Ignorance is costing you. It’s what you want.

Ignorance is not stupidity.

While stupidity can cause ignorance, ignorance cannot cause stupidity.  We all are ignorant about many things. Each of us is ignorant about all but a minuscule fraction of what there is to know.

Sadly, most of us are ignorant about federal government financing.

Which do you believe:

  1. The purpose of federal government taxes is to help pay the government’s bills.
  2. The federal government borrows dollars to help pay its bills.
  3. The federal government can unintentionally run short of dollars.
  4. The federal debt should be reduced.
  5. Our children and grandchildren will have to pay the federal debt.
  6. Federal spending can cause inflation.
  7. Federal deficits should be reduced.
  8. The federal government should run a balanced budget.
  9. Federal finances are similar to state/local government finances.
  10. The federal debt ceiling is a fiscally prudent limit.
The 20 Most Notorious Con Artists of All-Time
Even Bernie Madoff couldn’t imagine a con a large as the trillions-of-dollars “debt crisis” con.

As the smart and fiscally knowledgeable people know, all of the above statements are false. How many did you get right?

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign has the infinite ability to create dollars.

It not only doesn’t use tax dollars; it destroys them upon receipt.

The primary purpose of federal taxes is to control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to discourage.

The federal “debt” isn’t a debt; it’s deposits, and neither the debt nor the deficit is an obligation of the government, of you, or of your grandchildren. No one ever will pay for the “debt.” The deposited money simply will be returned upon maturity.

In short, there is no federal “debt crisis.” It’s a con by the rich that is far bigger than anything Bernie Madoff could imagine. The purpose: To make you accept fewer benefits from the government.

Federal deficits are necessary for economic growth. Shortages, not federal spending, cause inflation. A federal balanced budget would cause a recession or a depression.

Federal finances are nothing like state/local government finances, nothing like business finances, and nothing like your or my finances. The federal government uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign. It never unintentionally can run short of dollars.

Keep these facts in mind as we go through the following article:

America’s giant medical debt
Adriel Bettelheim

Americans owe at least $195 billion of medical debt, despite 90% of the population having some kind of health coverage, according to new research from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The fundamental purpose of government is to improve and protect the lives of the people being governed.

How does requiring payment to the federal government improve or protect the lives of the people?

Why it matters: People are spending down their savings and skimping on food, clothing and household items to pay their medical bills.

About 16 million people, or 6% of U.S. adults, owe more than $1,000 in medical bills, and 3 million people owe more than $10,000.

The financial burden falls disproportionately on people with disabilities, those in generally poor health, Black Americans and people living in the South or in non-Medicaid expansion states, per the research.

“People living in the South or in non-Medicaid expansion states” live where Republicans govern. This is not a coincidence. The right-wing philosophy is to benefit the rich by widening the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and he rest.

The rich wish to be richer, and widening the Gap makes them richer. The very definition of “rich” involves a wide income/wealth/power Gap.

Nor is it a coincidence that these are the same states enacting laws to make voting more difficult for the poor and for people of color. (See “Gap Psychology.”)

16% of privately-insured adults say they would need to take on credit card debt to meet an unexpected $400 medical expense, while 7% would borrow money from friends or family, per the research, which focused on adults who reported having more than $250 in unpaid bills as of December 2019.

It’s not yet clear how much the pandemic and the recession factor into the picture, in part because man people delayed or went without care. There also was a small shift from employer-based coverage to Medicaid, which has little or no cost-sharing.

While the new federal ban on surprise billing limits exposure to some unexpected expenses, it only covers a fraction of the large medical bills many Americans face, the researchers say.

The solution to the medical debt problem is federal support. The federal government should offer comprehensive, no-deductible, generous Medicare coverage to every man, woman, and child in America.

The plan should be optional. Those who wish to keep their private insurance should be allowed to do so, though one wonders why anyone would wish to.

(Presumably, there may be some anti-government types who would prefer to pay for what they could receive without cost.)

This plan should cover everything that could be considered “medical”: Dental, psychiatric, rehabilitation, home rehab for disability, pharmaceuticals, etc.

The payments to healthcare workers and hospitals should be generous, to attract people into the profession and to encourage the building of more and better hospitals.

