Can’t leave your job because of healthcare insurance? Here’s news.

Are you in one of these positions? You want to ask for a raise, but you fear you could get fired. Or, you would like to change jobs or quit working altogether.

But you are held captive by your health care insurance. Your company pays some of the premiums, and you can’t afford to pay the total amount yourself.

Or you have a pre-existing condition and will not be able to find another policy. It’s about to get even worse for you and for your company:

Higher premiums are coming. Much higher Data: Kaiser Family Foundation

It cost an average of $22,463 to cover a family through employer-sponsored health insurance in 2022, according to an annual benefits survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Though your employer may seem to pay the $22,463, you actually pay it. Your employer figures those dollars as part of your employment cost and your salary, sick days, vacation days, lunchroom, and any other perks you receive.

If there were no healthcare costs, your employer could raise your salary by that average of $22,463. Instead of paying it to you, he pays it to the health care insurance company.

Why it matters: Nearly 159 million Americans get health coverage through work, and coverage costs and benefits have become a critical factor in a tight labor market.

While families and individuals paid similar amounts for coverage in 2022 and 2021, premiums have increased by 20% over the past five years, KFF said.

And because many premiums for 2022 were finalized in the fall of 2021, before the effects of inflation were clear, KFF expects a higher increase in average premiums for 2023 than what’s been observed in recent years.

A single person paid $7,911 on premiums in a year for their employer health plan in 2022.

Again, while it may seem that you only paid “only” $7,911, you actually paid the full premium in lost wages — wages you should have received, but didn’t.

Between the lines: Employers are making tough choices in a competitive labor market and in some instances, absorbing rising costs of coverage instead of passing them on to workers.

An October survey of 1,200 small businesses found that nearly half of them have increased the cost of their goods or services to offset the rising costs of health care. Four in 10 businesses surveyed stopped offering health insurance altogether.

Angry about inflation? Much of the blame goes to the ballooning cost of health care. You pay inflated costs directly via premiums and insurance deductibles, and indirectly via the lost wages your employer would have paid you.

 

In fact, why do you or your company pay anyone, when the federal government is perfectly capable of paying your doctor, hospital, nurses, pharmaceutical company, and medical equipment manufacturer with no help from you?

You also pay the inflated costs of the goods and services you purchase from companies that have had to raise their prices to cover increased insurance costs.

In short, employer-supplied health care insurance is a net loser for everyone except for the insurance companies.

It cuts your salary while increasing what you pay for goods and services.

 

When the federal government pays, you get more and it costs you nothing.

The cost of care is expected to continue to increase in the coming years, putting added pressure on employers to offer competitive benefits packages.

Employer-sponsored plans have seen increased demand for mental health services, and 44% of companies surveyed with 200 or more employees offered mental health or self-care apps as benefits, accompanying research in Health Affairs says.

Covered workers are picking up a portion of the cost when they visit in-network physicians: Average copayments were $27 for primary care and $44 for specialty care, and there was even more cost-sharing for hospital admissions or outpatient procedures.

A large majority of firms with 50 or more employees cover some telemedicine in their largest health plan. What’s next: Premiums are likely to surge next year as inflation persists.

“Premium increases may be even higher than the 3–4 percentage points that we have seen in recent years,” the Health Affairs study authors write.

It’s the classic vicious circle. The cost of health care goes up which directly increases inflation, Then, inflation pushes the cost of insurance up, which impacts your net salary. And ’round and ’round we go.

Your net take-home pay is numerically reduced by the insurance premiums, while it is functionally reduced by inflation.

Employer-provided health care insurance costs you both ways.

THE SOLUTION The U.S. federal government has infinite dollars. It neither needs nor uses tax dollars to pay its bills. Even if all federal tax collections totaled $0, the government could continue spending any amount, forever.

In fact, all federal tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt.

Without collecting a penny in taxes, the federal government could provide you and your family with free, comprehensive, no-limit health care insurance, that includes everything you can imagine — eyes, dental, psychiatric, every form of health-related equipment, etc.

Your healthcare could cost you nothing, either for services or for premiums. It could be Medicare for All only much, much better. And it wouldn’t increase the cost of goods and services, because, unlike employer-provided insurance, it wouldn’t increase employers’ costs.

Unlike employer-funded medical insurance, which does nothing for the economy, federally funded Medicare for All would grow the economy by adding stimulus dollars.

SO WHY NOT? Why don’t you have this plan, already? 

Because you have been led to believe three lies.

Lie #1. You shouldn’t trust the government to provide health care.

