Self-immolation by the Dems Thursday, Nov 15 2018 

Image result for bernanke and greenspan

The rich don’t want us to let the rest know that federal taxes don’t fund federal spending.

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.”

Alan Greenspan: “Central banks can issue currency, a non-interest-bearing claim on the government, effectively without limit. A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e.,unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.

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To understand liars you must listen to (or read) liars, which is why I read Breitbart, the ultimate in prevarication and exaggeration. In Breitbart, you sometimes can uncover a tiny nugget of truth from the vast supplies of bovine excrement, or at least acquire a better understanding of fool’s thinking.

Here is a Breitbart story which I found both fascinating and disturbing, because amazingly, it contained what appears to be the abovementioned nugget:

WATCH — DNC CEO Seema Nanda: I Do Not Know How to Pay for ‘Medicare for All’
14 Nov 2018

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chief executive officer Seema Nanda admitted on Tuesday she does not know how to pay for the socialized medicine scheme known as Medicare for All, estimates of which are somewhere between $32 and $38 trillion.

Nanda, during Yahoo Finance’s “All Markets Summit: America’s Financial Future” event in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, the interviewer asked:

It would be very expensive, so, if this is going to be a winning issue for Democrats in 2020, how do you answer the question of how are you going to pay for this? Because there have been studies, credible studies that say it would cost three trillion dollars a year, you would have to double everybody’s taxes or maybe triple everybody’s taxes.

How do you answer the cost question?

“So, you know, your answer is I don’t know how we’re going to get there, but these are all big conversations that we need to be engaged in,” Nanda added.

Perhaps Nanda does know but doesn’t wish to give away the Democrat’s plans just yet. Or, more likely, she is as clueless as Sen. Bernie Sanders was when he first proposed Medicare for All.

Virtually everyone, left and right, believes that having medical insurance is important. Today’s medicine simply is so expensive that only the richest among us could risk not having a backup plan to pay.

So, the question becomes a simple one: Who should pay for medical insurance, the public or the federal government?

“The public,” which consists of people, businesses and local governments, is financially constrained. It does not have unlimited funds. The public can, and often does, run short of dollars. It is what is known as monetarily non-sovereign.

By contrast, the federal government is not financially constrained. It has the unlimited ability to create its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. It is Monetarily Sovereign.

The U.S. government never can run short of dollars. Even if all federal taxing totaled $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

In fact, the federal government’s method for creating dollars and adding them to the economy, is to pay creditors.

So, before we continue with the Breitbart article, think about the answer to this basic question:

Who should pay for healthcare, the public which does not have unlimited money or the federal government which does have unlimited money?

Paying for Medicare for All remains a daunting task for Democrats. Multiple studies have estimated that the plan would cost between $32 and $38 trillion over the next ten years, contrary to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) claim that the plan would save America money.

In the unlikely event that the $38 trillion over ten years turns out to be correct, what does the seemingly simple term “save America money” mean?

If the federal government were to fund for Medicare for All, that indeed would save the American people money.

And the federal government has no need to save money, because it has the unlimited ability to create dollars.

So yes, Medicare for All would save America money.

The Associated Press (AP) even noted that the socialized medicine proposal would require “historic” tax increases to pay for the single-payer healthcare proposal.

Note the pejorative and incorrect term “socialized medicine.” In socialized medicine, the government would own all the medical facilities and employ all the medical workers.

I know of no one who suggests that. It’s a fake objection by Breitbart, the home of fake objections to anything that benefits the middle classes and the poor.

In Medicare for All, as with today’s Medicare, the federal government merely takes the place of private insurance carriers.

It does not own the hospital and clinics and pharmaceutical companies.e It does not employ the doctors, nurses and other personnel. It merely writes checks, which it can do endlessly.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said that Medicare will soon become bankrupt and that adding half of the country to the government health care program will not improve anyone’s health care.

Because the U.S. federal government has the unlimited ability to create U.S. dollars, it cannot unintentionally go bankrupt.

And because the federal government cannot go bankrupt, no agency of the federal government unintentionally can go bankrupt.

Even if all FICA taxes disappeared, the federal government could support Medicare for All forever, and I suspect Cassidy knows this.

“My point is Medicare for All is Medicare for none,” Cassidy told Breitbart News in October.

