BLOCKBUSTER: The astounding must-read for every American Monday, Aug 10 2020 

The following article ran in the August 9, issue of SLATE. It is astounding.

I have published it below, in its entirety, but I urge you to go to the original HERE to see all the detailed links and references.

Then send it to your friends and acquaintances.  This is a true BLOCKBUSTER. The most revealing article, yet published.

POLITICS
The Trump Pandemic
A blow-by-blow account of how the president killed thousands of Americans.
By WILLIAM SALETAN
AUG 09, 20207:00 PM
On July 17, President Donald Trump sat for a Fox News interview at the White House. At the time, nearly 140,000 Americans were dead from the novel coronavirus. The interviewer, Chris Wallace, showed Trump a video clip in which Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of a difficult fall and winter ahead. Trump dismissed the warning.

He scoffed that experts had misjudged the virus all along. “Everybody thought this summer it would go away,” said Trump. “They used to say the heat, the heat was good for it and it really knocks it out, remember? So they got that one wrong.”

Trump’s account was completely backward. Redfield and other U.S. public health officials had never promised that heat would knock out the virus. In fact, they had cautioned against that assumption.

The person who had held out the false promise of a warm-weather reprieve, again and again, was Trump. And he hadn’t gotten the idea from any of his medical advisers. He had gotten it from Xi Jinping, the president of China, in a phone call in February.

The phone call, the talking points Trump picked up from it, and his subsequent attempts to cover up his alliance with Xi are part of a deep betrayal. The story the president now tells—that he “built the greatest economy in history,” that China blindsided him by unleashing the virus, and that Trump saved millions of lives by mobilizing America to defeat it—is a lie.

Trump collaborated with Xi, concealed the threat, impeded the U.S. government’s response, silenced those who sought to warn the public, and pushed states to take risks that escalated the tragedy. He’s personally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

This isn’t speculation. All the evidence is in the public record.

The original article, at HERE contains all the links to all the evidence.

But the truth, unlike Trump’s false narrative, is scattered in different places. It’s in emails, leaks, interviews, hearings, scientific reports, and the president’s stray remarks.

This article puts those fragments together. It documents Trump’s interference or negligence in every stage of the government’s failure: preparation, mobilization, public communication, testing, mitigation, and reopening.

Trump has always been malignant and incompetent. As president, he has coasted on economic growth, narrowly averted crises of his own making, and corrupted the government in ways that many Americans could ignore.

But in the pandemic, his vices—venality, dishonesty, self-absorption, dereliction, heedlessness—turned deadly. They produced lies, misjudgments, and destructive interventions that multiplied the carnage. The coronavirus debacle isn’t, as Trump protests, an “artificial problem” that spoiled his presidency. It’s the fulfillment of everything he is.

Trump never prepared for a pandemic. For years, he had multiple warnings—briefings, reports, simulations, intelligence assessments—that a crisis such as this one was likely and that the government wasn’t ready for it.

In April, he admitted that he was informed of the risks: “I always knew that pandemics are one of the worst things that could happen.” But when the virus arrived, the federal government was still ill-equipped to deal with it. According to Trump, “We had no ventilators. We had no testing. We had nothing.”

That’s an exaggeration. But it’s true that the stockpile of pandemic supplies was depleted and that the government’s system for producing virus tests wasn’t designed for such heavy demand.

So why, for the first three years of his presidency, did Trump do nothing about it? He often brags that he spent $2 trillion to beef up the military. But he squeezed the budget for pandemics, disbanded the federal team in charge of protecting the country from biological threats, and stripped down the Beijing office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump has been asked several times to explain these decisions. He has given two answers. One is that he wanted to save money. “Some of the people we cut, they haven’t been used for many, many years,” he said in February. “If we have a need, we can get them very quickly. … I’m a businessperson. I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them.”

His second answer is that he had other priorities. In March, at a Fox News town hall, Bret Baier asked Trump why he hadn’t updated the test production system. “I’m thinking about a lot of other things, too, like trade,” Trump replied. “I’m not thinking about this.”

In May, ABC’s David Muir asked him, “What did you do when you became president to restock those cupboards that you say were bare?” Trump gave the same answer: “I have a lot of things going on.”

Trump prepared for a war, not for a virus. He wagered that if a pandemic broke out, he could pull together the resources to contain it quickly. He was wrong. But that was just the first of many mistakes.

In early January, Trump was warned about a deadly new virus in China. He was also told that the Chinese government was understating the outbreak. (See this timeline for a detailed chronology of what Trump knew and when he knew it.)

This was inconvenient, because Trump was about to sign a lucrative trade deal with Beijing.“We have a great relationship with China right now, so I don’t want to speak badly of anyone,” Trump told Laura Ingraham in a Fox News interview on Jan. 10.

He added that he was looking forward to a second deal with Xi. When Ingraham asked about China’s violations of human rights, Trump begged off. “I’m riding a fine line because we’re making … great trade deals,” he pleaded.

Trump signed the deal on Jan. 15. He lauded Xi and said previous American presidents, not Xi, were at fault for past troubles between the two countries. Three days later, Alex Azar, Trump’s secretary of health and human services, phoned him with an update on the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Jan. 21, the CDC announced the first infection in the United States. Two of the government’s top health officials—Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases—said the virus was beginning to circulate around the world.

Trump would later claim that he saw from the outset how grim the situation was. That was clear, he recalled, in the “initial numbers coming out from China.”

But at the time, he told Americans everything was fine. “We’re in great shape,” he assured Maria Bartiromo in a Fox Business interview on Jan. 22. “China’s in good shape, too.”

He preferred to talk about trade instead. “The China deal is amazing, and we’ll be starting Phase Two very soon,” he said. On CNBC, Joe Kernen asked Trump whether there were any “worries about a pandemic.” “No, not at all,” the president replied. “We have it totally under control.”

When Kernen asked whether the Chinese were telling the whole truth about the virus, Trump said they were. “I have a great relationship with President Xi,” he boasted. “We just signed probably the biggest deal ever made.”

The crisis in China grew. In late January, Trump’s medical advisers agreed with his national security team that he should suspend travel from China to the United States. But Trump resisted.

He had spent months cultivating a relationship with Xi and securing the trade deal. He was counting on China to buy American goods and boost the U.S. economy, thereby helping him win reelection.

He had said this to Xi explicitly, in a conversation witnessed by then–National Security Adviser John Bolton. Trump also worried that a travel ban would scare the stock market. But by the end of the month, airlines were halting flights to China anyway. On Jan. 31, Trump gave in.

His advisers knew the ban would only buy time. They wanted to use that time to fortify America. But Trump had no such plans. On Feb. 1, he recorded a Super Bowl interview with Sean Hannity. Hannity pointed out that the number of known infections in the United States had risen to eight, and he asked Trump whether he was worried. The president brushed him off. “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China,” said Trump.