But, a comprehensive Medicare for All plan would not involve the government providing health care. The plan would involve the government only paying for health care.

The actual care still would be provided by your same doctors, nurses, hospitals, therapists, and equipment manufacturers. It merely would cut out the wholly unnecessary and costly middlemen, the insurance companies.

The insurance companies provide no medical function. They merely collect your dollars, take some for themselves, and pass the rest on to the real medical practitioners.

The government would function as your insurance company. The big differences would be no dollars would be taken from you, and the government never can run short of dollars.

Lie #2. Your taxes would go up.

The U.S. federal government, unlike state and local governments, is Monetarily Sovereign. It cannot unintentionally run short of U.S. dollars.

It can spend forever without collecting any tax dollars.

Compare the federal government to state and local governments. They are monetarily non-sovereign. While state and local taxes fund state and local spending, federal taxes do not fund federal spending.

The purpose of federal taxes is not to help the government spend, but rather:

a. To control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to reduce and giving tax breaks to what the government wishes to reward.

b. To create demand for the U.S. dollar by requiring taxes to be paid in dollars.

c. To reduce your demand for services (like free health care insurance), by making you believe taxes are necessary to pay for benefits.

Lie #3. Federal spending causes inflation.

No inflation ever has been caused by spending. All inflations, including the current one, are caused by shortages of key goods and services, most often oil and food.

During and after the Great Recession of 2008, we had massive government spending without inflation. We only experienced inflation when COVID caused shortages of oil, food, lumber, computer chips, shipping, labor and other products and services.

Inflation (red line) doesn’t parallel federal deficit spending (blue line).

If you understood that the federal government has infinite money and does not need or use taxes, you would demand Medicare for All, Social Security for All, College for All, Food Assistance for All, Housing Assistance for All, etc.

Why don’t we have it?

The very rich, who run America, don’t want it. They are rich because of the income/wealth/power Gap between them and you. The wider the Gap, the richer they are. But the more free benefits you receive, the narrower the Gap becomes.

Your free benefits actually make the rich less rich.

So the rich bribe the politicians (via campaign contributions and promises of employment), the media (via advertising dollars and media ownership), and the economists (via donations to schools and employment in think tanks).

The rich bribe these people to tell you “the Big Lie” that federal taxes fund federal spending, and if you want more benefits you’ll have to pay for them.

It’s all a con to keep you ignorant. An ignorant public is a docile public, which is exactly what the rich want. It keeps them rich.

Sen. Bernie Sanders recommended a Medicare for All plan, but his plan had three serious faults:

Fault #1. It claimed to rely on tax collections, the same fault current Medicare has. So Sanders struggled to show how it was tax-neutral.

That was unnecessary. He should have explained that federal taxes do not fund federal spending and that the federal government would do what it always does: Create dollars, ad hoc, to pay every bill.

Fault #2. It was not comprehensive. It still required co-pays and didn’t cover many medical problems. This was done to save money and balance against tax collections — an unnecessary step.

The federal government does not need to save dollars. It has infinite dollars. It never can run short of dollars, even if it collects zero taxes.

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.”

The scare stories about federal “debt” and deficits are just that: Scare stories. False scare stories.

So called federal “debt” and deficits are no burden on a government with the infinite ability to pay its bills. If the federal government and your political representatives were doing their job, you would have free, comprehensive Medicare for All right now.

Why do you pay a middleman when the government can provide better service, free?      

You also pay the inflated costs of the goods and services you purchase from companies that have had to raise their prices to cover increased insurance costs.

In short, employer-supplied health care insurance is a net loser for everyone except for the insurance companies.

Employer funded health care cuts your net salary, forces you to remain with your company and increases inflation.

It’s the classic vicious circle. The cost of health care goes up which directly impacts inflation, so inflation pushes the cost of insurance up, which impacts your net salary. And ’round and ’round we go.

Your net take-home pay is numerically reduced by the insurance premiums, while it is functionally reduced by inflation.

Employer-provided health care insurance costs you both ways.

There is no  need for the fake Medicare (and Social Security) “trust funds.” They are not real trust funds. Their sole purpose is to con you into believing the federal government can’t afford better plans.

It’s all a lie funded by the very rich.

Fault #3. For reasons unknown, Sanders’s version of Medicare for All required you to give up your employer-funded insurance. This requirement scared many people who love their employer-provided insurance.

No such requirement was necessary. A free, comprehensive policy, funded 100% by the federal government would be so much better than anything the insurance companies could provide, everyone would gravitate to it.

