The ultimate law for the ignorant

Some laws are written by the ignorant for the ignorant. There is a website called “Stupid Laws” that lists many such laws.

For instance, the website lists (I can’t verify the truth of any of these):

sara jean underwood: Jay (the carnival barker) Carney
See the amazing penniless federal government. It’s poor.  It’s destitute. it’s impecunious. Would I lie to you?

Even if the above laws actually exist, their foolishness pales in comparison to this one, the ultimate law for the ignorant:

Democrats Press Ahead With Debt-Limit Vote Amid Standoff With GOP
Kristina Peterson, Kate Davidson

WASHINGTON—A partisan fight over raising the government’s borrowing limit is expected to ratchet up this week, with Democrats moving ahead with a vote in the face of strident GOP opposition, raising doubts about whether Congress will take action before the federal government runs out of cash.

Yes, we’re talking about the “Debt Ceiling,” that ultimate law for the ignorant.

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to create its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

The federal government has been creating dollars since the 1780s when it created the very first dollars from thin air.

It created as many dollars as it wished and gave those dollars the value it wished, imply by creating laws, also from thin air.

Since then, the only limits on federal dollar creation have been placed on the government by . . . the government.

Nothing limits the government’s ability to create laws, and nothing prevents those laws from creating dollars.

Interesting that no one complains about a law deficit, but people complain about a dollar deficit, when it is the laws that create the dollars.

Intermittently in America, there have been periods of “gold standards,” in which the government declared, in essence, “We will create dollars only up to the amount of gold we have.” 

But what does that limitation mean?

Assume the U.S. owned ten kilograms of gold. How many dollars would a gold standard allow the U.S. to create?

  1. __________$10 million
  2. __________$100 million
  3. __________None of the above
  4. __________All of the above
  5. __________Whatever number Congress and the President want

See the problem? The answer depends on how many dollars per kilogram are allowed by U.S. government laws.

So, the answer is #5. All gold standards rely on Congress and the President to create laws that will determine the circumstances by which dollars will be exchanged for gold.

Through the decades, the government amended its laws that changed this exchange value many times, or when convenient, rid itself of a gold standard until, in 1971, President Nixon did away with all gold standards, on a permanent basis it is to be hoped.

Given that the government has the unlimited ability to create the laws that create dollars, and to endow these dollars with any value vs. gold it wishes, of what purpose is a gold standard?

Contrary to popular myth, gold never has “backed” the U.S. dollar, if “backing” means to give value or security to the dollar. The government, arbitrarily and without notice, can change the dollar/gold exchange rate, so exactly what value does gold provide to a dollar? None.

The U.S. dollar is a debt of the federal government. All debts are backed by collateral. Most debts have two or more levels of collateral: A physical item plus the full faith and credit of the debtor.

For instance, the collateral for a house mortgage is the value of the house plus the full faith and credit of the borrower. Together, they comprise the “backing” for the mortgage.

The only — ONLY — collateral for the U.S. dollar is the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Nothing else ever has backed the dollar, not the Grand Canyon, not the Great Lakes, not the Missippi River, not the “amber waves of grain,” and not gold.

The acceptance of the dollar worldwide is based solely on the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, which fools in Congress now are determined to destroy.

The standoff has alarmed Wall Street analysts and business leaders, who in recent weeks have issued warnings about a rising risk of a technical default, in which the government might be unable to make all of its regular payments in full and on time.

The threat of such a default could derail markets and hit U.S. economic growth.

There never is a time when the government is unable to make its payments. That “technical default” merely means the government would be unwilling to make its payments.

If you owe $100 that contractually is due for payment this coming Friday, but today, Wednesday, you decide you are not going to pay any more bills this week, does that mean you are unable to pay or actually are unwilling to pay?

Activating the so-called “debt limit” or “debt ceiling” merely means Congress arbitrarily has decided not to pay any more bills, even though it has the unlimited ability to create dollars.

The debt ceiling is not a budgetary method. It is not a way to rein in spending. It does not demonstrate fiscal wisdom. It demonstrates spiteful idiocy, the desire by one political party to damage the other political party, the American economy be damned.

The budgets and spending already have happened. The debt limit is nothing more than a method for stiffing creditors.

All those who favor the debt ceiling, knowingly or unknowingly, want the United States of American to become a (take your pick) a welcher, a moocher, a deadbeat, a freeloader, a sponge, a parasite, or a reneger.

Employing a debt-ceiling is not a sign of thrift or prudence. It is the mark of a crook.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said Friday that the chamber would vote this week on a measure to suspend the debt limit and a short-term measure extending the government’s funding beyond its expiration at month’s end. 

The correct wording for the above paragraph should be, “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md) said Friday that the chamber would vote this week for the U.S. government to pay its bills.”

It’s a disgrace that the House actually has to vote on whether or not the government should pay what it legitimately owes. What next? A vote on whether or not to hold elections in the future? A vote on whether or not to create sensible laws?

The House will “ensure that America pays its bills on time,” Mr. Hoyer said in a letter to House Democrats Friday.

How very reassuring.

