You can rely on the CRFB to get it wrong. But why?

[Why would any sane person take dollars from the economy and give them to a federal government that has the infinite ability to create dollars?]

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) is a fountain of misinformation, or should we say, “disinformation”?

Clearly, they are providing misinformation, i.e. wrong information, but the real question is, do they know it’s wrong, i.e disinformation?

Because they do extensive data analysis, I believe they simply must know their information is wrong. So why do they promulgate so much nonsense?

Before we answer that question, let’s see what they get wrong. Here are some excerpts from their website.

Gas Tax Holiday Would Take A Wrong Turn
FEB 15, 2022 | TAXES
The White House and some in Congress are reportedly considering suspending the 18.3 cent federal gas tax for the remainder of 2022.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recently estimated that such a proposal would reduce gas tax revenues by $20 billion and, without the general revenue transfer proposed in recent legislation, would advance the Highway Trust Fund insolvency date from 2027 to 2026.

Assuming their numbers are correct, what they really are saying is: “The proposal would reduce the amount of money taken out of the private sector (also known as ‘the economy’) by $20 billion.”

Adding dollars to the private sector is stimulative: taking dollars out of the private sector is recessive. In short, the reduced gas tax revenues would be a $20 Billion economic stimulus.

The CRFB seems to hate anything that stimulates the economy, especially if it directly benefits the middle- and lower-income groups as a reduced gas tax would do.

Further, the so-called Highway Trust Fund is not a real trust fund (see “The Phony Trust Fund Controversy”) and it cannot become insolvent unless Congress and the President want it to become insolvent.

The U.S. government, the creator of the U.S. dollar, cannot run short of dollars. Thus, no agency of the U.S. government can become insolvent, unless that is what Congress wants.

(Former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”)

To prevent the insolvency of any agency, Congress merely passes a law that provides the agency with more dollars. Congress has the infinite ability to pass such laws.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

With inflation at a 40-year high, policymakers are appropriately focused on how to bring prices under control.

But new tax cuts aren’t going to stop this inflation; after all, excessive tax cuts and spending are part of what caused high inflation.

Contrary to popular wisdom, no inflation in history ever has been caused by excessive tax cuts or spending. All inflations are caused by shortages of key goods and/or services.

Interest rates (blue) and inflation (green) have trended down, while federal debt (red) has increased.

For the past 10 years, federal deficit spending has increased massively, with minimal inflation. Now, suddenly, inflation has increased. Why?

Clearly, the cause is not deficit spending, otherwise it would have happened sooner.

Inflations are caused by shortages of key goods and services..

Today’s inflation is caused by the sudden confluence of several factors, all shortages: Labor, food, gasoline, computer chips, transportation, sand, among others.

(Yes, I said “sand.” U.S. Shale Production Hindered By Sand Supply Crunch.)

While massive federal spending has been with us for at least a decade, what has changed recently to cause the sudden change in inflation from low to high?

The answer: COVID.

The worldwide impact of the disease has caused the shortages that lead to inflation.

The only thing that will cure the inflation is to cure the shortages. And that can be accomplished by more federal spending to obtain the needed goods and services:

More federal spending to encourage oil drilling and/or renewable energy.
More federal spending to support farming
More federal spending to support chip manufacture
More federal spending to support transportation
More federal spending to support hiring (i.e. the elimination of FICA taxes and the reduction of income taxes at the lower end)

Reduced federal deficit spending will lead only to recessions, as it always has.

Reductions in federal debt growth lead to inflation
When federal deficit spending (blue) is reduced, we have recessions (vertical gray bars), which are cured by increases in federal deficit spending.

While a gas tax holiday might provide some temporary relief, much of the benefit may flow through to oil producers or lead to higher prices in other sectors of the economy.

It makes no sense for low gas prices to cause price increases elsewhere. While low gas prices may cause an increase in demand for cars, every industry would see lower production costs, which will ease inflation.

Benefitting oil producers is not something to be avoided. Financially encouraging them to pump more oil will ease the scarcity of oil.

By boosting demand in an already over-stimulated economy, the holiday would likely boost inflation in 2023 once it ends. The holiday will also undercut the Administration’s efforts to address climate change.

The CFRB would like you to believe the economy is “overstimulated.” No one knows what an “overstimulated” economy means, but it sure sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

Presumably, it means companies are making more profits so that they will hire more people and pay more salaries to the lower- and middle income people, thereby narrowing the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

Presumably, it means unemployment is low, so there are fewer impoverished children and their parents, again narrowing the Gap between the rich and the rest.

“Gap Psychology” is the desire to widen the Gap below and to narrow the Gap above. All groups are subject to Gap Psychology, but the very rich are the most expert at effecting it.

As for climate change, yes, encouraging more oil production will increase climate change, in the short term. But financially encouraging more use of renewables will have long-term climate benefits.

Meanwhile, the federal government would be out $20 billion this year alone – and much more if the holiday were extended.

The federal government has infinite money. Infinite minus $20 billion, still is infinite. The federal government always will have the infinite ability to write laws, and those laws have the unlimited ability to create dollars.

The CRFB cries crocodile tears for the infinitely rich U.S. government, but no tears for you. They want you to pay the infinitely rich government more of your scarce dollars.