It would not cost employers anything, so it would not impact your salary or be inflationary. It would be comprehensive. It would not lock you into your job. It would cover everyone, even those with pre-existing conditions.

Only three groups would object to a free, truly comprehensive Medicare for All plan:

  • The healthcare insurance companies, who would lose their lucrative “middleman” business.
  • Those employers who use insurance as a leash to prevent you from looking for another job or asking for a raise
  • The rich, who do not want you to have free benefits lest you narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest.

The truth begins with one, simple fact. The federal government and its agencies cannot run short of dollars unless that is what Congress and the President want. The scare stories about federal “debt” and deficits are just that: Scare stories. False scare stories.

So-called “debt” and deficits are no burden on a government with the infinite ability to pay its bills. If the federal government and your political representatives were doing their job, you would have free, comprehensive Medicare for All right now.

Why pay a middleman when the government can provide better service, at zero cost to you or your employer?   

 

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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Insurance for all . . . and more.

A government’s sole purpose is to improve and protect people’s lives. No rational person would take dollars from the economy and give them to a federal government that has the infinite ability to create dollars.

Our Monetarily Sovereign government’s greatest asset is its infinite ability to create and spend its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. The federal government cannot unintentionally run short of dollars.

 

It can pay any bill and fund any enterprise based on dollars and do it without the need to collect a penny in taxes. In fact, federal taxes (unlike state/local taxes) are destroyed upon receipt.

The U.S. federal government has infinite dollars.

Though the federal government may not always be good at running things, it is outstanding at paying for things.

Consider retirement. Social Security pays for retirement life by issuing money. Though the government collects the FICA tax, this tax doesn’t fund Social Security. Like all other federal taxes, FICA dollars are destroyed.

But Social Security, unlike private retirement plans, does not rely on stock market or bond market investments or any other form of income, and it does not need to make a profit or even to break even.

Pay no attention to the Henny Penny claims of the Social Security fund’s insolvency. Social Security can become insolvent only if the federal government wants it to. Benefits could double or triple or begin at age 0 rather than in the 60s, and SS always will be able to pay benefits.

Consider Medicare. This program, too, is funded by federal money creation. Despite what you have been told, Medicare is not financed by taxes but by federal money creation.

Medicare does not do medical treatments; Medicare pays for medical treatments.

Social Security and Medicare replace insurance companies as retirement and healthcare insurance providers. Having no need for income or profits and having the unlimited ability to pay for anything, the federal government is a much better source of insurance dollars than any private sector insurance company.

We previously have recommended instituting Medicare for All and Social Security for All. In that same vein, we recommend Life Insurance for all.

The federal government already provides life insurance for its civilian employees. Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies (WAEPA) is one version:

As a non-profit formed For Feds, By Feds, we understand what it takes to help provide peace of mind. More than 46,000 Feds and their families choose WAEPA’s portable life insurance coverage to help protect the future of their families.

While we actively provide more than $10 billion in coverage to Feds, we’ve refunded over $100 million in premiums since 1996. That’s one way how WAEPA serves Feds who serve our country.

Short-Term Disability Insurance — WAEPA’s newest product provides paycheck protection for eligible illnesses or injuries.
 
You can receive up to $6,500 in coverage a month for up to six months to replace lost income if you’re out of work due to recovery.
 
Underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Another is Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI):

The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program is a life insurance program for Federal and Postal employees and annuitants, authorized by law (Chapter 87 of Title 5, United States Code).

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the Program and sets the premiums.

FEGLI does not build up cash value. You cannot take a loan out against your FEGLI insurance. OPM has a contract with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) to provide this life insurance.

MetLife has an administrative office called the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI). OFEGLI is the contractor that adjudicates claims under the FEGLI Program.

While Medicare and Social Security replace private insurance companies, WAEPA and FEGLI pay private insurance companies to administer their programs.

Either approach has advantages, but all have two glaring weaknesses.

  1. The federal government unnecessarily extracts premiums from the private sector.
  2. None of the programs offers comprehensive coverage, as though the government needed profits or even breakevens. It doesn’t.

The WAEPA website includes this chart:

It shows neither plan is comprehensive nor complete, which is not surprising. Two other federal programs, Medicare and Social Security,  are not comprehensive or complete.

But why? Given that the federal government has infinite financial resources, why should any plan it supports offer less than the optimum? 

Why does Medicare have a 20% deductible, along with limited coverages and not covering drugs or dental care, etc., without an extra cost? Why are Social Security benefits so meager? In WAEPA and FEGLI, why is one spouse’s life insurance death benefit less than the other’s?

