Why we can’t afford wholesome food Monday, Jan 23 2017 

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

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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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Trump targets “the FDA Food Police,” calls for elimination of food-safety regulations in new tax plan   by SOPHIA TESFAYE

According to an accompanying fact sheet released by the Trump campaign, the businessman plans to dramatically scale back government regulations, including food safety and environmental measures, in order to save almost $1 trillion over the next decade.

“The FDA Food Police, which dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food,” the Trump campaign fact sheet complained.

“The rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It also greatly increased inspections of food ‘facilities,’ and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill.”

“My plan will embrace the truth that people flourish under a minimum government burden,” Trump said

As we all have been told by Donald Trump and many others, the federal government is too big. It costs taxpayers too much and its rules stifle business.

As is so often the case, what we have been told is wrong. Contrary to popular wisdom, taxes do not pay for the federal government.

You may visualize the federal government accepting your tax dollars, putting them in a bank somewhere, and then spending them. That is the way state and local governments operate. That even is the way you and I operate.

But, the federal government is unique. It does not need income. It does not use taxes. It creates dollars ad hoc, every time it pays an invoice.

When the government pays for something, it sends instructions (not dollars) to its creditor’s bank, telling the bank to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account. The instructions can be in the form of a check or wire.

The instant the bank obeys those instructions, dollars are created and added to the money supply.

Thus, the federal government costs taxpayers nothing. Sad to say, those tax dollars you send to the federal government are destroyed — they disappear from the money supply — the instant they are received.

The technical term for this is “Monetary Sovereignty,” which means being sovereign over money, in this case, sovereign over the dollar.

You can search and search, and you never will find an article or a chart titled, “This is how much money the federal government has.” Why? Because it creates dollars as needed.

So O.K., let’s assume the government doesn’t cost taxpayers anything, but all those rules must stifle business.

And indeed they do, especially bad business.

The Growing Fight Against Food Fraud
Alice Park

When you’re shopping at the grocery store, you probably expect that the olive oil you see came from, well, olives. And that the organic vegetables were never exposed to toxic chemicals, the cod fillet is sliced from a member of the cod species and the spices are the pure ground form of whatever flavoring they represent.

Increasingly, however, there’s a chance you might be wrong.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in reports of so-called food fraud, or attempts by various entities–including storage workers, suppliers and distributors–to alter products and mislead customers and food companies alike for financial gain (though occasionally the companies are complicit).

Among the more recent examples: “natural” honey that’s been laced with antibiotics, cumin adulterated with ground-peanut powder and Italian companies selling “Italian olive oil” from a blend of oils that did not originate from Italy.

By and large, the fraudsters are trying to make easy money–charging for a whole food or pricey ingredient, then cutting it with cheaper stuff on the sly. But the health consequences can be dire.

That fraudulent cumin, for example, poses a huge risk for people with peanut allergies. And in China, at least six babies died after drinking a milk formula that had been laced with melamine, a chemical used to create plastic, in order to up its protein content.

How can this happen? In the U.S., the Pure Food and Drug Act has prevented the “manufacture, sale or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods” since 1906, and similar laws exist in other countries.

But most global food regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, aren’t equipped to enforce them effectively.

For the most part, they focus on safety standards–ensuring that foods don’t contain bacteria or viruses–and rely on companies to police the integrity of their own ingredients.

Governments are starting to fight back. In 2014, the U.K. created a food-crime unit that solicits reports of food fraud.

The Institute for Global Food Security lab in Belfast anonymously tests products sent in by people worried about fraud. And there are efforts in the U.K., the U.S. and China, among other nations, to increase the penalties for companies that get caught selling shady foods.

But in order to prevent fraud in the first place, the food industry needs to get better at safeguarding its own production network.

So the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)–a trade group comprising officials from more than 300 food manufacturers–will this year start auditing its members’ supply chains, from field to table, to identify vulnerabilities.

Such efforts have been key for titans like Cargill, which instituted a new procedure for sealing tanks of sunflower oil after a routine inspection revealed that some workers had been diluting it with mineral oil to profit from selling the real stuff.