There is nothing wrong with doctors, nurses and hospital personnel getting rich. Even if some might get rich for doing little, that is better than Americans being impoverished, through no fault of their own, by the cost of disease.

Federal support of medical research should be increased, and rather than trying to cut prescription costs, the government should encourage research by rewarding successful drugs.

Federal spending costs you nothing. It is the ultimate free lunch. The reluctance to spend is an artificial limitation placed on the government by the very rich, who do not want the rest of us to receive the same benefits they receive.

The rich can afford the best doctor-care, the best nurse-care, the best hospital-care, the best pharmaceuticals, the best rehabilitation.

The rich can afford to travel for abortions, while the rest are required to have unwanted and unaffordable babies.

The rich also can afford the best schools for their kids. They receive tax breaks on their homes while you pay for your rental. They write off their meals and their transportation, even their clothing and their vacations, all as business expenses.

And while the rich go years without paying any taxes because they receive tax breaks of which you can’t even dream, they complain about your receipt of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and poverty benefits.

Why is this happening?

Because they have convinced you that federal deficit spending for your benefits somehow will be bad for you and for America. In short, this is happening because of your ignorance.

I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, but there is no other way to say it. You could have the same benefits the rich take for granted, but you have been sold the bill of goods that says, “They deserve the best and you don’t.”

Because of your ignorance of the facts, you meekly sit back and accept crumbs. You vote for the people who lie to you. You can’t even visualize having what the federal government easily can provide to you.

You are so ignorant you will become enraged at, and ridicule, anyone who tries to tell you the truth. You excuse your ignorance by claiming federal benefits are “socialism” or “communism,” though they are neither.

You demand to lead a lesser life, and when you receive that lesser life, you grumble about it.

You simply cannot bring yourself to believe that the federal government can afford to give you the same, beautiful life benefits it gives to the rich, without collecting a dime from you in taxes.

Because you think of yourself as “lesser,” you receive less and sadly, you deserve what you receive.

And to keep those below you on the income/wealth/scale from climbing up, you’ll vote against their benefits, too, because you don’t understand that a vote against the poor rebounds as a vote against you.

Ignorance does that.

You are the people who buy lottery tickets, hoping for a mathematical miracle, when the federal government has the power to give you the life you pray for, and it wouldn’t require a miracle.

All you need do is learn and demand, and if enough of you do that, you will win life’s lottery, courtesy of your government.

Or, stay ignorant.

Your choice.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

P.S. This doesn’t apply to citizens of France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and the other euro nations. Your government gave away its Monetary Sovereignty many years ago.

You might do better buying lottery tickets.

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

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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

Are the Republicans really that stupid, or is it something more sinister?

Canadian truckers have decided not just to inconvenience everyone, but to cost themselves money, and to risk the lives of their neighbors, and to risk their own lives, and to cost Canada billions, if not trillions — all to demonstrate, with abject stupidity, that they either don’t accept the word of doctors or don’t like obeying laws.

My advice to the truckers is: If you get COVID, don’t see a doctor. See a trucker. They must know more than the doctors.

The problem with stupid people is they are too stupid to understand that they are stupid. No truth penetrates. They are incapable of differentiating fact from conspiracy, so they get their information from such grotesque lie disseminators as QAnon, Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, Fox News, and proven psychopath, Donald Trump. 

The stupids refuse not only to protect themselves with a vaccination, but they refuse to protect others, not because they are mean-spirited, but because they, very simply, are stupid.

The Capitol Riot Now Looks Like a Rehearsal for the End of Democracy -  Variety
“Legitimate Political Discourse”

They want to arrest Dr. Fauci for telling them to protect themselves with vaccines and masks (How dare he!)

When you see videos of the attempted coup, which continues even today, remember that the stupids say it was “Legitimate political discourse.”

And, notice the American flags among the Trump flags. Those Stupid Party fools actually believe waving a flag makes them patriots.

Sorry, but being a flag-waver (or hugger) doesn’t make you a patriot any more than holding up a bible in a photo op makes you religious.

Thank you, God': Trump revels in reign as absolute king of CPAC | Donald  Trump | The Guardian
Draft dodger claims to love America but says killed U.S. soldiers were “suckers.”

Seldom been in a church. First time he’s touched a bible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barely a day passes without some prominent Republican doing or saying something stupid. Here is a message a GOP Presidential hopeful has promulgated for more than eight months.