That was false: Thanks to loopholes in the ban, the coronavirus strain that would engulf Washington state arrived from China about two weeks later. But at the time of the interview, the ban hadn’t even taken effect.

The important thing, to Trump, was that he had announced the ban. He was less interested in solving the problem than in looking as though he had solved it. And in the weeks to come, he would argue that the ban had made other protective measures unnecessary.

There were three logical steps to consider after suspending travel from China. The first was suspending travel from Europe.

By Jan. 21, Trump’s advisers knew the virus was in France. By Jan. 31, they knew it had reached Italy, Germany, Finland, and the United Kingdom. From conversations with European governments, they also knew that these governments, apart from Italy, weren’t going to block travel from China.

And they were directly informed that the flow of passengers from Europe to the United States far exceeded the normal flow of passengers from China to the United States.

Trump’s deputy national security adviser, Matthew Pottinger, pleaded for a ban on travel from Europe, but other advisers said this would hurt the economy in an election year. Trump, persuaded by Pottinger’s opponents, refused to go along.

Not until March 11, six weeks after blocking travel from China, did Trump take similar action against Europe. In a televised address, he acknowledged that travelers from Europe had brought the disease to America.

Two months later, based on genetic and epidemiological analyses, the CDC would confirm that Trump’s action had come too late, because people arriving from Europe—nearly 2 million of them in February, hundreds of whom were infected—had already accelerated the spread of the virus in the United States.

The second step was to gear up production of masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies. In early February, trade adviser Peter Navarro, biomedical research director Rick Bright, and other officials warned of impending shortages of these supplies.

Azar would later claim that during this time, everyone in the administration was pleading for more equipment. But when Azar requested $4 billion to stock up, the White House refused.

Trump dismissed the outcry for masks and ridiculed Democrats for “forcing money” on him to buy supplies. “They say, ‘Oh, he should do more,’ ” the president scoffed in an interview on Feb. 28. “There’s nothing more you can do.”

The third and most important step was to test the population to see whether the virus was spreading domestically. That was the policy of South Korea, the global leader in case detection.

Like the United States, South Korea had identified its first case on Jan. 20. But from there, the two countries diverged. By Feb. 3 South Korea had expanded its testing program, and by Feb. 27 it was checking samples from more than 10,000 people a day.

The U.S. program, hampered by malfunctions and bureaucratic conflict, was nowhere near that. By mid-February, it was testing only about 100 samples a day. As a result, few infections were being detected.

Fauci saw this as a grave vulnerability. From Feb. 14 to March 11, he warned in a dozen hearings, forums, and interviews that the virus might be spreading “under the radar.”

But Trump wasn’t interested.He liked having a low infection count—he bragged about it at rallies—and he understood that the official count would stay low if people weren’t tested.

Trump had been briefed on the testing situation since late January and knew test production was delayed. But he insisted that “anybody that wants a test can get a test” and that “the tests are all perfect.”

Later, he brushed off the delay in test production and said it had been “quickly remedied.” He complained that additional tests, by exposing additional cases, made him “look bad.”

To keep the numbers low, Trump was willing to risk lives.He figured that infections didn’t count if they were offshore, so he tried to prevent infected Americans from setting foot on American soil.

In mid-February, even as he refused to bar Europeans from entering the United States, he exploded in anger when more than a dozen infected Americans were allowed to return from Japan. “I hated to do it, statistically,” he told Hannity. “You know, is it going to look bad?”

In March, he opposed a decision to let passengers off a cruise ship in California. “I’d rather have the people stay” offshore, he explained, “because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship.”

When the spread of the virus in the United States could no longer be denied, Trump called it the “invisible enemy.” But Trump had kept it invisible. The CDC would later acknowledge that due to woefully insufficient testing, the overwhelming majority of infections had gone undiagnosed.

Models would show that by mid-February, there were hundreds of undetected infections in the United States for every known case. By the end of the month, there were thousands.

Trump didn’t just ignore warnings. He suppressed them.When Azar briefed him about the virus in January, Trump called him an “alarmist” and told him to stop panicking. When Navarro submitted a memo about the oncoming pandemic, Trump said he shouldn’t have put his words in writing.

As the stock market rose in February, Trump discouraged aides from saying anything about the virus that might scare investors.

The president now casts himself as a victim of Chinese deception. In reality, he collaborated with Xi to deceive both the Chinese public and the American public.

For weeks after he was briefed on the situation in China, including the fact that Beijing was downplaying the crisis, Trump continued to deny that the Chinese government was hiding anything. He implied that American experts had been welcomed in China and could vouch for Beijing’s information, which—as he would acknowledge months later—wasn’t true.

On Twitter, Trump wrote tributes worthy of Chinese state propaganda. “Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation,” he proclaimed.

On Feb. 10, just before a rally in New Hampshire, Trump told Fox News host Trish Regan that the Chinese “have everything under control. … We’re working with them. You know, we just sent some of our best people over there.”

Then Trump walked onstage and exploited the political payoff of his deal with Xi. “Last month, we signed a groundbreaking trade agreement with China that will defeat so many of our opponents,” he boasted. He told the crowd that he had spoken with Xi and that the virus situation would “work out fine.”

“By April,” he explained, “in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

Trump didn’t tell the crowd that he had heard this theory from Xi. But that’s what the record indicates. There’s no evidence of Trump peddling the warm-weather theory prior to Feb. 7, when he had an overnight phone call with Xi. Immediately after that call, Trump began to promote the idea.

Later, he mentioned that Xi had said it. When Fauci, Messonnier, Azar, and Redfield were asked about the theory, they all said it was an unwise assumption, since the virus was new. The American president, against the judgment of his public health officials, was feeding American citizens a false assurance passed to him by the Chinese president.

Three days after the rally in New Hampshire, Trump defended China’s censorship of information about the virus. In a radio interview, Geraldo Rivera asked him, “Did the Chinese tell the truth about this?”

Trump, in reply, suggested that he would have done what Xi had done. “I think they want to put the best face on it,” he said. “If you were running it … you wouldn’t want to run out to the world and go crazy and start saying whatever it is, ’cause you don’t want to create a panic.”

Weeks later, Trump would also excuse Chinese disinformation about the virus, telling Fox New viewers that “every country does it.”

Trump envied Xi. He wished he could control what Americans heard and thought, the way Xi could control China’s government and media. But Trump didn’t have authoritarian powers, and some of his subordinates wouldn’t shut up.

This was typical Trump. He envies all dictators — Putin, Kim, Duterte. He wants very much to be a dictator, and in fact, has been following the Hitler playbook with regard to criticism of the media and firing of all who reveal the truth.