The federal government repeatedly acts as though it can run short of dollars. It works like a monetarily non-sovereign entity. And why does the federal government extract a tax to fund something when it has the unlimited ability to support anything?

BOTTOM LINE

  1. The federal government has infinite dollars. It can pay any debt denominated in dollars. No such obligation is a burden on the government or on taxpayers.
  2. A healthy economy needs a continual input of dollars. Federal deficit spending prevents and cures recessions.
  3. A government’s sole purpose is to improve and protect people’s lives.
  4. No rational person would take dollars from the economy and give them to a federal government that has the infinite ability to create dollars.

Therefore, the federal government should fully fund the following comprehensive, no deductible, tax-free programs for every man, woman, and child who wants to participate:]

  • Healthcare insurance (aka Medicare for all)
  • Retirement insurance (Social Security for all)
  • Life insurance
  • College
  • Salary for attending college
  • Food support [aka Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)]
  • Rental (living quarters) support

Objections:

  1. Federal spending causes inflation: In previous posts (here, here, here, and elsewhere, we have demonstrated that federal deficit spending does not cause inflation. Shortages cause inflation. Inflations are cured by curing the shortages, which can be accomplished with the aid of federal deficit spending.
  2.  If given these benefits, people would refuse to work. We suggest this is not true, as demonstrated by the fact that people at all wealth strata continue to work.

    The total of human wants never is satisfied.

    If the government pays for an apartment’s rent, the family wants a bigger apartment, a car, a yacht, or a vacation home. People always want more for themselves, their children, and charity.

The single most valuable asset owned by the U.S. federal government is its Monetary Sovereignty — its unlimited ability to create and control the value of the U.S. dollar.

Unfortunately, the government and many information sources refuse to acknowledge this great asset, so we slog along with poverty, hunger, homelessness, illness, lack of education, recessions, and depressions.

The federal government has the power to mitigate or prevent them all with the application of its Monetary Sovereignty. 

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

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MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The surprising connections among, taxes, religion, and Medicare for All

Background The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor even uses tax dollars. The Treasury destroys all the dollars it receives. It creates new dollars, ad hoc, each time it pays for anything.

Even if the federal government collected zero dollars in taxes, it easily could fund comprehensive Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America.

The sole purposes of federal taxes are:

  1. To control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to discourage and by giving tax break to what the government wishes to encourage.
  2. To assure demand for the U.S. dollar by requiring that dollars be used for paying taxes.
  3. To help the rich, who control America, get richer, that is, widen the Gap between them and the rest of us. This is accomplished by pretending the federal government can’t afford to fund such benefits as Social Security, Medicare, poverty aids, etc.

Because the federal government does not fund Medicare for All, most businesses pay for some part of a private healthcare insurance policy.

This gives the business great power, not only over your working day, and not only over your salary, but even over your health, just by the terms of the policies they provide.

The latest evidence of that power relates to religion. Businesses, more and more, are able to exercise religious bigotry, and the right-wing courts love it.

The federal government encourages charitable giving by providing tax deductions. According to the Internal Revenue Service, a charity involves these activities:

The exempt purposes set forth in Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. 

The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

All but one of the above are for the benefit of the general public. That one is religion.

Religion is not charity in the true sense of the word “charity.” When you make a contribution to your religion, it’s tax deductible. But that gift goes to your own — what shall we call it — club, sect, group, creed, cult, faction, team, clan, clique, party, etc.

If, for instance, you happen to be a Catholic Republican who belongs to a country club and has season tickets for the Cubs, your gift to your Church is deductible, but your gift to the GOP, your country club, and the Cubs are not.

According to the IRS:

To define churches and other religious entities, some of the IRS guidelines consider whether or not an institution has:

  1. a distinct legal existence and religious history,
  2. a recognized creed and form of worship
  3. established places of worship
  4. a regular congregation and regular religious services, and
  5. an organization or ordained ministers.

 

The IRS doesn’t say who or what you must worship.

Based on that logic, I could start a group called, “MAGAs for Trump.”

From what I can tell, MAGAs are more worshipful of Trump than of any other “god,” I should be able to give tax-deductible gifts to the group.

And for sure, many football fans worship their team with much greater fervor than any god. So football tickets should be tax deductible.

Religion is something invented not by any supreme, magical entities in the sky but rather, by people.

Every culture down through the centuries seems to have invented religions. That is why there are, and have been, hundreds or even thousands of religions. Sun gods, moon gods, river gods, we have gods by the trainload. 

And no god is better or worse or more realistic than any other god.