DeSantis sells anti-Fauci t-shirts as Florida Covid death toll hits 38,000

July 14, 2021: Florida governor Ron DeSantis has released a new range of merchandise with slogans targeting Anthony Fauci, as well as requirements for face masks.

Two drink koozies and a t-shirt featuring the words “Don’t Fauci My Florida” and “How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?” are among the items on sale.

This is what passes for clever humor in stupidland.

“You don’t want to miss out on this,” the DeSantis campaign wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“Shop the store and support your favourite freedom-loving Governor NOW”.

Freedom to die, apparently, as Florida has seen more than 66 thousand people die of COVID and an above-average rate per thousand. Compare that with the outrage about the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed about 3 thousand people.

If you were the governor of a state that had lost 66 thousand of its citizens, wouldn’t you do everything possible to protect their lives? Not stupid DeSantis.

DeSantis, like Trump, directs his lies to the least intelligent among us, the real stupids who believe everything nonsensical, so long as it contains a modicum of liberal bashing.

He’s not only outlawed mask mandates and discouraged vaccines, but he hired a stupid, mask and vax denier, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who sets a perfect example for Floridians by refusing even to say whether he himself has been vaccinated.

This dummy even refused to wear a mask in Sen. Tina Polsky’s office, though she is trying to recover from breast cancer, and must avoid infection. Why won’t he wear a mask when she asked him to? He just didn’t want to, and didn’t care that he was risking her life.

Would you act that way in a sick person’s office?

And he’s a doctor!!!

Fauci has been one of the sane voices in this entire calamity. So, of course, the Republicans want to fire him, or arrest him, or do something more awful to him, just because he’s tried to speak truth to them.

(There’s nothing a Republican hates more than truth. See: What you need to know about Trump’s weekend of election lies and January 6 whitewashing)

And then there’s this bit of stupidity from the leader of the stupids and America’s #1 traitor and rabble-rouser

Fascism: Trump vows pardons for Jan. 6 seditionists, calls for nationwide protests if indicted

Trump: “If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere, because our country and our elections are corrupt. They’re corrupt.”

Who Are The North Texans Charged In Capitol Riots?
It’s the prosecutors who are “radical, vicious, and racist,” not these “good people.”

Trump is not angry at the people who committed mayhem in attacking Congress and threatened its members. He’s angry at the Committee that is trying to uncover the facts. They are the ones who are “radical, vicious, and racist.” Stupid.

And when even butt-kissing Lindsey Graham said, the rioters should “not be forgiven,” Trump (who was hiding safely in Mar-a-Lago during the attempted coup) called Graham a “RINO.” (That’s Trump’s favorite word for anyone who disagrees with him.)

Sorry, Lindsey, but you forgot the 6 rules of Trump. Rule #2: Eventually, Trump will stab you in the back.

Of course, Trump doesn’t consider Congress to be as important as a statue. He wrote:

“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020

Trump’s followers stupidly agree that a statue of a Confederate general (a traitor on a horse) is far more important to democracy and America than are Congress and the Presidential election.

Then there’s the GOP’s Sen .Ron Johnson who continues to set records for stupidity by disseminating false information about virtually everything: He said he trusted the MAGA domestic terrorists over Black Lives Matter protestors, and while spreading Russian disinformation, is lately is being laughed at for his false claim about how Greenland got its name.

He may be America’s most stupid Senator, but he’s in a close match with Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas., who claims with zero evidence or expertise that COVID is a Chinese communist plot.

And let’s not forget Olympic champion of stupid, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.), who claimed the violent mob of Donald Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, just wanted to talk to their representatives. (She also said Hitler’s secret police were “the gazpacho.”)

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention former Democrat, now Republican Sen. John Kennedy, who after becoming a Republican, has delivered tons of truly stupid bull manure including this doozy: After retracting his false claims about Hunter Biden in Ukraine, he went on CNN, and claimed Ukraine was the real country meddling in the 2016 election.

And then there is who might be not only the most stupid man in Congress, but the most stupid man who ever has been in Congress, Republican Sen. Rand Paul. Here is just one example of his dopiness:

“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician.

“That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery.

“It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.

“I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you?

“That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.”

