threatened to create a price-inflation spiral, which threatened the war effort. The U.S. government’s solution was to lie the public by claiming there was a desperate need for all Americans to buy “war bonds” in order to “fund the war” to “defend democracy.” The U.S. government had no need of such funding. The purpose of war bonds was to offset inflation by temporarily removing money from the economy. Later, as war bonds matured and were redeemed, their money was gradually put back into the economy.

      The “war bonds” were money put into special saving accounts, just like T-securities today. No federal “debt burden” has ever existed.

      If people deposit trillions of dollars into savings accounts at a private bank, does the bank have a “debt burden”?

      Like

  6. “Congrats eh… You won.”

    Thanks. I shall always cherish this award with honor. (Sniff.) Please pass me a tissue.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why do I call Obama and the Clintons right wing extremists?

    When we speak of “leftists” and “liberals,” we must distinguish between false leftists and true leftists.

    False leftists like Obama, the Clintons, and most Democrats promote political correctness and identity politics in order to distract public attention from neoliberalism, warmongering, and the Big Lie. They use political correctness (e.g. “transgender rights”) to camouflage their efforts to continually widen the gap between rich and poor. Their mission is to confuse the public, while running interference for the rich.

    They are leftists in political correctness, but extreme right-wingers in their championing of material inequality (i.e. the gap).

    Their allure is that they give average Americans an excuse to feel righteously “superior” to each other. You are a “racist,” a “sexist,” and a “homophobe.” In comparison to you, I am a saint.

    As a “liberal” and a fake leftist, I don’t care that we are filling our prisons with black people faster than black babies can be born. No, as a fake leftist, I only care that you used the “N” word. (Gasp!) I don’t care about what you do; only what you say. This lets me feel “superior.”

    As a fake leftist, I am a mirror image of right-wingers. They and I all indulge in lies, hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

    As a fake leftist, I don’t care that the West and its Gulf State allies are exterminating countless Muslims, and rendering countless more Muslims homeless. I only care about “religious tolerance.”

    I don’t care that our economic wars are creating countless refugees from Latin America. I only care about “immigrant rights” after the refugees arrive.

    I don’t care about economics. I only care about defending the Big Lie, and demanding that rich people pay more federal taxes. (The Big Lie is a crucial sustainer of fake leftism.)

    I don’t care about genuine equality. I only care about destroying foreign nations in order to spread “democracy.”

    All this is fake leftism, founded on political correctness. This sewage oozes from most blogs that call themselves “progressive” and “socialist.”

    Meanwhile the *true leftist* wants genuine material, financial, and political equality for all. Personally I think our efforts should start with blacks, because I think that helping those at the bottom will help everyone above. I don’t favor affirmative action as it currently exists, since this is another fake leftist scam designed to keep average whites and blacks at each other’s throats, while neoliberalism rages. No, I’m talking about overcoming the Big Lie, and using federal money to transform black communities into places so nice that average whites start begging to live there.

    Fake leftists try to use political correctness to improve society. This is like trying to lose weight to get healthy. You will fail no matter how hard you try. The more you exercise, the fatter and sicker you become.

    No, the correct approach is to pursue proper health, and let the fat melt away automatically. (Proper health meaning better diet, better habits, etc.) The correct approach is to give up sugar, junk food, and processed trash (i.e. give up political correctness) while you only eat whole foods (i.e. you overcome the Big Lie).

    Right wingers and fake leftists love to bicker about politically correct topics like “gay rights.” Meanwhile they cooperate to destroy true leftists and true populists. It was the DNC (not the RNC) that torpedoed Sanders.

    The reason why most Americans champion the Big lie is that most Americans are right-wingers. “Liberals” are simply right-wingers in politically correct clothing.

    Genuine leftists are sharper than both. Genuine leftists are true humanitarians. This is why they are willing and able to understand the facts of monetary sovereignty.

    Libertarians are right-wingers. The “Greens” are also right-wingers (i.e. fake leftists) since they champion the Big Lie. The Greens are neoliberals on bikes. They are right-wingers with bumper stickers that say, “Save the penguins.”

    BUT WAIT…

    Why do I call some people fake leftists even though those people reject the Big Lie? My critique was aimed at people who let themselves be seduced by the media stampede toward Hillary and toward fake leftism. They were so excited by media cheers that they actually started imagining that Hillary would be better than Trump, even though both are right-wingers. Deep inside, these Hillary-bots knew they were wrong, but they tried to smother the truth by endlessly attacking Trump. Their fake leftist delusion was so strong that they used endless sophistry to defend it. They become emotionally invested in it. Their emotional investment caused them to experienced grief when Hillary lost. They blamed themselves one day, and everyone else the next day. They vacillated between reality (the Democrats did it to themselves) and denial (all of you idiots let us down).

    As their grief slowly subsides, they will increasingly return to being true leftists. They will see that yes — there really is a difference between true and false leftists. They will see that Hilary was a fake leftist, and therefore would have been at least as bad as Trump.

    Like

    1. Who has a line to Trump? If we can get him to watch that angry video posted here earlier it just might cut through. If Trump took MS/MMT on board he would easily ride over the naysayers with that personality of his. He doesn’t owe any big donors, unless they lied about not supporting him. He could really stub out a lot of Neo-liberal ideology if he so chooses.

      Like

        1. Yes, indeed “immune to shame”. It doesn’t mean he can’t learn a new trick to play on Congress. Let it be Monetary Sovereignty. Once underestood he could have a good time at Congress’s expense.
          Whatever it takes!

          Like

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