The Committee for Screwing the Middle Classes and the Poor Friday, Jul 29 2016 

We’ve written before about an organization that calls itself, “The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.” (CRFB)

We suggest they change the name to “The Committee for Screwing the Middle Classes and the Poor.” To say that what they publish is rank nonsense, would do a disservice to the words “rank” and “nonsense.”

CRFB is a prime promulgator of the Big Lie, the lie that the federal government somehow can run short of its own sovereign currency, the dollar, with which to pay its bills.

The Big Lie devolves to the Big Screwing, the never-ending effort by the rich, to cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid and cut virtually every other program that benefits the middle classes and the poor.

Here are a couple of CRFB’s luminaries (quoting from their website), nearly all of whom are rich and all of whom are white:

Maya MacGuineas, the President of the CRFB as well as the head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. (She once was) dubbed “an anti-deficit warrior” by The Wall Street Journal.

Since deficit spending is the method by which the federal government grows the economy, MacGuineas should more properly be dubbed “an anti-economic growth warrior.”

Erskine Bowles was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with fellow CRFB board member Senator Alan Simpson.

Erskine and Bowles authored a report that recommended cuts in the federal spending that was pulling us out of the Great Recession. Remember “sequestration” and the “fiscal cliff”?

Peter Peterson is the founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is the founding president of The Concord Coalition. Prior to this, he served as chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers.

Peterson is a very rich man who does everything possible to make sure your Social Security and Medicare are cut. The Concord Coalition is, like the CRFB, an organization devoted to widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

In true CRFB tradition, our intelligence and our pocketbooks once again are assaulted with an article like this:

Long-Term Budget Outlook Underlines Trouble Ahead for Social Security
JUL 29, 2016

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) 2016 Long-Term Budget Outlook release came with updated projections of the 75-year solvency of Social Security.

CBO now projects that Social Security faces a 75-year shortfall of 4.7 percent of taxable payroll – 0.3 percentage points worse than its projections from December – but maintains an exhaustion date of 2029.

Social Security is an agency of the federal government. Neither the federal government nor any of its agencies can become insolvent unless Congress wants it.

Unlike state and local governments, which can be insolvent, the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it has unlimited control over both the supply and the value of the U.S. dollar.

The U.S. government invented the dollar, created it from thin air by the simple device of passing laws, which also were created from thin air. Because the government never can run short of laws, it also never can run short of dollars.

The U.S. government never, never, never can be unable to service any invoice denominated in dollars. Never has, never will.  All talk about federal agency insolvency is 100% BS.

The rest of CRFB’s article attempts to put a scientific spin on its woefully false claims by touting such measures as: “actuarial shortfall” and “projections involving life expectancy, fertility, and growth in the consumer price index.”

But all the phony math in the world will not cover up the Big Lie, the basic premise, that the federal government can run short of its own sovereign dollars.

And then comes the real pitch to the suckers:

Now is the time to start making reasonable changes to Social Security rather than waiting until the last minute when the necessary changes become much more drastic.

Instead of discussing ways to expand a program whose funds are already strained, policymakers should be considering both spending and revenue changes to ensure the long-term health of this important program for millions of beneficiaries across the country.

To hide the truth from you, these con artists use the innocent-sounding phrase, “reasonable changes,” when they really mean: Cut Social Security benefits and increase the FICA taken from your paycheck.

And then they have the chutzpah to end with, “ensure the long-term health of this important program for millions of beneficiaries across the country.”

Please gimme a break. If these characters cared one whit about the “millions of beneficiaries,” they would demand benefit increases and tax cuts.

The fact of Monetary Sovereignty is this: You, and the rest of salaried Americans, could pay $0 FICA, while Social Security benefits were doubled, and still the federal government would not run short of dollars.

Why do you pay FICA? Why have Social Security benefits begun later and later? Why do organizations like CRFB lie to you again and again about mythical insolvency threats? Why even, was a complex, convoluted program like “Obamacare” necessary?

Because our political leaders are paid to lie by the rich, whose primary objective is to widen the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

The Gap is what makes the rich richer, and the wider that Gap, the richer they are.

So the rich bribe Congress (via campaign contributions); they bribe the media via ownership; they bribe the economists via contributions to universities and think tanks; and the rich pay the salaries of MacGuineas, Simpson, Bowles et al, and finally, the rich even bribe the Supreme Court justices with free vacations and other perks.

Bernie Sanders made a stab at narrowing the Gap, but he wasn’t believed by the very people who would have been helped most: The middle classes and the poor.

So now we are stuck with Hillary Clinton, who if she is like Barack Obama, will do very little to close the Gap, or worse yet, stuck with Donald Trump who with his ignorance and hubris, not only will do nothing to close the Gap, but who will destroy America’s economy.