Raising the debt limit doesn’t authorize new spending, but rather allows the Treasury Department to issue new debt to cover spending that Congress has already authorized, including payments to bondholders, Social Security recipients and veterans.

Republicans have said they won’t help Democrats raise the borrowing limit, as a protest over the trillions of dollars in new spending the party is moving through Congress.

Then we come to that oft-misused word, “debt.” In federal lingo, “debt” means T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds, none of which are debt as you know it, and not even “bills,” “notes,” or “bonds.” And it definitely isn’t “borrowing.”

In the usual sense, borrowing is what one does when one wants money for some use. But the federal government always has had the unlimited ability to create dollars. So, it has no need to borrow.

Rather than “borrowing,” those T-securities represent deposits. When you invest in any T-security, you open a T-security account in your name and then make a deposit into that account.

The government — the so-called “borrower” — never touches those dollars as a borrower normally would. I doesn’t need your dollars.

Some time later, usually upon maturity, you take your money from that account. This erroneously is referred to a “paying off the debt,” but it actually merely means closing out your account and receiving your money.

Think of a bank safe deposit box. The bank never touches the contents. That is how T-security accounts operate.

Republicans have said they won’t help Democrats raise the borrowing limit, as a protest over the trillions of dollars in new spending the party is moving through Congress.

Again, it’s not “borrowing.” And it’s not frugality.

Let’s tell it like it is: The sole function of the debt ceiling is for the minority to obstruct the majority. There is no other purpose.

The “debt ceiling” has nothing to do with debt. It has nothing even to do with finances. It strictly is a political game, a dangerous political game, strictly played to thwart the opposing party.

It’s a game of “chicken,” with the future credit of the United States at risk.

“Let me be crystal clear about this: Republicans are united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told reporters last week.

“If they want to do all of this on a partisan basis, they have the ability and the responsibility to ensure that the federal government not default, and they will have to take care of that,” Mr. McConnell said.

Democrats have pointed out that they voted with Republicans to suspend the debt limit three separate times during the Trump administration, including in the fall of 2017, when the GOP sought to advance tax cuts using budget reconciliation.

“We didn’t play games. We didn’t risk the credit of the country. We did it,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) told reporters last week.

McConnell is a traitor in every sense of the word. He repeatedly has been willing to damage America if he feels that will benefit the Republican party.

Yet, you perhaps would be more impressed with the Democrats’ “holier than thou” position if they simply had voted to eliminate the useless, misleading, dangerous, downright stupid debt ceiling, altogether.

In a Sept. 13 letter, the heads of several financial-services industry trade groups urged congressional leaders to raise or suspend the ceiling and emphasized the vital importance of the U.S. Treasury market for investors around the world.

A coalition of real-estate and mortgage-industry groups sent a similar letter Sept. 16 warning about potential instability in the housing market stemming from a debt-limit impasse, and permanently higher borrowing costs.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said her agency could run out of cash to keep paying the government’s bills some time in October.

Unless Congress raises the ceiling, the Treasury might need to halt more than 40% of its payments, including some to U.S. households, they estimated.

“With no clear path toward debt-limit resolution over the near term, we are at the point where this could begin to impact financial conditions,” they said in a note to clients.

The White House on Friday issued a more blunt warning: Failing to suspend the debt limit could lead to a recession, at a time when the Delta variant has already clouded the economic outlook.

The Republicans again demonstrate more loyalty to party over country, so a recession prior to the next election would be exactly what they want.

And guess which payments would be the first to be halted. All payments that benefit the poor and middle classes. The”Party of the Rich” will do nothing to hurt the rich.

And that’s what this game of chicken is all about.

Raising the debt limit wouldn’t facilitate future spending, and Congress would still need to raise the debt limit this fall even if no new major spending programs are enacted.

That is because Congress has already approved spending and tax policies that result in large budget shortfalls, which the Congressional Budget Office projects will total $12 trillion over the next decade.

In recent years, those budget gaps were driven by large bipartisan budget deals, a GOP tax cut and more than $5 trillion in pandemic relief.

The debt ceiling is the ultimate law for the ignorant. It is a con job on you, an innocent public, to make you believe it is a way for Congress to be thrifty.

But the whole notion of “thrift” for an organization that has the infinite ability to create money, makes no sense and is in fact dishonest. It is especially dishonest for the Republican party which specializes in giving tax breaks to the rich.

Sadly, by misusing words like “debt,” and “borrow,” and by equating the Monetarily Sovereign federal government with monetary non-sovereign states, counties, cities, business, and you, the two political parties have managed to convince you the government can’t afford to provide you with benefits.

So, no free Medicare for you and everyone. No free Social Security for you and everyone. No free college for your children. And, there are all those needless federal income taxes you pay,  year after year.

You are being conned by the ultimate con job. Hello, sucker.

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



The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

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 Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and 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. 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 the rest.


