Good is bad. Up is down. Other “truths” the authorities are telling you Friday, Feb 9 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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Let us begin with some real truths, after which we can move on to the fake “truths” you have been hearing.

Real truths:
1. The U.S. federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, never can run short of dollars. Even if tax collections fell to $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever. It creates dollars, ad hoc, by paying creditors. Federal taxes do not pay for federal spending; dollar creation pays for federal spending.
2. Federal spending stimulates Gross Domestic Product growth by adding dollars to the economy. (Federal Spending is part of the basic GDP formula: GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports).
3. The federal government has absolute control over the value of its own sovereign currency, which gives it control over inflation.

Now, let us move to an article from 2/9/18 Chicago Tribune, an article typical of what you will see in your own local paper, and see on TV, and hear on the radio:

Budget deal would pour gas on an economy running hot
By Don Lee Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — If the GOP’s $1.5 trillion tax-cut package powers the American economy like rocket fuel as President Donald Trump predicts, the new congressional budget deal could, if passed, become the extra boost that causes the engine to overheat.

“Overheat” means inflation. The prediction, very simply, is that deficit spending will cause inflation.

Image result for time bomb

78 years and the fake bomb still is ticking.

 

That has been the concern for the past 78 years. In 1940, when the “Debt Held by the Public” was 40 Billion, it was called a “ticking time bomb.” Every year since, it has been termed some variation of “ticking time bomb.” Yet today, inflation is low and controlled.

Seventy-eight years of being wrong have not taught the economists and pundits humility.

The budget compromise that was struggling late Thursday to win passage provided a bipartisan answer to the latest fiscal crisis. But lawmakers did so by raising spending caps on military and non-defense programs that would add $300 billion to $400 billion to the deficit.

Coming on top of the tax cuts passed late last year, the increased spending caps — plus tens of billions of additional money for hurricane relief — would throw more fuel to an economy that is already perking up.

“Throw more fuel” means to grow the economy. Aside from inflation fears — the same false fears expressed for the past 78 years — why is growing the economy considered a bad thing? I’ll tell you later in this post.

Analysts say that raises the odds of higher inflation and interest rates, precisely the concerns that in recent days have stoked investor fears and stock market volatility.

The budget deal also means that the United States probably would be returning to trillion-dollar annual deficits next year — much sooner than expected and under a government controlled by Republicans who traditionally had identified themselves as the party of fiscal probity.

The fear is threefold:

  1. That increased federal deficit is inflationary, and
  2. In response, the Fed will raise interest rates to combat the inflation, and
  3. Higher rates slow the economy, by making borrowing more difficult.

Let’s discuss each:

I. Is increased federal deficit spending inflationary?

The formula is Value = Demand/Supply. So if the Supply of money increases and/or the Demand for money decreases, the Value of money will be reduced, which means more money will be required to buy the same goods, i.e. inflation.

That is the formula. Here is the reality:

Blue line = inflation; Red line = deficit

For at least the last 45 years, there has been no relationship between our huge deficits and inflation, but why? Is something wrong with the formula?

Well, actually there is a relationship between deficits and inflation, but that relationship is overshadowed by a far more important relationship:

Blue line = inflation; Orange line = oil prices

The price of oil also is determined by the formula, Value = Demand/Supply. When the Demand goes up and/or the Supply goes down, the price of oil falls, and oil is far more influential on inflation than are federal deficits.

The price of oil affects the prices of nearly every product and service in the world.

That is why federal deficit spending has not caused inflation. Oil prices have, on average, gone down.

II. In response to inflation, will the Fed will raise interest rates?

Although we have shown that federal deficit spending has not caused inflation, even the suspicion of a coming inflation will cause the Fed to increase interest rates. Why?

Because of this formula: Demand = Reward/Risk. 

To combat inflation, the Fed wants to make dollars more valuable, and one way to do this is to increase the Demand for dollars. The Reward for owning dollars is interest.