That is what a prominent Republican, a man Republican voters support, says: Your having healthcare will enslave him.

This post could be 100 times its current length, and still, it wouldn’t begin to cover the rampant stupidity in America, today. We like to view with derision, the stupidity exhibited by the populace in some banana-republics, or even in Europe or Asia.

We always have puffed up our chests and claimed we are the “most” and the “greatest,” and everyone should follow our example.

Well, guess what folks. We now have joined the most stupid with the greatest stupidity, and it seems we are setting a perfect example for the world.

Or . . . are the Republican pols engaged in something even worse than stupidity?

The ostensible purpose of a government is to improve and protect the lives of the populace. the

But that is not the goal of today’s Republican party. This is not the party that gave you Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, the Civil Rights Acts, the Voting Rights Acts, food stamps, unemployment insurance.

The Republican party is bereft of ideas that benefit the populace. Instead, the Republicans focus on two goals:

  1. Benefitting the rich at the expense of the middle and the poor
  2. Winning elections by taking advantage of America’s peculiar minority-rule laws.

Of the last six Presidential elections, the Republicans have won the popular vote in only one (George Bush).

In 2016, Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, but won the election. He did even worse in 2020, when he lost by 7 million votes, but whines that he really won and falsely claims the election was “rigged.”

During Trump’s four-year term, his major accomplishments were:

  1. Failure of his dozens of attempts to repeal Obamacare (which continues to grow in popularity).
  2. Overturning many Obama-era regulations that protected the populace (Example: Ended an Obama regulation that prevented coal-mining companies from dumping debris and waste into nearby streams. Rolled back financial disclosure requirements for energy firms. Gave states the ability to drug test recipients of unemployment benefits, repealed an Obama rule prohibiting the mentally disabled from purchasing firearms.
  3. Major tax cuts for the rich

At this point, you may believe that I have described the stupidity of the Republican Party. If so, you would be wrong, for I believe the GOP has been quite clever, though in a evil way.

For historical reasons, having to do with compromises necessary to get the original states’ agreement to join the United States, America does not use majority-rule election systems.

Cities, counties, states, and even the federal government, including the President, are elected by complicated methods that award extra power to numerical minorities of voters.

Gerrymandering, Senate rules, and the electoral college system have resulted, for instance, in the Supreme Court being 2/3 right-wing, despite the nation being slightly left-wing.

An even more telling example is abortion, where a slight majority of Americans favor it, but the Supreme Court, most of whose members claim to be conservative (i.e. conserve existing law), have decided to be activist as well as cruel, so seem intent on changing the laws allowing abortion.

A clue to Republican strategy is seen in this chart:

Religious and Moral Beliefs Linked with Abortion Views
FROM PEW RESEARCH CENTER

The educated favor abortion. The uneducated and the religious, people who are less likely to deal with facts and more likely to obey emotions, oppose.

Major religions, despite their claims of morality and virtue, are nothing more than giant cults, where the most important factor is not fact but belief.

The rantings and fables of QAnon and Fox News are neither more nor less based on fact than are the various saints, miracles and gods of the major religions. The highly pious are tend to be accustomed to acceptance above analysis.

Thus, when Trump claims, despite all evidence, that he actually “won” and election he lost by 7 million votes, his religious followers believe with all their hearts and souls, and no amount of factual information will dissuade them.

After all, no scientific evidence will convince a believer that the virgin birth is impossible. 

Trump, despite (or because of) being irreligious himself, cleverly understands this.

The Republicans, rather than developing ideas about benefits for the masses as their vote motivators, have focused on emotional motivators: Hatred and fear of “others.”

This is why conspiracy theories, which are fact-deficient, and based on intuition and emotion, find such traction among the religious right-wing, and it is why lies and craziness are not deal-breakers for those Republican voters.

One of the most puzzling social science findings in the past half century is the Easterlin paradox:

Economic growth within a country does not always translate into an increase in happiness. We provide evidence that this paradox can be partly explained by income inequality.

In two different data sets covering 34 countries, economic growth was not associated with increases in happiness when it was accompanied by growing income inequality.

Earlier instances of the Easterlin paradox (i.e., economic growth not being associated with increasing happiness) can thus be explained by the frequent concurrence of economic growth and growing income inequality.