The Romans and Greeks had many religons. Currently, we have such religions as Confucianism, Shinto, and Taoism. There are Japanese religions, Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, and Vietnamese religions.

We have invented Buddhism, Neo-Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Baháʼí, dozens of types of Christianity, Druze, Islam of various types, Khawarij, and Judaism of various types. And did I mention Mandaeism and Yazdânism?

Each little tribe hidden in the jungles of Africa and South America has its own religions. And by IRS definition, contributions to any of them would be tax deductible.

But why?

Why does the federal government wish to encourage these clubs, sects, groups, etc? Few of them are charities in the true sense of the word.

Most religions are nothing more than political groups hawking their gods, no different from the Dems and the GOP, selling their candidates.

The only thing that differentiates religions from Trump’s GOP is that religions are devoted to preaching myths. Hmmm. On second thought, maybe Trump’s GOP is a religion.

Judaism teaches that there are eight levels of charity. Look it up. The highest level is helping someone stand on their own gwo feet so they won’t need charity. The lowest level is to give unwillingly.

The other six levels involve different degrees of anonymity for the giver and for the recipient. For example, giving under the condition your gift will be announced to the world is a much lower level than giving anonymously.

But every level of charity involves giving to someone else, not to yourself. No level of charity involves giving to your own group, cult, clan, etc.

I’ll interrupt this discourse by saying I have no objection to charitable tax deductions. In fact, I consider all federal tax deductions to be economically beneficial.

The federal government has no need for your tax dollars so, in that sense, all deductions are good deductions. They all add stimulus dollars to the economy.

But if the primary purpose of federal taxes is to control the economy, I suggest that tax-deductible giving to religions is wrong.

It’s economically wrong because religions (most of them) are no different from advertising agencies or political parties.. They do everything agencies and political parties do and more. Religions often combine book and media publishing, radio stations, TV stations, real estate holdings, and speaking into massive income. 

But unlike secular publishers, broadcasters, real estate holders, and speakers, religions can receive tax-deductible contributions, giving them a huge economic advantage.

It’s legally wrong because giving preferential treatment to religious donations violates the Constitution’s establishment clause.

But most importantly, and ironically, it’s morally wrong because too many religions have a terrible moral history of murder, torture, various forms of corruption, and above all, bigotry.

And here is the latest immoral example to come to my notice. 

From Slate Magazine, Mark Joseph Stern, USING GOD TO DENY BASIC HEALTH CARE

Placing a boss’s claims of religious objections ahead of access to lifesaving medication is “morally and intellectu­ally repulsive,” said Mark Joseph Stern.

But a federal judge’s ruling last week that the government can’t require employers to cover PrEP antiretrov­iral drugs, which prevent HIV, could portend something far worse: bans on mandates for “almost any preventative care.”

A group of Texas plaintiffs argued that the Affordable Care Act’s rules made the complicit in potential “homosexual behavior,” drug use, and extramarital sex, violating their religious beliefs.

District Judge Reed O’Connor, known for trying to strike down the entire ACA in 2018, endorsed that argument.

But he also went further and ruled that the government agencies that decide on ACE requirements for preventative care lack the authority to create such policy.

The decision will be appealed. But it can give the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority “the opportunity it craves” to hobble these agencies.

All sorts of treatments — HIV tests, breast cancer screening, heart medication — could be next.

That would “shred the ACA,” and cause “grievous harm to millions of Americans.”

For example, if you are gay, and your boss’s religion bans gay sex, your company’s health insurance policy could refuse to cover any disease that came from your gay partner –not just AIDS but any disease. 

You go to the hospital for monkeypox? Your company insurance won’t cover it because you caught it from your gay partner, and your boss’s religion doesn’t recognize gay couplings.

And how far is this from denying insurance for someone of a different religion? After all, Muslims don’t recognize Hindus.

The Catholic hospital won’t accept you because you’re Hindu? The baker won’t bake your cake because you’re living together without official marriage? Here it comes.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Tax deductible gifts to religions cost the federal government money, just as Medicare for All would cost the government money.

Both those costs are economically beneficial because they leave money in the economy rather than taking money from the economy and giving it to the federal government, which destroys it.

Having the federal government pay for health care insurance is economically wiser than having businesses or individuals pay. When the government pays, it pumps growth dollars into the economy.

Further, the absence of comprehensive Medicare for All incentivizes businesses to pay for healthcare insurance, which gives them “moral” and religious power over employees.

We are seeing the return of government-backed bigotry disguised as “freedom of religion.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Do you understand how “The Big Lie” affects you and everyone else? The answer is here.