As the virus moved from country to country, Fauci, Redfield, and Azar began to acknowledge that it would soon overtake the United States. On Feb. 25, when Messonnier said Americans should prepare for school and workplace closures, the stock market plunged.

Trump, in a rage, called Azar and threatened to fire Messonnier. The next day, the president seized control of the administration’s press briefings on the virus.

On Feb. 26, shortly before Trump held his first briefing, aides gave him bad news: The CDC had just confirmed the first U.S. infection that couldn’t be traced to foreign travel. That meant the virus was spreading undetected.

But when Trump took the podium, he didn’t mention what he had just been told. Instead, he assured the public that infections in the United States were “going down, not up” and that the case count “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

He predicted that America wouldn’t “ever be anywhere near” having to close schools or distribute more masks, since “our borders are very controlled.” When a reporter pointed out that the United States had tested fewer than 500 people, while South Korea had tested tens of thousands, Trump shot back, “We’re testing everybody that we need to test. And we’re finding very little problem.”

Trump’s eruption brought his subordinates into line. Shortly after the president’s angry call to Azar, Redfield told Congress that “our containment strategy has been quite successful.” At her next briefing, for the first time, Messonnier praised Trump by name. She parroted his talking points: that the United States had “acted incredibly quickly, before most other countries” and had “aggressively controlled our borders.”

History will remember these people as traitors, just as Hitler’s minions are remembered.

Azar, in testimony before the House, went further. When he was asked to explain the discord between Trump and his medical advisers, the health secretary argued that Americans, like citizens of China, needed to be soothed.

The president, Azar explained, was “trying to calm” the populace because, as “we see in China, panic can be as big of an enemy as [the] virus.”

Having cowed his health officials, Trump next went after the press. He told Americans to ignore news reports about the virus. On Feb. 26 and Feb. 27, Trump denounced CNN and MSNBC for “panicking markets” by making the crisis “look as bad as possible.”

He dismissed their reports as “fake” and tweeted, “USA in great shape!” At a rally in South Carolina on Feb. 28, he accused the press of “hysteria,” called criticism of his virus policies a “hoax,” and insisted that only 15 Americans were infected.

Weeks later, he would tell the public not to believe U.S. media reports about Chinese propaganda, either.

In the three weeks after his Feb. 26 crackdown on his subordinates, Trump opposed or obstructed every response to the crisis. Doctors were pleading for virus tests and other equipment.

Without enough tests to sample the population or screen people with symptoms, the virus was spreading invisibly. Fauci was desperate to accelerate the production and distribution of tests, but Trump said it wasn’t necessary.

On a March 6 visit to the CDC, the president argued that instead of “going out and proactively looking to see where there’s a problem,” it was better to “find out those areas just by sitting back and waiting.”

A proactive CDC testing program, lacking presidential support, never got off the ground. Nor did a separate national testing plan—organized by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner—which was supposed to be presented for Trump’s approval but, for unknown reasons, was never announced.

Trump also refused to invoke the Defense Production Act, which could have accelerated the manufacture of masks, gloves, ventilators, and other emergency equipment. In January, HHS had begun to plan for use of the DPA, and in early February, some members of Congress suggested it might be needed.

But Trump declined to use it until the end of March. When he was asked why, he said that governors, not the president, were responsible for emergency supplies and that telling “companies what to do” might upset the “business community.”

The president’s most decisive contribution to the death toll was his resistance to public health measures known as “mitigation”: social distancing, school and workplace closures, and cancellations of large gatherings.

Messonnier and others had warned since early February that Americans needed to prepare for such measures. On Feb. 24, Trump’s health advisers decided it was time to act. But they couldn’t get a meeting with Trump, because he was off to India to discuss another trade deal.

When he returned, he blew up at Messonnier for talking about closing schools and offices. The meeting to discuss mitigation was canceled.

Mitigation required leadership. The president needed to tell Americans that the crisis was urgent and that life had to change. Instead, he told them everything was fine. On March 2, he held another rally, this time in North Carolina.

Before the rally, a TV interviewer asked him whether he was taking more precautions because of the virus. “Probably not so much,” Trump replied. “I just shook hands with a whole lot of people back there.” The next day, he said it was safe to travel across the country, since “there’s only one hot spot.”

On March 5, at a Fox News town hall, he repeated, “I shake anybody’s hand now. I’m proud of it.” On March 6, visiting the CDC, he was asked about the risks of packing people together at rallies. “It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said.

As schools and businesses began to close, Trump pushed back. On March 4, he dismissed a question about further closures, insisting that only “a very small number” of Americans were infected. On March 9, he tweeted that the virus had hardly killed anyone and that even in bad flu seasons, “nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on.”

Italy locked down its population, the NBA suspended its season, and states began to postpone elections. But through the middle of March, as advisers urged the president to endorse mitigation, he stood his ground.

Finally, as the stock market continued to fall, Trump’s business friends agreed that it was time to yield. On March 16, he announced mitigation guidelines.

By then, the number of confirmed infections in the United States had surged past 4,000. But that was a fraction of the real number. The CDC would later calculate that in the three weeks from “late February to early March, the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases increased more than 1,000-fold.”

And researchers at Columbia University would find that the final two-week delay in mitigation, from March 1 to March 15, had multiplied the U.S. death toll by a factor of six. By May 3, the price of that delay was more than 50,000 lives.

On March 23, a week after he announced the mitigation guidelines, Trump began pushing to rescind them. “We have to open our country,” he demanded.

He batted away questions about the opinions of his medical advisers. “If it were up to the doctors, they may say, ‘Let’s keep it shut down,’ ” he shrugged. But “you can’t do that with a country, especially the No. 1 economy.” The next day, the stock market soared, and Trump took credit. Investors “see that we want to get our country open as soon as possible,” he crowed.

Trump fixated on the market and the election. In more than a dozen tweets, briefings, and interviews, he explicitly connected his chances of reelection to the speed at which schools and businesses reopened. (Trump focused on schools only after he was told that they were crucial to resuming commerce.)

The longer it took, he warned, the better Democrats would do in the election. In April, he applauded states that opened early and hectored states that kept businesses closed. In June, he told workers in Maine, “You’re missing a lot of money.” “Why isn’t your governor opening up your state?” he asked them.

Trump pushed states to reopen businesses even where, under criteria laid out by his health officials, it wasn’t safe to do so. He called for “pressure” and endorsed lawsuits against governors who resisted. He issued an executive order to keep meat-processing plants open, despite thousands of infections among plant employees.

He ordered the CDC to publish rules allowing churches to reopen, and he vowed to “override any governor” who kept them closed. In April, he made the CDC withdraw an indefinite ban on cruises, which had spread the virus. In July, he pressed the agency to loosen its guidelines for reopening schools.

