–Letters to the Chicago Tribune

The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology.

I read the Chicago Tribune. It’s my hometown newspaper. Over the years I have written many letters to the editors, trying to help them understand our economy. I have failed.

The Tribune editors still live in the gold standard world, where the money supply and the government’s ability to pay its bills is limited. In short, the Tribune editors are debt-hawks.

I should have done this long ago, but I now have decided to begin posting my Tribune letters all in one spot — here. I put today’s letter in this post, and subsequent letters will be in the comments, below.

My hope: Some of you will write to Pat Widder, chief economic correspondent (Can you believe they have one?), and give her the facts. Perhaps if she hears from enough people . . . who knows? Maybe she’ll decide to learn something. Her Email is: PWidder@tribune.com

Pat, I don’t get it. Why do the Tribune editors intentionally resist knowledge?

In today’s editorial, “Stop Spending, Part I, your editors refer to the proposed $250 payment to each Social Securities recipient as “$14 billion that the government doesn’t have, putting the taxpayers of today and tomorrow deeper in debt.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, the government “has” an unlimited amount of money. The government became monetarily sovereign in 1971, the end of the gold standard, and since then, has had the unlimited ability to create money. To say the government does not “have” money is more misleading than the lies our worst politicians tell.

Second, although Illinois taxpayers do pay for Illinois spending, and Chicago taxpayers do pay for Chicago spending, U.S. taxpayers do not pay for U.S. spending. The reason: Illinois and Chicago are not monetarily sovereign; the U.S. is. And in a monetarily sovereign nation, taxpayers do not pay for government spending. There is zero relationship between federal taxes and federal spending. Taxpayers do not owe federal debt.

Are your editors being deliberately dishonest or are they too lazy to learn the facts? It has to be one of the two. When I see the typical, misleading political advertising these days, all I can think is, “My God, the Tribune is worse.”
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity

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