This is the last post in my analysis and commentary on Bruce Bartlett's testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. There's one very significant issue left to discuss, and that is the issue of fiscal gap and generational accounting and whether it should be institutionalized in legislation. I'll begin this post with that discussion and then end the series with my overall evaluation of his effort.
Fiscal Gap and Generational Accounting
15. Generational accounting exaggerates the burden of debt. Intergenerational accounting attempts to assess financial burdens through time, especially with a view to claiming that financial decisions taken in one generation can impose burdens on another. But this argument refuses to count as real assets the infrastructure and other national assets that the current generation will leave for future generations, and it does not understand that federal government debt never needs to be retired. In real terms, there obviously are no intergenerational transfers, except for the knowledge, the physical assets and the larger environment, which the present leaves to the future. The real goods produced in 2050 will be distributed to those alive in 2050, regardless of the public debt in existence at that time. Meanwhile, the U.S. government can always meet its payments when they come due. . . .
This is the fourth in a series of commentaries on Bruce Bartlett's recent testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. I appreciated his testimony and his critical evaluation of the idea that there is a public “debt crisis” in the United States. I also agree that there is no debt crisis. However, I was disappointed that his views, for the most part, did not show the across the board relevance to most aspects of the “debt crisis” of the fact that the United States is a fiat currency sovereign.
In the previous three posts, I've outlined the many contexts in which the fiat currency sovereignty of the United States is relevant to showing that the idea that the United States has or can have a debt crisis is just bunk. In this post, I'll continue my discussion of Bruce Bartlett's testimony in the same way. Read more about The “Debt Crisis” According to Bruce Bartlett: Debt Thresholds, and Wars
In the first two parts of this series of commentaries on Bruce Bartlett's testimony to the Senate Budget Committee, I've reviewed the first 8 paragraphs in his statement. These points debunked various concerns of those who think the United States has a serious “debt crisis” it must handle before it takes on trivial problems such as its unprecedentedly high level of wealth inequality, lack of true full employment at a living wage, roughly 30 million people still lacking health insurance, one of the worst infrastructure systems in the developed world, transitioning from fossil fuels and ending climate change, creating a first class public educational system from pre-K through graduate school, ending the student loan crisis, creating a single standard of law for all, including the various categories of violators categorized as too big to prosecute by recent Administrations, and ending the student loan debt crisis, just to name a few.
However, what was noticeably missing from the variety of arguments given in his eight paragraphs was a recognition that the United States is a fiat sovereign nation and that this fact has serious implications for most of the subject matter Bruce Bartlett covers in his statement. In this post I'll continue my analysis of his statement to explore the extent to which his views correspond to Modern Money Theory (MMT). Read more about The “Debt Crisis” According to Bruce Bartlett: Household Analogy, Inflation, Savings, and Taxes
The “Debt Crisis” According to Bruce Bartlett: Capital Investment, the “Debt Burden,” Fiat Currency, and the Debt Limit
This is the second in a blog series of commentaries on Bruce Bartlett's recent statement to the Senate Budget Committee. The first post in the series discussed a number of his comments on aspects of the “debt crisis,” a crisis he and I both believe doesn't exist. I discussed a number of his reasons for doubting the severity of any debt problem and related each of them to the capabilities of the United States as a fiat sovereign.
In this post, I'll cover the issues related to capital investment, the debt burden, fiat currency, and the debt limit. I'll begin with Bruce Bartlett's statement on how capital investments ought to be treated in the budget. Read more about The “Debt Crisis” According to Bruce Bartlett: Capital Investment, the “Debt Burden,” Fiat Currency, and the Debt Limit
Today, I'll offer the first of five commentary posts on Bruce Bartlett's recent testimony before the Senate Budget Committee. Bruce Bartlett is a long-time veteran of the fiscal policy wars. He initially became known as a supply-side free market economist working for Ron Paul and then Jack Kemp in the 1970s. Later, he served as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan Administration, and then in the Bush 41 Administration as the deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department. Since then he's worked at conservative think tanks and as a well-known writer on economic policy and politics, becoming increasingly critical, first of the Bush 43 Administration and then of the increasingly rightward trend of the Republican Party. Today I think Bruce Bartlett is best characterized as a fiercely independent voice still respected in conservative circles, and also, among progressives such as Jamie Galbraith and Stephanie Kelton, but never afraid to call balls and strikes on any Administration or Congress as he sees them.