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

Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

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.”

Press Conference: Mario Draghi, President of the (Monetarily Sovereign) ECB, Question: I am wondering: can the ECB ever run out of money? Mario Draghi: Technically, no. We cannot run out of money.

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The Big Lie in economics, simply stated is: The U.S. government unintentionally can run short of U.S. dollars.

In 1792, the U.S. government created the first U.S. dollars from thin air. It arbitrarily passed laws that created as many dollars as it wished, and gave those dollars the value it wished.

Since then, the U.S. government continues to create U.S. dollars, and it arbitrarily has changed the value of the dollar many times.

Since its founding in 1776, the United States has had a variety of monetary systems including bimetallic systems where the dollar was backed by both gold and silver (1792-1862), a fiat monetary system (1862-1879), a full gold standard (1879-1933), and a partial gold standard (1933-1971).

Each new system changed the value of the dollar.

A Billion Dollars Was Transferred Over Venmo In January | Money cash, Money stacks, Investing
The federal government has the infinite ability to create dollars, without inflation.

From 1971 to present the United States has been on a fiat monetary standard.

The U.S. government can create laws from thin air, and those laws can create dollars from thin air. The U.S. government cannot unintentionally run out of laws or dollars.

For that reason, no agency of the U.S. government can run out of dollars unless Congress and the President wish it.

Any time you hear or read about the U.S. government not being able to “afford’ some expenditure, or about some federal agency running short of funds, or about federal taxes needing to be increased, you are subject to The Big Lie.

Being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government neither needs, nor even uses, tax dollars to fund its spending. It creates dollars by spending; that is its primary dollar-creation method.

Similarly, any time you read or hear that the federal “debt” is unsustainable, or the federal deficit is “unaffordable,” you are being told The Big Lie.

Here is an article that exemplifies The Big Lie you are expected to believe:

Go-broke dates pushed back for Social Security, Medicare
The annual Social Security and Medicare trustees report says Social Security’s trust fund will be exhausted in 2035, instead of last year’s estimate of 2034. 
By Fatima Hussein and Tom Murphy Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A stronger-than-expected economic recovery from the pandemic has pushed back the go-broke dates for Social Security and Medicare, but officials warn that the current economic turbulence is putting additional pressures on the bedrock retirement programs.

The annual Social Security and Medicare trustees report released last week said Social Security’s trust fund will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2035, instead of last year’s estimate of 2034.

The year before that it estimated an exhaustion date of 2035. The projected depletion date for Medicare’s trust fundfor inpatient hospital care moved back two years to 2028 from last year’s forecast of 2026.

In the post titled, “’Wolf,’ ‘The sky is falling.’ ‘Social Security and Medicare will be insolvent'” you read why the Medicare and Social Security so-called “trust funds” are not trust funds at all, but rather are mere balance sheet notations on the government’s books — notations that the federal government can change at will.

You might ask, “How is it possible for an agency of a government to run short of the dollars the government has the infinite ability to create.”

The answer: It isn’t possible unless that is what the government wants.

If Congress and the President wanted Medicare and Social Security to pay more benefits, they simply would pass a law mandating Medicare and Social Security to pay more benefits.

And, if Congress and the President wanted to reduce or even eliminate the FICA tax, they would pay for the mandate the same way they pay for the military and all other federal expenses: By writing checks. No tax dollars are involved.

And if Congress and the President wanted the nation to have free, no-deductible, comprehensive Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America, they could do that by passing laws. No tax dollars necessary.

And if Congress and the President wanted every man, woman, and child in America to receive Social Security — even with triple the current benefit levels — they could pass the appropriate law. Again, no tax dollars need to be collected.

The article continues:

“Economic recovery from the 2020 recession has been stronger and faster than assumed in last year’s reports, with positive effects on the projected actuarial status of the trust funds in these reports,” the report states.

The “actuarial status” assumes the FICA tax funds Medicare and Social Security “trust funds.” It doesn’t. FICA funds nothing. FICA,indeed all federal taxes are destroyed upon receipt.

(This is not true of state/local taxes, which remain in the economy.)

The federal government funds Medicare and Social Security by creating new dollars, ad hoc.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that the report “shows that the strong economic recovery driven by my economic and vaccination plans has strengthened programs that millions of Americans rely on and has put our nation in a better fiscal position.”

The U.S. cannot be “in a better fiscal position”; it already is in a perfect fiscal position. The government has zero fiscal need for taxes. Even without taxes, the federal government has the infinite ability to pay any bills it ever receives.