He continued to suppress warnings. In April, he claimed that doctors who reported shortages of supplies were faking it. When an acting inspector general released a report that showed supplies were inadequate, Trump dismissed the report and replaced her.

When a Navy captain wrote a letter seeking help for his infected crew, Trump endorsed the captain’s demotion. The letter “shows weakness,” he said. “We don’t want to have letter-writing campaigns where the fake news finds a letter or gets a leak.”

Having argued in March against testing, Trump now complained that doctors were testing too many people. He said tests, by revealing infections, made him “look bad.” When Fauci and Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said more tests were needed, Trump openly contradicted them.

In July, he claimed that 99 percent of coronavirus infections were “totally harmless”—which wasn’t true—and that the testing system, by detecting these infections, was “working too well.”

Fauci, Birx, Redfield, and other health officials pointed out that mitigation was working. They argued against premature resumption of in-person social activities, noting that the virus wasn’t under control and might roar back. Trump publicly overruled them, tried to discredit them, and pressured them to disavow their words.

To block Fauci from disputing Trump’s assurances that the virus was “going away,” the White House barred him from doing most TV interviews. In June, when Fauci said resuming professional football would be risky, Trump rebuked him. “Informed Dr. Fauci this morning that he has nothing to do with NFL Football,” the president tweeted.

Trump interfered with every part of the government’s response. He told governors that testing for the virus was their job, not his. When they asked for help in getting supplies, he told them to “get ’em yourself.”

He refused, out of pique, to speak to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or to some governors whose states were overrun by the virus. He told Vice President Mike Pence not to speak to them, either. He refused to consult former presidents, calling them failures and saying he had nothing to learn from them.

Trump didn’t just get in the way. He made things worse. He demanded that Wisconsin hold elections in early April, which coincided with dozens of infections among voters and poll workers. (Some researchers later found correlations between infections and voting in that election; others didn’t.)

He forced West Point to summon cadets, 15 of whom were infected, back to campus to attend his commencement speech in June. He suggested that the virus could be killed by injecting disinfectants. He persistently urged Americans to take hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, despite research that found it was ineffective against the coronavirus and in some cases could be dangerous.

Trump dismissed the research as “phony.”

The simplest way to control the virus was to wear face coverings. But instead of encouraging this precaution, Trump ridiculed masks. He said they could cause infections, and he applauded people who spurned them.

Polls taken in late May, as the virus began to spread across the Sun Belt, indicated that Trump’s scorn was suppressing mask use. A Morning Consult survey found that the top predictor of non-use of masks, among dozens of factors tested, was support for Trump.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found that people who seldom or never wore masks were 12 times more likely to support Trump than to support his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Some scientific models imply that Trump’s suppression of mask use may have contributed to hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths.

On June 10, Trump announced that he would resume holding political rallies. He targeted four states: Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma. The point of the rallies, he explained, wasn’t just to boost his campaign but to signal that it was time to “open up our country” and “get back to business.”

When reporters raised the possibility that he might spread the virus by drawing crowds indoors, he accused them of “trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies.”

Despite being warned that infections in Oklahoma were surging, Trump proceeded with a rally at a Tulsa arena on June 20. To encourage social distance, the arena’s managers put “Do Not Sit Here” stickers on alternate seats. The Trump campaign removed the stickers.

Trump also refused to wear a mask at the rally—few people in the crowd did, either—and in his speech, he bragged about continuing to shake children’s hands. Two weeks later, Tulsa broke its record for daily infections, and the city’s health director said the rally was partly to blame.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain attended the rally, tested positive for the virus days afterward, and died at the end of July.

At the rally, Trump complained that health care workers were finding too many infections by testing people for the virus. He said he had told “my people” to “slow the testing down, please.” Aides insisted that the president was joking. But on June 22, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, he said he was only half-joking.

He affirmed, this time seriously, that he had told “my people” that testing was largely frivolous and bad for America’s image. Weeks later, officials involved in negotiations on Capitol Hill disclosed that the administration, against the wishes of Senate Republicans, was trying to block funding for virus tests.

Two days after the Tulsa rally, an interviewer asked Trump whether he was putting lives at risk “by continuing to hold these indoor events.” Trump brushed off the question: “I’m not worried about it. No, not at all.”

The next day, June 23, the president staged another largely mask-free rally, this time in a church in Arizona, where a statewide outbreak was underway. Days later, Secret Service agents and a speaker at the Arizona rally tested positive for the virus.

On June 28, Trump urged people to attend another rally, this time featuring Pence, at a Dallas church where five choir and orchestra members had tested positive.

In his interview with Wallace, which aired July 19, Trump conceded nothing. He called Fauci an alarmist and repeated that the virus would “disappear.” He excoriated governors for “not allowing me to have rallies” and accused them of keeping businesses closed to hurt him in the election.

He claimed that “masks cause problems” and said people should feel free not to wear them. He threatened to defund schools unless they resumed in-class instruction. As to the rising number of infections, Trump scoffed that “many of those cases shouldn’t even be cases,” since they would “heal automatically.”

By testing so many people, he groused, health care workers were “creating trouble for the fake news to come along and say, ‘Oh, we have more cases.’ ”

Since that interview, Trump has attacked and belittled his medical advisers. He lashed out at Birx for acknowledging the ongoing spread of the virus. He retweeted a false claim that Fauci was suppressing hydroxychloroquine “to perpetuate Covid deaths to hurt Trump.”

When Fauci told Congress that infections had increased due to insufficient mitigation, Trump rebuked him and blamed the surge on increased testing. And when Dave Portnoy, a wealthy Trump supporter, complained that his stocks tanked every time Fauci called for mitigation, Trump assured Portnoy that the doctor’s pleas would go nowhere. “He’d like to see [the economy] closed up for a couple of years,” Trump said of Fauci.

“But that’s OK, because I’m president. So I say, ‘I appreciate your opinion. Now somebody give me another opinion.’ ”

It’s hard to believe a president could be this callous and corrupt. It’s hard to believe one person could get so many things wrong or do so much damage. But that’s what happened.

Trump knew we weren’t ready for a pandemic, but he didn’t prepare. He knew China was hiding the extent of the crisis, but he joined in the cover-up.

He knew the virus was spreading in the United States, but he said it was vanishing. He knew we wouldn’t find it without more tests, but he said we didn’t need them. He delayed mitigation. He derided masks. He tried to silence anyone who told the truth.

And in the face of multiple warnings, he pushed the country back open, reigniting the spread of the disease.

Now Trump asks us to reelect him. “We had the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he told Fox News on Wednesday. “Then we got hit with the plague from China.”

But now, he promised, “We’re building it again.” In Trump’s story, the virus is a foreign intrusion, an unpleasant interlude, a stroke of bad luck. But when you stand back and look at the full extent of his role in the catastrophe, it’s amazing how lucky we were.

