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The Anarchist's picture

Guess What? Krugman Didn't Get The Memo.

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"This Manifesto (Paul Krugman's) fails to inform Americans that the Federal Government is not constrained by revenue to spend since it must issue all the dollars, it needs no revenue from taxation/borrowing.

Before 1971, the federal government needed to obtain money from outside sources, because it did not have the unlimited ability to create money. It’s ability to create money (actually, to credit accounts), was limited by its supply of gold. In August, 1971, the federal government gave itself the unlimited ability to credit accounts. It became Monetarily Sovereign. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Hey Patriotic Billionaires, You Can Do Better Than the Buffett Rule, Anyway!

Well, the legislation implementing “The Buffett Rule” has been voted down in Congress as we all knew it would be. But so what? The Federal Government doesn't really need your money, since it can generate all the money it needs to pay off the national debt and also close any gap between tax revenues and Federal spending that Congress may want to legislate for the foreseeable future.

There's no problem of Federal solvency. There hasn't been since 1971, when the US went off the Gold Standard! The idea that we risk insolvency is just a fantasy of people who won't acknowledge that the US Government is the monopoly supplier of fiat currency to the non-Government sector of the economy, including all of the private sector.

However, even though your money isn't needed by the Government, it is very badly needed to help fund two things, I'll describe below. But, before I do that, since your patriotism has moved you to advocate for higher taxes for yourselves, I hope and expect that you will be motivated to spend the same amount in the two areas of activity where your money is most needed and would be much more effective in bringing the United States back to the state of a healthy democracy, than it would be if you and and other similarly situated patriots paid it to the Government in taxes.

I know you've frequently heard the Republican response to your proposals for higher taxes on very wealthy people like yourselves, namely that if you're so sure that higher taxes on the very wealthy are the right thing to do, then you can always contribute the additional money to the government, if you really want to. Well, my view is that you can equally well, and with much greater effect on restoring fair and effective functioning to our democracy, contribute that money directly to activities that will change key background conditions that are driving our democracy towards plutocracy right now. Here are the two areas of activity. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Once Again, the National Debt Is Congress's Fault

(Author's note: I've offered this idea a couple of times over the past few months here, with surprisingly little reaction. I'm trying once again, because I'm persuaded that much of the leverage that conservatives and Republicans have over our fate is due to the belief that most people hold that federal deficits, the national debt, and the GDP ratio are important, and that we must bring them under control to avoid Government insolvency. In addition every one seems to believe that the existence of the debt is due the to the profligacy of the Government, its monumental waste, and the lack of courage of its politicians who spend too freely to please constituents, gain campaign contributions, and help themselves to stay in office. None of this is true. The current existence of the National Debt, and also of a non-zero public debt-to-GDP ratio is the inevitable result of a technical decision that Congress has made about how the Treasury should finance its spending. This post talks about that decision, points out that its consequence is the National Debt, and also points out that the very existence of the National Debt is the fault of Congress.)

It is Congress's fault that we have a national debt at this point in our history. And also Congress can largely get rid of this debt over a 10 year period any time it wants to.

The national debt exists today because when the nation went off the Gold Standard in 1971 and adopted its fiat currency system, Congress did not repeal its mandate, very appropriate when our currency was convertible to Gold on demand, in least in theory, requiring that the Government back all its deficit spending with already existing borrowed dollars whose convertibility was covered by our holdings of Gold. This Congressional mandate to borrow funds by issuing debt instruments when the Government deficit spends, is what has caused the national debt to persist.

Had Congress repealed it when President Nixon took the country off the Gold Standard, and had we ceased to issue debt at that time, then the Government would have re-paid all of our 1971 debts as they came due, and our national debt today would be zero and our debt-to-GDP would now be at 0%.

The Congressional mandate to issue debt when the Government deficit spends has no useful function today, and the interest income it provides for mostly wealthy investors and foreign Governments who buy Treasury Securities is simply a form of welfare for the rich. In fact, it is welfare that will cost the Treasury almost $12 Trillion over the next 15 years if we continue the policy of issuing debt instruments. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The National Debt Is Congress's Fault! Redux

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The national debt exists today because when the nation went off the Gold Standard in 1971 and adopted its present non-convertible fiat currency system, Congress did not repeal its mandate requiring that the Government back all its deficit spending with already existing borrowed dollars whose convertibility was covered by our holdings of Gold. This Congressional mandate to borrow funds by issuing debt instruments, has caused the national debt to persist. Had Congress repealed it when President Nixon took the country off the Gold Standard, and had we ceased to issue debt at that time, then the Government would have re-paid all of our 1971 debts as they came due, and our national debt today, as well as our debt-to-GDP would both now be at Zero. So, the existence of the National Debt today is Congress's fault! Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The National Debt Is Congress's Fault!

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I'm sick and tired of hearing progressive icons like Bernie Sanders, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, and many, many others, talking about the evil of leaving an enormous national debt, now at $13 Trillion plus to our Grandchildren. And I'm especially tired of hearing Congresspeople and Senators complaining about this. The reason why I'm tried of hearing it is that it is Congress's fault that we have a national debt at this point in our history. And also Congress can largely get rid of this debt over a 10 year period any time it wants to.

The national debt exists today because when the nation went off the Gold Standard in 1971 and adopted its fiat currency system, Congress did not repeal its mandate, very appropriate when our currency was convertible to Gold on demand, in least in theory, requiring that the Government back all its deficit spending with already existing borrowed dollars whose convertibility was covered by our holdings of Gold. This Congressional mandate to borrow funds by issuing debt instruments, is what has caused the national debt to persist. Had Congress repealed it when President Nixon took the country off the Gold Standard, and had we ceased to issue debt at that time, then the Government would have re-paid all of our 1971 debts as they came due, and our national debt today would be zero and our debt-to-GDP would now be at 0%. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Congressional Progressives: Make 'Em End Debt Issuance!

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There's a flood of reaction out there among Progressives and other Democrats criticizing the recent “tax deal” on grounds that President Obama was rolled again and got far too little for his agreement to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy, and agree to Estate tax rates of 35%. I share that opinion. But since a) the Democrats have steadfastly refused to use the constitutional option to get rid of the filibuster, b) the Republicans in the Senate will certainly prevent any legislation from being passed this month without a tax cut deal, and c) the unlikelihood that a Republican House will pass an extension of the middle class tax cuts without also passing the tax cuts for the wealthy, the Democrats still need a deal this month if they want to get unemployment insurance extended and other legislation passed.

So what should they to do? Well, for starters, the House and Senate Democrats could send the Republicans and the President back to the negotiating table with some instructions about what else they want in order to make a deal. The most important price they can make them pay in return for the tax cuts for the wealthy they want so much is an end to debt issuance. Why is an end to debt issuance so important? Here's why: Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

What Is "A Government Sovereign In Its Own Currency"?

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Deficit hawks in the United States envision a day when the United States Government will go broke, unless we curb government spending on entitlements. Well, governments can go broke in the sense that they can run out of money they need to pay their debts. But not all governments. Read below the fold...

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