These findings suggest that a more even distribution of growth in national wealth may be a precondition for raising nationwide happiness.

Being more concerned with power and with the happiness of the rich, rather than the power and happiness of the middle or poor, the Republicans focus on income inequality, aka Gap Psychology (the human desire to widen the Gap below you and to narrow the Gap above you).

Rather than trying to help the middle and lower-income/wealth/power groups, as the Democrats do, the Republicans execute the opposite: They cater to the rich with tax breaks and, importantly, they create anti-poor resentment in the middle, lower-middle, and even the lower-income groups by fomenting hatred of those receiving anti-poverty aid.

The Republicans effectively blame the Democrats for narrowing the Gap below the middle classes, and for widening the Gap above the middle classes. Thus, they are able to generate hatred of Democrats for supporting immigrants and lower-income ethnic groups.

The rich get money and everyone else gets outrage, a potent combination.

SUMMARY  The cult-like, Republican base, being less affluent, less educated, and more religious, is accustomed to accepting myths and lies. To them, faith and belief are more influential than facts.

To them, Trump’s repetition of the lie that the election was stolen, needs no evidence. The Trumpers have faith.

Trump Republican pols are able to lie with impunity because they encounter very little blowback. Conspiracy theories abound in the GOP-world, and powerful media like FOX and Brietbart, cynically foster such belief.

Further, the Republican base revels in the notion that their “saints” help them rebel against control, which is why Canadian truckers, against their own best interests, do what they can to endanger everyone around them.

The rich segment of the Republican voters don’t care about the lies and myths so long as the tax breaks keep coming.

In the eyes of logical thinkers, the Republican myths are ridiculous (“How can the right-wing voters believe such nonsense?”), but right-wing, conspiracy theories are no more ridiculous than typical religious myths.

The Trump-Republicans (Trumplicans) cynically have learned that:

  1. Over the short time of elections, fear and hate are far stronger than compassion, and myths are far stronger than facts.
  2. Winning elections is more important than benefitting the people.
  3. The rich always will run America, and they will pay handsomely for the privilege.

So the GOP focuses efforts toward those most responsive to myths, toward gerrymandered voting rules, and toward the rich.

How “stupid” is that?

In answer to the title question, “Are the Republicans really that stupid, or is it something more sinister?” it’s not the Republicans who are stupid. It’s the people who vote for Republicans; they are the stupids.

They give the charlatans their precious votes, and in return receive nothing, while the Gap above them widens every day.

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

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THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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

The insurance industry’s excuse for not wanting you to have Medicare

As readers of this blog know, the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest is what makes the rich rich. If there were no Gap, we all would be the same. No one would be rich.

So, in their relentless efforts to become even richer, the rich try to widen that Gap, either by accumulating more for themselves or by preventing those below them from gaining more. This is the essence of Gap Psychology, the universal desire to widen the Gap below and to narrow the Gap above.

One nefarious method used by the rich and their toadies is to pretend the federal government is running short of dollars, and supposedly cannot afford to fund social benefits.

Never mind that the federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, cannot run short of dollars. No Monetarily Sovereign entity ever unintentionally can run short of its own sovereign currency. Not now. Not ever.

Even if the federal government collected $0 taxes, and had no other form of income, it still could continue spending, forever.

Who says so? Well, how about:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

Former Federal Reserve Chairman 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.”

Quote from Ben Bernanke when, as Fed chief, he was on 60 Minutes:
Scott Pelley: Is that tax money that the Fed is spending?
Ben Bernanke: It’s not tax money… We simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account.

Statement from the St. Louis Fed:
“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.”

Public health plan wrong approach, panel is told | Modern Healthcare
Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters

Press Conference: Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, 9 January 2014
Question: I am wondering: can the ECB ever run out of money?
Mario Draghi: Technically, no. We cannot run out of money.

Who disagrees? The bought-and-paid-for mouthpiece for the insurance industry, Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters.

She wrote:

Lowering the age for Medicare eligibility is a lousy idea we can’t afford
Medicare’s eligibility age would be lowered from 65 to 60 under a spending package being negotiated in Congress. By Janet Trautwein

Congress is hashing out the details of a $3.5 trillion spending package that could lower Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 60.
The proposal would severely disrupt not just the Medicare program but the broader market for private insurance. And it would do so at a great cost.