The higher the interest rate, the more people want to own interest paying forms of money — savings accounts, bonds, notes, and bills. The demand for money increases, which increases the value (aka, the “strength”) of the dollar, thus reducing inflation.

III. Do higher rates slow the economy, by making borrowing more difficult?

This is widely believed, and this belief alone is one of the reasons why the stock market falls when the Fed raises rates. Traders sell just because they expect a downturn.

The other reason the stock market falls: Raising rates makes bonds more attractive, so investors sell stocks to purchase bonds.

That’s how the stock market operates, but what about the economy? Do higher rates slow economic growth?

Green line = Gross Domestic Product growth; Purple line = Interest Rate

There seems to be either no relationship between interest rates and GDP growth, or there actually is a reverse effect, with higher rates coinciding with higher GDP growth.

How can that be?

Two reasons: Federal deficit spending causes the issuance of more Treasury securities, which increases the amount of interest the federal government pays into the economy. And this interest payment increase is compounded by higher interest rates.

All that additional federal deficit spending is stimulative. Therefore:

Far from being a danger or a burden, growing deficit spending grows the economy, and reduced deficit growth is deflationary.

For instance:

Recessions (vertical gray bars) are introduced by reduced deficit growth, while recessions are cured by increased deficit growth.

Recessions are introduced by reduced deficit growth, while recessions are cured by increased deficit growth.

Extreme reductions in deficit growth (i.e. federal surpluses) tend to cause extreme recessions (i.e. depressions):

1804-1812: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 48%. Depression began 1807.
1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.

When Trump took office about a year ago, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the nation’s deficit would run between $500 billion and $700 billion annually for a few years, not breaching $1 trillion until 2022.

With lower tax revenues expected and now additional spending and an accompanying agreement to lift the debt ceiling, some experts reckon the deficit would blow past $1 trillion in fiscal 2019 and keep rising.

Said another way:

“The Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would add between $500 billion and $700 billion in stimulus growth to the economy, annually for a few years, not breaching $1 trillion until 2022.

“With lower tax revenues expected and now additional spending and an accompanying agreement to lift the debt ceiling, some experts reckon the federal government will add a $1 trillion worth of economic growth in fiscal 2019 and keep adding growth dollars, thereafter.”

The complaint seems to be that growth is a bad thing, though as we have seen (above), economic growth does not cause inflation.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the president is concerned about the increasing debt. And on Thursday, deputy press secretary Raj Shah said the budget the White House plans to release Monday will show a “path” toward declining deficits.

A “path” toward declining deficits is a path toward more frequent recessions and depressions.

“Economic growth is essential to cutting deficits,” he said. “We are committed to fiscal discipline.”

The above is like saying, “Financial growth is essential to lower income,” completely senseless. “Fiscal discipline” means to reduce the income of the economy, also senseless.

The U.S. debt held by the public, including foreign investors, is currently about $15 trillion.

“We’ve already entered a period where we have these structural deficits, and to answer that with a new round of tax cuts that are unpaid for, and a new round of spending that’s unpaid for, is just adding insult to injury,” said Michael Peterson, president and chief executive of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a non-partisan organization focused on the country’s fiscal challenges.

First, to say that the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is “non-partisan” is like saying the GOP is non-partisan. It’s a right-wing foundation.

Second, the federal government does not use taxes to pay for spending; it uses money creation. Every time the federal government pays a creditor, it does so with newly created dollars, not with tax dollars.

Therefore, neither spending nor tax cuts can be “paid for.”

Some Republican lawmakers balked at the budget deal, calling it fiscally irresponsible.

No, “irresponsible” is to cut deficit spending and sink the nation into yet another unnecessary recession or depression.

The Great Recession severely shrank government revenues, and spending surged in 2009 as President Barack Obama and Congress responded with a huge economic stimulus package.

The federal deficit spiked to $1.5 trillion in 2009 and remained above $1 trillion for the next three years, then went back down to an average of around $575 billion a year in Obama’s second term through 2016, representing a little over the 3 percent share of gross domestic product that economists consider a maximum sustainable rate.

