The Trillion Dollar Coin proposal for solving the debt ceiling problem is again experiencing a blogosphere explosion this past week. The precipitating factor may be that people are starting to believe that the Republicans will come to a “fiscal cliff” settlement with the Democrats including very little in entitlement spending; but will then come back, in 2013 with a very to Read more about What Does The Trillion Dollar Coin Do?
This post records the history of platinum coin seigniorage in the blogosphere through the debt ceiling agreement on August 2, 2011. Read more about Origin and Early History of Platinum Coin Seigniorage In the Blogosphere
There are no operational or legislative constraints which prevent the Federal government from eliminating deficits and debt forever.
Cynical subversion triumphs in the national debate on tax policy. Ezra Klein's review of the Tax Policy Center's report further dissects Romney's Tax Plan so that the regular guy can appreciate just how much worse off he will be with Romney. But what none of these analyses of the Romney or the Obama Tax Plans question is the fundamental rationale for taxation and borrowing to generate revenue in the first place. Read more about I'm Jus' Sayin'
Last week, Reps. Michael Honda, Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, Jan Schakowsky, John Conyers, Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey stalwarts of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) begged for mercy from “the Gang of Eight” in a letter.
Here's what they said and my commentary on their “loser liberalism.”
”Thank you for your work - past and present - towards solving one of the greatest policy challenges facing us today: the unsustainable path of our national debt. We appreciate the bipartisan and collaborative spirit with which you've approached your negotiations. . . .”
Thanks vanguard progressives for embracing the major premise of the austerity ideology, namely that the national debt is on an unsustainable path. I'm here to tell you that this idea is false and also terribly harmful to progressive aspirations to end economic stagnation and get everyone, who wants to be, employed at a living wage. You can't win an argument if you start by agreeing with your opponent's false premise. Read more about These Folks are Soooo Clever . . .
Alan Grayson's e-mail on Moody's warning that it might reduce the US's AAA rating, suggested that Moody's was either threatening a downgrade because it wants to get the Bush tax cuts for the rich extended, or, alternatively, that “Moody's is living in what Aristophanes called "Cloud Cuckoo Land."” He says this because Moody's is upset about the possibility that the US may go over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” even though if it did, it would theoretically result in $560 Billion of deficit reduction annually, without further legislative changes, and it makes no sense on the surface for a rati Read more about Alan Grayson's Right; But He Misses the Larger Point
Bob Woodward's releasing a new book, so we are now seeing articles based on it. A few days back, The Washington Post published the ”Inside story of Obama’s struggle to keep Congress from controlling outcome of debt ceiling crisis.” This account is a pretty downbeat one of how our political leaders and President Obama handled the debt ceiling crisis of the summer of 2011. I want to comment on what for me was the most salient point: that during the crisis, the President had no “Plan B” to get around the debt ceiling beyond negotiating a deal with Congress. Read more about No Plan B?
Just saw John Sununu, one of Republicans favorite Bushie junk yard attack dogs all up in arms about the debt subject to the limit (the so-called national debt) reaching $16 Trillion dollars, and going on to tell people that every man, woman, and child in the United States now owes $50,000 to pay that debt off. Now, I'm here to tell you that all that is bull shit.
The debt subject to the limit is a debt incurred by the Congress and the Treasury Department because when the Government spends more than it taxes, the Treasury Department issues debt instruments in the name of the US Government even though it doesn't have to do that in order to deficit spend. These instruments make the Government a debtor. But they don't make any individual man, woman, or child in the United States a debtor. So, the idea that YOU owe $50,000 or even a single dollar is BS. You've signed no such note. You've not charged a single dollar on your credit card for this purpose. And you've not made a single promise that any portion of the national debt will be paid by YOU. Read more about "We" Don't Owe $16 Trillion; and You Don't Owe $50,000
A report on protests at the Tampa convention appearing in the Hill (h/t Lambertstrether) partly focused on views about our economy and financial system of an Occupy protestor named Andrew Speirs. The report says:
“Protesters with the Occupy movement were also in full force with calls to dismantle the United States’ economic and political system.
In the shadow of the election campaign, receiving comparatively little attention from the media is another accelerating effort to prepare the way for a “grand bargain” that will legislate a long-term deficit reduction plan embodying “shared sacrifice,” including entitlement cuts that will weigh heavily on the vulnerable including, the young, the elderly, the old, the disabled and other disadvantaged groups; and that will also further exacerbate the rapidly growing inequality problem and increase the threat to our increasingly fragile democracy. Read more about Fix the Debt The Progressive Way!
Anatole Kaletsky in Reuters has been advocating Quantitative Easing for the People (QEP) in two recent posts (h/t to Lambert for alerting me). In the first, he begins by making the point that QE hasn't worked to lift the economies of the US and the UK, and suggests new and more radical measures must be considered. Then he says: Read more about QE for the People?
Sometimes people object to the idea of the President ordering minting a $1 Trillion proof platinum coin on political grounds, even though they believe it's: legal to mint such a coin, won't be inflationary, and will allow the President to avoid the debt ceiling crisis. Robert Rice offered the following as part of a longer comment on a post of Beowulf's: Read more about Election Politics and the Trillion Dollar Coin
About Two and a half months ago, Mike Norman pointed out that when Federal spending and tax collections in fiscal 2012 were compared with those for the same calendar date in 2011, data from the Daily Treasury Statements (DTS) showed that 2012 Federal spending was lagging behind 2011 spending by $433 Billion; while 2012 tax revenue Read more about An Imminent Spending Blitz (?) and the Debt Ceiling
A few days back, the President had some remarks on taxes, fairness, "The Buffett Rule," “fiscal responsibility,” and making real choices with real consequences. From my point of view, informed, in part, by the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to economics, these remarks were so wrong-headed, that I'm afraid I can't let them pass without a rebuttal. Below is a paragraph-by-paragraph commentary on some of his remarks.
The President: Read more about A Reply to the President About Real Choices
During the past few months the results of polling suggest that Barack Obama will be re-elected. But they also show that his support is shallow and could be shaken easily by an economic downturn during the next 6 months. Read more about Avoiding A Debt Ceiling Election Sellout!