Remember, that all she’s worried about is just five extra years of Medicare. Every pejorative she spouts about those five years presumably also would apply to the current 65+ Medicare. So she really is disparaging Medicare itself, one of the most popular federal programs in history.

At “a great cost” to whom? Certainly not to the public who already pays outrageous amounts for private health care insurance, or does without insurance altogether.

Read Trautwein’s weasel-worded response:

Lowering Medicare’s eligibility age would not significantly increase the number of people with insurance.

Almost two-thirds of the more than 20 million people between the ages of 60 and 64 already have private health coverage. About 25% have public coverage through Medicaid or other government programs.

And 11% of Americans purchase plans on the individual market, including through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges.

Less than 10% of people in this age group are uninsured.

Let’s parse the above deceptive paragraph, to clarify what it really says:

“Not significantly” means, according to her own figures, about 13 million people. That’s not “significant”??

“Almost two-thirds of the more than 20 million people between the ages of 60 and 64 already PAY FOR private health coverage.

“About 25% have to PAY FOR public coverage through Medicaid or other government programs.

“And 11% of Americans PAY FOR insurance on the individual market, including through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges.

Get it? Trautwein is trying to sell you on the notion that you personally are better able to afford paying for health care insurance than is the Monetarily Sovereign federal government, the one entity in America that has access to unlimited dollars at no cost to anyone.

In other words, expanding Medicare would simply replace the soon-to-be seniors’ existing coverage, which is typically private, with publicly funded coverage.

And the federal government paying instead of you is supposed to be a bad thing??

And don’t be deceived, even if your job supplies you with “free insurance,” it isn’t free. Your employer figures in that cost when deciding how much to pay you. It comes right out of your salary.

Many of these 60- to 64-year-olds would be disappointed with their new benefits under Medicare.

The program does not cover dependents, as do exchange plans or employer-sponsored insurance. So older adults who switch to Medicare may have to find new coverage for their spouses or children.

Traditional Medicare doesn’t include benefits like dental care. But nearly 70% of employer-sponsored plans do.

The proposed Medicare for All plans do cover dependents and dental care.  But even if they didn’t, the cost for available supplements still would be far lower than people pay now.

That is exactly why the CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters opposes Medicare

(Oh, did she neglect to mention that the insurance industry also opposed the spectacularly popular Original Medicare? Now, for all the same reasons, they oppose adding the 60-64 year olds.)

If Medicare is inferior, why does the vast majority of seniors love it, and why can the 60-64 year olds hardly wait to join?

What’s more, enrolling in Medicare could result in higher costs for soon-to-be seniors. More than 1 million people between the ages of 60 and 64 have insurance through the exchanges. Seven in 10 of them receive tax credits to help purchase that coverage.

After transitioning to Medicare — and forfeiting these subsidies — more than 15% of the proposed Medicare-eligible population could owe higher premiums based on their income. As a result, a recent study from consulting firm Avalere concluded that “simply expanding Medicare eligibility does not guarantee premium affordability.”

If the above were correct, what would those 60-64 year olds do? You guessed it. They would just stay with their private insurance. No law against that.

Of course, that won’t happen, for the same reasons that Medicare is so popular among the 65+ age groups.

An expanded version of Medicare could also make employer-sponsored coverage more expensive. Medicare has the power to dictate what it will pay to health care providers. Private plans don’t have that luxury. So they end up paying providers much more than does Medicare.

And where do the private plans get the money to “pay providers much more than does Medicare”? Right, again. They get the money from the high premiums you pay. Trautwein actually wants you to believe that lower-cost benefits are something you should avoid.

If older people switch from higher-paying employer-sponsored plans to lower-paying Medicare, then providers may respond by raising rates for private plans. And that means higher premiums for the majority of Americans, who get coverage through their jobs.

Let’s be clear. Providers charge as much as the market will bear, i.e as much as they can. If they could charge more, they would.

So you are being asked to pay doctors and hospitals more so that other people might possibly be able to pay less.

Imagine this: The next time you go to your car dealer, clothing store, or grocery store, surely you’ll generously want to pay more, and not even use coupons, so that other shoppers can pay less. Right?

Rural health care providers may not be able to survive if their pool of patients becomes dominated by lower-paying Medicare beneficiaries. Already, one-quarter of rural hospitals are on the brink of closure. They can ill afford further cuts in pay.

