O.K., let’s see how he does

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

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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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Personally, I believe Donald Trump is an incompetent, amoral, egomaniacal boob, a wannabe dictator, who never should be allowed to walk the streets without a leash held by an adult.

I may be wrong.

Perhaps, by some miracle I can’t foresee,  he will accomplish some or all of the good things he says he will, and won’t do some of the really awful things he says he will.

He starts with the advantage (?) of a Republican Congress, and despite the dark nature of his inaugural address, America is on the upswing after the disaster named “Bush.”

(No, the “wealth, strength, and confidence of our country” has not “disappeared over the horizon” as President Trump claimed.)

So to be fair, we’ll want a baseline from which to measure President Trump’s accomplishments, and Erik Zorn, of the Chicago Tribune, has been wise enough to provide you with that baseline:

Public approval of Donald Trump: 40 percent
Public approval of Barack Obama: 58 percent
Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent
Civilian labor force participation rate: 62.7 percent
National average price per gallon of regular gasoline: $2.33
Consumer confidence indexes: 113.7
Annual inflation rate: 2.1 percent
Median U.S. household family income: $53,889
Percentage of the nonelderly U.S. population without health insurance: 10.4 percent
Poverty rates: adults, 13.5 percent; children, 19.7 percent
National average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate: 3.96 percent
National debt: $19.96 trillion
Annual federal budget deficit: $441 billion (2.6 percent of the gross domestic product)
Financial markets: Dow Jones industrial average, 19,732.40; Nasdaq, 5,540; Standard & Poors 500, 2,264
GDP growth rate: 3.5 percent
Teen birth rate: 22.3 per 1,000 female teenagers
Out-of-wedlock birth rate: 43.4 per 1,000 females
Abortion rate: 14.6 per 1,000 females
Number of federal prison inmates: 189,316
Overall number of adult prisoners: 6,741,400 (about 2.7 percent of the population)
Violent-crime victimization rate: 372.6 per 100,000 persons
Average temperature of the world’s land and ocean surfaces: 58.69 degrees Fahrenheit
U.S. high school graduation rate: 83.2 percent
U.S. monthly international trade deficit: $45.2 billion
Immigrants living in the U.S. illegally: 11.1 million
Abusers of opioid drugs, including heroin: 12.7 million

Again, this is not a perfectly focused snapshot of a moment in time. Some of these numbers are estimates that will be revised for early 2017 in a year or two, at which point we’ll have a more precise baseline for the Trump years.

Nor is it comprehensive.

It doesn’t attempt to quantify our standing in the world, the status of civil and voting rights for historically disadvantaged groups, the quality of our air and water and so on.

But in this bundle of yardsticks are ways to measure Trump against his boasts and promises, to establish reference points for America’s greatness or lack thereof.

Wary as I am of this man — his methods, motives and seeming madness — I hope I’m wrong about him. I hope all these numbers improve. I hope he returns the nation to us in better shape than when he took it over.

Keep this list in your favorite file, where it will not be lost, and as the weeks and months pass, compare it with a then-current list.

If America continues its eight-year trajectory of improvement, let’s all be among those cheering loudly.

But if the tide turns and things veer toward the bottom, we all should be prepared for the inevitable, right-wing, all-purpose excuses: “Hillary would have been worse” or  “Obama did it,” followed by, “I didn’t vote for him, anyway. I voted for Rand Paul.”

Watch for those excuses immediately following every Trump lie.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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 (Social Security for All) (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.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

9 thoughts on “O.K., let’s see how he does

  1. Well noted. I am going to remain cynical until i see positive results. If not, I will be one of the many calling him out. I said somewhere else that 2.8 million more votes than the other guy wasn’t bad. It all came down to those swing states. Mr. Two Corinthians Trump has to do the positive things he promised or destroy all political capital.

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  2. More timely bullsh*t from the CRFB:

    Statement by Maya MacGuineas on the Inauguration of Donald Trump
    January 20, 2017

    The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget welcomes Donald Trump and Mike Pence as the president and vice president of the United States. The new administration takes office at a critical moment for the nation when we face historic challenges that come with historic opportunities.

    We always face challenges. Not sure these are “historic” challenges. World War II, the Civil War, the Cuban missile crisis and Kennedy’s assination were “historic.” Today’s times are comparatively tame.

    Debt as a share of the economy is the highest it has ever been for a new president since President Truman. This is the result of past policy decisions and a huge economic downturn.