“Medicare is actually going bankrupt in eight years, and now Bernie Sanders wants to put 150 million more people into a system going bankrupt in eight years?”

No, Medicare will not go bankrupt in eight years or in eighty years, unless Congress wishes it.

Many in Congress do not understand the differences between federal financing and personal financing. They think federal debt is like personal debt, and is a burden on the government or on taxpayers.

It is neither.

Many others in Congress are well aware that the federal government has the unlimited ability to fund Medicare for All, and in fact, adding trillions of dollars would provide a dramatic stimulus to the overall economy.

These members of Congress do not want you to know this for fear you will make “unreasonable” demands on the government.

What is an “unreasonable” demand? Anything that narrows the Gap between the rich and the rest. (See: Gap Psychology)

In summary: Every person in America should be able to afford health care, and not to be financially devastated by illness. But someone has to pay for such insurance.

The public’s funds are limited, but the federal government’s funds are unlimited. The only logical solution is for the federal government to pay for Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America — which the federal government easily can do.

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

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA

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

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

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

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

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

9. Federal ownership of all banks

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

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

America’s long-term care. Suffer in illness, then die early in poverty Sunday, Feb 25 2018 

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
.

The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.

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A nation that does not take care of its elderly is, to borrow a phrase from our President, a “shithole” country. In fact, if you could vote for a single measure of a nation’s greatness, the treatment of its elderly would rank near the top.

By that measure, the U.S. does moderately well, but certainly not “great,” especially considering our vast national wealth. Unfortunately, that vast national wealth is not spread evenly, so millions cannot afford long term care.

Could you afford these costs?

 It is not uncommon for someone to receive care at home for several months or longer, followed by a two and a half year stay in an assisted living facility, with almost 60% then requiring a nursing home stay of somewhere between nine months and a little over two years.

All combined, this is a total of approximately 4-5 years of long-term care. In this scenario, the total cost of care could easily exceed $300,000, depending on the cost of care in your region.

Would you find this affordable? Would paying for it leave you impoverished? And, after paying all that money, what would happen to you if you finally left the nursing home facility?

The U.S. offers two primary, but insufficient, programs to protect our elderly: Social Security for living expenses, and Medicare for hospital and doctor expenses.

SOCIAL SECURITY
For those people who have not earned enough or been prudent enough to save a significant amount for retirement, Social Security benefits are ridiculously inadequate.

How Big Is the Average Person’s Social Security Check?
The Motley Fool, Todd Campbell, Aug 30, 2017

In the 12-month period ending June 2017, over 2.9 million Americans signed up for Social Security benefits. On average, these retired workers were awarded $1,413.08 in monthly benefits, however, the average benefits payable were quite different for men and women.

In the period, 1.4 million women filed for Social Security benefits, and their average award was $1,231.50. Men, however, were awarded $1,583.77, on average.

Wage inequality arguably plays a role in women’s lower average payment, but so, too, does Social Security’s formula, which penalizes individuals who take time off from their career to raise children.

Congress has added two years to the date when you first can receive normal Social Security benefits. Why? Because Congress is run by the rich, and the rich want the Gap widened between the rich and the rest.

For the rich, the less given to the lower income groups, including the elderly, the better.

To deceive the public, politicians make the dual false claims that the federal government is running short of dollars, and that your federal taxes are necessary to fund federal spending.

As a result, too many of America’s elderly suffer in illness, then die early in poverty.

MEDICARE
It actually is a good program so far as it goes, but it won’t cover all your medical costs, which means you’ll have choices:

  1. Pay for a Medigap policy, or
  2. Pay for what Medicare doesn’t cover, or
  3. Do without some medical services.

And in the almost 100% probability that you’ll need medicines, you’ll either have to:

  1. Pay for a “Medicare Part D” policy, or
  2. Pay for the medicines, yourself
  3. Do without medicine.

Everything boils down to “pay for” (may be impossible for many) or “do without.”

Here’s how many Americans have nothing at all saved for retirement
Ester Bloom
If you’re overwhelmed by the financial responsibilities of day-to-day life and more focused on making it to the end of the month than on the possibility of being able to save for the distant future, you’re not alone.

In fact, the vast majority of Americans have under $1,000 saved and half of all Americans have nothing at all put away for retirement.

There is a related problem. Middle-income people lead middle-income lives. Over the years, they do middle-income things.

