Day 1: The war on the 99% begins

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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Today is the first day of the Trump reign, and the war on the 99% already has begun:

Trump’s HUD won’t cut FHA loan fees
By Gail MarksJarvisChicago Tribune

A plan to reduce the fees homebuyers pay on Federal Housing Administration loans was abandoned Friday immediately after the Trump presidential administration took office.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced less than a month ago that on Jan. 27 it would start charging people who took out FHA loans a lower annual fee. The plan was to cut the fee to 0.60 percent, down from 0.85 percent.

But HUD on Friday released a letter that it was suspending the plan “indefinitely.”

The reduction would have saved a person who bought or refinanced a home with a 30-year $200,000 FHA mortgage about $500 a year.

FHA loans are popular with first-time homebuyers because the loans are available to people with lower credit scores and less savings than it takes to get a conventional loan.

Hurt by massive defaults during the housing crisis, FHA increased the annual fees it charges borrowers several times as the agency worked to rebuild its reserves. HUD has said reserves now exceed requirements.

The people with lower credit scores now will pay more to a federal agency that wants to “rebuild its reserves.”

Never mind that a federal agency neither has, nor needs, “reserves.” The federal government creates dollars ad hoc, simply by spending. (See: Monetary Sovereignty)

The Trump administration wants you to believe that taking an extra $500 per year out of the pockets of the poor and middle classes — out of the economy — is a good way to “Make America Great, Again.”

Day 1: Trump signs order to unwind Obamacare
By Ashley Parker and Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an executive order late Friday giving federal agencies broad powers to unwind regulations created under the Affordable Care Act, which might include enforcement of the penalty for people who fail to carry the health insurance that the law requires of most Americans.

Sounds good, right? People won’t be required to carry health insurance. What could possibly go wrong with that?

The executive order, signed in the Oval Office as one of the new president’s first actions, directs agencies to grant relief to all constituencies affected by the sprawling 2010 health care law: consumers, insurers, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, states and others.

It does not describe specific federal rules to be softened or lifted, but it appears to give room for agencies to eliminate an array of ACA taxes and requirements.

“Potentially the biggest effect of this order could be widespread waivers from the individual mandate, which would likely create chaos in the individual insurance market,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

O.K., so a little chaos. I’m sure Trump has thought this out.

In addition, he said, the order suggests that insurers may have new flexibility on the benefits they must provide.

O.K. so fewer benefits. Surely, Trump must have thought this out.

“This doesn’t grant any new powers to federal agencies, but it sends a clear signal that they should use whatever authority they have to scale back regulations and penalties. The Trump administration is looking to unwind the ACA, not necessarily waiting for Congress,” Levitt said.

Hey, who needs regulations?  Gee, I sure hope Trump has thought this out.

But in giving agencies permission to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay” ACA rules, the order appears to create room for the Department of Health and Human Services to narrow or gut a set of medical benefits that the ACA compels insurers to include in health plans.

Gut medical benefits? Yikes! I’m not so sure Trump has thought this out!

The order does not mention Medicaid, but it says one of its goals is to “provide greater flexibility to States,” raising the question of whether the Trump HHS might try to loosen rules for states that have expanded the program for lower-income Americans, as the law allows.

Translation: “Flexibility to States” is conservative-speak for “cut benefits to the 99%.” Maybe Trump has thought this out.

“While President Trump may have promised a smooth transition” from the current law to a replacement, said Leslie Dach, director of the fledgling Protect Our Care Coalition, “the executive order does the opposite, threatening disruption for health providers and patients.”

“Disruption for health providers and patients?” What do you think? Has Trump thought this out?

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Trump Voters: Will You Still Be Laughing When The Reality Sinks In?

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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 “Day 1: The war on the 99% begins

  1. One-term president if he destroys any bit of political capital he might have gained by appealing to populism. Calling it now. To anyone with eyes, it’s pretty clear he’s a wannabe oligarch that wants to be part of the big club, but as we will see, he’ll probably mess that up as well. I’ll be looking at those 2018 elections closely.

    I sadly still live in a red state, but I intend to relocate really soon to somewhere else.

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  2. Many times i have read in your blog and book that government can use interest rates to control inflation. What is the maximum interest rates that can be given? For example if interest rate is 100 percent, what will happen in the economy?

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    1. Just to be clear, 100% is not the maximum. Theoretically, an interest rate could be 10,000% or more.

      However, well before interest reached stratospheric heights, I suspect the Congress would have to cut spending and/increase taxes to reduce the money supply (Value = Demand/Supply)

      I remember when you could purchase bank CD’s that yielded 10%+, and corporate bonds went to 20%+, depending on ratings.

      Mostly, high interest rates have a few economic effects in addition to fighting inflation, among which are:
      1. The federal government will pump more dollars into the private sector, via T-security interest payments. This will grow GDP.
      2. Some corporations will be reluctant to borrow to grow their businesses.
      3. Some people will be reluctant to take out mortgages
      4. Banks will sell tons of CD’s while banks will tend to relax lending standards because loans will be so profitable.