    Translation: “Deposits in T-security accounts at the Federal Reserve bank, as a percentage of GDP, is the highest since WWII.”

    High investments in T-bill accounts is a problem? Why? No one knows, not even the CRFB.

    We are encouraged that President Trump has recognized on multiple occasions the threats posed by the nation’s near-record levels of debt. The current situationcannot continue. The debt is growing faster than the economy, and annual deficits are headed back above one trillion dollars. Unsustainable debt will ultimately cripple our country and stifle the prosperity of American families.

    What is the threat posed by investments in T-security accounts? The CRFB never says.

    Why can’t the situation continue? The CRFB never says.

    Translation: The federal governement is adding more than one trillion annually to our economy. Why is this a bad thing? The CRFB never says.

    Why are the investments in T-securities “unsustainable” and “crippling”? The CRFB never says.

    The new President will be working with a Congress that has repeatedly insisted the budget reach balance over a decade.

    The only ways to balance the budget are to increase taxes and/or to decrease federal spending, i.e. to remove dollars from the economy. How will removing dollars from the private sector help the economy? The CRFB never says.

    While we believe there are a number of sufficient fiscal goals, it is critical the new administration and Congress agree on a fiscal goal, and lay out a plan to achieve it without relying on rosy projections or budget gimmicks.

    Growing the economy in a way that benefits American households should be one of our greatest national priorities, and a sound fiscal situation is the foundation of sustainable economic growth.

    We welcome the president and vice president and look forward to working with them in building a plan to put the national debt on a sustainable path.

    Amen to that, sister MacGuineas, but never in the history of humankind has taking dollars from the private sector grown an economy. NEVER.

    Remember: Gross Domestic Product, the prime measure of the economy, measures the number of dollars being pumped into the private sector.

    The CRFB, if you didn’t already know it, is a mouthpiece for the rich (check out their rich, white Board of Directors).

    Their consistent focus is to cut any federal spending that would aid the non-rich, will increasing those regressive taxes that widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

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  3. As much as I dislike politicians, I do kind of admire them.

    If they are able to lie to us about something as simple as taxation, who knows what other lies they are telling…

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  4. Nothing personal Roger, but you will never be able to stop hating Trump. It’s just who you are. Don’t take it personal

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  5. If the Russians are happy, what’s the problem?

    Chicago Tribune:
    Moscow celebrates Trump’s ascension
    By Vladimir Isachenkov and Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press

    MOSCOW — Champagne corks popped Friday in Moscow as Russians celebrated the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, confident of better relations ahead between the two countries.

    “It’s weird, but it’s great, and for the first time ever Russians are applauding the victory of a U.S. presidential candidate,” political analyst Stanislav Byshok said.

    Trump’s promises to fix ravaged relations with Moscow have elated Russia’s political elite following spiraling tensions with Washington over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

    About 100 Trump sympathizers, nationalists, and spin doctors gathered at a trendy loft just a few hundred yards away from the Kremlin to celebrate Friday, with a triptych of Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French nationalist politician Marine Le Pen in the center of the hall.

    An hour before Trump took the stage in Washington, the sound of opening champagne bottles echoed in the vaulted hall. The party was co-sponsored by the conservative Tsargrad TV channel, which is led by ultra-right ideologue Alexander Dugin.

    “Yes, it’s a holiday,” said a beaming Dmitry Rode, a communications executive. “We all hope that relations between our countries and more importantly between our peoples will help to develop our economies.”

    Some party-goers wore Guy Fawkes masks, associated with hackers, in a sly reference to charges that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

    At the party in downtown Moscow, revelers watched Trump make his inauguration speech in silence, and no one stood up for the American anthem, although the host suggested that all Americans should do so.

    “President Putin.” Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

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  6. Interesting times indeed. What his inaugural speech revealed was that the schism between Republican establishment and Donald the Populist is actually ongoing. To preserve that divide and to remain true to the strategy of populism during his campaign, the people who got him elected need to hold his pants and feet on fire; they need to make him do it – that is, to enact policies that will not economically alienate or marginalize those folks in, for example, the mid-west rustbelt areas

    Any betrayal on the part of the Donald, that he will allow himself to be co-opted by the Republican establishment who works for and in behalf of corporate America, will be totally unacceptable and that if he has duplicitous intent all along he’s going to the toaster in the midterms.

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