It doesn’t need to be this way.  The federal government easily could provide Social Security and Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America.

The first step is for you and enough other people to understand and believe Monetary Sovereignty, and to demand the same of Congress

You need only to get up off your butt and make it happen.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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


–Why a dollar bill is not a dollar, and other economic craziness Monday, Jun 20 2011 

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

You may have seen your bank; you may have seen your safe deposit box. But have you ever seen your checking account?

No, you haven’t. Your checking account is not a physical reality. It is an accounting notation. You could travel to your bank, and walk into the lobby, and you would not be one inch closer to your checking account than if you had stayed home.

When you receive a printed checking account statement, you receive evidence you own the dollars in your checking account. But, you never will see those dollars. They too, are not physical realities, but rather, accounting notations. In fact, you never will see a dollar, anywhere. No one on earth ever has seen a dollar.

A dollar bill is not a dollar.

A dollar bill is a piece of paper telling the world the bearer owns a dollar. It can be compared to a title. When you own a car or a house, you have a document telling the world you own that car or house. The document is called a “title.” The title is not the car or house. You can’t drive a title; you can’t live in a title. It’s just evidence of ownership. Your dollar bill is evidence you own that invisible dollar.

A dollar has no physical existence. You can’t hold a dollar. A dollar has no more substance than does a number. You can’t hold the number “one.” You can’t carry the number “ten.” When you write a check, from your invisible checking account, that check is a set of instructions telling your bank to debit your checking account and to credit the payee’s checking account.

One account is debited and another account is credited. No dollars move. They can’t. They aren’t physical. The peso, the euro, the mark, the pound, the yuan, – none of the world’s currencies are physical. They all are accounting notations.

The U.S. federal government has been Monetarily Sovereign since we went off the gold standard in 1971. Money creation no longer is limited by the availability of gold. Our Monetarily Sovereign government can pay any bill of any size at any time, merely by sending instructions to banks to credit bank accounts.

The world’s financial structure is based on instructions to banks. When the federal government owes you $1,000, it sends you a check for $1,000, and you send the check to your bank. The check is not money. It is a written instruction to your bank to credit your account. The bank does as instructed, and your account balance is increased by $1,000. The federal government can send such checks – such instructions – endlessly. It doesn’t need to borrow or collect taxes. It merely sends instructions.

The federal government never “prints” dollars. Printing implies a physical creation. But dollars are not physical. Warren Mosler, uses the analogy of a football scoreboard. The government creates dollars by crediting bank accounts; the scoreboard creates points by posting them. The government never can run short of dollars just as the scoreboard never can run short of points.

Is paying a debt a burden to the federal government? Is posting a score a burden to the scoreboard? Does the federal government need to tax or borrow dollars? Does the scoreboard need to tax or borrow points?

Can the government run short of dollars? Can the scoreboard run short of points?

Would the posting of points be “unsustainable” as some claim the federal debt is?

The federal government pays all its bills by typing numbers into a computer – just like a scoreboard.

The dollar bill is an IOU. On its face is printed, “Federal Reserve Note.” The words “bill” and “note” describe debt instruments (as in “T-bill”and “T-note”). These instruments are held by creditors to demonstrate debt.

When you hold a dollar, who owes you what? The federal government owes you full faith and credit, which may not sound like much, but actually is powerful. It means:

1. The government will accept U.S. currency in payment of debts to the government
2. It unfailingly will pay all it’s dollar debts with U.S. dollars and will not default
3. It will force all your domestic creditors to accept U.S. dollars, if you offer it, to satisfy your debt.
4. It will not require domestic creditors to accept any other money
5. It will take action to protect the value of the dollar.
6. It will maintain a market for U.S. currency
7. It will continue to use U.S. currency and will not change to another currency.
8. All forms of U.S. currency will be reciprocal, that is five $1 bills always will equal one $5 bill and vice versa.

Every form of U.S. money is a form of debt. For many people, the word “debt” is threatening. That may be true for you and me and the states, counties and cities, and Greece and Ireland, all of which are monetarily non-sovereign, but not for our Monetarily Sovereign government, which can credit bank accounts endlessly.

Try to think of any U.S. money that is not owed by something to someone. You can’t.

Federal debt is not functionally the total of federal deficits. By law, the Treasury must issue T-securities (aka “debt”) in an amount equal to federal deficits. But that law is obsolete and could be eliminated immediately. Were it eliminated, there still could be deficits, but all federal debt would disappear.

Similarly, the Treasury could issue T-securities (debt), while the government did not run a deficit, or even ran a surplus.

Brief summary: A dollar has no physical reality. Neither does a checking account or any other bank account, debt, deficit, inflation, recession, depression, stagflation or money. All these terms are descriptive of accounting notations. The federal government can change any of these simply by typing into a computer.