The Highway Trust Fund is just five years from insolvency, and the last thing we need is to cut its primary revenue source or paper over shortfalls with yet another general revenue transfer.

No, the last thing we need is liars telling us that the federal government is running short of its own sovereign currency, so you poor folks need to pony up more dollars, or receive fewer, benefits.

“Insolvency” is the big, fake bogeyman with which the rich try to scare you.

The Big Lie in economics is: “Federal taxes fund federal spending.” While state and local taxes do fund state and local spending, the federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, does not rely on, or even use, tax dollars.

In fact, the U.S. Treasury destroys all tax dollars upon receipt. It creates new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a creditor.

(How does the Treasuy destroy tax dollars? The dollars in your checking account are part of the M1 money supply. When the Treasury receives those dollars, they disappear. They no longer are part of any money supply measure. They effectively are destroyed.)

Statement from the St. Louis Fed:
“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.”

Thus, the federal government has infinite dollars; it can’t run short; and telling people to give the government more and to accept less is just an example of how the Big Lie works.

As it stands, the gas tax will only cover half of highway and transit spending by the time the trust fund runs out.

In fact, the gas tax covers none of transit spending. Those tax dollars are destroyed. All federal spending, including federal transit spending, is funded by ad hoc, federal money creation.

As inflation subsides, we should either raise that tax or find a new funding source to supplement or replace it.

We don’t need to find a new funding source. And we certainly don’t need to raise taxes. The federal government is the best funding source:

Former Fed Chairman 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.”

As we’ve stated, the CRFB, acts repelled by the fact that federal spending helps narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

A well-designed carbon tax could generate ample tax revenue while substantially reducing carbon emissions and tempering excessive demand.

A well designed carbon tax might be a good idea from an ecological standpoint. But it’s a silly idea if the purpose is to give private sector dollars to a government that has the infinite ability to create dollars.

The pain Americans are feeling at the gas pump – and with rising costs throughout the economy – should be taken seriously and addressed thoughtfully.

The gas price pain will be eased by raising gas taxes??? That’s the utter nonsense the CRFB wants you to believe.

While cutting the gas tax may have political appeal, it would move in exactly the wrong direction, worsening rather than improving our nation’s economic challenges.

The rising costs should be taken seriously, which is why the cost of gasoline should be reduced — by cutting the gas tax.

Inflation takes dollars out of your pocket. The CRFB’s method of taking inflation seriously” is by taking even more dollars out of your pockets via tax increases.

Why does the CRFB act this way?

Because the rich, who run America, also run the CRFB, and support it with donations. The rich and the CRFB want to widen the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

The rich always wish to be richer. The only way to be richer is to widen the Gap. There are two ways the rich can widen the Gap: Obtain more money for themselves and/or make sure you have less money by paying more taxes.

Either one will make the rich richer, and the CRFB seems to be doing everything it can to reach that goal.

In that vein, I just received this Email from CRFB:

Trust Fund Solutions
Featuring Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT)

Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget - Our Maya MacGuineas testified before the House Budget Committee yesterday on fiscal goals. Read her testimony http://crfb.org/papers/maya-macguineas-testimony-setting-fiscal-goal. Watch the video https://www ...
Maya MacGuineas:Paid by the rich to tell you that the federal government’s trust funds soon will be insolvent.

The major government trust funds for Social Security, Medicare, and Highway spending face insolvency in the next decade-and-a-half.

Policymakers need to act sooner rather than later to prevent abrupt across-the-board benefit cuts, assure a more sustainable debt path, promote faster economic growth, and achieve a number of important policy goals.

How raising taxes will help “promote faster economic growth” is a mystery the CRFB never really explains.

Trust Fund Solutions will feature opening remarks from Senator Angus King (I-ME) and a discussion between Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas.

The event will also feature a panel of experts, one focused on each trust fund.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget will also debut its new Trust Fund Solutions website and educational tools.

You can bet that the “solutions” for the mythical “Trust Funds” will involve tax increases (for which the rich will given loopholes) plus benefit decreases, both of which will widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

Widening the Gap is what the rich pay the CRFB to do.

SUMMARY
1. The Big Lie in economics is that the U.S. federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. Not only does the govarnment itself have access to infinite dollars, but no agency of the government can run short of dollars unless Congress and the President want that.

2. The government neither needs nor uses tax dollars, which are destroyed by the Treasury upon receipt.

3. Federal deficit spending never causes inflations (scarcities are what cause inflations). Federal deficit spending can cure inflations by curing scarcities. Reductions in federal deficit spending lead to recessions or depressions.

4. The rich grow richer by widening the Gap between the rich and the rest. Gap widening has two paths: Gaining more for the rich and/or forcing the rest to accept less.

5. The CRFB is paid to aid the rich by convincing the populace to accept Gap widening.

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

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

6 thoughts on “You can rely on the CRFB to get it wrong. But why?

    1. It’s mostly correct. Partly wrong. Draining money from the economy does not prevent or cure inflation. Just as federal deficits are stimulative, federal taxes are recessive.

      Inflations are a separate matter. They are caused by scarcities, not by the money supply.

      Also, the private sector does create dollars. All private sector borrowing creates dollars. Your mortgage and credit card purchases create dollars. Paying your mortgage and credit card bills, and your taxes, destroy dollars.

      Like

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