Bernie Sanders has proposed a list of his Presidential aspirations, which is long on goals, though short on specific details.

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The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this: I don’t believe that government should take over the grocery store down the street or control the means of production.

President Trump was elected with a much shorter list (eliminate Obamacare, build a wall, do the NRA’s and Vladimir Putin’s bidding, deny science, attack allies while sucking up to dictators),  and blame others for his failures, so perhaps Bernie can be forgiven for his omission of specificity.

New York Times: 8/22/19
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday unveiled an aggressive $16.3 trillion climate change plan that calls for the U.S. to reach 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation “no later than” 2030, as well as for “complete decarbonization” by 2050.

He refers to the plan itself, which would also declare climate change a national emergency, as a Green New Deal.

 Here are some sample features of one proposal

  • Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050 at latest – consistent with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goals – by expanding the existing federal Power Marketing Administrations to build new solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources.
  • Ending unemployment by creating 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis. These jobs will be good-paying, union jobs with strong benefits and safety standards in steel and auto manufacturing, construction, energy efficiency retrofitting, coding and server farms, and renewable power plants.
  • We will also create millions of jobs in sustainable agriculture, engineering, a reimagined and expanded Civilian Conservation Corp, and preserving our public lands.
  • Directly invest an historic $16.3 trillion public investment toward these efforts, in line with the mobilization of resources made during the New Deal and WWII, but with an explicit choice to include black, indigenous and other minority communities who were systematically excluded in the past.
  • A just transition for workersThis plan will prioritize the fossil fuel workers who have powered our economy for more than a century and who have too often been neglected by corporations and politicians.
  • We will guarantee five years of a worker’s current salary, housing assistance, job training, health care, pension support, and priority job placement for any displaced worker, as well as early retirement support for those who choose it or can no longer work.
  • Declaring climate change a national emergencyWe must take action to ensure a habitable planet for ourselves, for our children, and for our grandchildren. We will do whatever it takes to defeat the threat of climate change.
  • Saving American families money by weatherizing homes and lowering energy bills, building affordable and high-quality, modern public transportation, providing grants and trade-in programs for families and small businesses to purchase high-efficiency electric vehicles, and rebuilding our inefficient and crumbling infrastructure, including deploying universal, affordable high-speed internet.
  • Supporting small family farms by investing in ecologically regenerative and sustainable agriculture. This plan will transform our agricultural system to fight climate change, provide sustainable, local foods, and break the corporate stranglehold on farmers and ranchers.
  • Justice for frontline communities – especially under-resourced groups, communities of color, Native Americans, people with disabilities, children and the elderly – to recover from, and prepare for, the climate impacts, including through a $40 billion Climate Justice Resiliency Fund.
  • Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States’ leadership in the global fight against climate change.
  • Meeting and exceeding our fair share of global emissions reductions. We will reduce domestic emissions by at least 71 percent by 2030 and reduce emissions among less industrialized nations by 36 percent by 2030 — the total equivalent of reducing our domestic emissions by 161 percent.
  • Making massive investments in research and development. We will invest in public research to drastically reduce the cost of energy storage, electric vehicles, and make our plastic more sustainable through advanced chemistry. 
  • Expanding the climate justice movement. We will do this by coming together in a truly inclusive movement that prioritizes young people, workers, indigenous peoples, communities of color, and other historically marginalized groups to take on the fossil fuel industry and other polluters to push this over the finish line and lead the globe in solving the climate crisis.
  • Investing in conservation and public lands to heal our soils, forests, and prairie lands. We will reauthorize and expand the Civilian Conservation Corps and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Corps to provide good-paying jobs building green infrastructure.

One may disagree with some aspects of this list, but if one truly wishes to “make America great, again,” the list overall is a much better starting place than caging children and deny the poor of medical insurance.

There is, however, one aspect of the list that demonstrates abject cowardice and ignorance:

This plan will pay for itself over 15 years“, Bernie claims. 

“We will pay for the massive investment we need to reverse the climate crisis by:

  • Making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees, and taxes, and eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Generating revenue from the wholesale of energy produced by the regional Power Marketing Authorities. Revenues will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free, aside from operations and maintenance costs.
  • Scaling back military spending on maintaining global oil dependence.
  • Collecting new income tax revenue from the 20 million new jobs created by the plan.
  • Reduced need for federal and state safety net spending due to the creation of millions of good-paying, unionized jobs.
  • Making the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share.
  • Sanders says his proposal would “pay for itself” in 15 years and create 20 million jobs. It would impose new taxes on the fossil fuel industry and eliminate subsidies, which he says would account for $3.1 trillion and be a way of making the industry “pay for their pollution.”

No, the plan will not pay for itself. Nor will federal taxpayers fund the plan. Federal taxes pay for nothing.

The plan, as proposed, will be funded by federal deficit spending, which will pump $16 trillion growth dollars into the economy. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, never can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

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It’s our little secret. Don’t tell the people we don’t use their tax dollars.

Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Alan Greenspan: “Central banks can issue currency, a non-interest-bearing claim on the government, effectively without limit. A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e.,unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.

Bernie demonstrates courage by proposing such far-reaching plans, but he demonstrates cowardice by failing to tell the voters the truth, namely:

  1. Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government never can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. It can afford anything, and it does not need to collect dollars from domestic or foreign taxpayers.
  2. The federal deficit and debt are not a burden on the federal government or on federal taxpayers, nor do the deficit and debt limit any future federal spending.
  3. The federal deficit and debt do not lead to inflation, which actually is caused by shortages of goods, not by excess dollars.

By hiding the facts, Sanders is reduced to proposing complex, economy-crushing tax-collection schemes supposedly to “pay for” the federal spending that the federal government easily pays for without taxes.

Thus Sanders must defend not only his spending proposals, but his tax-collection proposals, making passage of his plans far more difficult.

 

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY