Oh, Veronique, you write so much and seem to know so little about America’s #1 scam.

Veronique de Rugy
Veronique d Rugy. Is she lying or does she really not understand federal finance? Or?

VERONIQUE DE RUGY is a contributing editor at Reason.

She is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

According to the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies ProgramUniversity of Pennsylvania), Mercatus is number 39 in the “Top Think Tanks in the United States” and number 18 of the “Best University-Affiliated Think Tanks”. 

The Koch family has been a major financial supporter of the organization since the mid-1980s. Charles Koch serves on the group’s board of directors.

The following is Ms. de Rugy’s article from the Libertarian website, REASON.com.

Social Security Is on the Brink of Collapse. The GOP Won’t Touch It.
In 1950, there were more than 16 workers for every beneficiary. In 2035, that ratio will be only 2.3 workers per retiree.
VERONIQUE DE RUGY | 1.26.2023 12:01 AM

If you follow policy debates long enough, arguments you never thought you’d hear can become key components of the two parties’ policy platforms.

That’s certainly the case when it comes to some Republicans, and their new “never touch Social Security and Medicare” position.

Over the weekend, newly elected Sen. J.D. Vance (R–Ohio) tweeted that former President Donald Trump was 100 percent correct to demand that “under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security.”

Vance’s tweet was issued amid the debt ceiling fight, but Trump has long held this position.

The Republicans would love to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits because that would increase the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

The Gap is what makes the rich rich. If not for the Gap, no one would be rich. We all would be the same. The wider the Gap, the richer are the rich.

The GOP, the party of the rich, is always ready to help make the rich richer. Their big tax reduction during the Trump years enriched the rich and did nothing for the middle and poor.

The GOP complaints about funding the IRS had to do with protecting the rich. So long as the IRS is underfunded, they don’t have the manpower to investigate the complex tax returns of the rich, so currently, they focus on the middle and lower levels.

The only reason the GOP won’t try to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits is that they would be punished at the polls, not because they care about the health and well-being of the middle or poor. They don’t.

Watch for the GOP “solution” to the non-problem of Social Security and Medicare finances to be something that doesn’t hurt the rich, such as increasing the FICA income limit. Rich people aren’t worried about paying FICA taxes on an above $150M salary. Not only is that chump change for the rich, but many don’t pay any FICA because they aren’t salaried.

Now, to be fair, the GOP’s well-intentioned engagement in the overall debt ceiling dispute is limited by the short time Congress has to raise the limit, all but ruling out credible reforms of Medicare or Social Security.

GOP’s “well-intentioned” engagement in the debt ceiling dispute?? I didn’t realize Veronique was a humor writer. Or perhaps she believes her readers are fools.

Reforming these two programs will take a considerable amount of time and requires bipartisan action. However, this reality is no reason to assert that the programs’ benefits should never be touched.

In right-wing speak (Yes, Libertarians are closet right-wingers), “reform” Social Security and Medicare means cut benefits to the middle class and the poor.

I cannot wait to hear the grand plan that the “don’t touch Social Security and Medicare” Republican caucus has to address the $116 trillion over 30-year shortfall—that’s 6 percent of U.S. GDP—facing the two programs.

No action from Congress means no money to pay for all the benefits. That means enormous cuts that will hurt the low-income seniors who depend on the programs.

That is a bald-faced lie. The federal government could double, triple, or quadruple benefits for both programs while eliminating all FICA collections and still have money to pay Congressional, Presidential, and SCOTUS salaries.

Contrary to popular myth, FICA pays for nothing. Every FICA dollar ripped from your paycheck and sent to the U.S. Treasury is destroyed upon receipt.

The dollars come from the M2 money supply, so when you pay $1 in federal taxes, the M2 money supply declines by $1. But when those M2 dollars reach the Treasury, they instantly cease to exist in any money supply measure.

There is no money supply measure for federal funds simply because the federal government has the infinite ability to create dollars. Thus, the federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, has infinite dollars.

Adding your tax dollars to infinity doesn’t change infinity.

Of course, if Vance and friends insist on not touching benefits, they could address the Social Security and Medicare shortfalls with enormous tax hikes.

Federal taxes don’t fund federal spending, so they can’t “address Social Security and Medicare shortfalls.”

For Social Security alone, when the trust fund dries out, they will have to agree to immediately raise the payroll tax from 12.4 percent to 15.64 percent—or close to a 25 percent tax increase.

Add to that the tax hike necessary for Medicare and then repeat the exercise over the years to fill the entire shortfall.

The tax hikes would have no effect on Social Security and Medicare solvency. These federal agencies and all other federal agencies are solvent because they are funded by the infinitely solvent U.S. government.

The misnamed federal “debt” is not a debt of the federal government. The government has paid all its debt the same way: By creating dollars from thin air.

The federal debt is the net total of all federal deficits — the difference between total spending and total taxing. That difference is bridged by federal money creation so that all obligations are paid on time.

Have you ever wondered how the federal government can raise the debt ceiling whenever it wishes? According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the debt ceiling has been raised, extended, or revised 78 separate times since 1960.

And all these increases were done without tax increases (otherwise, the debt ceiling would not have been reached) because federal taxes don’t fund anything.

(State and local governments (unlike the federal government) are monetarily NON-sovereign. They don’t have the unlimited ability to create dollars, so their taxes do fund their spending.)

It’s not as if we haven’t been warning politicians that these troubles were brewing. Back in 2000, roughly when I started working on fiscal issues, experts already warned that the Social Security trust fund would run out of assets by 2037, triggering painful benefit cuts.

Not only does the Social Security trust fund not pay SS benefits, but it isn’t even a trust fund. To quote right-winger Pete Peterson:

Sep 20, 2016, Peter G. Peterson Foundation

A federal trust fund is an accounting mechanism used by the federal government to track earmarked receipts (money designated for a specific purpose or program) and corresponding expenditures.

The largest and best-known funds finance Social Security, Medicare, highways and mass transit, and pensions for government employees.

Federal trust funds bear little resemblance to their private-sector counterparts.

In private-sector trust funds, receipts are deposited and assets are held and invested by trustees on behalf of the stated beneficiaries.

In federal trust funds, the federal government does not set aside the receipts or invest them in private assets.

Rather, the receipts are recorded as accounting credits in the trust funds, and the receipts themselves are comingled with other receipts that Treasury collects and spends.

The misnamed trust funds are wholly owned and controlled by the federal government. It can add to them, subtract from them or do whatever else it wishes with them.

The notion that the trust funds will run out of money and so can’t pay Social Security or Medicare benefits is ridiculous on its face. The federal government pays whatever benefits it wishes, regardless of so-called “trust funds.’

Further, the government has the unlimited power to add to, or subtract from those fake trust funds whenever it wishes.

The whole Social Security/Medicare trust fund fiction is a giant scam to make you believe the government can’t afford SS and Medicare benefits.

When politicians whined that Medicare for All or Social Security for All needed to be “paid for” by tax increases or benefit cuts, the sole purpose was to make you agree to widening the income/wealth/power Gap between you and the rich.

It is America’s biggest, most crooked scam, and you have been falling for it since Social Security began on August 14, 1935. And you still fall for it without complaint.

It’s a scam that makes Bernie Madoff look like an angel.

One wonders why you don’t fret about the White House trust fund, the SCOTUS trust fund, the Congress trust fund, the Bureau of Labor Statistics trust fund, the Capitol Police trust fund, the Army trust fund, the Coast Guard trust fund, and all the other federal department and agency trust funds.

Oh, they don’t have trust funds? So where do they get their money?

Ah, the federal government simply pays the bills by creating dollars from thin air. Just pay thepreciselyand stop lying about “trust funds.” that is exactly what the federal government should do about Social Security and Medicare.

Today, the situation has deteriorated further, with the trust fund now on track to run dry in 2035, along with any practicable hope for fixing the problem.

The fake “trust fund” will run dry only if Congress and the President want it to run dry.

In other words, these problems shouldn’t surprise anyone. When Social Security started, life expectancies were lower. In 1950, there were more than 16 workers for every beneficiary. That ratio is now below three workers per retiree and will be only 2.3 workers per retiree by 2035.

The number of workers per beneficiary is completely irrelevant. Workers do not pay for beneficiaries. FICA does not pay for anything. It’s destroyed. It exists only to con you. Period.

Add to this trend decades of politicians buying votes by expanding benefits beyond incoming payroll taxes, and you have a true fiscal crisis.

To the Libertains’ sneering and twisted minds, giving the populace benefits is “buying votes.” But the sole purpose of any government is to protect and enhance the people’s lives. 

If any government doesn’t provide benefits, it’s not doing what it was created to do.

That’s why it’s so alarming that so many in the GOP are giving up on educating a public that’s been brainwashed for years with misleading soundbites like “You earned your Social Security benefits, so you are entitled to the benefits now promised,” or “There’s an account with your name on it.”

There is, in fact, an account with your name on it, and it’s called a T-security account. If you have deposited money into a T-bill, T-note, or a T-bond, you have put dollars into your T-security account.

Those dollars belong to you. The federal government never touches them. When your account matures, the government returns the dollars in your account. The total of dollars in all T-security accounts is erroneously termed, “the federal debt.”

But it not federal and it is not debt. Your dollars belong to you, not the federal government, and there is no debt. Your dollars are safe and comfortably resting in your account just as though they were in your pocket or safe deposit box.

Just as the contents of bank safe deposit boxes are not bank debt, the contents of T-security accounts are not federal debt.

Such misinformation has made serious discussion of reform very difficult.

Yes, that is exactly what misinformation has done.

There’s no question that retirees deserve fair treatment, but the facts are that the Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that workers do not have a legally binding right to Social Security benefits, and if Congress cuts benefits even by, say, 50 percent, it can do so—no matter how much anyone has paid into the program.

And so goes the “trust fund” myth. If they were trust funds, you would have a legal right to those benefits, but you don’t and SCOTUS has said so. And they are not trust funds.

Congress and the President have 100% control over benefits, which can be raised or cut, arbitrarily, as can the amount of money claimed to be in those fake “trust funds.”

What does that say about the mythical trust funds? What does that say about Veronique de Rugy’s claims?

It won’t come to that, but the ruling still stands. It’s also fiction that all the benefits that have been promised were earned by workers—they weren’t.

That’s in part because current retirees are paid with taxes from current workers, not from funds saved out of the payroll taxes retirees paid when they were in the workforce.

No, no, no. Current retirees are not paid with federal taxes. They are paid by the federal government’s infinite ability to create dollars.

The purpose of federal taxes is not to fund federal spending. The purpose of federal taxes is to control the economy by punishing what the government wishes to discourage and by rewarding (via tax breaks) what the government wishes to encourage.

It’s magical thinking to say that touching Social Security and Medicare is a nonstarter.

Touching Social Security and Medicare is not a financial nonstarter. The government could increase or decrease benefits at will.

But decreasing benefits could be a voter nonstarter and increasing benefits could a rich-donor nonstarter. That rug-of-war is the called the “debt-limit-debate. It’s a debate between the rich and the rest, except the “rest” don’t even know there is a debate, much less a solution.

Even more strange, many of the same Republicans want to spare these two programs while still putting Medicaid on the chopping block. Medicaid should be reformed too, but at least that program serves poor people.

By contrast, the seniors who receive Social Security and Medicare today are overrepresented in the top income quintile while younger Americans are overrepresented in the bottom quintile.

So these guys want to cut benefits for poor people on Medicaid while subsidizing relatively wealthy boomers with taxes taken from relatively poor youngsters.


No, the real “yikes” to to writers like Veroique de Rugy who repeatedly promulgate misinformation about the federal “debt” and the fictional Social Security and Medicare “trust funds.”


The GOP’s transformation into the party of big and fiscally reckless government is proceeding apace.

We agree there.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.




New York Post tells it like it isn’t — ticking time bomb version

Readers of this blog are familiar with the “ticking time bomb” series; examples are here, here, here and elsewhere.

The point of this endless series is that since 1939, the media, politicians, and economists have been wringing their hands about the so-called federal debt, explicitly claiming it is a “ticking time bomb.”

That’s 84 years of “the-world-is-about-to-end” predictions that demonstrably have been wrong, and the predictors have learned nothing from their ongoing failures.

In 1939, the gross federal debt was $39 billion. Last year it was $27 TRILLION. If my math is correct, that’s a 30,000% increase, not even a firecracker.

Are the doomsday shouters embarrassed by failure? Nah. The New York Post just keeps vomiting up the garbage.

Worse yet, they combine that turd of ignorance by conflating the fake federal debt-that-isn’t-debt with real, private-sector debt.

Overview image
Stephen Moore

America’s ticking time bomb: $66 trillion in debt that could crash the economy
By Stephen Moore
December 4, 2022, 6:29pm Updated

The national debt is $31 trillion when including Social Security’s and Medicare’s unfunded liabilities.

Wake up, America.

That ticking sound you’re hearing is the American debt time bomb that with each passing day is getting precariously close to detonating and crashing the US economy.

The “national debt” is not the “federal debt.” It is Moore’s strange amalgam of all sorts of things he lumped under the word “debt,” perhaps to make them look huge.

Federal debt is deposits into Treasury Security accounts, similar to safe deposit boxes. The federal government never touches those dollars. It merely safeguards them.

And when the accounts mature, and depositors want their money, the government merely sends them the dollars from their accounts.

This return of dollars is not a burden on the government or taxpayers. It’s significantly different from the federal government’s paying for goods and services.

In that case, the federal government creates new dollars ad hoc, which it has the infinite ability to do.

The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it made (and still creates) the laws that create U.S. dollars. Because it has the infinite ability to create rules, it has the endless ability to create dollars.

You can’t do it. I can’t do it. Businesses and local governments can’t do it. That is why it makes no sense to lump federal finances with non-federal finances. The two bear no relationship. But that fact doesn’t stop the NY Post writers.

Businesses, consumers, and especially the federal and state governments have become hooked on red ink as if it were crack cocaine.

The federal government has scant red ink. It pays all its bills by creating new dollars. It cannot run short of dollars unless some damn fool politician decides not to allow the federal government to pay its bills (i.e., the so-called “debt limit).

Two factors have fueled this borrowing binge: an era of low-interest rates (that’s coming to an end) and falling real wages thanks to the 15% rise in prices of Bidenflation.

In addition to merging two different situations into one make-believe situation, the Post writer falsely claims the federal government’s non-existent “debt” comes from borrowing.

The federal government never borrows dollars. Given the infinite ability to create dollars, why would it borrow dollars? The writer, a senior advisor to Donald Trump (of course), thinks T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds, are like personal notes and bonds.

They aren’t. You, your business, and your local government borrow when you need dollars. Not only does the Monetarily Sovereign federal government never need dollars – – it creates them at will — but it never touches the dollars invested in T-securities.

As Fed Chair famously said, “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.” 

Why would such a government need to borrow dollars?

Let’s review the borrowing up-escalator that accelerated during COVID but hasn’t subsided.

The King Kong of borrowing is Uncle Sam. The national debt is $31 trillion when including Social Security’s and Medicare’s unfunded liabilities.

No federal obligations are “unfunded.” All are funded by the U.S. federal government’s full faith and credit, which includes the infinite power to create dollars.

That’s getting close to 150% of our national gross domestic product of $22 trillion.

The “debt”/GDP ratio is meaningless. It has neither predictive nor evaluative worth. It tells you nothing about the financial health of a Monetarily Sovereign government.

“Debt” is a many years measure of deposits. GDP is a one-year measure of spending. The two comprise the ultimate in an apples/anvils comparison.

Some $5 trillion has been added in just the past three years. Balancing the budget seems like a pipe dream these days.

More confusion from the Trump writer. First, he talked about state governments. Now it’s unclear what he is talking about- federal or national finances?

In any event, balancing the federal budget would be a disaster for the U.S. economy. A growing economy (as measured by GDP) requires an increasing money supply. But “balancing the budget” implies no growth.

No growth is “recession,” and the word for no growth with population growth plus inflation is “depression.”

Next, add state and local government debt and unfunded liabilities. The American Legislative Exchange Council estimates that at just under $6 trillion.

State and local governments are part of the private sector, including businesses and people. When state and local governments levy taxes, one segment of the private sector ships dollars to another segment of the private sector.

There is no net money growth for economic growth. The sole source of net money growth is the federal government, which has the infinite ability to create dollars.

Now, what about American households? The latest estimate for consumer debt is $16.5 trillion, per the New York Federal Reserve. Most of that debt is mortgages, but increasingly Americans are taking on debt for routine expenses to pay monthly bills like groceries and gas at the pump. Thanks, President Biden.

The federal government easily could ameliorate private debt by enacting Social Security for All, Medicare for All, and other social benefits. Of course, Mr. Stephen Moore would hate that because . . . well, just because.

Then we have corporate America and small businesses. Their debt burden, according to the Federal Reserve Board, just surpassed $10 trillion for the first time. Business borrowing can be a good thing — indicating economic optimism. But we have to wonder how many more FTX-type bubbles are out there inflated by low-interest rates and all that helicopter money from Washington.

Then we have the National Enquireresque’s “we have to wonder” phrasing. He doesn’t know, so he wonders.

So add it all up, and American society now owes $66,000,000,000,000 of debt! That’s roughly three times our annual GDP.

You have just read perhaps the most misleading piece of nonsense you ever will encounter. Moore adds Treasury deposits to personal and business debt, most of which comprises the private sector owing the private sector.

What does he recommend? No mortgages? No business borrowing? If less, how much less?

If that phony “$66,000,000,000,000” is too much, what is the right amount? $0?

Moore never says because he is clueless about federal financing.

Another danger sign: With wages (5% growth) falling behind consumer price inflation (7.5% growth), American families are borrowing more just to maintain their current living standard. Americans on average have lost $4,000 in purchasing power and some $30,000 in 401(k) plans in the Biden era.