The politicians agree that deficit spending stimulates economic growth, but ignore that fact when we are between recessions.

The Republican tax cuts and new budget package amount to a similarly massive fiscal stimulus, but it is coming at a time when the economy is not faltering.

We have a recession every five years on average because the politicians drive the “economic car” by switching from gas to brake to gas to brake, forcing the economy to lurch forward in growth, then fall back in recession, again and again, and again.
Economists warn that the rising national debt will choke growth as more public money ends up going to support deficits instead of economically productive uses.

“You already have deficits growing too fast, you cut the (tax) revenue out from under us, you increase the spending, and on top of that you rule out making changes to entitlement programs,” said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB). “It ultimately spells fiscal disaster.”

The CRFB is the ultimate “Debt Henny Penny” organization, continually warning about debt-disaster, that never has come, and never will come. Instead, the disasters come when we cut deficit spending.

For 78 years we have been warned about that “ticking time bomb.” That fake bomb still is “ticking,” and the Henny Pennys still are warning. Wrong for all these years and still crying “Wolf!”

Why? Notice that phrase “entitlement programs” in the CRFB comment?

The real goal is to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all poverty aids.

The Gap is what makes the rich, rich. Without the Gap, no one would be rich. (We all would be the same.) And the wider the Gap, the richer they are.

So the rich bribe the politicians (via campaign contributions and promises of lucrative employment later), the media (via ownership and advertising dollars),  and the economists (via contributions to universities and lucrative “think tank” employment) to spread “The Big Lie” that federal financing is like personal financing.

But federal financing is unique. Debt is not a burden on the federal government or on federal taxpayers, and it does not force inflation on us.

Our opinion leaders are paid to make you believe that good is bad, and up is down, so they can keep you down and lift the rich up.

And that is what all the “ticking time bomb” lies are about.

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

GOP: Cut spending? Add spending? Cut deficits? Add deficits? Increase debt? Cut debt? All of the above. None of the above. Saturday, Sep 16 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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Which of the following do you believe the federal government should do? Think carefully before you answer.Image result for many choices

  1. Reduce federal spending?
  2. Increase federal spending?
  3. Reduce federal deficits?
  4. Increase federal deficits?
  5. Increase the federal debt?
  6. Reduce the federal debt?
  7. All of the above?
  8. None of the above?

Members of the GOP seem to believe very strongly in all of these options. Many individuals actually believe in two or more opposing directions.

No kidding:

Tax cuts quiet once-deafening GOP call for fiscal discipline
ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press, September 16, 2017

When Democrat Barack Obama was president, conservatives demanded financial discipline and deep spending cuts in the face of the country’s fast-growing debt.

With Republican President Donald Trump pressing for politically popular tax cuts and billions more for the military, few in the GOP are complaining about the nation’s soaring debt.

Tax cuts in the works could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt while bipartisan pressure for more money for defense, infrastructure and domestic agencies could mean almost $100 billion in additional spending next year alone.

The bottom line: The $20 trillion national debt promises to spiral ever higher with Republicans controlling both Congress and the White House.

In short, the GOP has become fiscally (though not socially) more progressive than was Barack Obama.  And that is a good thing for America. Here is why:

Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports.

All three terms, Federal Spending, Non-federal Spending, and Net Exports show that a growing GDP, i.e. a growing economy, requires a growing supply of money.

    • Federal Spending grows the money supply because the federal government creates dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a bill.
    • Tax cuts, which allow more dollars to remain in the economy, increase Non-federal Spending.
    • Finally, Net Exports increase the money supply by bring dollars into the U.S. economy.

“Republicans gave up on caring about deficits long ago,” bemoaned Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was elected in the 2010 tea party class.

One might say the Republicans finally have recognized the fact that a growing economy requires a growing money supply.

By formula, it mathematically is impossible for GDP to grow, unless Federal Spending, and/or Non-federal Spending, and/or Net Exports grow.