Dollars do not physically move, because they don’t physically exist. When the government pays a debt, you may imagine dollars moving out of some government storage place into a creditor’s bank. But, there is no storage place; there is no movement. The government sends instructions to the creditor’s bank. That’s it. A Monetarily Sovereign government never can run out of instructions.

Given all of the above, how is there a debt crisis? How can the federal debt be a “burden” or “unsustainable” or a “ticking time bomb.” as the media love to claim?

One final thought: Debt-hawks typically confuse two questions:
1. How many dollars can the federal government create?
2. How many dollars should the federal government create?

When a debt-hawk is presented with the unassailable proof that the federal government cannot run short of dollars, and easily can pay any bill of any size, the rejoinder often is, “But that would cause inflation,” or “Why don’t we just give everyone a trillion dollars?” These responses indicate a quick switch in subjects, from question #1 to question #2.

This post describes only question #1. Question #2, which involves economic stimulus and inflation, is described in other posts. The answer to #1 is “infinite,” and that is why the federal debt is an obsolete, useless, meaningless, indeed harmful, concept.

Isn’t economics crazy?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. It’s been 40 years since the U.S. became Monetary Sovereign, , and neither Congress, nor the President, nor the Fed, nor the vast majority of economists and economics bloggers, nor the preponderance of the media, nor the most famous educational institutions, nor the Nobel committee, nor the International Monetary Fund have yet acquired even the slightest notion of what that means.

Remember that the next time you’re tempted to ask a teenager, “What were you thinking?” He’s liable to respond, “Pretty much what your generation was thinking when it ruined my future.”


A Debt Parable. How ignorance and superstition destroyed our wonderful land Friday, Jun 17 2011 

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

Ignoring all facts and evidence to the contrary, America’s Congress, our President, our media, and most of our old-line economists intuitively knew the earth is flat, and if an American boat sailed far enough it would fall off the edge.

So to protect our shipping from this never-seen edge, Congress installed a barrier, preventing our boats from sailing too far.

Every few years, Congress moved the barrier farther out to sea, and while no American boat ever had fallen off the edge, nor had any American even experienced an edge, many wise men predicted this would happen “eventually,” and the repeated movement of the barrier was “unsustainable.” The media termed the edge of the world a “ticking time bomb.” They derided those who wanted to end the barrier with invective and such sarcasms as: “Are you saying ships can sail forever?”

Some foreign boats that were not seaworthy – rowboats, rafts and the like – had sailed out beyond the horizon, and never seen again. Proponents of the American barrier offered this as absolute proof the barrier was needed, and the edge actually existed.

Though the barrier prevented American boats from circling the earth, which limited our trade, and hurt our nation’s economy, and though we already were in a recession, Congress decreed the barrier would be moved no more. No American boats were allowed to sail beyond it. Our economy was not allowed to grow.

Meanwhile, other nations discovered the edge of the world was a myth. They did not limit their ships. Their trade expanded and these nations grew wealthy, as America slipped steadily into a deepening depression, until we were no more.

And that is how ignorance and superstition destroyed our wonderful land.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. It’s been 40 years since the U.S. became Monetary Sovereign, , and neither Congress, nor the President, nor the Fed, nor the vast majority of economists and economics bloggers, nor the preponderance of the media, nor the most famous educational institutions, nor the Nobel committee, nor the International Monetary Fund have yet acquired even the slightest notion of what that means.

Remember that the next time you’re tempted to ask a teenager, “What were you thinking?” He’s liable to respond, “Pretty much what your generation was thinking when it ruined my future.”


Another reminder why reducing the federal deficit is national suicide. Your health, your children’s health and your grandchildren’s health are being sacrificed. Tuesday, May 17 2011 

The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology. Those, who do not understand Monetary Sovereignty, do not understand economics. If you understand the following, simple statement, you are ahead of most economists, politicians and media writers in America: Our government, being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to create the dollars to pay its bills.

Another reminder about why reducing the federal deficit is national suicide: Your health, your children’s health and your grandchildren’s health is being threatened — no more than threatened, compromised. And it’s all because of the myth the federal deficit and federal debt are “unsustainable.”

While the myth is easily disproved, the politicians, media and mainstream economists refuse to learn.

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
WASHINGTON — A disease standoff may be brewing: How can Alzheimer’s research receive more scarce dollars without cutting from areas like heart disease or cancer?

In one of the stark realities of the budget crisis, scientists’ chances of winning research dollars from the National Institutes of Health for any condition have dipped to a new low.

“We are clearly not able to support a lot of great science that we would like to support,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told senators last week. This year, for every six grant applications that NIH receives, “five of them are going to go begging.”