Meanwhile, dozens of other food-industry experts recently teamed up with academics from Michigan State University to launch the Food Fraud Initiative (FFI), a group that studies fraudsters–specifically, how they circumvent safeguards–and then advises food companies on how to ward them off.

See a pattern here? “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn’t equipped (i.e. funded) to enforce the integrity of ingredients effectively.”  So, we’ll rely on “a trade group comprising officials from more than 300 food manufacturers.”

Because we fear the government, which costs us nothing and has no profit motive for cheating, we will underfund the Food and Drug Administration. Instead, we will trust industry to police itself, an effort that not only can’t be trusted, but will cost consumers the money manufacturers will add to prices.

Rather than having free, impartial judges, we will pay the foxes to guard the hen house.

We already have accomplished some of this short-sighted cost cutting, which is based on the lie that taxes pay for government.

Trump Expected to Seek Deep Cuts in Business Regulations by By MICHAEL CORKERY

The unwinding of Dodd-Frank. The firing up of shuttered coal plants. The rollback of rules that increase overtime pay for low-wage workers.

Hours after Donald Trump won the race for the White House, scores of regulations that have reshaped corporate America in the last eight years suddenly seemed vulnerable.

Mr. Trump is likely to seek vast cuts in regulations across the banking, health care and energy industries.

Although Mr. Trump is a maverick politician, his anti-regulation stance is that of an old-school Republican. It is driven by a belief that the economy will grow faster if businesses are freed from the long arm of the federal government.

No, that isn’t the belief.  The belief is that the rich will rake in more bucks if they are not forced to run honest businesses. And clearly, the owner of the notorious Trump University is part of that group.

Every criminal business CEO on this planet yearns for fewer government regulations — just ask the banksters — and now we are about to cut regulations, just as the creators of the Great Recession want.

Image result for fox guarding the henhouse

Eat carefully, my friend. And if your child suffers the agony of food poisoning spasms, because not only was the food tainted, but the medicine was tainted, too, remember: We need to cut the free but onerous (to the rich) burden of supplying wholesome food and useful drugs.

We need to minimize the burden on the rich.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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 (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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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

Growing fascism and “alternative facts” in America Monday, Jan 23 2017 

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

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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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Every time we post an article describing Trump as a potential Hitler (“Astounding similarities: Of whom does this remind you? It’s happening now.”), we are told this is an overreaction and an example of Godwin’s law.

So what does one say when Trump’s  actions really, really, really are Hitler-like?*

Republican Legislators Propose a Series of Bills That Would Criminalize Peaceful Protests by Krisandry Harridan

According to The Intercept, several proposals have been introduced by Republican legislators over the past few weeks specifically targeting protests that block or obstruct traffic—including a North Dakota bill that would allow motorists to hit and kill protesters obstructing the highway “as long as [the] driver does so accidentally.”

“Yes, your honor, it was an accident that I ran down and killed those “Moth*&*#*ing” Black Lives Matter protesters blocking my way.”

Another bill in Minnesota would make obstructing a highway a “gross misdemeanor” punishable by a hefty fine of $3,000 and up to a year in jail, while a separate piece of legislature would make “obstructing the legal process” punishable by an even heftier fine of up to $10,000 plus “imprisonment of not less than 12 months.”

Does walking in protest against an unjust law “obstruct the legal process”?  Should Trump decide? Should racist governors decide?

Image result for american police pepper spraying

Similar bills designed to criminalize and discourage protests have also been proposed in Washington, Iowa, and Michigan.

The problem is that when many thousands of people protest, there is nowhere to go but the streets and parks, and fascist governments present “good, logical reasons,” for not wanting streets and parks to be blocked, at the inconvenience of the public.

Of course, the real reason for these laws is not to protect the convenience of the public, but to shut down protests.

As The Intercept points out, this “trend” appears to be a not-so-subtle workaround to the First Amendment.