10 thoughts on “The ultimate law for the ignorant

  1. Even though monetary sovereignty is theoretically correct, it’s too much for the rest of the world to knowingly swallow, given how deeply the 99% have been indoctrinated….. and the power structure’s fear of opening the MS can of worms. Something will have to give. Time is running out.
    Maybe this time the GOP will gamble as usual, play their hand and fold at “midnight.” But there will always be the problem of ‘how’ to pay for everything w/o trying to see MS’s ‘elephant in the room.’
    Dealing with huge debt is done, as usual, by amortization. But simply invoking Monetary Sovereignty’s infinite money as an “easy” solution would, ironically, be impractical, at least for now. Yet, remember the childhood song, Row row row your boat…Life is but a dream. That wasn’t too impractical for our teachers or impressionable kids.

    We’ve yet to realize the dream. The old problem of “affordability” will have to take a back seat to the recurring threat of national and, eventually, world depression. How long can we go on mortgaging the future to Hell? Monetary Sovereignty isn’t socialist or capitalist; it’s realistically, plentifully, detached from Malthusian pre-industrial, scarcity. It’s a ticket out of the Dark Ages of economics.


  2. I’ve been tweeting the following to POTUS, Janet Yellen, various media and economists: “There is another way to avoid debt default: Bypass the debt limit by issuing U.S. Notes to pay ALREADY AUTHORIZED Congressional expenses. U.S. Notes don’t appear on Quarterly Debt Report & aren’t debt. Lincoln issued $450m to fund Civil War. U.S. must not default!”
    I even included a snapshot of the relevant page in the quarterly debt report showing that U.S. Notes are under a specific heading say “Not included as U.S. Debt”
    Of course, “debt” is a poor word for the arcane process of exchanging Treasuries for Dollars, but that’s the nomenclature the government uses, so that’s for another discussion.
    The point was that:
    1. The Treasury Department is part of the executive branch and can bypass the whole debt ceiling stupidity by issuing U.S. Notes.
    2. Also, that the president has a Constitutional responsibility to pay any and ALL debts previously authorized by Congress.
    3b. The president can’t “pick and choose” which bills to pay, e.g. paying the military, but not social security or medicare. There’s nothing in the Constitution that allows for that – or for an arbitrary Congressional debt ceiling rule either, though Congress can create such a rule if it wants to…provided it’s toothless. The Debt Ceiling has been raised over 100 times, but it’s useful for depriving the masses of stuff they actually want and need.

    U.S. Notes would be a way to finally put to rest the idea that there is any sort of limit to the amount of money Congress can create (it’s even under the Coinage Clause in the Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 5). So, of course they won’t do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Scott,

      Actually, there are several workarounds. The trillion-dollar coin is another one.
      Or we simply can get rid of the useless, misleading, harmful, dishonest debt ceiling, while beginning to call the “debt” what it really is: DEPOSITS into T-security accounts.

      But the rich, who run America, like to fool the public into believing the federal government can’t afford to provide such benefits as Medicare for All, Social Security for All, etc. It’s the Gap Psychology problem.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also:

      The debt limit clearly is unconstitutional:

      Fourteenth Amendment, Section 4:
      “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

      Although § 4 was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation. . . . ‘[T]he validity of the public debt’. . . [embraces] whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations, and applies to government bonds issued after as well as before adoption of the Amendment

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I have quoted that myself in various articles. There is also this much older precedent set forth in the Constitution’s original Article VI which says:

        “All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.”

        Paying off national debts has been part of the foundation of the country from the very beginning but, like so many things the radical Republicans now favor, it too is jeopardy.

        I last wrote about the debt ceiling here: which was the third time I wrote about it, mostly by updating my original article from when Obama was president.
        I don’t think I’ll bother revising it again. It was in my book too: “America is Not Broke!” Apparently the exclamation point wasn’t enough to get people’s attention; it is out-of-print now.

        Is anyone listening? Does anyone care that America is being torn apart, psychologically, spiritually and even physically (by failing to maintain the infrastructure + destructive riots and insurrections)? I wonder if America will go the way of the ex-Soviet Union, sclerotic and fearful of change until a great spasm heaves the country into pieces.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. “3b. The president can’t “pick and choose” which bills to pay”

      Yes the possibility went out in 1974:

      “Impoundment was an act by a President of the United States of not spending money that has been appropriated by the U.S. Congress. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to exercise the power of impoundment in 1801. The power was available to all presidents up to and including Richard Nixon, and was regarded as a power inherent to the office. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 was passed in response to perceived abuse of the power under President Nixon. Title X of the Act removed that power, and Train v. City of New York (whose facts predate the 1974 Act, but which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court after its passage), closed potential loopholes in the 1974 Act. The president’s ability to indefinitely reject congressionally approved spending was thus removed.”

      “The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 provides that the president may propose rescission of specific funds, but that rescission must be approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate within 45 days. In effect, the requirement removed the impoundment power, since Congress is not required to vote on the rescission and, in fact, has ignored the vast majority of presidential requests.” Whatever purposes the debt ceiling may have have once fulfilled they entirely evaporated with the passing of this law overhauling the Congressional Budget process together with our becoming fully monetary sovereign in August 1971 and all the currencies subsequently floating against each other early in 1973.

      Liked by 2 people

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