For three years, we survived the most ruthless, reckless, dishonest president in American history. Then our luck ran out.

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It’s most important that America be aware of the facts, especially before the election.

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 or a reverse income tax

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

Congress’s Big Lie once again in the news, and how it costs you. Sunday, Aug 9 2020 

The “Big Lie” in economics goes something like this:

“Federal finances are like personal finances. Just like you can run short of money, and need income in order to pay your bills, so can the federal government run short of money. It too needs income to pay its bills.

“For that reason, the federal government should run a balanced budget and live within its means.”

If you are not initiated in economics, it may all sound plausible, but in fact, it all is a big, fat lie.

The U.S. Federal government is unlike you, and me, and state/local governments, and businesses.

Make a coin and a glass disappear videos for kids - Hellokids.com

Congress: “Don’t watch too closely, as I make your money disappear.”

It uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign. It is sovereign over its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

It never can run short of dollars; it has the unlimited ability to create them. It has no “means to live within.”

And running a balanced budget would create a recession or depression because an economy needs a growing supply of money to survive even the most minimal amount of inflation.

If this sounds wrong to you, it’s only because you have been told The Big Lie so often, you have been brainwashed.

One example of many: President Obama: “Washington Has to Live within its Means”

Here’s another:

Trump Using COVID-19 As A Cover To Gut Social Security And Medicare, Critics Charge
HuffPost, Mary Papenfuss, August 8, 2020

Critics erupted Saturday after President Donald Trump signed four executive actions that included deferring payroll taxes that provide funding for both Social Security and Medicare.

While Trump characterized the move as a financial boost for Americans struggling amid the COVID-19 crisis, critics blasted it as a cynical ploy to do what Trump has long intended to do: Gut the vitally important social service programs just as Americans need them more than ever during the pandemic.

“The American people desperately need relief,” noted Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.). “Instead, the president decided to defund Social Security and Medicare.

No, Trump is not defunding Social Security and Medicare. Even if all payroll taxes (FICA) were completely eliminated, as they should be, Social Security and Medicare could continue paying benefits, forever.

And not just paying benefits forever, but paying double or triple benefits forever.

We quite literally could have Medicare for All and Social Security for All without collecting a single penny in federal taxes.

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called Trump’s action a “reckless war on Social Security.” He’s “laying out his road map” to cut the program, he warned in a statement.

House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) called the move “a poorly disguised first step in an effort to fully dismantle these vital programs by executive fiat.”

Trump very well might be laying out a road map to cut Social Security, by falsely telling the public that the program is supported by taxes.

But the truth is that FICA does not fund Social Security, and the so-called Social Security “trust fund” is an accounting fiction.

Even the Social Security Administration lies to you about where they get their funding:

Social Security Trust Fund Cash Flows and Reserves

Although some observers view the trust fund reserves and interest income as accounting fictions, a careful tracing of the cash flows reveals that the reserves and their interest earnings are, for all practical purposes, as real as those of any bank account.

In addition, an examination of the long-term constraints facing the trust funds and the federal budget clarifies that under the Social Security system’s self-financing framework, an improvement in trust fund finances will not relieve the accumulated debt commitments of the rest of the federal government.

The “some observers” are correct, and the trust fund is not as real as “any bank account.”

“Bank accounts” in the private sector receive their deposits from monetarily NON-sovereign depositors, whose money supply is limited.

The fictional SS trust fund received deposits from the Monetarily Sovereign federal government, which cannot run short of dollars.

Therefore, to claim the “trust fund” is running short of dollars is an outright lie, because the government, at no cost to anyone, can replenish the fund, instantly and infinitely.

And, in fact, it isn’t even a “trust fund.”

A trust fund is a financial tool that holds and administers assets for the benefit of another person or organization, called a beneficiary.

The initial assets for the fund are provided by a grantor or donor, and a trustee or team of trustees manages the funds according to that person’s instructions.

If you are paying FICA taxes, which supposedly fund the fictional “trust fund,” that makes you and your employer the grantor or donor.

But the fictional SS trust fund is not managed according to your instructions. 

Quite the opposite. You and your employer are required to put money in, and then the “trustees” do whatever Congress wants them to do with your money.

You are the beneficiary, and your employer is what? The victim?

You can’t take money out when you want, and you even are taxed on your own money, when you are allowed to take your money out.

Some “trust fund” that is!

For the SSA to claim it is a “bank account” or a “trust fund” is very simply a lie.

Even the founder of Social Security, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, knew FICA didn’t fund Social Security.

Excerpts from a Luther Gulick memo:

I raised the question of the ultimate abandonment of the pay roll taxes in connection with old age security and unemployment relief in the event of another period of depression.

I suggested that it had been a mistake to levy these taxes in the 1930’s when the social security program was originally adopted.

FDR said, “I guess you’re right on the economics. They are politics all the way through.

“We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits.

“With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics, they’re straight politics.

FDR also mentioned the psychological effect of contributions in destroying the “relief attitude.”

Little did Roosevelt anticipate that Congress and a long line of Presidents would use those contributions to do exactly the opposite of what he had hoped, i.e to limit the benefits to some mythical contribution level, and even to tax them!

This only proves no one can create a law that politicians can’t squirm out of, simply by “misinterpreting” it. (The U.S. Supreme Court is notorious for such “misinterpretations.”)

As you now have learned, Social Security benefits (and Medicare benefits) are not limited by taxes or phony “trust funds.”

Since there is no financial reason why the federal government does not fund Social Security for All, Medicare for All,  College for All, and the myriad other benefits that the poor are forced to do without, what is the real reason?

That question takes us to Gap Psychology, the desire to distance oneself from those below on any social scale.

“Rich” is a comparative. It means just having “much more,” not any specific amount.

The key is “more,” and the greater the distance (the “Gap”) one is from those who have “less,” the richer one is.

So, to become even richer (which the rich always seem to want), one does not need to increase one’s wealth. All one needs do is increase the Gap, and that can be done by holding down those who have less.

And that is the purpose of the Big Lie: To hold you, who are not rich, down.

If the populace understood the Federal government to be Monetarily Sovereign, and not limited in its spending, the people would demand more benefits, such as those described in the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).

But giving the populace those benefits, which the government easily could do, would narrow the Gap, and so, make the rich less rich.

The purveyors of the Big Lie tell you the government has to “live within its means,” and “can’t afford” certain benefits, and it is “prudent” to spend less, and the “debt is unsustainable,” and spending is “socialism,” and spending causes inflation — all of which are untrue.

But you hear the Big Lie from so many mouths, and in so many different ways, again, again, again, until it has become gospel. That is the very definition of brainwashing.

Even most of you, who are not among the rich, and would gain so much from increased federal spending on many wonderful benefits — even you jeer at the notion of free health care, free college, free food for the poor, free financial support, and the elimination of many taxes.