It’s not “the Biden era.” It’s the COVID era. Inflation is caused by COVID-related shortages. Prices go up when goods and services become scarce.

COVID, which Trump denied, caused scarcities of oil, food, transpiration, computer chips, and many other products. Staying home with COVID caused service shortages.

By far the biggest debtor has been Uncle Sam — which has created a national culture of living beyond our means.

An entity with infinite ability to create dollars has no “means” to live beyond. That national culture has existed for over 80 years, during good times and bad.

During COVID, President Donald Trump pumped $2 trillion of “stimulus” red ink into the country when the private economy was shut down. But then, in an act of near-criminal financial negligence, Biden entered office and shoveled out $4 trillion more in green-energy giveaways, state bailout funds, student loan bailouts and welfare handouts to families with no one working.

First, Moore complains about people having lost $4,000 in purchasing power and $30,000 in 401(k) plans. Then, incredibly, he complains about the government giving these people money to help with their finances.

That is the kind of idiocy one expects from a Trumpist graduate of the Heritage Foundation.

And now we come to Moore’s virtual admission that he knows nothing about economics.

A new-wave economic strategy called Modern Monetary Theory facilitated this borrowing blowout.

The loony idea is predicated on the notion that because the US dollar is the world reserve currency, we can run up the federal credit card by trillions and still feel good about ourselves in the morning.

Until that is, interest rates start to rise.

OMG! Modern Monetary Theory has nothing to do with the U.S. dollar being the most popular reserve currency. A reserve currency is a currency banks hold in reserve to facilitate trade among nations. It has nothing to do with U.S. borrowing.

While the dollar is the most commonly held reserve currency, other currencies also are held in reserve. The euro, the yen, the lira, and others are reserve currencies. Moore is clueless about this.

Further, using a credit card implies borrowing, which the federal government doesn’t do.

Finally, rising interest rates have nothing to do with the federal government’s ability to pay its bills. It has the infinite ability to pay bills, no matter how high interest rates go.

Consumers are now engaged in the same reckless monkey-see, monkey-do behavior. The latest Federal Reserve Bank of New York report says credit card debt has skyrocketed by 16% this year to above $1 trillion.

The Christmas season is witnessing even more debt to buy Yuletide gifts. Low-income Americans are taking on debt at the fastest pace of all. Come January, don’t be surprised if Americans look at their credit card debt and suffer severe buyers’ remorse.

People may be borrowing more, which could bite them, but it has nothing to do with the federal government spending more. Moore is just lashing in all directions at anything involving more money.

For now, defaults and delinquencies are low, but we should have learned financial seas can shift on a dime. Meanwhile, the feds keep feeding the debt surge by increasing taxpayer mortgage insurance for million-dollar homes.

There is no such thing as “taxpayer mortgage insurance.” Federal taxpayers do not fund anything. All federal tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt by the U.S. Treasury.

The purpose of taxes is not to fund federal spending. Taxes help the government control the economy by punishing what the government doesn’t like and rewarding (tax breaks) what the government wishes to encourage.

You pay your taxes with dollars in the M2 money supply, and when they hit the Treasury, they cease to be part of any money supply measure. They effectively cease to exist.

Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It depends on what we’re getting for it. When we borrow for roads or factories or homes or to finance our military to win wars, borrowing can be necessary and appropriate.

If you know what this last paragraph is supposed to mean, please feel free to let me know.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He served as a senior economic adviser to Donald Trump. His latest book is “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Devouring Our Economy.”

Quite a combination: Heritage Foundation + Donald Trump. That says it all.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.


“Free minds, free markets,” and free lies.

Reason.com, a mouthpiece for the Libertarian Party, bills itself as “free minds, free markets.” More accurately, it should be called “closed minds, closed markets, and free lies.”

Here is the latest post from Eric Boehm, Reason.com’s economic policy reporter. As expected with Libertarian economic “thought,” it is loaded with wrong inferences, misunderstandings, and/or outright lies. 

Printing more money
Printing more money (Photo 17929028 © Svyatoslav Lypynskyy | Dreamstime.com)

November’s $249 Billion Federal Budget Deficit Set a Record. Now, Congress Is Preparing To Spend Even More.
The government spent $501 billion in November but collected just $252 billion in revenue, meaning that about 50 cents of every dollar spent were borrowed.
ERIC BOEHM | 12.16.2022 1:00 PM

The article comes with the photo and caption shown above.

Boehm doesn’t realize that his photo undermines his claim that “about 50 cents of every dollar spent were borrowed.”