The first Amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The American right is quite selective about which parts of the Constitution should be considered important.

They love the “religion” clause so long as the religion is Christianity. Freedom of religion means we need to ban Muslims, because they are “terrorists,” despite the fact that the vast majority of individual killers and mass murderers in America are Christian.

And of course, there is the ever-present, full-court-press to erect Christmas trees and the Ten Commandments on public land. And let’s not even get into the unConstitutionality of teaching bible-based anti-evolution in public schools.

The only part of the Constitution the right-wing loves better than their interpretation of the religion clause is the 2nd Amendment, which they claim means “Anyone can carry any kind of gun anywhere they wish.”

If only the framers of the Constitution had been smart enough to say it just that simply rather than including the well-regulated militia” clause, which as any conservative will tell you, is completely meaningless and should be ignored.

Furthermore, the bills seem to be in response to recent protests organized by Black Lives Matter and the activists fighting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline—which is horrifying for a multitude of reasons, most notably the continued criminalization of black and brown people.

In the minds of conservatives, money seems to be more important than people, so they enact laws to protect money and to punish people. Then, anyone protesting is by definition, a criminal.  

This meets the fundamental definitions of fascism, Hitler-style, by in essence saying, “The government always is right, and anyone who disagrees is a criminal.”

The very specific targeting becomes even more concerning when combined with what Slate reports is a “bracing message implicitly directed to supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement” from the Trump administration.

As the source points out, amongst the “Top Issues” on President Trump’s new White House website is “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community,” which in part appears to be addressed to protestors of police violence.

“The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration,” the website reads. “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it…Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter.”

And here is the trick.  If a group of people is protesting peacefully, and the police get angry at the protest and decide to pepper spray, just to teach these people a lesson — and the people begin to run in all directions, across streets and lawns — who exactly is the rioter and violent disrupter?

The police have it in their power to turn any protest into a violent disruption, not only by pepper spraying but by herding, beating, barring, roughly arresting and any number of tactics.

What exactly is a “law and order administration”? Specifically, what does such an administration really do that “regular” administrations have failed to do?

And if shooting and beating unarmed Americans were to cause Trump’s mythical “anti-police atmosphere,” who would be to blame? The unarmed Americans or poorly trained, bigoted police and a policy of denial and buddy-protection?

As many pointed out in response to the low arrest numbers of the Women’s Marches, it’s not only a sign of a successful protest, but also proof of a wholly different method of policing—which is why, now more than ever, it’s so essential just as many people show up for the small, local protests as the big ones.

It’s also a sign that beating blacks and native Americans is acceptable, because those people are “disruptors” and “have it coming,” but beating up women still is frowned upon in America, even by conservatives.

*The Learning Site:

The Enabling Act of March 1933 had given Hitler enormous power over all Germans in Nazi Germany. It is no coincidence that in the same month the first concentration camp was created at Dachau.

Anyone considered to be a threat to Hitler was arrested and issued with a ‘D notice’. The law was ‘adjusted’ to allow the Nazis to effectively determine who was an opponent.

Once labeled as such, arrest was inevitable.

The development and expansion of various police units – both in uniform and un-uniformed – gave the internal security forces a massive level of power. The SD (intelligence agency), in particular, was effective in rounding up opponents, imaginary or not.

The SD cultivated a programm of informants with rewards for the best ones. It is almost certain that any community within Nazi Germany had its informants. His or her word could end with the arrest of someone. Children indoctrinated by a Nazi education programm were also encouraged to inform their teachers if their parents made disparaging comments about Hitler.

Speaking of being punished for disparaging remarks:

Donald Trump says he wants libel laws more like the UK’s by Tom Kludt

“Well in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong.Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.

As is normal with Trump, the facts are different from what he claims. They are what Kellyanne Conway calls “Alternative facts”:

In fact, Trump was essentially describing the legal standard that already prevails in U.S. defamation law. If a media organization publishes or broadcasts something untrue about a public figure that harms that person’s reputation, and does so deliberately, they can be sued.

