It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders
What is the greatest threat to America? The question revolves around the word, “greatest.”
A giant meteor or a supervolcano both are possible, and because either could completely obliterate America, the threat can be considered “great,” though unlikely.
A nuclear war with Russia, China, or even North Korea or Iran, could damage America severely, though it is unlikely that any national leader, even Donald Trump, is insane enough to begin one. particularly because the leader would die.
A new disease, or even an old one that has morphed into new virulence, could cause great damage, but America would survive.
I believe the greatest threat to America is staring us in the face. It will not come from without, but within. We will do it to ourselves.
Here are some excerpts from recent articles:
Trump looks to punish critics
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of at least half a dozen well-known former national security officials, his spokeswoman said on Monday, in an apparent expression of his desire to punish increasingly vocal critics from past administrations.
Trump tweeted that Iran would suffer untold consequences if it continued to threaten the U.S., said in all caps: “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
Trump, top aides raise heat on Iran
Verbal attacks attempt to distract from Russia
Critics immediately branded the threats as Trump’s attempt to divert attention from his troubled dealings with Russia, which has only grown since last week’s Helsinki summit with President Vladimir Putin and amid attention to the upcoming trial of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
The Trump administration will seek to revoke California’s authority to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions in a proposed revision of Obama-era standards.
The proposal amounts to a frontal assault on regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Facts don’t wrest FBI grievances from Trump
He routinely assails “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, blasts NFL players for kneeling, and complains about other countries taking advantage of the United States even when facts argue otherwise.
The FBI’s surveillance of former campaign adviser Carter Page gives the president a tool to contend he’s been persecuted by the ongoing Russia investigation. Yet, new documents released by his administration over the weekend still don’t bear out Trump’s assertions about illegal spying.
Republican electoral victories are increasingly dependent on gaming the system, and especially its multitude of counter-majoritarian veto points, to bring about outcomes that would be unachievable using democratic means. In the House, Republicans won a majority of the seats despite winning 1.5 million fewer votes than the Democrats
The result is the transformation of the Republican Party into a blatantly anti-democratic force.
Congress Must Tell Trump The White House Cannot Be Bought
Where other presidents put their business interests into blind trusts, Trump has turned a blind eye. California Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell introduced a bill Monday that seeks to make it a criminal offense for President Donald Trump toaccept “anything of value from a foreign power.”
Prosecutors have 12 audio recordings seized from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
Federal prosecutors have 12 audio recordings seized from the home, office, and hotel room of President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen
463 migrant parents may have been deported without their kids
The Trump administration said that 463 parents of migrant children are no longer in the U.S., even though their children are. More undocumented migrant parents might have been deported without their children than the government previously acknowledged.
A federal judge granted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort a delay. Manafort’s trial is the first in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference as Trump faces scrutiny of his cozy relationship with Vladimir Putin.
President Donald Trump wants to fight a suit by adult film star Stormy Daniels in Los Angeles rather than in New York. Daniels sued Trump in April claiming the president defamed her when he said on Twitter that her claim of having been threatened in 2011 by a man in Las Vegas was a “total con job.”
John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, tweeted as follows:
“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous.”
Trump believes he has the right to pardon himself
Trump declared that he has “the absolute right” to pardon himself. Trump continued: “But why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” So is the president threatening to put himself beyond the reach of the law?
Trump appeared to acknowledge Russia’s efforts to interfere in U.S. elections — but claimed against evidence that Moscow would be “pushing very hard for the Democrats” in the midterms this fall. Therefore establishing a foundation for declaring that any future election favoring Democrats is illegal.
These excerpts, which easily could be supplemented by hundreds in a similar vein, describe a combative President under great pressure, who will break any law, ignore any custom, and reject any convention to battle those who dare to demean him or to threaten his power and his money.
With that in mind, consider this probable scenario:
- Trump refuses to testify before Special Counsel Robert Mueller
- Mueller obtains a grand jury subpoena to force Trump to talk.
- Trump refuses to obey the subpoena.
- The case goes to the Supreme Court.
Here we confront two outcomes:
The Supreme Court agrees with Trump’s position that he is above the law. In this case, Trump essentially becomes the King of America, who cannot be punished or even prosecuted for any crime. Thus America instantly changes from a democracy to a monarchy and/or a dictatorship.
Or the Supreme Court does as previous Supreme Courts have done to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and rules that Trump must submit to an interview with Mueller.
But if, despite the Supreme Court ruling, Trump still refuses. Now what?
Trump, as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military, has absolute power. He cannot be forced to do anything. In either scenario, America as we know it, ceases to exist.
Sadly, not only has Trump proved himself to be uncaring about law or precedent, but his followers like this about him. They see his lawbreaking and bullying as a sign of strength. His hatred for minorities matches theirs.
A substantial portion of our population approves of Trump’s disregard for people, for morals, and for the law. So they would support whatever he does.
Given that civilian support, plus his power over the military, Trump predictably would refuse to cooperate with anything that restricts him.
So the potential bottom line is: We would have an aggressive President, who thinks laws don’t apply to him, and who commands our military and has significant public backing and backing from a compliant GOP.
Further, Trump might not even accept the results of an election.
Given all that, who could guarantee that Trump would obey even a Supreme Court decision?
The likelihood is we would have a dictator, and America will have become his dictatorship.
And that is how easy it would be for the U.S. to slip back into third-world status. We already are teetering on the edge.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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 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 (Guaranteed Income)) 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
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.
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.