      There also will be differing effects depending on time. A few months of high interest rates will affect the economy differently from a few years of high rates.

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  3. Your death is a greater threat to you than the government’s debt.

    Here is an excerpt from an article in NewScientist, 7 January 2017

    New moral codes needed

    SHOULD the wealthy live longer? Of course, they – or rather we – already do. People born in rich countries can look forward to longer lives than those born in poor ones.

    Now that gap is widening within societies, as well as between them.

    If you need drugs to keep you alive, your access to medicine depends on which insurance you can afford.

    That trend is set to accelerate with the advent of medicine explicitly designed to extend life (see A cure for aging is near but you probably can’t afford it“).

    If it is costly, the rich will get to live longer than the poor; if it is cheap, the demographic challenges of graying populations will be exacerbated. Which option – if either – should we aim for?

    This is by no means the only epic moral quandary we face as we enter 2017. In fact, they loom everywhere. Should a would-be autocrat be free to broadcast falsehoods directly to millions over social media?

    Some excerpts from the above-mentioned article on aging:

    Ageing affects us all, and it leads to diseases that eventually kill most of us.

    If we come up with a way to slow, halt or even reverse the ageing process, we could potentially protect people from cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The idea is to extend “health span”, the number of years of good health a person enjoys.

    Researchers now believe there are plenty of worthwhile options to investigate, but will they be for all, or only the rich?

    Take the young blood plasma theory, for example. The idea is that there’s something in the blood of people aged under 25 that keeps them youthful, although we don’t yet know what it is.

    Old mice injected with plasma from young mice, or even from human teenagers, appear rejuvenated – they are healthier, more active and show fewer signs of aging.

    There’s also anecdotal evidence that people who get blood transfusions from under-25s feel better than those who receive blood from older donors.

    Jesse Karmazin’s company, Ambrosia is offering them to anyone – providing they can afford the $8,000 price tag.

    Others think other treatments show more promise. They are aiming to enhance DNA protectors known as telomeres, an idea backed by decades of work in mice and other animals.

    Both animals and people who start life with short telomeres tend to develop age-related diseases earlier in life and to have shorter lifespans.

    Maria Blasco at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid has spent much of her career studying telomeres. A few years ago, Blasco and her colleagues found a way to extend the telomeres of mice using gene therapy. The animals lived 40 per cent longer as a result.

    A few other anti-ageing approaches are also showing promise. Senescent cells that pump out chemicals damaging to their neighbors could be targeted, by either preventing their development or periodically killing them off.

    One team is probing the use of heavy fats – so named because they contain a heavy isotope of hydrogen – to protect cells from the wear and tear associated with aging. And others are trialling the diabetes drug metformin.

    There’s a lot we can do to extend our health span without anti-ageing treatments, says Craig Venter, who recently launched Human Longevity Inc (HLI) to offer its customers reams of personalized health data.

    The most popular package, at $25,000, sequences your genome and microbiome and provides scans, blood tests and more.

    But the vast amount of data collection performed by HLI is simply not feasible for many hospitals, and most people won’t be able to afford such health checks.

    The increased life expectancy in rich countries shows that money already buys you more years on earth, so only a low-cost solution will make longevity available to all. Until that arrives, your best options are boring old diet and exercise.

    Why do the rich live longer? No mystery. They can afford better health care. But the United States intentionally rations health care.

    The beginnings of a solution can be found in Step #2, of the Ten Steps to Prosperity. But, the debt-fear mongers would rather cut the meaningless debt than provide the non-rich with a few more healthy years.

    My hope is that the public soon wises up, and understands that death is a greater threat than federal debt (which is not threat at all).

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  4. Day one also brings in those women marching in protest. Methinks the agitation is funded or at least encouraged by friends of Hillary in both parties (The Establishment) which include but not limited to those who are working for and in behalf of corporate America, Wall Street crooks, and the military-state surveillance-industrial apparatchiks.

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  5. Here is why Trump is President: A comment on the post:

    b4 has commented on your story “Day 1: The war on the 99% begins”:

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    this article is total bullshit–a commie wrote this–my parents never had “health care” and did fine–you are robbing the future of the young people with your ideas you commie-get government out of everything-let it all go to hell–out of the ashes will rise those who are strong and prepared–the hell with all the maggots and the ideas that support them-your ideas the rich vrs the 99.9 are total bullshit–you are like a guy who wants to handicap the most capable player on the team because he/she is so much better than everybody else–i made myself a millionare by driving(my own)a semi truck–there are 3 other guys in my little town who did the same thing–you are a fool and a loser with your stupid ideas

    The comment came from: http://beforeitsnews.com/economics-and-politics/2017/01/day-1-the-war-on-the-99-begins-2491561.html#comment_224647

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