They live in middle-income communities, drive-middle-income cars and when planning for the future, they anticipate middle-income expenses.

But then, they are surprised:

Wages finally rising, but not for middle class
 Don Lee Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON —Jorge Hunzelmann was pleased enough when his employer bumped up his pay this year by $2.50 an hour to $19.50.

The truck driver, 52 and father of two, is a beneficiary of a tightening labor market, but he does not have company-provided health benefits, and he says it’s still a hand-to-mouth existence for his family. “We don’t have money to save to put into the bank,” said the Gaithersburg, Md., resident.

Most of us expect to lead modest lives when we first go to work. Then we anticipate significant wage gains until perhaps we are in our 50’s, after which we predict more modest wage gains, but gains nevertheless until we retire in our 60’s.

And we live according to our anticipations. So perhaps we plan to rent an apartment, followed by a modest house, then a bigger house, all of which we expect to be able to afford on our anticipated income.

But what happens if our income does not increase as we had planned, and here we already live in a neighborhood we can’t afford, and have children and friends we can’t afford? The step back is incredibly painful and humiliating for our entire family.

Across the country, wages that were stuck for years finally seem to have started to rise faster, especially in industries such as trucking, which is begging for workers. Average hourly earnings for all private-sector employees last month grew at a 2.9 percent annual rate of increase, the most since 2009.

That has fueled hopes for workers. It has also spooked some investors with fears of higher inflation and interest rates.

But wage gains thus far have been very uneven, according to Labor Department statistics. They’re concentrated at the higher end of the pay scale and the lower. By and large, the broad middle of the labor force has not seen much of a raise, mirroring a long-running trend.

Even with unemployment at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the proverbial rising tide has not lifted all boats: The fancy yachts have gotten most of the lift.

Take the finance sector, which has led the pack in the recent wage increases. Some 8.5 million people work in banking, insurance and real estate; their average hourly pay jumped 4.2 percent in January from a year earlier, to just a penny under $34 an hour.

But for ordinary nonsupervisory employees in finance — about four out of five financial-industry workers — the average increase was just 1.6 percent, to $26.75 an hour.

“It’s a pulling apart at the top,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, noting that if the trend continues, it will exacerbate the country’s already large income inequality. 

The problem is not that the poor are too “lazy” to work, or that the middle are too “ignorant” to have a plan.

The problem is that the rich have stacked the deck by bribing Congress to pass laws that favor the rich — laws that widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

This brings us to long-term care.

LONG-TERM CARE
Caution on long-term care
Elliot Raphaelson, Chicago Tribune, raphelliot@gmail.com

When people live past 65, there is a high probability that they will need some form of long-term care.

A major problem for many insurance companies in the long-term care industry is that they are not profitable or are losing money.

Immediately, we see several problems:Related image

Long-term care is like medical care, in that the majority of us will need it as we grow older, but unlike medical care, there is no “Medicare” for long-term care. This is a terrible omission by Congress.

And unlike medical care, long-term care usually ends with death. While people ordinarily occupy a hospital bed for a day or two — a week is exceptional — an elderly person may spend many years needing long-term care.

Thus, it is difficult, if not impossible, for private insurance companies to provide affordable long-term care coverage at affordable premiums, and still be profitable.

People are living much longer now than when many of the long-term care policies were sold.

And, it was commonly assumed that 5 percent of policyholders would allow their policies to lapse annually. In fact, only about 1 percent of policyholders have done so.

There is something implicitly wrong with pricing a policy in the hopes that every year, 5% of policyholders would spend money on premiums, then allow the policy to lapse when it is needed most.

Another assumption was that insurance companies would be able to invest their capital at a 7.5 percent return. Interest rates, however, have remained below historical levels, and returns in 2017 were approximately 4.6 percent, according to A.M. Best.

The problem with private, for-profit insurance companies is that they are designed first to make a profit, and only secondarily, to provide a service.  This problem becomes quite serious in the case of a necessary service paid for by the public.

Many insurance companies offering LTC policies have either gone out of business or discontinued selling the policies. Most of the companies that remain in the business have taken steps to increase premiums for existing policyholders and new customers.

Healthy people have invested many thousands of dollars to have protection by LTC policies, only to discover that the LTC policies will not be there when finally needed.

