Do you know more than a university economist? Friday, Jul 6 2018 

Image result for university economist

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:

The ignorance of the oppressed

and the treachery of their leaders

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Federal finances are much different from state & local government finances, and different from business and your personal finances.

Many people find the federal government’s finances to be counter-intuitive, because the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, while state & local governments, businesses, and people themselves are monetarily non-sovereign.

The purpose of today’s post is to demonstrate a step-by-step logical progression, that will make federal financing more intuitive and defendable.

All science begins with certain propositions or axioms that in themselves, cannot be proved, but are assumed to be true. From these axioms flow the conclusions of the science.

For example, in Euclidian (plane) geometry, there are five propositions:

1. A straight line may be drawn between any two points.
2. Any straight line may be extended infinitely.
3. A circle may be drawn with any given point as center and any given radius.
4. All right angles are equal.
5. For any given point not on a given line, there is exactly one line through the point that does not meet the given line.

None of the above can be proved. They are statements that are felt to be self-evident. From these statements, all of plane geometry flows.

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For millions of earth’s years, there was no U.S. government and no U.S. dollar. Finally, in 1792, a group of men arbitrarily created certain laws out of thin air. Like all laws, these laws had no physical existence. They were mere concepts.

The laws created, also from thin air, a legal entity known as “The United States dollar.” Although some U.S. dollars are represented by printed paper, dollars themselves have no physical existence. Dollars are nothing more than bookkeeping entries.

The men who created the U.S. dollar created as many dollars as they wished. They could have created many more or fewer.

The original dollar arbitrarily was given a value related to 371 grains of silver, and since then, Congress and the President have retained the power to give the dollar any value they chose. 

Just as a car title is not a car, and a house title is not a house, the dollar bill, being a title to a dollar, is not in itself a dollar. The vast majority of U.S. dollars are not represented by paper dollar bills.  All dollars — indeed all forms of money —  are nothing more than bookkeeping records.

The popular belief that gold or silver are money or once were money, is false. Gold never has been money. It is a barter commodity. In world history, many commodities have been used for barter: Cattle, horses, wheat, diamonds, land, buildings, silk, etc., though none is money.

Money is the debt of an issuer. Dollars are the debt of the U.S. government. All debt has collateral, and the collateral for the U.S. dollar is the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. See: Full faith and credit.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY
Six propositions, a basis for U.S. Monetary Sovereignty, are bolded:

  1. All money is debt.
    (Money is a debt of its issuer, backed by the issuer’s full faith and credit. Debts are bookkeeping entries, having no physical existence.)
  2. The U.S. dollar bill is a title to a U.S. dollar, not a dollar in of itself.
  3. The U.S. Congress and the President retain the unlimited ability to create as many sovereign dollars as they wish.
  4. The U.S. dollar, like all commodities, is valued according to its Supply and Demand [Value = Demand/Supply].
    (In 1971, President Richard Nixon arbitrarily decided that the Value of the dollar no longer would be related to gold or to silver, and the Supply of dollars no longer would be limited by the federal government’s Supply of gold or silver.)
  5. The Demand for a U.S. dollar is based on Risk and Reward. [Demand = Reward/Risk]
  6. The Risk of owning a dollar is inflation. The Reward for owning a dollar is interest.
    (
    The dollar not only is a “good” in its own right, but also is an exchange medium. Its market Value is related to the market Value of Goods & Services. The formula for the market Value of the dollar):
    Dollar Value = (Demand/Supply of dollars) / (Demand/Supply of goods & services)

The U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. It is sovereign over the dollar, and has the unlimited ability to create, destroy, or change the value of the dollar.

Other Monetarily Sovereign governments include Canada, Japan, China, Australia, and the UK.

Governments that are monetarily non-sovereign include those of euro nations, and U.S. cities, counties and states. These governments do not have the unlimited ability to create their sovereign currency, as they have no sovereign currencies.

They can run short of money and be unable to pay their financial obligations.