And since Federal Deficit Spending stimulates Non-federal Spending, by adding net dollars to consumers’ pockets, the fundamental stimulus for economic growth is federal deficit spending, i.e spending increases and tax decreases.

But if “Republicans gave up on caring about deficits long ago,” as Rand Paul claims, why all the discussion of the debt ceiling?

It’s a far cry from the Newt Gingrich-led GOP revolution that stormed Washington two decades ago with a mandate to balance the budget and cut taxes at the same time.

To balance the budget and cut taxes requires cutting the military (which the GOP always opposes) and/or cutting social benefits (which the Democrats and the American voters oppose).

Further, because the U.S. federal government (unlike state and local governments) is Monetarily Sovereign, it never can run short of its own sovereign currency. It can pay any bill of any size, instantly, simply by creating dollars.

The federal government’s method for creating new dollars is to spend dollars. In that sense, the federal government always spends dollars it doesn’t have. If you did that, you would be reckless, but the federal government’s finances are different from yours.

Even if federal taxes were $0 and spending tripled, the federal government could pay its bills, endlessly. So there is no purpose to a “balanced” federal budget.

Or even from Republicans of 2001, who enthusiastically cut taxes under President George W. Bush, but only at a moment when the government was flush with money.

The federal government never is short of dollars, nor is it ever “flush with money.”  The federal government has the unlimited power to create brand new dollars from thin air, every time it pays a creditor.

Now, Medicare and Social Security are drawing closer to insolvency.

Fiscal hawks and watchdogs like the Congressional Budget Office warn that the debt is eventually going to drag the economy down.

Neither the U.S. federal government, nor any of the thousand agencies of the federal government, ever can be insolvent. Such federal agencies as Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, Social Security, and Medicare, etc., etc, cannot go insolvent unless the Congress and the President want them to be insolvent.

Have you ever heard of the Navy being “insolvent”?  The Army? Name a single federal agency that ever has been insolvent.

The notion that Medicare or Social Security can become “insolvent,” ironically is based on a special tax, FICA, being collected supposedly to support them.

But FICA supports nothing and no, there is no “Social Security Trust Fund.” It is an accounting fiction designed to make you believe your Medicare and Social Security benefits must be limited.  It’s all a great big fat lie.

And as far as federal debt “eventually dragging the economy down,” this too is a lie, promulgated for the same purpose — to make you believe the federal government is unable to help you.

The so-called debt actually is the total of deposits in T-security accounts.

If the federal government wished, it easily could pay off the entire “debt” today, simply by transferring existing dollars from those T-security accounts, back to the checking accounts of T-security holders. No new dollars needed.

There is no mechanism by which deposits in T-security accounts (aka “savings”) can drag down the U.S. economy.  Anyone who says otherwise is a great, big, fat liar.

But like Obama and Bush before him, Trump isn’t talking about deficits. Neither much are voters.

“Voters, frankly, after these huge deficits, are saying, ‘Well, how much do deficits really matter?’” said former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., a two-time presidential candidate. “We’re not Greece yet, right?”

Deficits do matter, but not in the way most people think.

Deficit growth reductions have led to recessions, and deficit growth increases have cured recessions.

Far from being a problem, federal deficits are absolutely necessary for economic growth.

And as for the U.S. ever being “Greece,” that unfortunate nation surrendered its most valuable asset, its Monetary Sovereignty, when it gave up the drachma and adopted the euro.

Chicago, Florida, General Motors, you, and me and Greece do not have a sovereign currency. None of the aforementioned has the unlimited ability to pay bills. All can become insolvent.

By contrast, the U.S. government has the unlimited ability to pay any bill, of any size, at any time, simply by creating dollars. There is no economic reason to cut deficits or debt.

Top Capitol Hill Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had promised for months that a tax overhaul would not add to the deficit, with rate cuts financed by closing loopholes and other steps.

Instead, Republicans are talking about tax cuts whose costs to the debt — still under negotiation — would be justified by assumptions of greater economic growth.

Yes, tax cuts are justified by greater economic growth, but not in the way the GOP once has claimed.