Insurance companies cannot arbitrarily raise premiums for existing customers without the approval of the state insurance department. When premium increases have been granted, they have more than doubled. For those who had the foresight to buy these policies many years ago, it seems very unfair.

The majority of policyholders expected that their premiums would remain fixed. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any insurance company that guaranteed premiums would not increase.

If any company had guaranteed its premiums were fixed, that company is out of business, today. In essence, the underwriting either was knowingly fraudulent, with low premiums as a “come-on,” or it was done with extraordinary ignorance.

Another factor that makes the situation worse is that many of these policyholders have already retired and have few or no options to increase their income to be able to afford premium increases.

The people who can afford premium increases least, are the ones who lose coverage just before they need it most.

Insurance companies can go to their state insurance departments to try to obtain approval for premium increases. If the insurance department refuses to approve premium increases, the insurance company — facing large losses — may have to liquidate.

When an insurance company is forced to liquidate, the policyholder generally loses some coverage. There is no guarantee, when a company does liquidate, that policyholders will receive the coverage they initially contracted for.

Currently, only about a dozen companies still offer LTC policies.

In summary, long-term care is:

  1. Unaffordable for the average person,
  2. Necessary for
  3. A high percentage of people are
  4. Unprofitable to insure, except with high premiums and low coverage.

Those four factors: Costly, necessary, commonly needed and unprofitable cry out for federal support. They describe the exact services the federal government should provide.

The solution:

The problem lies with the private insurance companies and their profit motive.

The solution is a Medicare for All plan that includes long-term care, funded by a Monetarily Sovereign government that has no need for profits and cannot run short of dollars.

No public purpose is served by forcing Americans to self-insure or to pay for long-term care private insurance out of their own pockets.

Medicare is a social experiment that has identified the private insurance companies as useless middlemen. The experiment has worked, as far as it has gone. It just hasn’t gone far enough.

Our long-term care problems are mistakenly identified as “high costs,” or “lack of preparation by the young,”  The real problem is the unnecessary insertion of private insurance company “middlemen” into the situation.

With regard to long-term care, private insurance companies serve no function other than to increase costs and to decrease benefits. Federally funded Medicare should pay for long-term care.

Otherwise, our older Americans will continue to suffer in illness, then die early in poverty. And you probably will be one of them.

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

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

OMG! Another wrong, wrong, wrong message to you about Medicare. Tuesday, Sep 12 2017 

Image result for the truth will set you free
It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

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It simply is maddening, the misinformation you have been receiving about Medicare and Medicare for All.

Those of you who are on Medicare, and even those who are not, understand that the program is an insurance program. Let me repeat that: MEDICARE IS AN INSURANCE PROGRAM.

It takes the place of private insurance.

Like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and other health care insurance companies, Medicare does not own hospitals, does not employ health care workers and does not own pharmaceutical companies. It is insurance.

You might expect that to be obvious to anyone who has not been living in a cave for the past 50 years, and it especially should be obvious to people who write articles about Medicare.

So, how can we explain the following article that appeared in Reason.com?

Most Americans Want Government-Run Health Care Until They Find Out the Government Will Run Health Care
And when they find out it means higher taxes, support crumbles further.
Eric Boehm|Sep. 12, 2017

Public support for single-payer health care is growing—in fact, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in July found a majority of Americans support it—but that increase comes with an important caveat.

Most Americans only want government-run health care until they find out that it means the government will run their health care.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, and did I mention, wrong.

Medicare for All is not government run health care. It’s government funded insurance for health care. Is it really possible that the author, Eric Boehm doesn’t understand the difference?

An example of government run health care is the Veterans’ Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a benefit system for veterans, their families, and survivors that is run by the federal government. As part of the benefit system, the VA owns and operates many VA hospitals across the country.

See the difference? If so, please contact Mr. Boehm at Eric.Boehm@Reason.com, and educate him.

Here is more nonsense from Mr. Boehm:

I thought about that this morning while reading J.D. Tuccille’s excellent piece asking, “Are You Sure You Want Medicare For All?”

He walks through the various ways government-run health care seems to be appealing—it means families no longer have to bear the cost of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own, for example—and the far greater number of reasons why government-run health care would be a fiscal, political, and medical disaster

Sorry to be redundant, but it isn’t “government run health care.” It is government funded health care.

No one says health care is “insurance company run,” so why do they talk about “government run”? There is a reason. It’s part of the scare tactics funded by the insurance industry.

