The “Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security” Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

Social Security certainly needs “strengthening and improving.”

The amounts being paid are at starvation levels. The people who need it most often receive the least or none at all.

It contains an unnecessary “gambling” element; you must try to guess how long you will live, to determine when you should begin to receive benefits.

Image result for pickpocket

The sole purpose of FICA

Most of Social Security’s shortcomings are based on the myth that it is funded by FICA. It is not. FICA funds nothing — not Social Security, not Medicare, nothing.

FICA dollars disappear upon receipt by the Treasury. They do not enter those mythical “Social Security Trust Funds.”

They do not enter the economy. Federal spending is unrelated to tax collections, which is why there is a $20 trillion federal “debt.”

According to misleading statements by the federal government:

The Social Security Trust Funds are the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. These funds are accounts managed by the Department of the Treasury.

They serve two purposes: (1) they provide an accounting mechanism for tracking all income to and disbursements from the trust funds, and (2) they hold the accumulated assets.

These accumulated assets provide automatic spending authority to pay benefits. The Social Security Act limits trust fund expenditures to benefits and administrative costs.

The funds do provide an unnecessary accounting mechanism, but they do not hold anything. They aren’t even trust funds.

According to The Motley Fool there are three elements to a trust fund:

  1. The Grantor: The person who establishes a trust fund and contributes property to it.
  2. The Beneficiary: The person or people who will eventually benefit from the assets in the trust fund.
  3. The Trustee: The person or organization responsible for administering the trust as it was intended.

In the Social Security “trust funds,” the grantor is the federal government, which supposedly populates the funds, but uses your property.

The trustee is the federal government which supposedly manages the assets, except you make the biggest management decisions of all: When to begin taking benefits.

Here is how the Foundation for Economic Education describes it:

Though Congress legislated the Trust Fund, it is not the grantor, because a grantor puts his own property into a trust, which Congress did not do.

As for the Board of Trustees, who in a true trust would hold the legal title to its property,  (the Board not have) title to anything.

Nor do the purported trust “beneficiaries” have property in the fund to which they have an enforceable property right, as beneficiaries of a true trust do.

Board Chairman Altmeyer revealed that Social Security maintains no accounts containing funds earmarked for individuals, and never had.

Its accounts, then, are just record-keeping entities: file folders, not piggy banks.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Jackson stated that under Social Security, “There is no contract created by which any person becomes entitled as a matter of right to sue the United States or to maintain a claim for any particular sum of money. Not only is there no contract implied but it is expressly negatived, because it is provided in the act, section 1104, that it may be repealed, altered, or amended in any of its provisions at any time.

And the government’s brief for the Supreme Court case Flemming v. Nestor (1960) argued that a current or prospective Social Security beneficiary does not acquire an interest in the Trust Fund—that is, a property right to its assets—and that the belief that Social Security benefits are “fully accrued property rights” is “wholly erroneous.” The Court concurred.

All this confirms the observations by Suffolk University Law School Professor Charles Rounds, a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel:

“Despite the term ‘trust,’ the Social Security system contains nothing that remotely resembles the common law trust.

“There is no segregation of assets, no equitable property rights, no private right of enforcement (all characteristics of the common law trust).

“It is merely a system of taxation and appropriation sprinkled with trust terms to hide its true nature.”

Demonstrating the uselessness of FICA, is the “tax holiday”:

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 temporarily reduced the amount of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”) taxes owed by employees by two percentage points from 6.2% to 4.2%.  This reduction expired on December 31, 2012.

The “holiday” resulted in no change in Social Security benefits.

The purpose of the tax holiday was to stimulate economic growth, particularly favoring the lower- and middle-income Americans. Isn’t that something the government should do all the time?

