–The debt clock: A symbol of economic ignorance

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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Lately I’ve been seeing this image published more often, in various media.

Debt clock

This surely is the most misleading, downright untruthful sign you ever will have the misfortune to encounter. It’s untruthful because it shows the gross federal debt, which includes money the federal government borrows from itself.

Example: For convenience, my wife and I have separate checking accounts. When we are not together, she can write checks and I can write checks, and it’s easier to balance than if both tried to write checks from the same checkbook. Periodically, if one account is low, we transfer money from one account to the other (the government would call that “borrowing,” but it’s just debiting one account and crediting the other), so both accounts will have positive balances. I don’t feel I’m in debt to my wife, nor she to me. I never would consider these periodic internal transfers to be “debt.”

Similarly, the federal government’s internal “creditors” (i.e. Social Security et al) are not going to dun the federal government for payment of its “debt.”

While the Gross Federal Debt is around $14 trillion, the net debt is only about $8 trillion — well below the debt ceiling (another misleading, untruthful gimmick). Sadly, Congress and the President pretend not to understand that. So they injure our economy about something that isn’t real.

For their own selfish, political reasons, these politicians do more harm to America than al qaeda ever could. (I wish there could be a law precluding these traitors from standing in front of an American flag when they speak.)

The misleading part of the sign has to do with the words, “Your family share.” Most people interpret those words to mean their family owes a share of the gross federal debt, which as we have seen, is a fake number. But worse, your family does not owe a share even of the net federal debt. Your family could more accurately be said to own a share of the debt.

The federal so-called “debt” is the total of outstanding T-securities. When the government “borrows” it debits the “lender’s” checking account and credits the lender’s savings account (aka T-security account) at the Federal Reserve Bank. No dollars are shipped anywhere. It’s just an asset exchange accomplished by a debit and a credit.

When the government pays its “debt,” the process is reversed. The checking account is credited and the savings account is debited. At no time are taxes involved so at no time do you or any other taxpayers owe anything. Whether taxes are $0 or $100 trillion, the federal government’s ability to debit and credit bank accounts does not change.

Buying a T-security is essentially identical with transferring dollars from your checking account to your savings account.

You could be said to own a share of the debt, because federal debt is a measure of money in the economy. You are part of the economy, so that money benefits you. The greater the “debt,” the healthier the economy.

I don’t know whether the Durst family, which owns and maintains the clock, knows what it really means. They may be forerunners of the Tea Party, those clueless folks who hate government but love their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid checks, their safe food and drugs, their highways, army protection, scientific research, FDIC security, homeland security and the myriad other perks provided by the federal government.

It’s enough you to know that every time you see that sign, you see economic ignorance at work.

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

–What are the greatest threats to our economy?

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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Here are two brief questions to those who wish to cut the federal debt:
-When do recessions begin?
-What cures them?

Resessions begin with reduced debt growth
Recessions begin with reduced debt growth and are cured by increased debt growth.

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The following is a brief message to those who claim federal deficit spending is in danger of causing inflation or hyperinflation.

Deficit spending does not cause inflation
In more than 60 years, there has been no relationship between deficit spending and inflation, which today is at a low level.

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The following is a brief message to those who claim removing debt from the economy will stimulate economic growth:

Debt and GDP are parallel
Debt growth and GDP growth parallel.

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The following is a brief message to those who feel inflation is a greater, more imminent problem than recession:

Inflation is low; GDP growth is low
Inflation is low; GDP growth is low.

So tell me, what is the greatest threat to our economy?

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

–Welcome to the United States of Lemming

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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Welcome to the United States of Lemming.

Like the proverbial lemmings, who commit suicide by following their leaders off a cliff, our leaders take our nation off an economic cliff and we blindly follow. In the United States of Lemming, there is a myth and there are facts. “Everyone” believes the myth, and “no one” believes the facts.

Here is the myth. The federal deficit and debt are too high, unsustainable, a drag on our economy, a burden on our government and an impediment to economic growth.

Here are the facts:

1. Reduced deficit growth leads to recessions. Look at this graph and tell me when recessions begin and how they are ended:

Recessions begin when deficit growth declines

That’s right. Recessions begin after a series of declines in deficit growth. Recessions end with increases in deficit spending. Now our government again plans to cause the next recession by cutting deficit spending.

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

2. Federal deficits = net non-federal savings – current account deficit. This is an accounting identity.

The current account = money flowing out the the country. This includes imports above exports (balance of trade), interest paid and foreign aid. For the U.S., the current account almost always is negative, meaning more money flows out of the country than into the country. To keep the domestic money supply from falling, the federal government always must run a deficit.

The rest of the deficit goes to net savings. In simplest terms, net savings are your dollars minus your debt. If you have $1,000 in the bank, but owe $200, your net savings are $800. The only source of net savings is federal government deficits. Without federal deficits, there can be no net savings. This is an accounting fact.

A deficit reduction of $1 trillion = a net savings reduction of $1 trillion for the non-federal sector (you and me). With 300+ million people in America, every $3 trillion in deficit reduction causes a $10,000 loss in each person’s net savings. That’s $10,000 taken out of your pocket, an additional $10,000 taken from your spouse, and $10,000 taken from each of your children. What do you think that will do to our economy and your personal finances?

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

3. Debt reduction (federal surplus) results in depressions:

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.

The reason is clear. Federal surplus = economic deficit. This too is an accounting identity. Federal debt is a reflection of federal deficits — the amount of money the federal government adds to the economy. For debt to be reduced, not only must deficits be reduced; they must be entirely eliminated. Federal surplus is an extreme form of deficit reduction.

