The almost-too-easy way to grow the economy and narrow the Gap

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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..

Following the “Great Recession” of 2008, our economy has grown at an achingly slow pace. Look at the graph (below) and compare the past ten years with the period beginning 1972 (the year in which the U.S. went off a gold standard and became more completely Monetarily Sovereign):

GDP Growth Line (Vertical bars are recessions)

Meanwhile, the Gaps between the richer and poorer, as expressed by the GINI ratio, (below) have widened. [A Gini ratio of 0 indicates perfect equality, where everyone has the same income. A Gini ratio of 1 indicates total inequality, where one person has all the income]:

Income inequality has grown substantially in the past 50 years

In short, the economy has grown quite slowly, while the rich have become relatively richer, and the poor have become relatively poorer.

We have suggested the Ten Steps to Prosperity (see section below), as a process by which the economy can grow faster and the Gap can shrink. Some of those steps require significant changes in federal law, together with significant bureaucratic expansions.

But there is one Step that requires only minuscule changes in federal law together with a reduction in the bureaucracy: Step 1. Eliminate the FICA tax.

  1. FICA is the most regressive tax in America, punishing lower-income, salaried workers, while barely touching higher income salaried workers, and having no effect on people who get their incomes from non-salary sources — mostly the retired and the rich.
  2. Corporations submit half of all FICA collected, but corporations don’t actually “pay” taxes.  They merely are legal conduits between customers and corporate employees and owners.  Functionally, employees pay all FICA taxes; corporate managers consider FICA to be as much a cost of paying employees as are salaries.
  3. The Federal government neither needs nor uses FICA dollars. Being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government creates dollars ad hoc, every time it pays a bill. Tax dollars you send to the Treasury cease to be part of the money supply. Your tax dollars effectively are destroyed.

The elimination of FICA would add a $1 trillion+ to the money supply, which would stimulate the economy by increasing Non-federal Spending:

Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports.

Spending by consumers is by far the largest part of the U.S. GDP.  It accounts for an average of about two-thirds of GDP in the United States.

With GDP at about $18 Trillion, an addition of $1 Trillion (from FICA) would create about 5% of GDP growth (broad estimate, less investment).

Social Insurance Receipts*
          Year  | $ Trillions
2010 | 0.9
2011 | 0.8
2012 | 0.8
2013 | 0.9
2014 | 1.0
2015 | 1.1
2016 | 1.1
2017 | 1.1
2018 | 1.2

*Amount of Revenue by Source

With GDP growth averaging about 4% in the past ten years, an additional 5% growth (to 9%) would be quite significant — similar to the growth rate in the 1971-1981 period.

This brings us to the subject of inflation. There have been many changes to the methods for calculating inflation (a general increase in prices), and these changes have resulted in somewhat different results.

But, there does not seem to have been a relationship between GDP increases and inflation. (See graph below.)

GDP increases were not marked by inflation

While an increase in the Supply of money is inflationary, an increase in the Demand for money is deflationary: Value = Demand/Supply.

The Demand for money is based on the formula: Demand = Reward/Risk.

Interest is the Reward for owning money. The Federal Reserve controls inflation to its target rate (2%-3%) by increasing the Reward, i.e. by increasing interest rates.

We cannot end this article without referring to the brainwashing conducted by our thought leaders, including the U.S. government.

The Office of Retirement and Disability (Social Security) publishes a bulletin titled, “Social Security Trust Fund Flows and Reserves.”

The bulletin includes such sentences as:

Social Security benefits are paid from the reserves of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund.

The reserves are funded from dedicated tax revenues and interest on accumulated reserve holdings, which are invested in Treasury securities.

There is no “trust fund” for Social Security any more than there is a “trust fund” for other federal agencies.

Have you ever wondered why there is no “trust fund” to pay for the military, or for the White House, or Congress, or for the Supreme Court, or the CIA, the FBI, NSA, or any other agency you can mention? Have you ever wondered why no one claims these agencies soon will be

Have you ever wondered why no one claims these agencies soon will be insolvent?

The reason: The Social Security “trust fund” is an accounting fiction. It pays for nothing. Social Security and Medicare benefits are paid the same way as Congress’s salaries: By federal deficit spending.

“Trust fund” balances are available to finance future benefit payments and other trust fund expenditures–but only in a bookkeeping sense.

These funds are not set up to be pension funds, like the funds of private pension plans. They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits. Instead, they are claims on the Treasury.

The fake “trust fund” merely is a group of balance sheet notations, completely controlled by the government. The “trust fund assets” consist of nothing more than “liabilities” of the U.S. Treasury.  All the “trust fund” owns is what the Treasury owes it.

Thus, rather than paying Social Security and Medicare benefits out of a non-existent “trust fund,” the Treasury could pay benefits directly.  If the “trust fund” ceased to exist, this would have zero effect on the Treasury’s ability to pay Social Security and Medicare benefits.