Social Security pays benefits to more than 65 million Americans, mainly retirees as well as disabled people and survivors of deceased workers.

Medicare covers roughly 64 million older and disabled people.

When the Social Security trust fund is depleted, the government will be able to pay 80% of scheduled benefits, the report said.

Medicare will be able to pay 90% of total scheduled benefits when the fund is depleted.

Wrong. The government already pays 100% of benefits and will be able to pay 100% of future benefits, no matter how many people are collecting benefits or how large those benefits prove to be.

All dollars sent to the U.S. Treasury are destroyed upon receipt.

Income for Medicare’s hospital insurance fund is projected to be higher than estimates from last year because the number of covered workers who help fund it and their average wages are both expected to be higher.

Income is irrelevant for a government that has the infinite ability to create dollars.

A main source of financing is payroll taxes on earnings paid by employees and employers. About 183 million people paid those taxes in 2021.

Payroll taxes are nothing more than a deduction from the private sector — a net loss for Gross Domestic Product and the economy. They do not finance anything. The sole source of federal financing is the federal government’s Monetary Sovereignty.

The trustees of Social Security and Medicare include the secretaries of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor, as well as the Social Security commissioner.

They are supposed to be joined by two public trustees, however those positions have been vacant since 2015.

The “Trustees” do nothing. They have no power. It’s all just a bookkeeping function, which is handled automatically by computers. That is why trustee positions can be vacant without harm.

A representative from the White House did not respond to an email inquiry about whether the president intends to nominate new public trustees.

Trustees are unnecessary.

The trustees report is an added reminder of the U.S. government’s financial troubles, as it juggles historically high inflation, recovery from a pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The economy may have “financial troubles.” It can run short of dollars. But the government cannot have financial troubles. It has infinite dollars with which to pay its bills. And it has the unlimited ability to control inflation.

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said the reports “send a clear message to Congress: despite the short-term improvement, you must act to protect the benefits people have earned and paid into both now and for the long-term.”

The first step to “protect the benefits” is to stop telling The Big Lie.

“The stakes are too high for the millions of Americans who rely on Medicare and Social Security for their health and financial wellbeing,” she said.

This year, Social Security retirees got a 5.9% boost in benefits, the biggest cost-of-living adjustment, also known as COLA, in 39 years.

You, retirees, could have received a 10% or 100% or greater boost in benefits if Congress and the President wished it. Congress and the President have absolute control over benefits.

The destructiveness of The Big Lie, is shown in the following article:

500,000 Floridians could lose health coverage, study says
Christopher O’Donnell,Tampa Bay Times
More than 500,000 Floridians could lose their health insurance if Congress fails to extend tax credits passed through the American Rescue Plan Act, a new report warns.

The tax credits dramatically lowered premiums for millions of Florida families who this year obtained their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

But those subsidies will expire at the end of this year as attempts by Congress to extend them have stalled.

Can you answer this question? Why would a Congress, that has infinite dollars at its fingertips, not be able to lower premiums for millions of families?

If lawmakers cannot reach an agreement, premiums could rise by 53% in 2023, forcing millions of Americans to go without health insurance.

Florida would be one of the states hardest hit, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

Roughly 96 percent of the 2.7 million Floridians enrolled in the Affordable Care Act were eligible for the tax credits this year. Without them, a household of four with an income of $111,000 will pay hundreds of dollars more in premiums next year.

Families that earn above that limit would no longer be eligible for the program. They could face an average increase of about $2,000 per year in premiums if they have to purchase private insurance.

The likely impact, the study warns, is the number of uninsured in Florida could rise by 25 percent, from 2 million to 2.5 million.

Families without health insurance typically forego critical preventative and early treatment of health issues until their condition forces them to seek emergency room care — the same strain on hospital resources and budgets that the Affordable Care Act was intended to relieve.

“A 53% increase on premiums could be very painful for a whole lot of families in the state of Florida.”

Of course, it’s not just Florida. The unnecessary pain will extend to families all over America. Can you answer this question? Why is this even an issue, for a government having unlimited financial resources?

Opposition to extending the tax credits has focused on the cost.

 Extending them would increase the federal deficit by $25.3 billion in 2023 and by $305 billion over 10 years, the study says.

House Democrats can extend the credits via a reconciliation bill to clear Republican opposition

But the fate of that program and many others depends on negotiations between President Joe Biden and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to get the president’s social spending bill through the Senate.

Can you answer this question? Why are 100% of Republicans plus one Democrat opposed to providing federal financial aid to families?