Our current account already draws money from our economy. Combine that draw-down with a federal surplus, which also pulls money from our economy, and you create a massive, economic money loss. Our most recent federal surplus came at the end of the Clinton administration. Because the surplus was brief, it caused only a recession, which was cured by the Bush deficits. Had the surplus lasted longer, it would have caused a depression.

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

4. In 1971, the U.S. went off the gold standard, and became Monetarily Sovereign.. The purpose and the effect was to give the U.S. the unlimited ability to pay any bills of any size at any time.

To pay a bill, the federal government instructs a creditor’s bank to mark up the creditor’s checking account. This process erroneously is termed “printing money,” but nothing is printed.

When you and I pay a bill, money is transferred from our account to our creditors account. By contrast, when the federal government pays a bill no money is transferred. Instead, the creditor’s checking account is marked up and money is created by the payment of the government’s debt.

Because no money is transferred, no taxes or borrowing are required for the government to send these mark-up instructions. If taxes and borrowing fell to $0 or rose to $100 trillion, neither event would affect by even one penny, the federal government’s ability to pay its bills.

Despite concerns that deficits may cause inflation, historically this has not been the case. The value of money is determined by two factors: supply and demand. Inflation concerns center on increased supply. But increased demand is anti-inflationary. Demand increases when interest rates rise or when the value of goods and services increases. Both effects have been responsible for this graph, showing no relationship between federal deficits and inflation:

Deficits don't cause inflation

Deficit spending has not caused inflation. Yet, for unknown reasons, the federal plan, agreed to by virtually all media, all politicians and all old-line economists, is to cut deficits and reduce the money supply and our savings.

Our lemming government leads us over the economic cliff.

5. “Debt Outstanding Domestic Nonfinancial Sectors” is the measure of all forms of money in the nation. As you can see, this total debt growth parallels Gross Domestic Product, the most commonly used measure of economic growth.

GDP vs debt

By cutting federal deficits, the government will reduce Domestic Nonfinancial Debt which will reduce Gross Domestic Product.

The only way to stop this suicidal march is for each of us to contact the media, contact the politicians, even contact a professor you may know, and give them the facts.

Or, like the mythical lemmings, we can follow the crowd, accept our fate and jump over the recession and depression cliff.

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

–What is our priority: The recession and joblessness — or inflation?

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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If you drove your car onto a railroad track, while a train was bearing down on you, would you worry about the price of gas, or would you step on the accelerator to get out of the way?

Clearly, the more immediate problem is the train. But according to debt-hawk thinking, you should ignore the immediate problem and wait until gas prices come down. Today, the Tea/Republican party is worried that federal servicing of deficits causes inflation . They wrongly claim that for the federal government to service larger deficits, it must “print” so much money eventually there will be inflation, even hyperinflation..

As always, the Tea/Republicans are wrong: Federal government borrowing does not increase the money supply. Borrowing is a simple asset exchange, in which T-securities are created and traded for dollars, which are destroyed. The servicing of federal debt is the exact opposite. Dollars are traded for T-securities and the T-securities are destroyed. During the entire process, no inflationary money is created.

Which is one reason federal deficit spending has not been associated with inflation since 1971, when we went off the gold standard and became Monetarily Sovereign. (See the following graph)

Inflation vs. Deficits

Yes, let’s forget that the Tea/Republicans simply do not know what they are talking about from a factual standpoint, and instead let’s focus on priorities. Look at the graph below, and tell me whether today’s priority is inflation or recession/joblessness.

Inflation vs Unemployment

Clearly, today’s priority is the weakness of the economy and unemployment. The economy is starved for money. To treat a starving patient, you must feed him. How do you feed a starving economy? By giving it money. How do you give an economy money? Via federal deficit spending.

But, debt-hawk Tea/Republicans will tell you that adding ”infinite” money to the economy (a straw man nobody is recommending) will cause inflation and even hyperinflation. Oh really?

Here is an excerpt from an article in Time Magazine:

Inflation Falls: Is the Economy Saved or Doomed?
Posted by STEPHEN GANDEL Friday, July 15, 2011

Gas prices fell last month, prompting the first drop in overall prices in a year. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)

Inflation in June fell for the first time in a more than a year. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the government’s most widely watched gauge of what the things average Americans buy cost, fell 0.2% last month. The drop was mostly driven by a fall in gas prices, which were down nearly 7% alone in June.

Lest you think that gas prices were the sole cause of low inflation, take another look at the first chart. The red line is total Consumer Price Index. The black line is CPI less food and energy. Both are headed down.

And, even when inflation eventually crops up, the Fed can increase the value of the dollar (fight inflation), by raising interest rates to increase the demand for money. That is the way the Fed has controlled inflation for many years.

So tell me, which is the more immediate problem, the recession/joblessness or inflation? Are you the type who would not drive off the tracks until gas prices come down? If you are, then welcome to the Tea/Republican Party.

Historians will look back at 2011 and shake their heads at the suicidal bent of the Tea/Republicans and even the Democrats. The notion that federal deficit spending, which adds money to the economy, should be reduced at a time of economic starvation, is so unbelievably wrong-headed, future economists will say, ‘What were these fools thinking? At just the time they should have been adding money to the economy, they were searching for ways to bleed money out of the economy.

Of course, The debt debate has nothing to do with the economy. It’s just economic blackmail for political power. Neither the Democrats nor the Tea/Republicans give a damn about the people of this nation. The sole concern is who wins the next election. So when you see these phonies, giving their speeches (inevitably standing in front of American flags, the bigger the better), realize they don’t care about America. Not even a little bit. It’s all about them and their lust for power.

What would you call a person, who deliberately endangers America, who actually is willing to sacrifice America, just to advance his own career? I’d call him a traitor.

That will be the legacy of today’s politicians, and the media and old-line economists who went along with this travesty, and that is the pain our generation will cause our children and our grandchildren.

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