To summarize, so far:

  1. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending, nor do they fund Social Security benefits. Federal spending does not rely on federal taxing.
  2. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, cannot run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. It creates dollars, ad hoc, by paying creditors.
  3. Just as the federal government cannot run short of dollars, no agency of the federal government can run short of dollars, unless Congress wills it.
  4. There are no Social Security trust funds. They are just bookkeeping devices.
  5. The non-existent “trust funds” cannot run short of dollars unless Congress wills it.

Keep these points in mind as you read excerpts from the following article:

Dean Baker: A Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security Is What America Needs
Posted on November 9, 2019 by Yves Smith
By Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, where he is a senior economist.

The Social Security 2100 Act proposed by (Democrat) Connecticut Representative John Larson is getting closer to being passed by the House of Representatives. If it were to be approved and become law, it would both improve the program’s benefit structure and its financial picture.

The biggest item on the benefit side is that it guarantees a benefit of at least 125 percent of the poverty level for anyone who has worked for at least 30 years.

The logic here is straightforward; we should be able to ensure that anyone who has put in a full lifetime of work will not be in poverty in their retirement years.

An income of “At least 125 percent of the poverty level” does not guarantee anyone will not be in poverty, unless the government also can guarantee no one will live in a higher-cost area like New York, much of California, or many big American cities.

Further, why is it necessary for someone to have “worked for at least 30 years”?  Is there a moral code requiring labor for 30 years.

And what about people whose labor is not as a salaried employee? Does their labor not count?

The second big change on the benefit side is that it changes the cost-of-living formula for adjusting benefits by tying it to an index of consumption items purchased by the elderly rather than the overall Consumer Price Index.

The inflation adjustment for Social Security benefits has long been a major issue, with many politicians wanting to change the formula to reduce benefits.

Well, of course, that is what “many politicians” want. It is what the rich, motivated by Gap Psychology, pay them to “want.”

The third feature on benefits is a change in the formula that will increase average benefits for a bit less than $400 a year. This has provoked some opposition since this increase will go to not just lower-income seniors, but also middle-class and relatively affluent seniors.

The average benefit this year is just over $17,600, certainly not enough to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

All this effort for a $400 per year benefit increase? And if $17,600 is “not enough to maintain a middle-class lifestyle” (It isn’t), would an increase of $400 to $18,000 be enough?

Hardly.

And now we come to the most economically ignorant part:

Rep. Larson proposes to cover this increase, as well as the projected Social Security shortfall, by having a gradual increase in the payroll tax and applying the tax to very high-income workers.

On the latter point, the income subject to the payroll tax is currently capped at just under $133,000. This means that someone earning millions of dollars each year would pay no more in Social Security taxes than someone earning $132,900.

Larson’s bill would make wages over $400,000 subject to the tax.

Note that the tax is on wages. But rich people receive most of their income from non-wage sources: Stocks, bonds, rents, etc.

And, as we have shown, taxes do not fund Social Security benefits. FICA taxes merely remove dollars from the economy, with a disproportionate coming from the pockets of the middle- and lower-income people.

In addition to being unnecessary and a burden on the economy, FICA is, and would remain, the most regressive tax in America.

No wonder the rich love it. FICA widens the Gap between the rich and the rest.

His other change is an increase in the payroll tax of 0.1 percentage point annually, split between workers and employers. This increase would continue for 24 years, for a total increase of 1.2 percentage points on both the worker and the employer.

While this is a middle tax increase, it is much smaller than increases we saw in the decades of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. More importantly, if we can sustain decent wage growth, it is a tax that should be easy to bear.

It is an unnecessary tax that is especially “easy to bear” for the rich, for they pay so little of it.

The article continues:

After adjusting for prices, wages have risen 1.5 percent annually over the last five years. If we can continue this pace of wage growth, the Larson bill would take back much less than 10 percent of the pay increase in taxes.

Of course, wage growth may not continue, but then our focus should be on getting decent wage growth, not blocking revenue needed for Social Security.

One wonders what “take back” means. The wage increases come from the private sector, and the taxes go to the federal government. So the government would not be taking “back” anything. It simply would be taking.

