It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.
President Trump loves to pat himself on the back. He may be the biggest blowhard in American Presidential history:
Trump keeps taking credit for Obama-era successes
02/12/18 12:30 PM, By Steve Benen
The Associated Press reported that the Environmental Protection Agency boasted: The number of Superfund sites had shrunk. It was, officials claimed, a major Trump administration accomplishment.
Except it wasn’t, really. The cleanup work on the Superfund sites in question was completed during the Obama administration. Trump World just wanted to take credit. (In fact, the AP found that work on Superfund sites slowed in 2017 to a level lower than any year of the Obama or Bush eras.)
The Trump administration has released data showing a large increase in penalties against polluters, as well $20 billion in commitments from companies to correct problems that have caused environmental damage. […]
He brags about penalties for polluters, but hires Scott Pruitt, the most anti-environment guy in the land to run the E.P.A., a guy who has sued the E.P.A. many times.
The data from the E.P.A. represented activity during the government’s 2017 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, meaning the totals included the final three and half months of the Obama administration, when some of the E.P.A.’s biggest cases were settled.
The data also reflected cases that were resolved during the Trump administration but had been initiated and largely handled under President Obama.
Cynthia Giles, who was the assistant administrator for the agency’s enforcement office during the Obama administration, explained, “Nearly all of the large cases included in E.P.A.’s annual enforcement report were essentially over before the new administration arrived at E.P.A.”
The New York Times found that Trump’s EPA sought significantly fewer civil penalties against alleged polluters than the preceding two administrations.
Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department published a “comprehensive list of accomplishments” in December, which included the Trump administration taking credit for a legal victory over mining near the Grand Canyon – “a legal fight that had already been argued in federal court a month before the Trump administration took office.”
The White House, probably embarrassed that Trump’s first-year job totals were the worst in seven years, has also begun taking credit for job creation that occurred in the months leading up to this president’s inauguration.
I suppose the broader question is, if Barack Obama’s tenure were as awful as Trump claims, why does the Republican president keep trying to take ownership of the Democratic president’s successes and accomplishments?
But the even broader question yet is, for a guy who takes credit for the sun rising in the morning, why hasn’t Trump taken credit for something good his administration actually has accomplished, namely the increase in deficit spending that will add trillions of stimulus dollars to the economy.
In fact, out of ignorance or iniquity, Trump denies the best act of his otherwise meager Presidency:
Trump’s $4.4 trillion budget moves deficit sharply higher
Andrew Taylor and Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press, February 12, 2018
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.4 trillion budget for next year that heralds an era of $1 trillion-plus federal deficits and — unlike the plan he released last year — never comes close to promising a balanced ledger even after 10 years.
This means that every year, the U.S. federal government will add another $1 trillion+ to the world’s supply of dollars. Most of those dollars will go directly or indirectly to U.S. citizens, enriching us.
The rest will go to foreign nations and their citizens, enriching them and making them better customers for our products, so many of those dollars will come back to the U.S. — and it all won’t cost any of us a cent.
Because the U.S. federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, it does not spend tax dollars. Instead, it creates brand new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a creditor. (Your federal tax dollars disappear from the economy, and once received, no longer are part of any money supply measure. Effectively, they are destroyed.)
This new budget, with its multi-trillion dollar stimulus, absolutely guarantees strong GDP growth, something Trump will be able to brag about for the rest of his life.
Why then, isn’t Trump boasting?
This budget does not yet reflect last week’s two-year bipartisan $300 billion pact that wholly rejects Trump’s plans to slash domestic agencies.
The president’s budget proposes dramatic cuts to a wide range of domestic agencies from the Departments of Labor and Interior to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.
Unlike last year’s submission, the 2019 Trump plan would cut Medicare by $554 billion over the next 10 years, a 6 percent reduction from projected spending, including cuts in Medicare payments going to hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
Trump isn’t doing his usual bluster because he wants to cut anything that benefits the middle- and lower-income groups. He prefers to ship piles of money to businesses and the rich.
Much to Trump’s disappointment, the latest Congressional agreement actually leaves some money for the non-rich.
Presidential budgets are often declared dead-on-arrival in Congress where lawmakers have their own ideas about spending priorities. But the documents do represent the most detailed elaboration of an administration’s priorities.
In remarks Monday, Trump focused on the spending increases he favors rather than the deficits he and other Republicans have pledged to reduce.
“We’re going to have the strongest military we’ve ever had, by far,” Trump said. “In this budget, we took care of the military like it’s never been taken care of before.”
Now that his alleged bone spurs have kept him safe from the military, Trump has begun to love the military.
He even wanted to spend on a big, military parade, where he could stand high on a dais, and frown down with Musolinni-like pride, upon the sweating soldiers and the admiring throng.
Fortunately, wiser heads seem to have prevailed, though in truth, spending for the parade would have added dollars to the economy, thus demonstrating that even federal waste is economically stimulative.
Also getting a boost would be border security. Trump’s budget includes money to start building 65 miles of border wall in south Texas as well as money to bring immigration jails up to a capacity of 47,000 and add 2,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees and 750 Border Patrol agents.
Do you remember the Wall that Trump guaranteed Mexico would fund? Another broken promise. But who cares about promises when you can have slogans? MAGA!
Trump prefers spending to keep out Muslims, browns, and blacks from “shithole” countries. He wants to admit only Nordics, the master race of Ubermensch that white supremacists and KKK folks prefer.
Trump’s plan sees a 2019 deficit of $984 billion, though $1.2 trillion is more plausible after last week’s budget pact and $90 billion worth of disaster aid is tacked on.
That’s more than double the 2019 deficit the administration promised last year.
Yet another broken promise, but this addition of dollars to the economy is supposed to shock you. You are asked to prefer that dollars be taken from the economy, which always leads to recessions and depressions, rather than having dollars added to the economy which leads to economic growth.
The repeated failures of austerity don’t sway our bribed leaders, whose paid-for purpose is to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.
All told, the new budget sees accumulating deficits of $7.2 trillion over the coming decade; Trump’s plan last year projected a 10-year shortfall of $3.2 trillion.
“In one year of working together, we have laid the foundation for a new era of American greatness,” Trump said in the budget message accompanying his spending document. “America is back to winning again. A great spirit of optimism continues to sweep across our nation.”
The new budget, with its increased deficits, does indeed lay the foundation for economic growth, though Trump has no idea why.
Unfortunately, it also lays the fountain for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.
“A lot of presidents’ budgets are ignored. But I would expect this one to be completely irrelevant and totally ignored,” said Jason Furman, a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama. “In fact, Congress passed a law last week that basically undid the budget before it was even submitted.”
Trump, however, will take credit for any economic successes that result, and will blame Congress and the Fed for any economic failures.
Trump would reprise last year’s attempt to scuttle the “Obamacare” health law and sharply cut back the Medicaid program for the elderly, poor and disabled. His plan also reprises proposals from last year’s Trump budget to curb crop insurance costs, cut student loan subsidies, reduce pension benefits for federal workers and cut food stamps, among other proposals.
Strange, all those cuts to social benefits, but I didn’t see anything about cutting tax benefits to the rich. Trump, his family, and his closest associates are rich, so what could you expect?
At least we have the additional deficit spending, i.e. additional economic income, and that’s better than most politicians, media pundits, and economists want.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The 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 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.
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 FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
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.
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.