You have been brainwashed into believing “there is no such thing as a free lunch,” when in fact, U.S. dollars themselves are a free creation, from thin air, by the U.S. government (which itself was created from thin air).

So as you struggle for the necessities, and perhaps a few extras, the rich laugh at your feeble flailing, while they own the government that creates dollars and benefits from thin air.

One last example:

Trump also signed an order providing $400 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits — down from the $600 weekly benefit that expired last month.

Wanting to appear benevolent, without actually being benevolent, Trump rides in on a white stallion, to save the impoverished by allowing them a bare pittance.

It is a dribble, even was too much for the inhumane GOP, which at our borders, already has proved that starving children is no problem.

Heather Robinson | Too bad the American family is enjoying no such ...

Desperation

And you are supposed to grovel in gratitude at the generosity that allows you an insufficient amount to lead a decent life.

Then, when jobs become available, will you be so desperate, you will accept horrible working conditions at low wages, while the rich business leaders vacation on yachts?

Tomorrow, will you sneer again at so-called “socialism,” and perhaps, in part, your sneering rather than demanding, will be why you allow the rich to make you and your family suffer.

There are penalties for ignorance.

Why aren’t you contacting your Washington politicians and making demands? It takes many voices; yours should be one of them.

The post office con job Sunday, Aug 9 2020 

The federal government has hundreds of agencies. Here is a complete list.

Of all these hundreds of agencies, just one is required to function like a business and required to make a profit in order to survive. Guess which one.

Right. The United States Postal Service (USPS).

The rest — The White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, the Food and Drug Administration, etc., etc., etc. – – all are funded by federal spending.

Why not the postal service?

Mypostaluniforms.com » summer postal uniforms

A vital federal service

Is the USPS less important than other agencies? The postal service is one of the few agencies mentioned in the Constitution, which states that Congress has “the power to establish post offices and post roads.

Among the other agencies indicated in the Constitution are The Senate and the House, the President, the Internal Revenue Service, Customs and Border Protection (“the power to lay and collect taxes and tariffs), the military agencies (“the power to raise and support military forces”).

None of them pay their own way.

They are too important to the nation to be required to labor under vagaries of a for-profit system.

Consider, for instance, the fallout from a situation in which the military, unable to raise money to pay its soldiers, had to cut back on its defense of America.

Or what if food inspections had to stop because the Food Safety and Inspection Service was “losing” money.

So, it has been with wonderment that over the years I’ve seen articles like this:

Postal Service loses $2.2 billion in 3 months
By Matthew Daly Associated Press, August 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion in the three months that ended in June as the beleaguered agency — hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic — piles up financial losses that officials warn could top $20 billion over two years.

While package deliveries to homebound Americans were up more than 50%, that was offset by continued declines in first-class and business mail, even as costs increased significantly to pay for personal protective equipment and replace workers who got sick or chose to stay home in fear of the virus.

Without an intervention from Congress, the agency faces an impending cash flow crisis.

The Postal Service is seeking an infusion of at least $10 billion to cover operating losses as well as regulatory changes that would undo a congressional requirement that the agency pre-fund billions of dollars in retiree health benefits.

The postal service “lost” $2.2 billion. How much, I wonder, did the military “lose”? How much did the Supreme Court “lose”? What about the Department of Veterans Affairs; how much did it “lose”? Did the National Institute of Corrections “lose” money?

The postal service charges the public for each letter or package. How much did Congress charge the public for each vote? Is the President paid by the veto or approval?

How much have you paid the Department of Agriculture for inspecting that can of corn you purchased?

The last time I drove down to Florida, I took U.S. Highways I65 and I75, and I didn’t pay the government a penny in tolls. Want a 45-minute tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory? It’s free.

You get the point. The federal government doesn’t need to charge for anything. It has unlimited money, so why is the postal service struggling financially? There are no good reasons. None.

What will a Congress that is dominated by a postal-hating President do about the postal service? Cut service further? Perhaps one mail delivery per week, or per month? Eliminate mail altogether?

Or will Congress do what the Republicans always want to do: Privatize the postal service so that a few billionaire contributors can take over and make even more billions by raising stamp prices higher and higher?

And as for Republican President Bush’s prefunding of benefits, that either is ignorance or maliciousness. The U.S. government never needs to prefund anything. It has unlimited power to pay any invoice instantly.

Then, there is yet another in a long line of Trump incompetents, Louis DeJoy. He is a businessman whose primary qualification is that he donated millions to Trump and the GOP. So, of course, he was named Postmaster General.

He thinks the postal service should be run like a business, which on the surface may sound like a good idea, except for a few reality checks:

  1. The primary mission of any business is to provide profits to its owners via salaries, dividends, and/or share-price growth. The primary mission of a government agency is to provide service to the voters and residents of its defined territory.
  2. A business is run by its officers and directors, who have the power to pursue it’s primary mission. The post office is run by its officers who take direction from Congress and the President. The primary mission of the postal service often conflicts with the primary missions of Congress and the President, whose objectives are political, not service or business.
  3. Businesses negotiate with unions to make mutually tolerable agreements. The negotiating power of the postal service has been usurped by Congress and the President for political, not business, reasons, which has left the postal service with unfavorable union rules. (See: Should there be workers’ unions in government?“)

Running any federal agency is diametrically opposite from running a business, and seldom do even honest, successful businessmen make good agency heads.

(This fundamental truth doesn’t begin to account for dishonest, unsuccessful, multi-bankrupt, con artists, whose sole interest is to grab as much for themselves and their families as they can.)

In summary, the postal service’s problems are of Congress’s making, and only Congress can solve them. 

The agency should function financially like every other federal agency, with Congress providing sufficient appropriations for efficient service to the public.

The goal should be the highest quality service, not profitability.

Even the best-intentioned, most qualified Postmaster General could not make the postal service live up to its that service requirement, and with Louis DeJoy, we miles away from that person.

The pearl-clutching concerns about the postal service “losing money” is a con job by the rich to pave the way for privatizing the service.

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 or a reverse income tax

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

11 experts try to trick you about the U.S. economy Wednesday, Aug 5 2020 

Uncle Sam broke.png

100% impossible.

The following will give you a treasured opportunity to read the words of 11 experts, each demonstrating his lack of knowledge or lack of honesty about federal finances and economics.

Their hope or effect is to make you ignorant about the economy, during this time of crisis.

If your hope is to become ignorant about federal finances or economic, then do believe what they say. You will be able to cross that item off your bucket list.

But if you wish to understand the facts, and perhaps even be able to contact your political leaders with the facts, read on.

As you read, please remember that federal finances are nothing at all like your personal finances, nothing like business finances, and nothing like state/local government finances.