The six propositions lead to the following conclusions:

  1. Every form of money is “fiat,” i.e. created by the fiat of an issuer. (Contrary to popular belief, “fiat” does not mean “paper” as opposed to gold. There is no “paper” money, nor is gold money. Unlike barter commodities, money has no physical existence. )
  2. The U.S. government can pay any obligation denominated in U.S. dollars. It is impossible for the U.S. government unintentionally to run short of its own sovereign currency.
  3. No agency of the U.S. government can run short of U.S. dollars unless that is the intent of Congress and the President. (This includes such agencies as the White House, the Supreme Court, the military branches, Social Security, and Medicare.)
  4. The U.S. government neither needs nor uses tax dollars nor borrowing to pay its bills. (Because the Monetarily Sovereign U.S. government cannot unintentionally run short of its own sovereign currency, it has no need to obtain dollars from outside sources.)
  5. FICA does not pay for Social Security of Medicare benefits. (Even if FICA  were $0, the government could pay unlimited benefits, forever.)
  6. The federal government does not borrow. (It accepts deposits in Treasury Security accounts. It does not use the dollars in those accounts. The dollars remain in the accounts until maturity, at which time they are returned to the account owner.)
  7. Deposits in T-security accounts provide a safe depository for U.S. dollars (which stabilizes the dollar), and assist the Fed with its interest rate (and inflation) controls.
  8. Raising interest rates increases the Demand for dollars (to purchase dollar-denominated debt.)
  9. All dollars received by the U.S. government are destroyed upon receipt. (They disappear from any money supply measure.)
  10. There are two ways to create dollars and two ways to destroy dollars:
    .
    Create Dollars

    I. Lend dollars
    II. Federal deficit spending
    Destroy Dollars:

    I. Pay off a loan
    II. Federal taxation
  11. Lending creates dollars. When a loan is supported by a loan document owned by the lender, the loan document is money. Like a dollar bill, it represents dollars owned by the lender, while the borrower receives new dollars. That is the difference between a loan and a payment. Though both are transfers of dollars, loans create new dollars, payments do not.
  12. Federal spending creates dollars. To pay a creditor, the federal government sends instructions (not dollars) to the creditor’s bank, instructing the bank (“Pay to the order of”) to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account. The instant the bank obeys those instructions, new dollars are created an added to the money supply (M1).
  13. Paying off a loan destroys dollars.  It reduces or eliminates the value of the loan document owned by the lender.
  14. Federal taxes destroy dollars. They remove dollars from all measures of the nation’s money supply.
  15. State and local taxes do not destroy dollars. These taxes are held in private bank accounts (M1 and M2), from which the state and local governments take them for paying creditors.
  16. The purpose of federal tax dollars is to control private spending (i.e. “sin” taxes, tax deductions for businesses, etc.)
  17. The Social Security and Medicare “trust funds” are bookkeeping fictions. (In private-sector trust funds, receipts are deposited and invested. In federal trust funds, receipts are recorded and removed from the nation’s money supply. Spending creates new dollars, ad hoc.)(Medicare Part A supposedly is paid by a fictional “trust fund,” while Medicare Parts B and D are paid out of the Treasury’s “General Fund.” The Medicare “trust fund” supposedly is running short of money; the General Fund never can run short of money.)
  18. The formula for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is: Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports.
  19. Federal deficit spending stimulates GDP growth by adding dollars to the economy, i.e. by increasing Federal Spending and Non-federal Spending.
  20. Reductions in federal deficit spending lead to recessions. (Vertical bars are recessions. Red line is deficit spending.)
  21. Recessions are cured by increases in deficit spending.
  22. Decreases in federal debt lead to depressions.
    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
  23. The Federal Reserve controls inflation via interest rate control. (Interest rates support Demand for dollars.)
  24. The primary cause of inflation has been an insufficient Supply of goods, not an excessive Supply of dollars.(Most modern inflations have been related to a shortage of oil. Every hyperinflation also has been caused by a shortage, usually a shortage of food.)
  25. Despite endless concerns that the federal “debt” (deposits in T-security accounts)) may be a “ticking time bomb, the federal government has no difficulty servicing its “debt” and inflation has averaged close to the Fed’s 2.5% target.
    Red line is federal “debt.” Blue line is inflation.
  26. The commonly referenced federal Debt/GDP ratio has no function or meaning. It does not indicate economic health, nor does it indicate the federal government’s ability to service its obligations (which is infinite).
  27. Interest rate increases are economically stimulative. They force the federal government to pump more interest dollars into the economy.
  28. A trade deficit is more beneficial to a Monetarily Sovereign nation’s economy than is a trade surplus. In a trade deficit, the Monetarily Sovereign entity receives scarce goods and services, while sending money it has the infinite ability to create from thin air. In a trade surplus, the Monetarily Sovereign nation, receives money it doesn’t need in exchange for goods and services it must create by valuable labor and scarce resources.
  29. People stimulate GDP by being creators, producers and consumers. Political entities (nations, cities, counties, states) that have net immigration grow compared with entities that have net emigration. GDP is a spending measure; adding immigrants increases government and private spending.
  30. Federal anti-poverty spending is economically stimulative. It increases the nation’s money supply, and it helps the poor population to be more creative and productive.
  31. Bigotry is economically depressive. Bigotry marginalizes a population (a gender, a race, a religion, a sexual preference) and prevents that population from being as productive as it otherwise could be.
  32. The sole purpose of government is to improve the lives of the people.  Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