Anyway, the hospitals still would be privately owned and operated. The doctors and nurses still would be privately employed. The pharmaceutical companies still would be privately operated. In short, health care would continue to be privately run, not government run.

Jumping through bureaucratic hurdles for the privilege of accepting substandard compensation isn’t as attractive as it might seem.

That may be why a growing number of physicians refuse to see Medicare patients, others limit the number they’ll accept, and more balk all the time.

Here, Boehm is onto something. The fact is that Medicare doesn’t pay doctors and hospitals enough. 

There is no financial reason for this. Unlike privately owned insurance companies, the federal government cannot run short of dollars. Medicare easily could pay doctors double, triple, or ten time what it now pays.

Here, the problem is the myth we often have discussed — the myth that the federal debt and deficit are too large, “unsustainable,” and should be reduced.

It’s utter nonsense, but it is the prevailing lie — the Big Lie — emanating from Congress and the insurance industry.

Under a single-payer system, options for medical providers may be more limited than they are now—there probably wouldn’t be any better-paying private insurers to take by preference to the government system.

There is no reason why options for medical providers may be more limited than they are now. Because the federal government is far better able to afford to provide options than are any private insurance companies, options should be greater with Medicare for All.

But there also wouldn’t be any private insurers to effectively subsidize Medicare patients.

In the case of a single-payer transition, doctors who find the terms of Medicare for All unacceptable may switch entirely to private-pay (if that’s still permitted), while some percentage will leave medicine entirely.

There is no reason why anyone needs to “subsidize” Medicare. Even the existence of today’s Medicare Supplement insurance is based on the myth that the federal government can’t afford to pay the entire bill.

A true Medicare for All program would provide free, comprehensive, no-deductible health care insurance for every man, woman, and child in America.

There is not a single financial reason why the federal government cannot provide such a program.

Sadly, Bernie Sanders has been afraid to say it. He proposed a so-called Medicare for All program that is financially limited.

Considering the potential for switching over to single-payer in The Atlantic, Olga Khazan predicts “Hospitals would shut down, and waits for major procedures would extend from a few weeks to several months.”

This is the classic scare tactic funded by the private insurance companies.  Even today, 60% of hospital patients are funded by Medicare, Medicaid, or other government programs:

  • Medicare: 40.9 percent
  • Medicaid: 17.2 percent
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield, other private insurance: 16.5 percent
  • HMO or PPO: 14 percent
  • Self-pay: 4.9 percent
  • Worker’s compensation and other government programs: 2 percent

And even with the unnecessarily stingy payments, most hospitals in America are thriving. (The ones having financial problems generally are the rural, smaller hospitals, and they simply are not receiving enough insurance money.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are getting ready to unveil a Medicare-for-all scheme.

Expect that issue to feature prominently in the 2018 midterm election as Democrats try to win back control of Congress.

Expect it to be based on the Big Lie that federal deficit spending should be reduced.

Yet despite the Big Lie, that has caused ACA (Obamacare) to be an unnecessarily complex, convoluted Rube Goldbergian plan, still the program covers millions of people the private insurance industry did not cover.

Republicans have botched their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare so badly that the threat of single-payer is real, and growing.

The “threat” of single payer? Does the use of the word “threat” leave any doubt that this article was written at the behest of the private insurance industry.

Yes, the private insurance companies regard single payer as a “threat,” and with good reason. Their high rates, high deductibles, plan limits, and their refusal to cover sick people and specialized medicines and expensive treatments has made them vulnerable to a plan that offers total, endless coverage for every person, and at zero cost.

That July Kaiser survey suggests that Americans aren’t actually ready to jump on the single-payer train. (The Sanders/Warren “Medicare-for-all” plan would not be a true national single-payer system, but would amount to putting more Americans into government-run health plans. Kaiser’s poll used both “single-payer” and “Medicare-for-all” interchangeably.)

So long as the right-wing debt hawks support the insurance industry rather than the public, and so long as they provide scare (false) information to the public — and so long as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren don’t have the courage to tell the public the truth —  we will see such poll results.

The public is being misled by the insurance companies and the debt hawks, and as we repeatedly have said (in previous posts):

Image result for breaking chainsIt takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

While 55 percent of Americans say they want a single-payer/Medicaid-for-all plan, those in favor tend to change their minds when they hear that it means giving the government more control over health care, or that Americans would have to pay more in taxes.