The article ends with this bit of nonsense:

In short, this is a well-considered bill that would accomplish good for current and future retirees. Congress should move on it.

No, it is an ill-considered bill, put forth by a Congress that either is ignorant of economics, or has been paid by the rich to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest — or both.

There is nothing “bold” about the plan, and it does nothing to “strengthen” Social Security, which is infinitely strong, based on the federal government’s infinite ability to fund it.

A “bold” plan would be to institute the “Ten Steps to Prosperity” (below), beginning with Step #1, Eliminate FICA.

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

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

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

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

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Why are the Democrats so cowardly? Tuesday, Oct 29 2019 

The Democrats have a great plan. They want to expand Medicare to cover everyone, which could be accomplished very simply by lowering the eligibility age of the current Medicare plan from 65 to 0.

The hard work already has been done. The process has been created. The government, the hospitals, and the doctors all know how to handle the paperwork. Everything is in place.

Just lower the eligibility age, cover everyone, and go.

No need for Medicaid, ACA, Medigap or Parts A, B, C, etc., etc. No deductibles. Just one simple plan for every man, woman, and child in America.

And certainly no need to tell everyone they will be forced to give up their current plans. Simply offer Medicare to everyone, and let nature take its course.

But no. The Democrats get all hung up trying to answer one simple question, “How will you pay for it?”

The correct answer, the honest answer, would be: “Federal deficit spending.”

1. Federal financing is not like state and local government financing. The federal government, unlike state and local governments, is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

The federal government never can run short of dollars. It could fund any Medicare for All plan with the push of a computer key.

2. Unlike state and local government deficits, the federal deficit and federal debt are not a burden on anyone. They do not burden the federal government; they do not burden taxpayers.

Unlike state and local taxes, which fund state and local government spending, federal taxes do not fund federal spending.

3. Contrary to a popular myth, federal deficit spending does not, and never has, caused inflation. Inflation, a general increase in prices, is not caused by too much money. Inflation is caused by shortages of food and/or fuel.

Those historical photos showing people carrying paper money certificates in wheelbarrows, fail to show the actual cause of the inflation: Food and fuel shortages. The printing of those certificates was an ineffectual response to inflation, not the cause.

One of the surest cures for any inflation is government deficit spending to acquire and distribute the scarce food and fuel.

Sadly, those Democrats who know all this to be true, are too cowardly to explain it to the public. Instead, they go along with ridiculous articles like the following:

The Democratic plan for a 42% national sales tax
Rick Newman, Senior Columnist, Yahoo Finance — October 28, 2019

If you’re a Democrat who supports “Medicare for All,” pick your poison.

You can ruin your political career and immolate your party by imposing a ruinous new sales tax, a gargantuan income tax hike or a surtax on corporate income that would wreck thousands of businesses.

This is the cost of bold plans.

Or better yet, you can tell the truth about federal financing, and tell everyone who will listen that Medicare for All will be financed the same way as “Military for All,” as well as Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House.

They all are funded by federal deficit spending.

There is no FICA tax supposedly paying for the Military, the Congress, the Supreme Court, or the White House. There is no tax supposedly paying for Congressional health care, Congressional travel, and Congressional lunches.

The reason why there is no FICA tax, or any other tax, dedicated to paying for these expenses is very simple. Federal taxes pay for nothing. Those dollars deducted from your paycheck, and those dollars you “voluntarily” send to the U.S. Treasury are not needed or used for anything.

They do not fund Medicare. They do not fund Social Security. They do not fund the military, or the Congress, or the Supreme Court, or the White House, or any other of the myriad federal initiatives.

Federal taxes are destroyed upon receipt.

Here is the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies. You don’t pay for any of them. Even if all federal tax collections totaled $0, the federal government could fund all these activities.