The federal government uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign. It never, NEVER can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

And the government, being sovereign over the dollar, has absolute control over its value.

When it comes to the U.S. dollar, the federal government is God. So don’t use your own personal financial experience as a template about federal finances.

Here are excerpts from an article written by Mike Bebernes, of Yahoo News, followed by my comments.

Coronavirus aid: Is the U.S. taking on too much debt?
Mike Bebernes, Editor,Yahoo News 360•August 4, 2020

Negotiations in Congress about the next stimulus bill aimed at countering the economic effect of the coronavirus have ground to a crawl amid debate over how big the rescue package should be.

Not only is there the expected sparring between Democrats and Republicans, the issue is also reportedly causing a rift within the GOP itself.

A vocal group of Republicans have begun to raise concerns about adding how much the next stimulus will add to the federal deficit, “We have to be careful about not piling on enormous amounts of debt,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said some of his GOP colleagues are “no different than socialist Democrats when it comes to debt.”

Right off the bat, you see Mnuchin’s ignorance. The economic effect of the coronavirus is quite simple: Businesses are running short of paying customers and people are running short of income with which to pay businesses.

The effect is that businesses and people are running short of money. This lack of money causes a recession.

The solution to a recession also is quite simple: Give businesses and people money.

As for Rand Paul’s concern, deficit spending is not “socialist.” Socialism is government ownership and control of businesses. Handing out money and/or providing benefits (healthcare, education, etc.) is not socialism.

Fakers love to toss around the word “socialist,” because they know Americans will react negatively to it. Any time you hear someone accuse some federal spending as “socialist,” know you are being conned.

House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion stimulus bill in May. The proposal under consideration by Senate Republicans carries a $1.1 trillion price tag.

Even if a significantly smaller package ends up being passed, the national debt will still be at historic levels.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March pushed the deficit over $26 trillion and has the country on pace for the largest annual ratio of debt as a share of the economy since World War II.

Although it commonly is termed, “debt,” it isn’t the same thing as personal debt or business debt. That thing called “debt” actually is the total of deposits into Treasury Security accounts (T-Bills, T-Notes, T-Bonds) held at the Federal Reserve (The Fed).

These deposits are not a burden on anyone — not on the government, not on taxpayers, and not on future generations. If the government wished, it could pay off the deposits today, merely by returning the dollars currently residing in those T-Security accounts.

If you own a T-bill, and that T-bill matures, the government will send back to you your dollars that reside in your T-bill account.

It would just be a transfer of your dollars similar to a transfer from your savings account to your checking account.

No tax dollars involved in the repayment of federal “debt.”.

The coronavirus isn’t the only reason the U.S. has so much debt. After running a surplus in the late 1990s, the deficit has ballooned over the past two decades.

Despite promising to eliminate the federal debt — which stood at $19 trillion when he took office — President Trump is on pace to have the largest deficit of any president.

The virus is taking dollars from the private sector, which has caused a recession.

Eliminating the so-called “debt” (deposits into T-Security Accounts) would take even more dollars from the economy, causing the deepest depression in U.S. history (and world history).

For example:

1804-1812: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 48%. Depression began 1807.
1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.
1997-2001: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 15%. Recession began 2001.

You can thank your god that Trump didn’t live up to his promise, for had he somehow managed to eliminate U.S. debt, you would be living naked in a cave, eating cave bats.

To many fiscal conservatives, large deficits pose a major risk to the economic stability of the country.

Taking on debt may be a quick way to solve problems in the short term, but it only pushes the burden onto future generations, they argue.

The weight of trillions of dollars in debt, plus the interest accrued, will stifle the country’s ability to recover from the recession and hinder growth once the economy improves.

Federal deficit spending adds growth dollars to the economy, which is exactly why they “solve problems in the short term.” Deficit spending also solves problems in the mid-term and the long term.

Think of all the things for which the federal government spends money. Then ask yourself, “Which of these, if eliminated, would grow the economy?”

Being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government creates new dollars by spending. That is the government’s method of dollar-creation.

To pay a creditor, the federal government sends instructions (not dollars) to the creditor’s bank, instructing the bank to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account.

The instant the creditor’s bank does as instructed, new dollars are created and added to the nation’s M1 money supply.

Deficit spending is no burden whatsoever on future generations. In fact, federal deficit spending benefits future generations by providing them not only with dollars, but also with roads, bridges, health care, education, military protection, safe food, legal protections, and the myriad other things the government pays for.

As for “interest accrued,” those dollars go into the private sector, stimulating economic growth. Interest is no burden on the federal government, which being Monetarily Sovereign has infinite dollars.

(That is why there is no way to answer the question, “How much money does the federal government have?” The real answer is, “Infinite.”)

America’s ability to keep borrowing enormous amounts of money, at least in theory, could run out if oversized deficits reduce confidence in the U.S. economy.

If that happens sometime in the future, it could cause a major spike in interest rates, severe inflation or even an economic collapse that dwarfs the impact of the pandemic, deficit hawks fear.

The U.S. federal government does not borrow. Being Monetarily Sovereign, it never can run short of U.S. dollars. It has no need to borrow.

Bernanke quote

Truth from the Chairman

What wrongly is termed “borrowing” actually is the acceptance of deposits into T-security accounts.

The purpose of T-security accounts (“debt”) is not to provide spending money for the U.S. government, the one entity that has infinite dollars.

The primary purposes of T-security accounts are:

  1. to provide a safe parking place for unused dollars, which stabilizes the dollar and
  2. to assist the Fed in setting interest rates.

The federal government could stop accepting deposits into T-security accounts today if it wished. And in the event that people stopped depositing into T-security accounts, the U.S. Federal Reserve has the unlimited ability to make those deposits.

As for a “major spike in interest rates,” the Fed, not depositors, controls interest rates. The rates are exactly what the Fed wants them to be. Only if the Fed wants a “major spike,” will there be one. Otherwise, no major spike.

Greenspan II.png

Truth from another Chairman

As for “severe inflation,” it never is caused by federal debt or by federal deficit spending. In fact, deficit spending can cure inflations.

All inflations are caused by shortages of key goods and/or services, usually food or energy (oil).

Inflations are cured when the government deficit-spends to obtain the scarce goods and/or services and then distributes them to the private sector.

Consider the infamous Zimbabwe hyperinflation. The Zimbabwe government took farmland from farmers and gave it to people who didn’t know how to farm.

The predictable result: A massive food shortage that led to inflation. The Zimbabwe government could have ended the inflation by importing and distributing food (or better, by not stealing the farmland in the first place).

Instead, it merely devalued its currency, again, again, and again.

By contrast, Germany cured its infamous hyperinflation by employing businesses and people to build the greatest war machine the world had ever known. That allowed people and businesses to thrive, and eliminated shortages. (War preparation was not the best use for German money, but it did cure the hyperinflation.)