In answer to the title question, now you know more than most university economists. Read the “Ten Steps” below, and you’ll know even more.

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

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-more and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA

(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.

2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE
(H.R. 676, Medicare for All )

This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can 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 A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All)
(The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) 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 EVERYONE
Five 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 benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.

5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Salary for attending school. 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.

6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce 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 business taxes would be a 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.

8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME.
(TROPHIC CASCADE)
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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

GOP says, “Deficit spending grows the economy, so cut deficit spending.” Huh? Monday, Oct 9 2017 

Image result for escaping the prison
It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.

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The GOP is telling you, “Deficit spending grows the economy, so cut deficit spending.” Huh?

No, really. That is exactly what they are saying.

And not only that, but they also are telling you, “While we’re cutting deficit spending and destroying economic growth, let’s also cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, and gut other social spending.

“And as the cherry on top of that, the Republicans want you to accept the idea, “We’re going to make more poor people pay more tax, and more rich people pay less tax.

I kid you not. This is what President Trump and the GOP are trying to sell to you, the American public. Sadly, some of the public might buy it.

‘Deficit’ no longer a dirty word for the GOP: Trump’s tax plan adds more than $2 trillion in red ink
By: Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2017

Not long ago, Paul D. Ryan stood before charts and graphs as the House Budget Committee chairman like a new Ross Perot, promoting an austerity plan that slashed taxes and spending, and warning of the dangers of deficits.

“The facts are very, very clear: The United States is heading toward a debt crisis,” he said then.

“We face a crushing burden of debt which will take down our economy — which will lower our living standards.”

As you who understand the realities of Monetary Sovereignty know, there is not, nor ever has been, a “debt crisis.” Nor is there a “crushing burden of debt,” and federal debt will not “take down our economy,” and it surely will not “lower our living standards.”

It is all part of the Big Lie, that federal finances are like personal finances, where debt actually can be a problem.

For the federal government and for federal taxpayers, federal debt is no problem at all.

The reasons you seldom are told:

1. Federal “debt” actually is nothing more than the total of deposits in T-security accounts, very much like bank savings accounts. The government could pay off the entire “debt” (deposits) tomorrow, simply by transferring the dollars that exist in those accounts, back to the checking accounts of the T-security holders. No new dollars or taxes needed.

Paying off the federal debt would be a simple money transfer, exactly like your bank transferring dollars from your savings account to your checking account.

2. The federal “debt” results from federal deficit spending, which in itself grows the economy, because: GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports. 

Thus, it is mathematically impossible for the economy to grow without federal deficits.

And not just deficits, but increased deficit growth leads to economic growth. The graph shows deficit growth. Even declining deficit growth leads to recessions (vertical gray bars),  and increased deficit growth cures recessions.

In fact, increased deficit growth is the method by which the federal government brings us out of recessions.

It cured the “Great Recession” of 2008, just as deficit spending for WWII cured the Great Depression.

U.S. depressions tend to come on the heels of federal surpluses.
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.

Now as House speaker, the Wisconsin Republican is undergoing a role reversal, championing President Trump’s tax plan, which promises massive tax cuts for corporations and to some extent individuals — and which experts say will add some $2 trillion to the nation’s red ink over the next decade.

It’s a sizable shift for Ryan, and he’s hardly the only one. The Republican majority, which swept to power just a few years ago in part by warning of then-President Obama’s run-up of debt, now plays down concern over deficits.

Economic growth must take priority, many Republicans say, and will ultimately take care of worries about red ink.

Get it? Even the GOP admits that deficit spending causes economic growth.