Under President Reagan’s bogus “trickle-down” economic plan, tax rate reductions for the rich were supposed to “pay for themselves” by expanding the economy so much, tax collections actually would rise.

Not only didn’t this happen, but it wasn’t necessary. Tax cuts do stimulate the economy — especially tax cuts for consumers, i.e. the 99% (not tax cuts for the rich), because federal taxes (unlike state and local taxes) destroy dollars. And the federal government neither needs nor uses tax dollars.

Federal taxes no longer are part of any money supply measure, i.e. they effectively are destroyed upon receipt.

“We want pro-growth tax reform that will get the economy going, that will get people back to work, that will give middle-income taxpayers a tax cut and that will put American businesses in a better competitive playing field so that we keep American businesses in America,” Ryan said in an AP Newsmakers interview this past week. “That’s more important than anything else.”

He backed off months of promises that the Republicans’ tax plan won’t add to the nation’s ballooning deficit.

Ryan, the “new liberal Democrat,” is absolutely correct in what he says. Tax cuts for the middle- and lower-income groups, and for businesses, will grow the economy.

What the GOP does may be a different story, as their leaning always has been tax cuts for the rich and for “broadening the tax base” (tax increases for the poor).

Among the few deficit hawk holdouts is Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a key vote on the Senate Budget Committee, who says he doesn’t want to “let this just be party time that just takes us no place but massive deficits down the road.”

The real danger to America is that Corker, who has so much power on the Senate Budget Committee, completely misstates federal financial reality.

Image result for time bomb

Since 1940, the “time bomb” of federal debt has been ticking. Still ticking.

This deficit hawk cannot explain the simple fact that the federal debt in 1940 was $40 billion, and deficit hawks then were calling it a “ticking time bomb.

Today, after 77 years, the debt $14 Trillion debt has risen 35,000%  (yes, that’s 35 thousand percent), and here we are:

The federal government is not insolvent; no federal agency is insolvent; the “time bomb has not exploded, the sky has not fallen; and we are discussing tax reductions.

Trump’s election has GOP military hawks pressing to shovel enormous amounts of money into the Pentagon — about $90 billion over the stringent spending limits set by the hard-won 2011 deficit control effort.

Don’t call it “hard won.” Call it the “foolish, counter-productive, based-on-the-Big-Lie, deficit control effort. Call it “hard lost,” as it reduced GDP growth to its lowest level in many years.

Deficit growth cured every recession, but the “hard-won” deficit control effort of 2011, resulted in the lowest GDP growth we’ve had in many years. 

The unpopular leftover from the 2011 agreement are those spending limits, which if violated would be enforced by across-the-board spending cuts. Republicans want to scrap them, at least for military money.

“There’s so much pressure on our side for additional defense spending,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. “Believe me there’s more defense hawks than budget hawks in the Republican conference right now.”

Republicans believe in spending reductions unless there’s something on which they want to spend. Then suddenly, spending reductions aren’t important any more.

Conservatives demanding that spending cuts accompany any extension of the government’s borrowing ability were undercut by Trump, who agreed last week to add temporary borrowing approval to a must-pass Harvey relief bill.

See, it’s like this. Spending cuts help the economy except when spending increases help the Texas economy, which then helps the U.S. economy.  Got it?

Anger over Trump’s debt bargain, though, has conservatives vowing that issues of spending and deficits won’t be kicked to the curb for long.

“It’s not going to be shoved aside much longer because this (debt limit) deal last week … has got people all riled up, and justifiably so,” said longtime GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas. “We’ll be ready next time.”

Translation:

“O.K., we’ll agree to increase the debt this time, because Texas needs the money, and I’m a Texan, and the government can afford anything. But next time, if it’s just the poor or the middle classes who need the money, we won’t give it to them, because the government can’t afford it.

“What? Oh, you say that Florida and Puerto also were hit by a hurricane, and they too need the money.  O.K., I guess we have to give it to them, but we’ll be ready to screw America NEXT time, because as you know, the government is running short of dollars it creates every day, from thin air.