With that brief introduction completed, I'd like to turn now to a commentary on his testimony to the Senate Budget Committee from my own, individual, but Modern Money Theory -informed point of view. This post will discuss the first four points covered in Bruce Bartlett's testimony. Read more about The “Debt Crisis” According to Bruce Bartlett: Fiat Sovereignty
Are US politicians just pretending to be ignorant about exponential growth in technology and its implications for society re: the future of work? Or are they in fact, ignorant?
Science builds on itself and the more we know, the faster we learn more. Most of us must know this fact- which leads us in lots of directions. Here's a very important one. Read more about Are US politicians just pretending to be ignorant about exponential growth in technology and its implications for society re: the future of work? Or are they in fact, ignorant?
Requirements for an e-participation platform in human political CASs
We won't be able to stop the movement toward oligarchy unless we can create a new institutional framework that allows us to change those aspects of our present situation supporting oligarchy and undermining open society. We need a framework that will operate within the context of existing rules and laws to create changes supporting increased self-organization and distributed knowledge processing shifting our democratic PCASs back towards an open state. Read more about A Meta-layer for Restoring Democracy and Open Society: Part Two, Meta-layer Requirements
Since I provided some reaction to the SOTU, I thought I might also provide some analysis of Jill Stein's version of it. I won't dignify Mitch Daniels's reply to the President with an analysis, however, because it's simply not worth the electronic ink to comment on that nonsense.
By and large, I really liked Jill Stein's Green New Deal speech, and I think I'd be much happier if she were in the Presidency then I am right now. Dr, Stein, is really direct and straightforward, and she seems to genuinely care about the condition of working people and about protecting the constitution and its guarantees of liberty. Her sincerity shines through and she seems to lack the guile of the major party candidates. Her program seems to be a synthesis of the WW II New Deal and Green Agendas and I strongly support the idea that we need both right now. Here are some quotes and comments. Read more about SOTU: Reaction to Jill Stein and the Green New Deal
Thursday kick-off was awesome, with around 2000 at City Hall during the busy hour. Austin police not the NYPD, at this point anyway. This afternoon they offered to give us a traffic lane to march to BOA if we had at least 200 people involved. An hour later 600 people marched and the APD facilitated. Something like $60K removed from BOA before they shut their doors. I'm pretty sure we'll be back later.
Some unfortunate, ugly behavior at the GA tonight when things got temporarily off track, but the parties initially in conflict ended up in dialog and understanding each to be aligned on goals and beliefs, but not necessarily timing. Not only peace, but much understanding prevailed. Mistakes were made but owned up to and grieved. Read more about Report, #OccupyAustin: Start-up and General Assembly
Meh, for me today it was 12 hrs with one client and four more with another on the west coast later before I can sleep, so this is going to be short. I'd like to fill the rest in as I respond in the comments, reading what you all have to say. But the question is: what supplements do you take? Vitamins? Oils, cremes, salves, teas, and any other delivery device that doesn't come from Big Pharma or Big Ag, that helps you feel better? Why do you take them? How did you learn about them? Why do you know they work? What scientific-standard of proof can you offer they do, if only in your case? Read more about What Supplements Do You Take, And Why?
'We are One!' was more a commentary on our size than our unity. The huge numbers I anticipated did not materialize. But some interesting things did happen.
The same MoveOn co-ordinator for last two rallies was present but did not take a prominent role. The AFL-CIO was not present at all even though the rally was scheduled under the aegis of both organizations. Read more about 'We are One!'-April 4-Tallahassee, Fl.
Once I saw a prizefighter boxing a yokel. The fighter was swift and amazingly scientific. His body was one violent flow of rapid rhythmic action. He hit the yokel a hundred times while the yokel held up his arms in stunned surprise. But suddenly the yokel, rolling about in the gale of boxing gloves, struck one blow and knocked science, speed and footwork as cold as a well-digger's posterior. The smart money hit the canvas. The long shot got the nod. The yokel had simply stepped inside of his opponent's sense of time.