Let this be a lesson to the pusillanimous Democrats, who didn’t have the courage to support Bernie Sanders’s  “Medicare for All” because it would have added to the deficit.

You have to hand it to the GOP. They have the guts to push something they have campaigned against, solely to reward the rich with tax breaks.

Asked recently whether he had gone to the “dark side,” Ryan offered a reply that sounded like something a Democrat might have said to justify spending more on repairing roads and bridges or putting additional resources into schools.

“If this results in giving us a faster economic growth, that will help us reduce our debt,” he said in a CBS interview.

“You have got to have tax reform to get faster economic growth,” he added. “Faster economic growth is necessary for us to get our debt under control.”

No, a Democrat would not have said it. At least no Democrat I know. The little snowflakes would have been hiding under their desks, mumbling something about increasing taxes on the rich.

And yes, deficit spending not only will provide “faster” economic growth; deficit spending is what provides virtually all economic growth.

And again, no. You do not want to debt “under control,” if that means reducing the debt. To grow the economy, you must have deficit spending. Period.

The nation’s debt load has topped the eye-popping level of $20 trillion.

More misdirection by the debt liars. They say $20 trillion, to make it sound more terrifying. But $6 trillion of that is money the government owes itself. The right pocket owes the left pocket.

So on top of lying about the effects of federal debt, the debt liars lie about the amount of the debt.

For Trump, who routinely leveraged borrowing to expand his real estate empire and declared on the campaign trail that he loved debt, a tax plan that expands the government’s deficit may be no problem.

It actually was worse for Trump personally, because personal finances are not like federal finances. Trump could (and did) run short of dollars to service his debt (at least four times).

But the federal government never has, and indeed cannot, run short of dollars.  Never.

During a recent White House meeting, Trump boasted to lawmakers from the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee that the country’s economic growth could hit 4%, 5%, even 6% under his tax plan, which administration officials say would more than cover lost revenue and even reduce the deficit.

Think about it. Increasing the debt will increase economic growth, so decreasing the debt will decrease economic growth.  Why would anyone want that?

But, the lawmakers asked, what if growth isn’t so strong — most mainstream economists doubt it will be — what’s Plan B for making up the deficit shortfall?

What exactly is a “deficit shortfall”? Anyone?

Central to the GOP plan are tax cuts that slash the corporate rate. Some deductions would be eliminated and the standard deduction would be doubled, in hopes of simplifying the code and broadening the base of taxpayers.

The term “broadening the base of taxpayers” is GOP code for, “make more poor people pay more taxes.” That is, and always has been, the Republican goal — to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

“Republicans spent years pretending to care about the deficit when it came to making cuts to middle-class priorities, but the minute it came to handing tax breaks to the rich, that all went out the window,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Well, the GOP is the party of the rich, after all.  What did you expect?

GOP Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said. “We need to have new deficits…. If we simply look at this as being deficit-neutral, you’re never going to get the type of tax reform and tax reductions that you need to get to sustain 3% economic growth.”

Read his comment carefully. Even Republican Mulvany admits that deficits (via tax reductions) are necessary for economic growth.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has said growth from the tax cut would be as much as $2 trillion, enough to pay for the cuts and start paying down deficits.

It gets crazier and crazier. Mnuchin, like Mulvaney, admits that tax cuts (which create deficits) will cause economic growth, but as soon as we achieve that growth, we should eliminate the deficits that caused the growth.

Congress repeatedly has shown, even under Republican control, that it has been unable to impose the kind of draconian reductions to Medicare, Medicaid and other safety-net programs called for in Ryan’s budgets.

In other words, to eliminate the deficits that caused economic growth, we need “draconian reductions to Medicare, Medicaid, and other safety net programs.”

So, if the GOP budget succeeds, we’ll have a double disaster: Reduction in economic growth along with reductions in Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

At the same time, Republicans are under great pressure to deliver on taxes, to have something to show for their hold on Congress and the presidency.

Translation: “Pass something, no matter how stupid and damaging, to show we know how to govern.”

Does it get any more ridiculous than that?

Every year since 1940, the debt liars have referred to the debt as a “ticking time bomb.” Back in 1940, the federal debt was $40 Billion. Today, 77 years later, it is $14 Trillion — a 35,000% increase, and that so-called “time bomb” still is ticking — and the debt liars still are lying.