There is no evidence that Medicare is causing rural health care providers to close. Quite the opposite. Medicare provides these hospitals with paid patients, who otherwise could not afford hospital fees or who would get their health care via the free emergency room.

And now we come to the phony “federal-government-is-running-short-of-dollars” Big Lie:

Then there’s the effect of expansion on Medicare’s long-term fiscal health. One recent study from the American Action Forum projected that lowering Medicare’s eligibility age to 60 would add some 14 million people to the program at a cost of about almost $400 billion over 10 years.

That’s $400 billion, which our Monetarily Sovereign government easily could fund. In fact, the federal government could eliminate all taxes and still fund Medicare not just for the 60+ group, but for every man, woman, and child in America.

Now, in desperation, Trautwein refers to the fake “trust fund” that supposedly (but not really) pays for Medicare, Part A. The federal government doesn’t have anything remotely resembling a real trust fund.

What Trautwein and the government calls a “trust fund” is not a trust fund. It’s just a balance sheet entry, that unlike a real trust fund, can be changed at will by the government.

To quote from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation website:

Federal trust funds bear little resemblance to their private-sector counterparts, and therefore the name can be misleading.

A “trust fund” implies a secure source of funding. However, a federal trust fund is simply an accounting mechanism used to track inflows and outflows for specific programs.

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 then combined with other receipts that the Treasury collects and spends.

Further, the federal government owns the accounts and can, by changing the law, unilaterally alter the purposes of the accounts and raise or lower collections and expenditures.

Here is her deceptive comment:

Medicare scarcely has enough money to cover the costs of its current beneficiaries. According to the latest report from its trustees, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2026.

At that point, the program will not be taking in enough tax revenue to pay claims.

The federal government may have to unilaterally cut rates to providers, which would, in turn, undermine patients’ ability to access care.

Trautwein doesn’t want you to know that the federal government arbitrarily can change the numbers in the fake trust fund at any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all.

She also doesn’t want you to know that Medicare Part B is more straightforward. It doesn’t even pretend to have a fake “trust fund.” It is funded directly by the federal government. Oops!

Tax revenue doesn’t pay claims. It’s a dirty little secret that federal tax revenue doesn’t pay for anything. In fact, all federal (as opposed to local) tax dollars are destroyed by the Treasury upon receipt.

They begin as part of the M1 money supply measure, (your private checking account). Then when they hit the Treasury, they cease to exist in any money supply measure. There is no measure of Treasury money because the Treasury has infinite dollars.

The federal government always creates new dollars, at will, when it pays for anything.

With insolvency looming for Medicare, expanding the program is neither prudent nor fiscally appropriate.

It would be wiser for Congress to enact reforms that would reduce the cost of health care for all patients, whether they’re publicly or privately insured.

Legislators’ bipartisan work late last year addressing surprise medical bills stands out as a model for future action.

As Bernanke, Greenspan, the St. Louis Fed, and Draghi have told you, a Monetarily Sovereign entity like the U.S. federal government cannot become insolvent with respect to debt in its own sovereign currency.

Because the federal government cannot become insolvent, none of its agencies can become insolvent, unless that is what Congress wants.

Medicare, as a federal agency, cannot become insolvent unless Congress decides to make it insolvent.

The “reforms” Trautwein pretends to want are exactly what she really objects to: Reducing the age limit for Medicare and cutting the costs of medicine.

Finally, Trautwein unintentionally tells you why the “U.S. Ranks Last Among Seven Countries on Health System Performance Measures Commonwealth Fund)

Our health care system relies on a mix of private and public payers to ensure access to high-quality care.

Disrupting that mix by adding more Americans to Medicare could raise costs for those in the private market — and reduce access to care for everyone.

The Commonwealth Fund article concludes:

Despite having the most expensive health care system, the United States ranks last overall compared with six other industrialized countries—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—on measures of quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and the ability to lead long, healthy, and productive lives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

The U.S. ranks last simply because that “mix of private and public payers” requires the public to fund what the federal government could fund at no cost to the public.

There clearly is a correlation between those high private insurance charges and the cost of U.S. health care.