The photo shows someone (presumably representing the government) creating dollars from thin air using a copy machine. This immediately demonstrates the senselessness of the Libertarian economic claims because it illustrates why the federal government has no need to borrow dollars. 

In fact, the government does create dollars from thin air simply by pressing computer keys, so it never borrows dollars.

Boehm claims that T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds represent borrowed money. Completely false. They represent dollars deposited into privately held accounts, similar to safe deposit boxes. The government never touches the contents of those accounts.

The dollars are the property of the depositors, not of the government, and remain inviolate until the accounts mature when the contents are returned to the owners. The dollars never are borrowed or used by the government or by anyone else.

Though those dollars often incorrectly are termed federal “debt,” the government does not owe the money any more than a bank owes the contents of a safe deposit box.

As the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank has said:

“The U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills . . . the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.

“Not dependent on credit markets” is government-speak for, “does not borrow.”

Further, even if the T-securities were debt, the federal government pays all its debt by creating new dollars ad hoc. It does this by the simple expedient of passing laws and pressing computer keys, both of which it has the infinite ability to do.

Debt never is a burden on the U.S. government or on taxpayers.

As for those taxes you are forced to pay, they are destroyed upon receipt by the Treasury. You take dollars from your checking account — dollars that are part of the M2 money supply measure — and when they reach the Treasury, they cease to be part of any money supply measure.

There is no measure of the Treasury’s money holdings because the Treasury has infinite money. Thus, your tax dollars disappear, effectively destroyed.

So much for all that talk about falling deficits.

The federal government ran a $249 billion deficit during the month of November—that’s the largest total ever posted for that month, and a staggering $56 billion increase over the deficit from November 2021.

The economy is measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The formula for GDP is:

GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal spending + Net Exports

Thus, by simple algebra, federal spending always grows the economy. Boehm may not realize that he is complaining about economic growth.

Nearly 50 cents of every dollar spent were borrowed and added to the national debt. That’s utterly unsustainable.

“Unsustainable” is the favorite word of deficit liars, who never explain why any size deficit cannot be sustained.

In what year did the federal “debt” become “unsustainable”?


The gross federal “debt” (deposits) totaled $51 billion in 1940. It now totals about $30 trillion, nearly a 600-fold increase, and here we are, sustaining.

For over 80 years, the debt whiners have claimed the debt is “unsustainable.” Year after year after year, they have been proven wrong, and still, they learn nothing. Truly pitiful.

And now Congress is gearing up to spend even more.

Though the final details of a lame-duck session omnibus bill won’t be known until next week (likely not until just before lawmakers are asked to vote on it), it’s a near certainty that the final agreement will add to this year’s budget deficit and the ballooning national debt.

Translation: The final agreement will add to the budget deficit which will grow GDP.

Congress passed a short-term spending deal on Thursday night to avert a government shutdown and give lawmakers another week to hammer out a more comprehensive deal to fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year.

Where did the dollars to fund the government come from? The government merely created them from thin air by creating laws and pressing computer keys, something they can do forever.

That larger omnibus bill could include billions of dollars in additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, as well as emergency funds for hurricane relief, The Washington Post reports.

The final price tag is likely to be about $1.7 trillion, according to Politico.

That will be $1.7 trillion added to Gross Domestic Product.

Depending on what else ends up in the final version of the end-of-year omnibus, the package will add between $240 billion and $585 billion to this year’s budget deficit, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a nonprofit that advocates for balancing the books.

It says much about your lack of economics knowledge when you resort to the CRFB for your ideas. Here is what happens when the government balances the books:

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.

Balancing the books is a good idea for monetarily non-sovereign entities like cities, counties, states, euro nations, businesses, and individuals. They do not have the unlimited ability to create their own sovereign currencies.

In fact, they have no sovereign currencies.

But the U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. It can create infinite dollars and the legal ability to make those dollars worth anything it chooses. 

Over the 10-year budget window used by the Congressional Budget Office and other number crunchers to assess the federal budget, the damage could exceed $5 trillion.

Recessions (vertical gray bars) follow reductions in federal deficit growth.

Translation: Exchange the words “economic growth for the term “damage” and you will see the truth.

“Not only would these policies increase deficits, but they would also worsen inflation,” the CRFB warns in its analysis.

“With inflation surging and debt approaching record levels, policymakers should avoid passing costly end-of-year policy changes.”

As always, the CRFB spouts nonsense. Inflation is not caused by or “worsened” by federal deficits. All inflations through history have been caused by shortages of important goods and services.

Changes in federal debt, i,e, deficits (red), do not correspond with changes in inflation (blue).