For how many years must a liar be wrong before the public understands that the liar is lying? Isn’t 77 years enough?

Bottom line: The GOP says, “Deficit spending grows the economy, so cut deficit spending, and while we’re at it, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut other social spending, and make the poor pay more tax and the rich pay less.”

That’s the GOP plan, folks. Do you like it?

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

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (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.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can 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 A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) 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 EVERYONE Five 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 benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
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.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce 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 business taxes would be a 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.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

There is one thing the GOP is doing right, and they even don’t talk about it. Monday, Mar 6 2017 

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
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There is one big thing the Republicans are doing right (no pun intended), and not only don’t they talk about it, some of them may not even realize it:

IRS income tax audits plummet as agency faces budget cuts
Christian Science Monitor, Ben Rosen, March 6, 2017

Americans filing income tax returns this year can worry less about being audited, after the Internal Revenue Service said budget cuts and a reduced staff are to blame for it auditing the fewest number of people in 13 years in 2016.

The lower number of audits the IRS performed in 2016 – down 16 percent from the year – are part of a six-year trend started by Republicans in Congress.

After they took control of the House and Senate in the 2010 elections, Republicans shrunk the agency’s budget from $12.2 billion to $11.2 billion last year, citing the IRS alleged singling out conservative political groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

The Republicans hate federal taxes, as well they should. Unlike state and local tax dollars, which are recirculated through the economy, federal tax dollars are removed from the money supply the instant they are received.Image result for sucking dollars

By definition, federal taxes (i.e.sucking dollars from the economy) reduce Gross Domestic Product, and that is why federal taxes are recessionary. (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

So the Republicans are right to cut IRS funding, as a way to reduce tax collections. It makes economic sense.

But the IRS Commissioner, not a part of the controversy, says the cuts are costing the federal government between $4 billion and $8 billion a year in uncollected taxes.

“We are the only agency if you give us more people and money, we give you more money back,” John Koskinen told the AP.

Translation: “If you give us more money, we will remove more dollars from the economy. Give us enough dollars and we will give you a depression.”

In the face of budget of cuts, the IRS lost more than 17,000 employees since 2010, nearly one-fifth of its total staff. This includes the loss of nearly 7,000 enforcement agents.

Losing employees does exacerbate unemployment. But collecting more taxes is really bad for the economy.

Republican lawmakers have defended the IRS cuts, mentioning the alleged mistreatment of conservative groups.

“Go look at all the areas where they’ve wasted money, mismanaged taxpayer resources,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R) of Ohio. “Not to mention the fact that, you know, one of the reasons we went after them so hard is they did target people for their political views.”

See, it’s like this:

We, the GOP,  tell you that more taxes should be collected (to balance the budget) even though this isn’t true.

But, we’ll overlook what we tell you is good for the economy because we are angry at the IRS. So there!

We cut the IRS budget because they picked on conservatives, even though we want more taxes to “pay for” additional military spending. (O.K., federal taxes don’t pay for anything, but you don’t know that.)

So here is what we plan to do. We’ll cut spending for Social Security and Medicare benefits, because the rich don’t care about those, and we’ve convinced you the federal government is running short of dollars.

We also will cut spending for Medicaid, ACA, and all benefits for the poor, because the rich don’t collect those, either, and again, you think the federal government can run out of its own sovereign currency.

And we’ll cut tax ratesbecause the rich pay the highest rates, and because we know federal taxes don’t pay for anything. (We also will create more loopholes for the rich, because they give us lots of money.)

And you, the public, will go along with all this because we have brainwashed you into believing federal taxes are necessary to fund federal spending, and the rich supposedly are the “makers” while the poor are the “takers.”

If you go along with the GOP’s “reverse Robin Hood” (take from the middle and poor, and give to the rich), you are going to love the next four years.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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ECONOMICS LAWS

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

•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.

•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

•Deficit spending grows the supply of money

•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Progressives think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Trump smarter than mainstream economists? Maybe. Tuesday, Aug 9 2016 

Donald Trump may have, as he claims, “a very good brain,” but way too many of his comments originate in his gut.

He is all over the place, a former Democrat, now a Republican, but at odds with the Republican Party.  He is so unfocused he needs a Vice Presidential candidate to “explain what Trump really meant.”