British law puts the onus on the defendant to prove that the statement at issue was true; in the U.S., the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.

Once Germany was a beautiful, proud, prosperous nation, a home to great scientists and artists — just like America.

Hitler changed Germany to a land of hatred, where people were despised for their religion or political leanings, and children even extended the hatred to their parents.

Under Trump, America too is being changed into a land of hatred. The Emails and comments I receive now are far more vicious and insane than any in the past.

Every demeaning comment Trump makes, every angry tweet, every anti-press complaint, every anti-progressive, anti-minority law he encourages represents one more chip off the face of the Statue of Liberty.

The Germans could not believe it could happen to them.  They sneered at the warnings . . . . until it was too late.

We object to Trump, not because he is a strongman, but because he is weak man.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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THE LAWS

•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.

•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

•Deficit spending grows the supply of money

•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Progressives think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Day 1: The war on the 99% begins Saturday, Jan 21 2017 

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

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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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Today is the first day of the Trump reign, and the war on the 99% already has begun:

Trump’s HUD won’t cut FHA loan fees
By Gail MarksJarvisChicago Tribune

A plan to reduce the fees homebuyers pay on Federal Housing Administration loans was abandoned Friday immediately after the Trump presidential administration took office.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced less than a month ago that on Jan. 27 it would start charging people who took out FHA loans a lower annual fee. The plan was to cut the fee to 0.60 percent, down from 0.85 percent.

But HUD on Friday released a letter that it was suspending the plan “indefinitely.”

The reduction would have saved a person who bought or refinanced a home with a 30-year $200,000 FHA mortgage about $500 a year.

FHA loans are popular with first-time homebuyers because the loans are available to people with lower credit scores and less savings than it takes to get a conventional loan.

Hurt by massive defaults during the housing crisis, FHA increased the annual fees it charges borrowers several times as the agency worked to rebuild its reserves. HUD has said reserves now exceed requirements.

The people with lower credit scores now will pay more to a federal agency that wants to “rebuild its reserves.”

Never mind that a federal agency neither has, nor needs, “reserves.” The federal government creates dollars ad hoc, simply by spending. (See: Monetary Sovereignty)

The Trump administration wants you to believe that taking an extra $500 per year out of the pockets of the poor and middle classes — out of the economy — is a good way to “Make America Great, Again.”

Day 1: Trump signs order to unwind Obamacare
By Ashley Parker and Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an executive order late Friday giving federal agencies broad powers to unwind regulations created under the Affordable Care Act, which might include enforcement of the penalty for people who fail to carry the health insurance that the law requires of most Americans.

Sounds good, right? People won’t be required to carry health insurance. What could possibly go wrong with that?

The executive order, signed in the Oval Office as one of the new president’s first actions, directs agencies to grant relief to all constituencies affected by the sprawling 2010 health care law: consumers, insurers, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, states and others.

It does not describe specific federal rules to be softened or lifted, but it appears to give room for agencies to eliminate an array of ACA taxes and requirements.

“Potentially the biggest effect of this order could be widespread waivers from the individual mandate, which would likely create chaos in the individual insurance market,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

O.K., so a little chaos. I’m sure Trump has thought this out.

In addition, he said, the order suggests that insurers may have new flexibility on the benefits they must provide.

O.K. so fewer benefits. Surely, Trump must have thought this out.

“This doesn’t grant any new powers to federal agencies, but it sends a clear signal that they should use whatever authority they have to scale back regulations and penalties. The Trump administration is looking to unwind the ACA, not necessarily waiting for Congress,” Levitt said.

Hey, who needs regulations?  Gee, I sure hope Trump has thought this out.

But in giving agencies permission to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay” ACA rules, the order appears to create room for the Department of Health and Human Services to narrow or gut a set of medical benefits that the ACA compels insurers to include in health plans.

Gut medical benefits? Yikes! I’m not so sure Trump has thought this out!

The order does not mention Medicaid, but it says one of its goals is to “provide greater flexibility to States,” raising the question of whether the Trump HHS might try to loosen rules for states that have expanded the program for lower-income Americans, as the law allows.