Supporters of Medicare for All, the huge, single-payer government health plan backed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and several other Democratic presidential candidates, say it’s time to think big and move to a health plan that covers everyone.

Getting there is a bit tricky, however. A variety of analyses estimate that Medicare for All would require at least $3 trillion in new spending.

That’s about as much tax revenue as the government brings in now. So if paid for through new taxes, federal taxation would have to roughly double.

Right. IF (big “if”) Medicare for All was paid for through new taxes, federal taxation would have to double.

That is exactly why Medicare for All should not be paid for by taxing people.

It should be paid for via federal deficit spending, which would cost you nothing. Yes, for a Monetarily Sovereign government, lunch really can be free.

Oh, are you worried that the so-called federal “debt” would be an unsustainable “ticking time bomb”? If so, you’re in bad company, for that is exactly what phony “experts” said way back in 1940, and they’ve been saying it every year thereafter.

In 1940, the federal debt was only $40 Billion, and it was a “ticking time bomb,” according to Robert M. Hanes, president of the American Bankers Association.

Today, the federal debt exceeds $22 Trillion, a gigantic 55,000% increase, and that time bomb still is ticking. And the country still is here. And the government still is sustaining.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) spelled out what kinds of new taxes it would take to come up with that much money.

A 42% national sales tax (known as a valued-added tax) would generate about $3 trillion in revenue. But it would destroy the consumer spending that’s the backbone of the U.S. economy.

A tax of that magnitude would be like 42% inflation, wrecking consumer budgets and the many companies that depend on them.

Other options include a 32% payroll tax split between employers and workers or a 25% income surtax on everybody.

Or, the government could cut 80% of spending on everything but health care, which would include highways, airports and the Pentagon.

Or here’s a good one: Just borrow the money and quadruple Washington’s annual deficits.

Or do none of the above, and simply create the money by federal spending, just as the federal government has been doing since 1940, the year Robert M. Hanes had his meltdown.

We’ve written about the CRFB several times before. They are mouthpieces for the very rich, who, because of Gap Psychology, do not want the middle class to receive federal benefits.

The CRFB comes up with all sorts of scare tactics to make you believe federal financing is like state and local financing or personal financing. So they print big deficit numbers and say, in effect, “Oooohh. Look at these big numbers. Aren’t they big?

The best idea might be charging every enrollee in the new program $7,500 per year, so they’d be paying directly for the coverage they’re getting.

Some people pay more than that now for health care, by purchasing insurance outright or sacrificing pay raises in exchange for employer coverage.

It would still be a nifty trick to propose that to voters.

If by “best idea,” Mr. Newman means “another bad idea,” I’d agree. So would the voters.

It’s possible that Medicare for All would cover health care for more people at a lower total cost than we spend now, meaning the average cost per person would go down.

Yes, the cost would be lower, especially if the people are asked to pay nothing for health care, and it all was provided free by the government — and especially if we eliminated the useless, harmful FICA tax, the single, worst, most regressive, pays-for-nothing tax in America.

The problem is transitioning from what we have now to whatever Medicare for all would be.

And it’s a giant problem, like crossing the Mississippi River without a bridge or a boat. The other side might look great but you’ll die before you get there.

The author, Mr. Newman, wants you to believe that having created the entire Medicare program, now simply cutting the eligibility age from 65 to 0 is an insurmountable problem.

That’s like saying that after having built from scratch, a 5,000 square foot house, changing the knob on the front door is ” . . . a giant problem, like crossing the Mississippi River without a bridge or a boat.” Pulleeze.

Warren, Sanders and others tout the virtues of this magical health care program without explaining what it would cost.

Sanders has at least suggested some possible ways to pay for it, including premiums paid by enrollees, a wealth tax on millionaires and income tax rates as high as 52%.

Warren has been cagier, saying only that under her plan “costs” would go down for middle-class families. Under pressure to explain, Warren has pledged to come up with a financing plan soon.

Now, maybe she doesn’t have to.