That’s down from nearly 1 in 3 grants funded a decade ago, and 1 in 5 last year. And it comes before the looming fight over how much more to cut in overall government spending for next year, and where to make those cuts.

Already, a new report says one of the biggest losers is aging research, despite a rapidly graying population that promises a worsening epidemic of dementia, among other illnesses.

“Nobody wants to say Alzheimer’s is worse than diabetes or heart disease or cancer,” says Dr. Sam Gandy, a prominent neuroscientist at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

But “part of the problem now with all the pressure to cut the budget … is that for Alzheimer’s to get more, something else has to lose,” adds Gandy. His own lab is scrambling for funds to study a potential dementia drug after losing out on an NIH aging grant.

The NIH pays for much of the nation’s leading biomedical research. Republicans and Democrats alike have long been staunch supporters. But the agency’s nearly $31 billion budget offers an example of the hard choices facing lawmakers, especially if they’re to meet House calls for a drastic scale-back of overall government spending.

So which do you fear more: Disease or the federal deficit, knowing the federal government has proved it can support any size deficit? Have you been so brainwashed by the Tea (formerly Republican) Party nuts, you are willing to lay your health, and the health of your family on the line?

Consider aging issues.

The NIH spends about $469 million on Alzheimer’s research, says a new report from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America that criticizes overall aging research as “a minuscule and declining investment.”

About 5.4 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease, and studies suggest health and nursing home expenditures for it cost more than $170 billion a year, much of it paid by Medicare and Medicaid.

NIH’s Collins told a Senate appropriations subcommittee that there’s a “very frightening cost curve.” In 2050, when more than 13 million Americans are projected to have Alzheimer’s, the bill is expected to reach a staggering $1 trillion. But he said that cost could be halved merely by finding a way to delay people getting Alzheimer’s by five years.

The debt-hawks are fond of showing you graphs illustrating (falsely) how the increase in older people will cause Social Security and Medicare to run out of money. But have they ever shown you a graph illustrating how many more people will get Alzheimers, for lack of medical research?

Monday, Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich jumped into the debate, saying that over the next four decades Alzheimer’s could cost the government a total of $20 trillion. He suggested selling U.S. bonds to raise money for research rather than have the disease compete each year for a share of the federal budget.

“We are grotesquely underfunded,” Gingrich said of health research dollars.

Yes, we are. Nice of him to notice. But creating T-securities out of thin air, then exchanging them for dollars we previously created out of thin air is foolish.

How foolish? Newt favors reducing the debt, but his bond-selling plan increases the debt. This demonstrates the idiocy of the Tea (formerly Republican) Party debt-reduction position. We wouldn’t need to struggle with complex, convoluted, nonsensical plans if we simply would end the debt-hawk control over our thinking. Stop selling bonds; fund with deficit spending.

Competition for today’s dollars is fierce, with applications up 60 percent at the aging division alone since 2003. Aging chief Dr. Richard Hodes says last year, his institute couldn’t pay for about half of what were ranked as the most outstanding applications for research projects. Still, he hopes to fund more scientists this year by limiting the number who get especially large grants.

What’s the squeeze? Congress doubled the NIH’s budget in the early 2000s, an investment that helped speed the genetic revolution and thus a host of new projects that scientists are clamoring to try. But in more recent years, economists say NIH’s budget hasn’t kept pace with medical inflation, and this year Congress cut overall NIH funding by 1 percent

The Obama administration has sought nearly $32 billion for next year, and prospects for avoiding a cut instead are far from clear. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the issue, warns that under some early-circulating House plans to curb health spending, “severe reductions to NIH research would be unavoidable.”

Still the Tea (formerly Republican) Party doesn’t get it. They don’t understand the simple premise that medical progress requires medical research.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., pushed Collins to make the case that investments in medical research really can pay off.

Collins’ response: Four decades of NIH-led research revealed how arteries get clogged and spurred development of cholesterol-fighting statin drugs, helping lead to a 60 percent drop in heart-disease deaths. Averaged out, that research cost about $3.70 per person per year, “the cost of a latte, and not even a grande latte,” Collins told lawmakers.

Get it now, debt hawks? Probably not. But are you willing to fight for your family’s health? Contact your Washington representatives and tell them our lives are being threatened by their misguided budget-reduction nonsense.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. It’s been 40 years since the U.S. became Monetary Sovereign, , and neither Congress, nor the President, nor the Fed, nor the vast majority of economists and economics bloggers, nor the preponderance of the media, nor the most famous educational institutions, nor the Nobel committee, nor the International Monetary Fund have yet acquired even the slightest notion of what that means.

Remember that the next time you’re tempted to ask a dopey teenager, “What were you thinking?” He’s liable to respond, “Pretty much what your generation was thinking when it screwed up my future.”


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