Translation: “Flexibility to States” is conservative-speak for “cut benefits to the 99%.” Maybe Trump has thought this out.

“While President Trump may have promised a smooth transition” from the current law to a replacement, said Leslie Dach, director of the fledgling Protect Our Care Coalition, “the executive order does the opposite, threatening disruption for health providers and patients.”

“Disruption for health providers and patients?” What do you think? Has Trump thought this out?

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Trump Voters: Will You Still Be Laughing When The Reality Sinks In?

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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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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

O.K., let’s see how he does Friday, Jan 20 2017 

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

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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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Personally, I believe Donald Trump is an incompetent, amoral, egomaniacal boob, a wannabe dictator, who never should be allowed to walk the streets without a leash held by an adult.

I may be wrong.

Perhaps, by some miracle I can’t foresee,  he will accomplish some or all of the good things he says he will, and won’t do some of the really awful things he says he will.

He starts with the advantage (?) of a Republican Congress, and despite the dark nature of his inaugural address, America is on the upswing after the disaster named “Bush.”

(No, the “wealth, strength, and confidence of our country” has not “disappeared over the horizon” as President Trump claimed.)

So to be fair, we’ll want a baseline from which to measure President Trump’s accomplishments, and Erik Zorn, of the Chicago Tribune, has been wise enough to provide you with that baseline:

Public approval of Donald Trump: 40 percent
Public approval of Barack Obama: 58 percent
Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent
Civilian labor force participation rate: 62.7 percent
National average price per gallon of regular gasoline: $2.33
Consumer confidence indexes: 113.7
Annual inflation rate: 2.1 percent
Median U.S. household family income: $53,889
Percentage of the nonelderly U.S. population without health insurance: 10.4 percent
Poverty rates: adults, 13.5 percent; children, 19.7 percent
National average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate: 3.96 percent
National debt: $19.96 trillion
Annual federal budget deficit: $441 billion (2.6 percent of the gross domestic product)
Financial markets: Dow Jones industrial average, 19,732.40; Nasdaq, 5,540; Standard & Poors 500, 2,264
GDP growth rate: 3.5 percent
Teen birth rate: 22.3 per 1,000 female teenagers
Out-of-wedlock birth rate: 43.4 per 1,000 females
Abortion rate: 14.6 per 1,000 females
Number of federal prison inmates: 189,316
Overall number of adult prisoners: 6,741,400 (about 2.7 percent of the population)
Violent-crime victimization rate: 372.6 per 100,000 persons
Average temperature of the world’s land and ocean surfaces: 58.69 degrees Fahrenheit
U.S. high school graduation rate: 83.2 percent
U.S. monthly international trade deficit: $45.2 billion
Immigrants living in the U.S. illegally: 11.1 million
Abusers of opioid drugs, including heroin: 12.7 million

Again, this is not a perfectly focused snapshot of a moment in time. Some of these numbers are estimates that will be revised for early 2017 in a year or two, at which point we’ll have a more precise baseline for the Trump years.

Nor is it comprehensive.

It doesn’t attempt to quantify our standing in the world, the status of civil and voting rights for historically disadvantaged groups, the quality of our air and water and so on.

But in this bundle of yardsticks are ways to measure Trump against his boasts and promises, to establish reference points for America’s greatness or lack thereof.

Wary as I am of this man — his methods, motives and seeming madness — I hope I’m wrong about him. I hope all these numbers improve. I hope he returns the nation to us in better shape than when he took it over.

Keep this list in your favorite file, where it will not be lost, and as the weeks and months pass, compare it with a then-current list.

If America continues its eight-year trajectory of improvement, let’s all be among those cheering loudly.

But if the tide turns and things veer toward the bottom, we all should be prepared for the inevitable, right-wing, all-purpose excuses: “Hillary would have been worse” followed by, “I didn’t vote for him, anyway. I voted for Rand Paul.”

 
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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 (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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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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