So again I ask, why are Warren, Sanders, and the rest of the Democrats so cowardly? When all other options lead to failure, why not simply tell the truth?

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

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

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

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

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

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

 

Congress re. Medicare and the deficit: The easy we make impossible, but it takes longer Thursday, Aug 1 2019 

We already have created Medicare for seniors. The hard work was accomplished years ago. And in those years since, we have accumulated excellent knowledge in how to run a Medicare program.

Now, to create Medicare for All, we need only to do three simple things:

I. Eliminate FICA
The U.S. federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

Unlike state and local governments, the federal government never can run short of dollars. Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the federal government could continue spending and paying its bills, forever.

Alan Greenspan: A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”
Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”
St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets (borrowing) to remain operational.”

Contrary to the popular myth, FICA does not fund Medicare. The dollars collected for FICA (and indeed, all federal tax dollars) are destroyed by the U.S. Treasury upon receipt.

The federal government creates brand new dollars, each time it pays a creditor.

And lest you believe increased deficit spending (necessitated by the elimination of FICA) would cause inflation, history says that is not so.

Federal deficit spending (red) does not cause inflations (blue)

Most inflations and all hyperinflations have been caused by shortages, (usually shortages of food and/or energy), not by excess money. These shortages often are caused by insufficient federal deficit spending.Image result for german money in a wheelbarrow

The “money-in-a-wheelbarrow” meme demonstrates a government’s response to inflation, not the cause of inflation.

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.

II. Expand Medicare to include all age groups. This does not require a fundamental change, but rather an expansion of the already existing program, so that it covers everyone.

III. Make it more inclusive by removing deductibles and covering long-term care. The theoretical purpose of deductibles is to dissuade people from over-using Medicare.

But because Medicare costs taxpayers nothing, even possible over-use would pump growth dollars into the economy — a benefit to all Americans.

Further, long-term care eventually is needed by a high percentage of people, but it is unaffordable for many. Having the federal government pay would remove a great burden from most American families.

I was reminded of the above by the following article that appeared in the 8/1/19 Chicago Tribune (excerpts follow).

Many in GOP-led Senate torn over pact to boost debt limit
By Andrew Taylor Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A hard-won, warts-and-all budget pact between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump is facing a key vote in the GOP-held Senate, with many conservatives torn between supporting the president and risking their political brand with an unpopular vote to add $2 trillion or more to the government’s credit card.

Credit cards are, for you and me, a method of short-term borrowing. But unlike you and me, and state/local governments,  the federal government does not borrow.

Given its unlimited ability to create dollars, it has no reason to borrow dollars. What often and misleadingly is termed federal “borrowing,” actually is the acceptance of deposits into Treasury-security (T-bill, T-note, T-bond) accounts.

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign has no need for the dollars in those accounts, so does not touch them. Rather, the dollars remain in the accounts until maturity, at which time they, together with interest, are returned to the depositor.

The purposes of T-securities are to:

  1. Provide a safe depository for unused dollars, which stabilizes the dollar, and
  2. Assist the Fed in controlling interest rates.

They do not help the federal government pay its bills.

The Trump-supported legislation backed by the Democratic speaker would stave off a government shutdown and protect budget gains for the Pentagon and popular domestic programs.

It’s attached to a must-do measure to lift the so-called debt limit to permit the government to borrow freely to pay its bills.

The so-called debt limit is akin to burning your wallet to prevent you from paying your exisiting creditors. It is not “financial prudence,” as many politicians would have you believe.

The vote, expected Thursday, is a politically tough one for many Republicans.

The tea party-driven House GOP conference broke against it by a 2-1 ratio, but most pragmatists see the measure as preferable to an alternative fall landscape of high-wire deadlines and potential chaos.

The government otherwise would face a potential debt default, an Oct. 1 shutdown deadline, and the return in January of across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.