Others argue that these potential future issues pale in comparison to the very real catastrophe that will happen without a large rescue package.

Research suggests that the $600 weekly bonus added to unemployment has kept the economy from collapsing even further over the past few months.

Now that it’s expired, millions of Americans are at risk of losing their homes and countless businesses could close permanently.

True. The $3 trillion rescue package helped avoid the catastrophe that is certain unless at least $7 trillion is pumped into the private sector.

Oh, that won’t happen? Congress won’t do it?  Then assume we will have an economic catastrophe with massive unemployment, starvation, and more death — all unnecessarily.

The only way to truly save the economy, some argue, is to get the pandemic under control.

Spending money to improve testing, help people stay home and prop up struggling state budgets in the short term could prevent the need for an even bigger stimulus down the road.

Some Democrats believe that concerns about debt are insincere and motivated by politics, since the GOP enthusiastically supported tax cuts in 2017 that are expected to add trillions to the deficit.

Getting the pandemic “under control” is not the only way to save the economy, though it’s a good thing to do.

The faster way is to pump trillions of dollars into the private sector so that businesses can do business and consumers can consume.

And now what you nervously have been waiting to see: More truly ignorant comments by a few of America’s opinion leaders:

The stimulus should be limited to the most essential remedies
“Senate Republicans are right to be worried about rising federal debt. But they are wrong to artificially limit the level of spending in the latest coronavirus relief package.” — Henry Olsen, Washington Post

There are zero reasons to limit the stimulus. Note how Olsen takes both sides of the issue. That way, in retrospect, he always can lay claim to having been right. That is how one gets to be an “expert.”

At a certain point, U.S. credit may run out
“America’s borrowing capacity is large, but we may discover that it is not unlimited.” — Brian Riedel, National Review

The U.S. doesn’t borrow, so it doesn’t need “credit” and doesn’t have a “borrowing capacity. Being Monetarily Sovereign, it has absolute control over the value of its money and its credit, and never can run short.

Spend money now, but aggressively tackle the deficit once the pandemic ends
“When the pandemic passes, authorities need to shift out of rescue mode and start weaning capitalism off easy money and bailouts.” — Ruchir Sharma, Wall Street Journal

Sharma’s formula is to “spend money now ” to feed our starving economy, but when the pandemic ends, begin to starve the economy? Wow! Great idea, Ruchir: Starve future generations.

Better to spend money now, and spend money later, to continue to grow the economy.

The previous stimulus proved you can’t spend your way out of a crisis
“Having wasted the opportunity to cool off the spending binge and put the country in a better position to deal with a crisis, Congress now appears ready to do the only thing it knows how: spend even more.” — Eric Boehm, Reason

Remember that Boehm is a Libertarian for whom any amount of federal spending is too much.

Let me correct Boehm’s comment: “The previous stimulus proved that when the economy is in full starvation mode, insufficient stimulus will help some, but way, way more is needed.”

Way back in April I wrote that at least $7 trillion was needed. But, Congress voted for $3 trillion.

Of course, it wasn’t enough, so we now are in a serious recession. Yet, Boehm wants to cut back on all spending.

Future generations will suffer from reckless spending today
“Long after an effective vaccination has been discovered, the events of 2020 could figure in another disaster: a forced reduction in Medicare and Social Security benefits, as well as unprecedented tax hikes, to deal with massive national debt.” — Chris Reed, San Diego Union-Tribune

Apparently, Reed is clueless about Monetary Sovereignty. The federal government cannot ever run short of dollars.

So why would there have to be “a forced reduction in Medicare and Social Security benefits, as well as unprecedented tax hikes”? There is nothing that could force the federal government to do anything it doesn’t want to do.

And again, taxes do not fund the federal “debt.” The government could pay for Medicare and Social Security, and pay off the entire debt, without collecting a single penny in taxes.

Don’t worry about the deficit
Risk of large deficits pales in comparison to the harm insufficient stimulus will cause
“Deficits do matter in a sense, but not in the apocalyptic, over-the-cliff and straight-to-hell manner Republicans like to invoke when they’re feeling stingy.

‘A high-enough deficit under the right circumstances could theoretically bring about inflation. But inflation is not some mystical, unsolvable force.

The government has all kinds of tools at its disposal to deal with inflation.” — Zach Carter, HuffPost

Close, Zach, but no cigar. Deficits do matter because they are absolutely necessary for economic growth. A growing economy requires a growing supply of money, and deficits increase the supply of money.

But you are correct when you wrote this: “The government has all kinds of tools at its disposal to deal with inflation.”

More accurately, the federal government has absolute control over inflation.

Republican concerns about debt are purely political
“If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it is that there are no Republican deficit hawks — only poseurs who claim to care about deficits in order to block spending they don’t like.” — New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

Right you are, Paul. Now if only you could unequivocally state: “The Federal Government is Monetarily Sovereign. It never can run short of dollars. No one should worry about deficits or “debt.”

Just do it, Paul.

A large rescue package can jump-start the economy’s recovery
“Congress should use this opportunity to support the American people and the American economy. If we get the economy growing, we will be able to pay off the debt.” — Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president Neel Kashkari to “Face the Nation”

Neel, you’re a Fed bank president, so you, of all people, should know that getting the economy “going” has absolutely nothing to do with the government’s ability to pay off the debt.

C’mon, man.

It’s better to overspend now and avoid a collapse
“We should be trying different things: stimulus payments, unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments, aid to small businesses. Some of these things will be more effective than others, but it’s much better to err on the side of excess.” — Economist Gus Faucher to the Washington Post

Of all the “expert” comments, the comment by Gus Faucher comes closest to the truth.

My only quibble is with his use of the word, “excess.” We are so far from “excess” (whatever “excess” success may be), that even to mention it is misleading.

Historically low interest rates make borrowing money a smart strategy
“Interest rates on federal debt are currently lower than the expected rate of inflation, so there’s no good reason for restraint in the total size of the package.” — Vox correspondent Matthew Yglesias

Oh, Matthew, you know full well that interest rates are set by the government. The government has the unlimited power to pay as much or as little interest as it wishes.

You are correct that “there’s no good reason for restraint in the total size of the package,” but not because of interest rates. It’s because there never is a good reason to restrain federal deficit spending. Never.

So there it is folks, all those experts giving you contradictory advice, and not one of them demonstrates any understanding of federal financing.

Latest on the Spread of the Coronavirus Around the World | World ...

Foodbank line. Broke in America.

Feel free to contact them, tell them to learn Monetary Sovereignty, and say I said so.

Meanwhile, be ready for more poverty, starvation, homelessness, sickness, and death, thanks to Congress, the President, and the people who preach The Big Lie.

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 or a reverse income tax

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

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