Huh? There is another hurricane, this time threatening the northeastern states, a couple of which are ‘red’ states, so FEMA will have to help them, too? Well, so long as they’re red states, we’ll give them money, even though the federal government is totally destitute, although in the entire history of this nation, the government never has run out of dollars.

“Huh? The military also needs more money. Well, of course we can’t be without a military, and we might want to bomb North Korea, so give the military more money, too, even though the federal government doesn’t have any money at all. Not a penny, even though the government creates dollars by spending dollars.

“Oh, the President needs more money to build a wall that will protect us against drugs, even though drug dealers know how to avoid walls and don’t bring drugs across areas where we don’t have a wall. But if the President wants more money, we have to give more money, even though the government is so broke the sky is falling and Congress must live in poverty, which it never has.

But aside from that, the debt has been a ticking time bomb for 75 years, and even though we’ve had all kinds of wars, recessions, inflations, terrorism, and natural disasters, that time bomb hasn’t exploded. But it could. Soon. Any second now. The end is nigh. Here it comes. Hang on. Almost here. 

“And yes, there is zero evidence that the debt is “unsustainable” and that cutting the debt will grow GDP, but hey we’ve been telling the same lie for so many years, we can’t go back how, or we’ll look really stupid.

Right?”

Right. Really stupid.

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 (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

 

From “ticking time bomb” to “looming collapse.” Wednesday, Feb 10 2016 

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

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Are you still here? I am, though one wouldn’t know it by the endless, hysterical headlines regarding the federal budget.

Just by way of reminder:

Back in 1940, the federal budget was a “ticking time-bomb which can eventually destroy the American system,” said Robert M. Hanes, president of the American Bankers Association.

By 1960: the debt was “threatening the country’s fiscal future,” said Secretary of Commerce, Frederick H. Mueller.

By 1983: “The debt “probably will explode in the third quarter of 1984,” said Fred Napolitano, former president of the National Association of Home Builders.

In 1984: AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland said. “It’s a time bomb ticking away.”

In 1985: “The federal deficit is ‘a ticking time bomb, and it’s about to blow up,’ U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Later in 1985: Los Angeles Times: “We labeled the deficit a ‘ticking time bomb’ that threatens to permanently undermine the strength and vitality of the American economy.”

In 1987: Richmond Times – Dispatch – Richmond, VA: “100TH CONGRESS FACING U.S. DEFICIT ‘TIME BOMB'”

Later in 1987: The Dallas Morning News: “A fiscal time bomb is slowly ticking that, if not defused, could explode into a financial crisis within the next few years for the federal government.”

In 1989: FORTUNE Magazine: “A TIME BOMB FOR U.S. TAXPAYERS”

In 1992: The Pantagraph – Bloomington, Illinois: “I have seen where politicians in Washington have expressed little or no concern about this ticking time bomb they have helped to create, that being the enormous federal budget deficit, approaching $4 trillion.”

Later in 1992: Ross Perot: “Our great nation is sitting right on top of a ticking time bomb. We have a national debt of $4 trillion.”

In 1995: Kansas City Star: “Concerned citizens. . . regard the national debt as a ticking time bomb poised to explode with devastating consequences at some future date.”

In 2003: Porter Stansberry, for the Daily Reckoning: “Generation debt is a ticking time bomb . . . with about ten years left on the clock.”

In 2004: Bradenton Herald: “A NATION AT RISK: TWIN DEFICIT A TICKING TIME BOMB”

In 2005: Providence Journal: “Some lawmakers see the Medicare drug benefit for what it is: a ticking time bomb.”

In 2006: NewsMax.com, “We have to worry about the deficit . . . when we combine it with the trade deficit we have a real ticking time bomb in our economy,” said Mrs. Clinton.

In 2007: USA Today: “Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen.”

In 2010: Reason Alert: “. . . the time bomb that’s ticking under the federal budget like a Guy Fawkes’ powder keg.”