The U.S. stands out for not getting good value for its health care dollars: it spent $7,290 per capita on health care in 2007 but ranks last among seven countries. 

Provisions in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that could extend health insurance coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans have the potential to improve the United States’s standing, according to Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update, by Commonwealth Fund researchers Karen Davis, Cathy Schoen, and Kristof Stremikis.

You can be sure that Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters and paid shill for the insurance industry, will continue to write misleading articles about why the much loved Medicare program should not be extended to more people.

She’s paid to make you want to transfer dollars from your pockets to the insurance companies’ coffers.

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

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THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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

Who is to blame for the endless failure of economics.

Why is the vast majority of the public so ignorant about even the most basic elements of economics?

5 Things Your College Professor Wished You Knew | Start School Now
This is what my professor was taught, and what he taught me, and what I’m teaching you. Now you teach it to others. That’s how science works.

Why do people believe the federal government, Medicare, and Social Security are running short of dollars?

Why does the harmful and financially ignorant debt ceiling persist?

Why is there poverty in America? Why is there so much street crime?

Why do the rich grow richer while the poorer fall further behind?

The wrong answers to all these questions stem from what is taught in our schools, by our so-called thought leaders.

Just as religious leaders teach from never-changing bibles, too many economics professors teach from never-changing assumptions.

But, what may be acceptable for religion is unacceptable for science.

Surprisingly few economics professors are willing to learn, understand, or teach the following facts.

  1. Financial debt is money, and money is debt. They are two sides of the same debt/money “coin.”
  2. Eliminating debt means eliminating money, which always is a recessionary/depressionary economic plan. GDP growth (by formula) requires debt/money growth. (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports.)
  3. Gap Psychology dictates that the rich get richer (widen the Gap) not only by increasing their ownership of debt/money, but by reducing the not-rich’s ownership of debt/money.
  4. Federal “debt” is not debt, but rather it is deposits into privately-owned T-security accounts. The Treasury does not use those dollars. The accounts are paid off simply by returning their balances to the account owners. No tax dollars are involved. Thus misnamed federal “debt” is not a burden on the government or on future taxpayers.
  5. The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the infinite ability to create dollars. Thus, it does not borrow dollars. It accepts deposits into T-security accounts, the purposes of which are not to provide spending funds, but rather to stabilize the dollar and to help the Fed control interest rates.
  6. For the same reasons, federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Even if all federal tax collections totaled $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever. Federal taxes are destroyed (i.e. cease to be part of M1 or any other money supply measure) the instant they are received by the Treasury. That is why no one can answer the question, “How much money does the Treasury have?” The best answer is, “Infinite,” which remains “infinite” whether or not tax dollars are received.
  7. The purpose of federal taxes is not to provide spending funds, but rather to control the economy by discouraging what the government doesn’t like and encouraging what it does like.
  8. The income/wealth/power Gap is what makes the rich rich. Without the Gap no one would be rich; we all would be the same. The wider the Gap, the richer are the rich. The best way to narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest is for the federal government to provide benefits to the rest, which the federal government has the infinite ability to do.
  9. Street crime is a function of poverty. The best way to reduce street crime is not via increased policing, but rather by reducing poverty.
  10. There is no public benefit to private ownership of banks. All banks should be nationalized.
  11. Federal spending is not socialismFederal ownership (as with, for instance, VA hospitals and national highways is socialism.)
  12. No inflation in history has been caused by “excessive” federal spendingAll inflations are caused by shortages of key goods and services, most notably shortages of food, energy, and labor. Federal spending actually can eliminate inflation by increasing the availability of the scarce goods and services.

Where does all the misinformation come from? It begins with, and is promulgated by, the “experts,” the economists.

Blame the incurious, intellectually lazy economics professors, who do not question what they were taught in college, but rather parrot it to their students, who continue the endless circle. Add to those pejoratives the word “greedy,” since this all is financed by the rich as a way to widen the Gap.

Thus today, we continue to see the same old misguided, disproven worries about federal “debt” and federal deficits, federal government “insolvency,” benefit “unaffordability,” government spending as a cause of inflation and “socialism,” and the false need for federal taxes to finance federal spending.

Remember all of the above as today, you hear the specious arguments about the “debt ceiling,” exacerbated by the stubborn partisanship that could crash the American economy and the economies of the world.

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

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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