That said, like the proverbial stopped clock, which is right twice a day, he may have some good ideas that mainstream economists would be well to examine.

Chicago Tribune:  Trump’s economic proposals were split between traditional GOP policies, like rolling back taxes and easing federal regulations, scrapping trade pacts and pouring new money into railways, highways and other infrastructure.

Trump’s plans left many economicst skeptical, as did the absence of detail on how he would pay for his proposals.

Rolling back federal taxes is a good idea if it is done from the bottom up, to narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to work that way, as his previous proposals aided the rich more than the non-rich.

Easing federal regulations is a terrible idea that caused the Great Recession of 2008. It allows the money barons to set the rules — the sharks in charge of the bathing beach.

Scrapping trade plans is a bad idea — and overly simple solution, made to appeal to simpletons. We can’t leave American trade rules in the hands of the big corporations, but trade plans are needed. They should be designed to ease trade while benefitting the lower income groups.

Deficit spending on infrastructure is more than a great idea; it is an absolute necessity. Those arguing against this spending are arguing for the rusting and destruction of America.

But the key problem comes with the phrase, “how he would pay for his proposals.” It is a version of the “Big Lie” (the lie that federal taxes are needed to fund federal spending.)

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, can pay for anything, and do it without collecting taxes. That is what being Monetarily Sovereign means.

All decent economists are well aware that asking how the federal government would pay for spending, is almost like asking how the Pacific Ocean will supply salt water (except that our Monetarily Sovereign federal government has a greater ability to supply dollars than the Ocean’s ability to supply salt water).

Trump also promised a major buldup of the military at an unspecified price, and he has vowed to resist pressure by fellow Republicans to curb Social Security and Medicare, a pledge he did not mention Monday.

Building the military not only protects our interests but stimulates the economy. Complaining about terrorists, while cutting defense  spending, is like complaining about mosquitos while cutting holes in the screens.

The right-wing desire to “curb” Social Security and Medicare is a disgrace. It would impoverish millions of Americans for no reason at all. Neither Social Security nor Medicare could run short of dollars, unless Congress and the President wished it.

“It can’t add up is the bottom line,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, and nonpartisan think tank.

Translation: “Nonpartisan” always means: Being neither Republican nor Democrat, but doing exactly what the rich want done, and saying exactly what the rich want said. 

And “add up” means: “We hope you’ll believe the Big Lie that federal spending is funded by federal taxing. In that way, we can give you phony excuses to prevent the government from helping close the Gap between you and the uber-rich.”

He initially proposed simplifying individual income tax rates with three brackets — 25 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent.  Trump increased those Monday to align with House Republican plan that calls for rates of 33 percent, 25 percent and 12 percent.

Prior to those changes, a Moody’s Analytics report concluded that Trump’s economic agenda would thrust Americans into a lengthy recesslion, create “very large deficits” and burden the country with “a much higher debt load.”

Trump is far more liberal than the Republican leaders, who want the 99% less wealthy / less powerful Americans to pay as much tax as possible.

The 33% tax rate on the rich is fake; no rich person pays the highest rate. That’s what tax shelters, tax havens, and tax dodges are for.

The biggest tax shelter for the “not-rich” is the 401K plan, which is taxed at the highest form of income rate, as soon as money is taken out. (Even if your 401K investments have long-term capital gains, which normally are taxed at a low rate [for the rich] you will be taxed at the higher rate when you take the money.)

And then we come to Moody’s, one of the three credit rating agencies that rated worthless securities AAA, which helped cause the Great Recession of 2008. Thank you Moody’s. Why anyone believes anything they say, is a mystery.

“Very large deficits” are the method by which the federal government grows the economy. “A much higher debt load” means much higher investments in T-security accounts at the world’s safest bank.

Neither federal deficits nor federal debt are a burden on the government, on taxpayers or on anyone else. The government cannot run short of its own sovereign currency.

In summary, Moody’s comments are as diametrically wrong as it is humanly possible;  Trump, as wrong as he is, is much closer to being correct.

Bottom line: Trump has no coherent economic plan, and what little plans he offers are riddled with inconsistencies and false assumptions.

Nevertheless, Trump’s inconsistent and false plans are closer to reality than the gigantic, humongous lies of the Republican Party, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, and Moody’s.

When you’re farther from reality than Donald Trump, wow, that is saying something.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
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.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
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.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
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.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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