The next time you read an article or see a graph telling you the Social Security trust fund will run short funds at some future date, know you are being treated to The Big Lie — the lie that federal taxes fund federal spending.

While state and local taxes do fund state and local spending, federal taxes do not fund federal spending. The federal government creates dollars, ad hoc, by spending, and never can run short of dollars.

Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.


Growing the economy, narrowing the Gap, and controlling inflation are three of the most important financial responsibilities of the federal government.  These responsibilities could be accomplished easily and simply by eliminating the useless and harmful FICA tax.

If we eliminated FICA tomorrow, you instantly would begin to reap the economic benefits.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


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.
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 A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) 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 EVERYONE Five 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.
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.
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce 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 business 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.
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.


7 thoughts on “The almost-too-easy way to grow the economy and narrow the Gap

  1. I don’t know if I already asked this, but how would ad hoc spending (money from nowhere) appear on the fed balance sheet in terms of income and expenditure. How is the source represented?


    1. The Fed’s balance sheets are way too convoluted for me, but fundamentally, they don’t need real “sources.” All they need are debits and credits, and they can name each whatever they wish.

      My guess is that they pretend the sources are taxes and borrowing, though neither taxes nor borrowing exists in the money supply.

      Visualize a black box; ten dollar bills go in one side and twenty dollar bills come out the other side. It doesn’t matter what happens in the black box.

      I know this answer doesn’t satisfy you, because you want to know where the dollars “come from.” You want to inspect the machinery used by the man behind the curtain.

      Sorry, I can’t help you with that.

      I don’t know the machinery. I know only that the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It creates laws from thin air, and some of those laws allow them to create dollars from thin air.

      The laws and the dollars come from the same place.


  2. I read somewhere (Kelton?) the USA can purchase its own debt if there aren’t enough takers, i.e, bond purchasers. I understand T-bonds aren’t necessary in a MS system but wouldn’t this method provide an “out” on the balance sheet; a type of “self-crediting function” w/o taxes. The USA can, as an abstract (MS) legal entity, credit itself by purchasing T-bonds, then upon maturity they’re destroyed.


    1. Yes, the Fed does it all the time. And that is the way Quantitative Easing works.

      The entire “debt” is an exercise in misdirection, with one agency creating dollars out of thin air, and another agency “buying” those dollars by making debits and credits out of thin air.

      Remember, dollars are not real things. They are nothing more than entries in balance sheets, and the federal government has absolute control over those balance sheets.

      Any time you hear or read concern about federal debt, know this. The speaker or writer either are ignorant of economics or are trying to deceive you. Federal “debt” is exactly, to the penny, what the federal government wants it to be. If it weren’t, they simply would change it.


  3. The “Ad Hoc” spending idea is FALSE! THe government does not “destroy” the tax money it takes in, and create new money to spend.

    Creating too much new money, creates inflation, no matter what you think. If this were true, we would NEVER have a deficit or a surplus. We’d just have “spending”.

    First and foremost, the Federal Reserve bank is NOT owned by the government, it is, essentially, a private bank that sells us our own money, at interest.

    Secondly, as I said, if “creating money was so easy, then we wouldn’t have to worry about deficit spending, and the country wouldn’t be 19 trillion in debt.

    Hell, I am bad at math, and I can see the problems in this type of thinking. We DO use FICA, for what it was intended, to pay for Social Security and Medicare. Two things the government wants to do away with because they want to spend that money the way THEY want to, and not to help people. Fix the SS tax and the FICA tax by removing the limits on income, and count all remuneration as “income” (Bonus’, perks, investment income, et al) and you will see all our programs suddenly doing better.


    1. When state and local governments take in tax dollars, those dollars remain in the money supply. They are not destroyed.

      But when the federal government takes in tax dollars, they no longer are part of the money supply. They effectively are destroyed.

      That is one difference between monetary non-sovereignty vs. Monetary Sovereignty.

      Because federal tax dollars are destroyed, they no longer are used for anything.

      The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create dollars, and has no use or need for tax dollars. Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

      Since the “Great Depression,” the government has created almost $8 trillion net dollars.

      Yet, inflation has been below the Fed’s target of 2%-3%.

      Inflation does not rely solely on the Supply of Dollars. You are forgetting the Demand for dollars. The formula is Value = Demand/Supply.

      This means that if the Demand for dollars goes up as much as the Supply of dollars, the dollar will not lose value (i.e. no inflation). The Fed increases the Demand for dollars by raising interest rates. That is how the Fed controls inflation.

      The notion that the Fed is not an agency of the federal government is a popular myth. See HERE.

      You are confusing state and local governments (monetarily non-sovereign) with the federal government (Monetarily Sovereign). You might wish to read: THIS

      Thank you for your comments.


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