In 2011: Washington Post, Lori Montgomery: ” . . . defuse the biggest budgetary time bombs that are set to explode.”

In 2014: CBN News: “The United States of Debt: A Ticking Time Bomb”

*On Jun 18, 2015: The ticking economic time bomb that presidential candidates are ignoring: Fortune Magazine, Shawn Tully,

*On January 23, 2017: Trump’s ‘Debt Bomb’: Deficit May Grow, Defense Budget May Not, By Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr.

*On April 28, 2017: Debt in the U.S. Fuel for Growth or Ticking Time Bomb?, American Institute for Economic Research, by Max Gulker, PhD – Senior Research Fellow, Theodore Cangero

[*Added to the list subsequent to first publication of this post]

After seventy-seven years, that ole’ federal debt still is ticking. Meanwhile, it also has been “unsustainable,” “insane,” and “irresponsible.”

I mention all this again, because today, 2/10/16, the Daily Bell added a new fright wig to the wax devil: “Obama’s $4.1 Trillion Budget Is Latest Sign of America’s Looming Collapse”

Well, the time bomb still is ticking, you and I and America still are here, and we still are sustaining and the collapse still is looming. The apocalypse has not arrived, except for the occasional rescession exacerbated by deficit reduction.

To paraphrase something Albert Einstein supposedly said, “Insanity is saying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually Click here
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
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10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

THE RECESSION CLOCK

Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. There was a dip below zero in 2015. Recessions are cured by a rising red line.

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.

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Mitchell’s 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..

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

–A few simple questions that never have been answered Saturday, Jul 30 2011 

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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The nonsense in Washington boils down to a few simple questions that never seem to be answered

First the background:
The federal government is the largest customer and money provider in America, spending about $3.8 trillion dollars per year on goods, services and benefits. This compares with under $12 trillion for the entire domestic business sector.

(http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy11/hist.html ) and (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=1jb )

The U.S. government also is America’s largest employer, with about 4.6 million full time employees:

Military: 1,430,000 (Department of Defense, Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country, September 30, 2010); 700,000 defense employees worldwide (Department of Defense Civilian Personnel Management Service); 2009 Number of Full-Time Federal Employees – 2,518,101 http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/09fedfun.pdf

The federal government employs as many people as the top nine civilian employers – Wal-Mart, McDonalds, UPS, Sears, Home Depot, Target, IBM, GM and GE — combined.

( http://nyjobsource.com/largestemployers.html )

The President, the Tea (formerly Republican) Party, the Democrats, the media, most columnists and old-line economists agree federal spending should be reduced and/or federal taxes increased. The goal: To reduce the federal deficit.

The two biggest problems facing America are the recession and the related unemployment.

Now for the simple questions:
1. What do businesses do when their biggest customer reduces purchases? Do they fire employees, reduce purchases of goods and services or both?

2. When businesses fire employees, or reduce purchases of goods and services, how does this stimulate the economy or cut unemployment?

3. What do individuals do when their salaries and/or benefit checks are reduced? Do they spend less, save less or both?

4. When individuals spend less or save less, how does this stimulate the economy or cut unemployment?

5. Considering all of the above, how does a reduction in federal spending and/or an increase in taxing (aka “deficit reduction”) solve our two biggest related problems: the economy and unemployment?

These questions never are asked, much less answered, because the politicians do not care about the answers. Their prime concern is not the working (or non-working) Americans. The politicians prime concern is who gets elected, i.e., power.

President Obama, the Tea (formerly Republican) Party and the Democrats all have the same goal, with the differences being only in the execution. And I use the word “execution” intentionally, because whoever “wins,” the American public will lose. We, our children and our grandchildren will suffer the execution of joblessness, poverty and loss of health and lifestyle. Our great American dream will be shattered — needlessly — all for the greed, ambitions and ignorance of the politicians.

While we stress about traitors at Fort Hood, we give a free pass to traitors in Congress, who intentionally do more harm to America than al Qaeda ever could.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com


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No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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