Hmmm . . . The choice is between high-wire deadlines, potential chaos, debt default, an Oct. 1 shutdown, and sequestration,  vs. simply eliminating the useless debt ceiling.

For new arrivals to the Senate, particularly those who ran against a broken Washington culture, the sweeping measure represents a lot of what they ran against: unrestrained borrowing and trillion-dollar deficits, fueled by a bipartisan thirst for new spending.

Unrestrained borrowing” does not exist, simply because the federal government (unlike state and local governments) does not borrow.Image result for nasa

Trillion-dollar deficits” add trillions of growth dollars to the economy.

New spending” is the method by which the federal government benefits Americans via spending for the military, health-care, anti-poverty efforts, science and technology, education,, anti-global warming, medical advances, national parks, disaster recovery, and the myriad other benefits we Americans expect and rely upon.

“This budget process, if we can even call it a process, put taxpayers at the mercy of a House speaker who has no interest in prudent budgeting,” said freshman Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

State and local taxpayers fund state and local government spending. But, contrary to popular myth, federal taxpayers do not fund federal spending.

To cut federal growth spending is not “prudent.” It demonstrates ignorance of federal financing and national needs.

Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the deal “marks the death of the tea party movement in America.”

Good riddance to the tea party, the party of austerity and hatred of the poor and middle-classes.

The pact is a victory for pragmatists eager to avert chaos caused by a potential government shutdown, a possible debt crisis, or a freeze to agency budgets — including the massive Pentagon budget — at current levels.

The agreement lifts the limit on the government’s $22 trillion debt for two years and averts the risk of the Pentagon and domestic agencies from being hit with $125 billion in automatic spending cuts that are the last gasp of the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Every debt crisis ends the same way: After ignorant statements about faux “prudence,” and ignorantly equating federal finances to personal finances, and falsly claiming that federal taxpayers will foot the bill, Congress and the President agree on a temporary fix.

This assures that, having learned nothing and proved nothing, Congress will expose the public to the same ignorance and chaos a few more months down the line.

And these are the people to whom we trust our futures.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Social Security: How you are being conned Wednesday, May 29 2019 

Yes, you are being conned, and the following article from the May 10, 2019 issue of The Week magazine unintentionally tells you how.

Social Security will be insolvent in only 16 years, said Eric Boehm in Reason​.com. That’s the finding of a new report by the program’s trustees, which says Social Security’s costs will exceed its income in 2020.

To put this as gently as possible, you are being fed 100% bovine excrement, with some equus poop tossed in.

It is absolutely impossible for any agency of the U.S. government to become insolvent unless the government wants it to become insolvent. Period.

Image result for greenspan and bernanke

A.G.: “A government can’t become insolvent from obligations in its own currency.”
B.B. “And the suckers never catch on.”

Unlike our state and local governments, our federal government uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it cannot run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

In the beginning, the federal government created an arbitrary number of the original U.S. dollars from thin air.

It continues to do so. (See: “Does the U.S. Treasury really destroy your tax dollars?“)

It also gave those original dollars an arbitrary value, and it continues to do that, too. (See here.)

Even if total FICA collections, which you have been told (erroneously) fund Social Security, were $0, the U.S. government could continue paying SS benefits, without limit.

In fact, even if all federal tax collections were $0, the federal government could continue spending forever, and still not borrow.

To cover benefits, the program will have to start dipping into its $3 trillion trust fund.

“If nothing changes,” those reserves will be exhausted by 2035 and recipients will receive only about three-quarters of their expected benefits.

The so-called “trust fund” is a bookkeeping fiction, designed to make you think federal finances are like personal finances.

There is no trust fund. There merely is a bookkeeping account, over which the federal government has total control.

If the government (i.e. Congress and the President) wished, that fictional “trust fund” could show a balance of $100 trillion. Or $0.

Those dollars do not “come from” anywhere. The government owns the balance sheets and puts any entries it wishes into them. (See: Monopoly)

“That may sound like a long way off, but 51-year-old workers today will just be hitting retirement age when the cuts kick in.”