Right. People change their minds when they are told, falsely, that the government would control health care and taxes would go up.  Neither is true.

Doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies would continue to provide health care, and there is absolutely no reason why taxes would go up.

In fact, FICA could be completely eliminated, and the federal government still could provide Medicare to every man, woman, and child in America.

That tracks with other polling on the issue. A May poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found support for single-payer state healthcare at 65 percent statewide, but that number dropped to 42 percent when respondents were told at least $50 billion in new taxes would be required to pay for it.

That’s a pretty optimistic view of the taxes that would be required to pay for single-payer in California; the actual cost would be well over $100 billion annually.

No, that is the Big Lie. Neither $50 billion nor $100 billion would be necessary to pay for it. No tax dollars at all are necessary.

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, creates brand new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a bill.

Are you sure you want government-run health care? Many Americans don’t seem to understand the question. But once they do, the answer is “no.”

Sure, once Americans intentionally are given the wrong information, they answer, “No.”

To repeat: It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

In this case, knowledge is easily obtained. Ignorance is a choice.

What choice will the public make?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

A concern about “Medicare for All” Friday, Sep 8 2017 

Image result for breaking chains

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

In the previous post, “How our friends hurt us more than our enemies can,” we explained that contrary to popular opinion, there is no shortage of money to support federal funding of Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America.

Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government never can run out of its own sovereign currency, the dollar. Indeed, the federal government’s method for creating dollars is to spend dollars.

The government sends instructions to creditors’ banks, instructing the banks to increase the balances in the creditors’ checking accounts. When the banks obey those instructions, brand new dollars are created.

In response, reader “Bgray” wrote:

“As the MS/MMT community knows, the real question about single payer universal health care is not how much it costs, as that is irrelevant, but rather are there sufficient resources, namely doctors, nurses, technicians, clinics, and hospitals, to handle the large influx of new patients.

“Let’s be honest, the real issue has more to do with the underlying fear with respect to the reallocation of medical resources away from the rich towards the poor, and how quickly the health care system can adjust to the increased demand.”

I agree and disagree.

Yes, Bgray is correct that the cost of universal health care is effectively irrelevant, as the dollars would be supplied from a limitless source.

But, though some of the rich (the .1%) may fear losing medical resources to the poor, that is unlikely to happen. Resources always follow the money. One cannot imagine wealthy people being unable to obtain services from the very best doctors, nurses, technicians, clinics, and hospitals.

But, I agree with “Bgray” about potential shortages of resources for the 99%.

Every major change leads to shortages. The invention of the automobile required vast changes in the supply of steel, oil, rubber, etc. All-electric cars have led to a shortage of batteries, which is why Tesla is building a giant battery factory.

Federal support of the military has created massive needs for weaponry, leading at times, to shortages of vital materials.

The invention of the smart phone caused shortages of rare earths. Medicine’s increase in human lifespan has created a shortage in elder care facilities.

As for the presumed shortage of doctors, nurses, technicians, clinics, and hospitals to service the 99%, this could be alleviated by:

  1.  Encouraging entry into the medical service professions by paying medical service personnel more. Because “Medicare for All” would not lack for money, there would be no need to skimp on pay.
  2. Paying students to attend school, and helping to reduce the dropout rate of potential future doctors, nurses,  and technicians. (See Steps #4 and #5, below)
  3. Increasing drug and medical procedure R&D, leading to faster recoveries and more home recoveries. We already have begun that. Most hospital stays today are much shorter than they were 20 years ago.
  4. Increasing R&D on computer-aided diagnoses and treatment to reduce the number of doctors needed per patient, and lead to fewer hospital admissions, and also to shorter stays.
  5. Developing better equipment to make doctors, nurses, and technicians more effective and able to service more patients per year
  6. Reducing personnel-dense intensive care and emergency room usage by making regular doctor and hospital stays affordable and medical services more effective.  This would make hospitals able to service more patients per year.

In summary, government funding of goods or services can lead to imbalances — shortages (and excesses) of related goods and services. These imbalances then are addressed by private and public efforts, which cause further imbalances.

There is no doubt that increased federal investment in health care will lead to shortages, but we cannot allow that to become a bar to life improvements.

The road of progress can be bumpy, but the destination has proven to be rewarding.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

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