If federal deficits “worsened inflation,” one would expect the peaks and valleys of the above graph to correspond. They do not. 

Inflations are not caused by federal spending. Today’s inflation was caused by COVID-related shortages of oil, food, shipping, lumber, computer chips, labor et al.

For much of the past year, the Biden administration has been touting falling deficit figures as evidence that the economy was picking up and, implicitly, as a signal that government spending could increase without adding to the nation’s tenuous fiscal situation.

If true, that would be incredibly uninformed by the Biden administration.

Mathematically, it is not possible for falling deficit figures to be evidence of growing Gross Domestic Product. That would be like falling food supplies being evidence of growing nutrition.

That was always misleading, as the falling deficit was entirely the result of one-time, emergency COVID-19 spending coming off the books.

The underlying figures showed all along that the deficit situation was continuing to worsen, and that President Joe Biden’s policies were adding trillions of dollars to the deficit over the long term.

Wait, Mr. Boehm. You say emergency COVID-19 spending came off the books, yet now we have inflation. What happened to your claim that increased federal spending causes inflation?

November’s spending and revenue figures should put an end to these silly games. We’re only two months into the fiscal year, but the federal government is now on pace to run a deficit of about $1.9 trillion, which would be the largest nonpandemic budget deficit ever and a huge increase from the $1.38 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ended on September 30.

That spending has helped reduce the likelihood of a recession, which by the way, is defined as two consecutive quarters of reduced GDP — a reduction which is exactly what you want to do.

A major driver of November’s rapidly expanding deficit was something else that fiscal hawks have been warning about for a while: higher borrowing costs created by higher interest rates.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the federal government spent 53 percent more on borrowing costs last month than it did in November 2021.

The higher borrowing costs were foolishly and arbitrarily created by the Fed. They do nothing to prevent/cure inflation. They do nothing to cure the shortages that cause inflation.

In fact, higher interest rates exacerbate the shortages and thus, exacerbate inflation. In essence, the Fed is applying leeches to cure anemia.

Higher borrowing costs are not the result of federal deficits. They are the result of Fed ignorance.

The best time to stop borrowing heavily was yesterday (or several years ago), but the second-best time would be today. Instead, Congress is likely to make this problem even worse—again—by continuing to spend like there’s no tomorrow.


The entire Boehm article is based on commonly held myths. The facts are:

  1. Federal deficits are necessary for economic growth. (That is simple mathematics.)
  2. The U.S. federal government never borrows dollars. (Why would it, given its infinite ability to create dollars).
  3. Reduced federal spending causes recessions and depressions. (Again, this is simple mathematics.)
  4. Inflations are caused by shortages of key goods and services, not by federal spending. (As demonstrated by history).
  5. Inflations are cured by federal spending to acquire and distribute the scarce goods and services. (Again, as demonstrated by history.)
  6. Increasing interest rates does not help prevent or cure inflations.
  7. Increasing interest rates exacerbates the shortages that cause inflations. (That is why raising interest rates is recessionary.) 

Oh, and applying leeches does not cure anemia.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.


A Challenge To The CRFB

This is a challenge to the CRFB.

To: Maya MacGuineas, President;

I recently received an Email from you, which I will quote in its entirety.

Congress has until December 16th to fund the government and avoid a federal shutdown. If they avoid that, they’ll likely have done so with the same tired Washington tactic of promising billions in new deficit-funded spending or tax cuts, driving the national debt even higher.

We have asked Congress not to borrow any new money for the rest of 2022.

With our Debt Fixer interactive tool, you have the opportunity to craft a national budget that puts America on a sustainable fiscal course heading into 2023.

How It Works: The Debt Fixer gives users the opportunity to confront many of the same budget decisions that lawmakers face and to see how those choices affect the debt. You’ll be asked to make decisions on a range of policy options with the goal of stabilizing the debt at 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within ten years and 60 percent of GDP by 2050.

Afterwards, users can share select to share their fiscal choices with Members of Congress and social media. Can you do better than Congress? Give it a try now!

If you’re a teacher and would like to use the Debt Fixer in your class, please let us know by e-mailing debtfixer@crfb.org.

We can provide additional resources for your classroom including guest speakers and a customizable link where you can compare your classes results. If you enjoy Debt Fixer, we encourage you to check out our other interactive resources: Budgeting for the Future, Is It Worth It, and the Social Security Reformer.

Here you’ll be able to test your budget knowledge, compare the costs of proposals and policies, and choose the options to stabilizing the debt at 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for future generations.