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg was critical of Republican Gov. DeSantis. Florida is one of only 13 states that continues to reject a provision of the Affordable Care Act — passed over a decade ago — that would expand Medicaid eligibility to more than 400,000 of the poorest Floridians.

The federal government pays 90% of the cost. So by expanding Medicaid, Florida will pay only 10 cents to receive each dollar the federal government pumps into its economy.

Can you answer this question? Why would Florida refuse those many millions of support dollars? And why does Florida reject federal aid for its poorest residents?

In 2021, Florida lawmakers did pass legislation to make Medicaid available for for mothers and babies, extending their coverage from 60 days to a full year following childbirth.

But Floridians who earn less than the federal poverty level of $13,590 are not eligible for Medicaid as they would be in states that have fully expanded Medicaid.

Can you answer this question? Why are the poorest Floridians not eligible to receive federally supported Medicaid?

Since it took effect in 2014, the Affordable Care Act — often called Obamacare — has made health insurance affordable to more Americans by creating health insurance marketplaces and subsidizing the cost of premiums.

It helped the program add 2.5 million more Americans this year, expanding nationwide enrollment to a record 14.4 million.

“People who previously turned away and looked at alternative options like short term insurance were able to reconsider and saw a really affordable rate,” said Katie Roders Turner, executive director of the Family Healthcare Foundation.

She said a family of four that her group helped find insurance had just been hit with a $6,000 emergency room bill after their child developed a high fever because their short-term insurance policy included a large deductible.

Desperate people were buying junk insurance policies because they couldn’t qualify for federally supported insurance.

A lady named Graciela Lopez said subsidies in the Affordable Care Act enabled her to afford the coverage she needs to cover life-saving treatment. She was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and had a double mastectomy.

She sees an oncologist every three months and another specialist twice a year. She is also on daily medication that would cost $1,000 per month without insurance.

Most of the cost is covered through a marketplace plan offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which costs her $169 per month.

Insurance also pays for a substantial portion of the daily medication she takes to lower hormone levels that could trigger her cancer.

She is worried she won’t be able to afford a substantial premium hike.

“If I change my insurance, I have to find different oncologists,” she said. “I have to keep my insurance as long as I can.”

Can you answer this question? Why does Gracie Lopez, along with millions of other Americans, not receive free, comprehensive, no-deductible health care insurance paid for by the federal government?

The answers to all of the above financial questions are:

  1. The widespread (and false) belief the federal Monetarily Sovereign finances are the same and your personal (monetarily non-sovereign) finances, and that the federal government, like you, can run short of dollars.
  2. The widespread (and false) belief that federal taxpayers fund federal spending or that the federal government borrows dollars.
  3. The widespread (and false) belief that if Monetary Sovereignty were correct “someone” would have done “something” about it, and provided free Medicare, free Social Security, and other financial aids (See “Ten Steps To Prosperity” below) to every man, woman, and child in America.
  4. The widespread (and false) belief that federal spending “overheats the economy” and causes inflation.
  5. Gap Psychology, the desire of the rich who run America, to widen the income/wealth/power Gap beween them and those below them.
  6. Both political parties are responsible for disseminating The Big Lie. The Republican party, being the party of the rich, is somewhat more culpable, but both parties, virtually all media, and most economists are guilty to some degree.

ANY TIME YOU READ OR HEAR . . . 

. . . the U.S. government can’t ‘afford’ some expenditure, or about some federal agency running short of funds, or about federal taxes needing to be increased, you are a victim of The Big Lie.” (The federal government can’t unintentionally run short of dollars.)

. . .  in reference to some proposed federal expenditure, “Who will pay for it?”, you are a victim of The Big Lie. (The government will create the dollars.)

. . . the phrase “taxpayers’ money” in reference to federal spending, you are a victim of The Big Lie. (Federal taxpayers’ dollars are destroyed, not spent.)

 . . . that the federal deficit or debt are  “unsustainable,” you are a victim of The Big Lie. (Federal deficits and so-called “debt” are infinitely sustainable.)

 . . .  concerns that China will stop lending to us, you are a victim of The Big Lie. (The federal government does not borrow dollars.)

 . . . that federal spending causes inflation, you are a victim of The Big Lie. (Inflation always is caused by shortages, and actually can be cured by federal spending.) 

 Congress and the President could repudiate The Big Lie by changing laws, with a few strokes of a pen.

We are now heading into midterm elections. Congress and the President care about two things: Money and votes.

If you disagree with The Big Lie, contact your political leaders, and tell them how they can receive your money and/or vote.

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