Americans have long known this shortfall is coming, said Noah Rothman in CommentaryMagazine​.com, “and they do not care.

More bovine scat being fed to you. Americans do care, but they have been conned into believing that the only solution is higher taxes or reduced benefits.

In 2005, President George W. Bush unveiled a major effort to reform Social Security. It failed.

In 2012, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan outlined ways to trim the program’s costs.

“They were defeated.” Then in 2016, Donald Trump “explicitly ran against conservative efforts to rein in entitlement spending.” He won.

Americans have voted themselves into an entitlement crisis.

The politicians lie when they tell you that “reforming” Social Security requires benefit cuts or increased taxes. The real reform would be to eliminate FICA taxes and to increase benefits.

There is not a single financial reason why this cannot be done.

Congress could restore the program to health by letting the government invest some “of the Social Security trust fund in the stock market,” said Brett Arends in Barron’s

A truly dopey idea. Not only is the stock market a high-risk investment, inappropriate for an annuity-like account, but the investment is completely unnecessary. The federal government has the unlimited ability to fund Social Security, and with no deductibles.

Further, the notion of the federal government investing in publicly-traded corporate stock is the ultimate of the socialism (i.e. federal ownership and control) that conservatives love to decry.

Federal law says the fund can invest only in low-yielding securities backed by the U.S. Treasury.

That’s why Social Security has earned a “dismal” return of 17 percent on its investments over the past five years.

U.S. stocks over the same period: 49 percent. “Stock returns are more volatile from year to year, to be sure.” But Canada, Australia, and New Zealand invest their national pension funds in stocks and other assets, “and the results have been amazing.”

The “invest in stocks” idea has only two purposes:

  1. To further brainwash you into believing that the Social Security “trust fund” is a real trust fund that is running short of dollars, and
  2. To enrich wealthy shareholders, stockbrokers, and bankers.

Such radical free-market solutions aren’t needed, said Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times.

There are low-risk ways to shore up the program. Right now, the payroll tax that largely funds Social Security only covers wage income up to $132,900.

Two Democratic bills in Congress would remove that cap over time and increase “the payroll tax on the wealthy, who get away with paying an unwarranted low tax rate.”

Wrong. The Social Security program could be “shored up” by completely eliminating FICA, and by ending the pretense that FICA funds Social Security benefits.

But hiking taxes won’t address the key reason Social Security has a cash-flow problem: our rapidly graying society, said Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post.

Wrong, again. The “cash-flow problem” is an invention of the rich, who do not want the non-rich to receive money. (See: “The Gap Psychology con job“)

An American who reaches age 65 can now expect to live for about another 20 years, up from 15 in 1950. That means retirees are claiming more from Social Security than the program’s creators ever intended.

But seniors today are far healthier than in previous generations. “We could be working longer—and should be.” Politicians could stabilize Social Security by gradually lifting its eligibility age to 70.

But our leaders won’t even propose this change “because it is not a vote getter. They should be ashamed.”

Speaking of the program’s intentions, here they are:

Luther Gulick recalling why President Franklin Roosevelt Social Security seeminly was based on payroll contributions, 1941:

“I raised the question of the ultimate abandonment the payroll 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 pay roll 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.'”

In short, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the creator of Social Security, did not intend that taxes fund Social Security. They only served as an excuse not to eliminate Social Security.

Image result for bernie madoff

I thought if the government can get away with it, I could, too.

Roosevelt knew that taxes only give the illusion of funding Social Security, but he believed that illusion would protect the program from the “damn politicians.”

Unfortunately, the dishonesty of politicians has proven too great, for they now have turned Roosevelt’s plan inside out; they use FICA as a false excuse for cutting benefits.

The fake FICA/Social Security relationship is a con that is far greater than anything Bernie Madoff ever thought of.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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