I have bolded the following phrases from your Email: “driving the national debt even higher,” “not to borrow,” “not to borrow,” “sustainable fiscal course,” “stabilizing the debt at 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and “stabilizing the debt at 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

As I suspect you know, the U.S. federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, i.e., it has the infinite ability to create its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. This ability sometimes (incorrectly) is referred to as “printing” dollars.

The infinite ability to “print” dollars means the U.S. government never unintentionally can run short of dollars.


Given the fact that the U.S. government cannot run short of dollars, I challenge you to answer the following questions:

  1. DRIVING THE NATIONAL DEBT EVEN HIGHER: Given the federal government’s infinite ability to “print” (create) dollars why should anyone be concerned about the size of the “national debt”?
  2. NOT TO BORROW: Given the federal government’s infinite ability to create dollars why should the federal government need to borrow dollars?
  3. DEBT FIXER: Given the federal government’s infinite ability to create dollars, why does the federal debt need fixing?
  4. SUSTAINABLE FISCAL COURSE: Given the federal government’s infinite ability to create dollars, and the fact that it has sustained its fiscal course for the past 80+ years while the federal debt has increased 62,500%, why do you believe it’s current fiscal course suddenly has become unsustainable?
  5. STABILIZING THE FEDERAL DEBT AT 90 PERCENT OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP): In what way does the ratio of federal debt / GDP affect the economy?

I have followed your Emails for several years, during which time you repeatedly have voiced the same concerns about federal deficit spending. Yet, you never have answered the above questions.

Here are the facts you continually ignore:

  1. The government’s infinite ability to create dollars means it never needs to be concerned about any debt. It has a greater ability to pay its debts than Elon Musk’s ability to pay a 1 cent debt.
  2. The federal government does not borrow, nor will it ever need to. As the St. Louis Fed reported: ““As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.
    The U.S. government provides T-security accounts into which other governments and private citizens are allowed to deposit dollars for safekeeping. 
    The purpose of these accounts is not to provide the federal government with dollars, but rather to provide the world with a safe place to store unused dollars. This helps stabilize the dollar.
    To pay off these deposits, the federal government merely returns the dollars that are in those accounts. Returning existing dollars is no burden on the federal government or on U.S. taxpayers.
  3. The federal debt is not a real debt. It is deposits that are owned by other governments and private citizens. It does not need “fixing.” If the federal government stopped issuing T-securities tomorrow, that would have no effect on the government’s ability to spend dollars and to pay its bills.
  4. The federal government has proved, year after year, that its course is sustainable. Despite a massive increase in the so-called “debt,” the government has no difficulty funding every expenditure.
  5. The ratio of federal “debt” to GDP is economically meaningless. It has no effect on the government’s ability to spend or on inflation, or on any aspect of economic health. GDP dollars do not pay for federal debt.
    The ratio also is ludicrous because it compares a multiyear figure (debt) to a one-year figure (GDP). One easily could ask, “Why not compare debt to the six-month GDP or the one-month GDP, or even the ten-year GDP?”
There is no relationship between the Debt/GDP ratio (blue) and inflation (red).


There is a strong relationship between reductions in federal debt and recessions or depressions. Most recessions have resulted from periods of declining deficits.

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.

America’s debt /money supply growth parallels America’s GDP growth

Using the tables below, see if you can determine which economies are “healthiest.”

(You won’t succeed, because the debt/GDP ratios tell you nothing about the health of a nation’s economy:

SUMMARY The CRFB never has and never will accept my challenge. They never will answer the questions, because the true answers would eliminate their reason for existence. 

The CRFB is worse than useless. It is harmful to America. I believe they know they are harmful, in which case that would make them traitors.

I believe they are paid by the rich in America to widen the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest of us, in which case that would make them paid traitors.

I am angry at them. They hurt America.

If you believe they have answers and can meet the challenge, feel free to contact them. I’d be interested in seeing how they try to squirm out of this. Contact Maya MacGuineas at MacGuineas@crfb.org and find her on Twitter @MayaMacGuineas.

If you think I am angry at the CRFB, you’re right. I believe they have done, and continue to do, irreparable harm to America by giving aid and comfort to politicians who vote against benefits.

The claim that Medicare and Social Security can run short of money is absurd, especially so when the federal government, at the touch of a computer key, can provide all the money these agencies need.

The claim that the federal debt is too high also is absurd, when it isn’t even debt and it could be paid off entirely simply by returning the dollars in storage.

Even more absurd is to worry about the debt/GDP ratio, which compares a multi-year figure to a one-year figure, and is indicative or predictive of nothing.

Good luck.


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.