Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 07, 2017

Republican 'Deficit Hawks'

The Republican way of governing.

  • This deficit is increasing!
  • We need to cut taxes to spur growth. This will help to lower the deficit.
  • [Cut taxes, increase deficit.]
  • The deficit is increasing!
  • We need to cut Social-Security, Medicare and Medicaid to lower the deficit.
  • (rinse, repeat)

Ryan: Tax cuts have to be deficit neutral to conform with reconciliation - Sep 28 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday said the tax cuts included in the tax reform package Republican lawmakers crafted in conjunction with the Trump Administration have to be deficit neutral so as to conform with budget reconciliation rules.

GOP tax plan unlikely to swell deficit: Speaker Ryan tells Reuters - October 25, 2017

The U.S. Republican tax cut plan that President Donald Trump wants passed by the end of the year is unlikely to trigger a big deficit expansion because it will spur more investment and job growth, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Ryan: I'm a deficit hawk and 'a growth advocate' - Nov 5 2017

"Paul Ryan deficit hawk is also a growth advocate. Paul Ryan deficit hawk also knows that you have to have a faster growing economy, more jobs, bigger take-home pay, that means higher tax revenues," Ryan told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

Ryan Dismisses Deficit Concerns to Chase a Political Win on Taxes - Nov 27 2017

The tax overhaul legislation that Ryan shepherded through the House -- the Senate takes up its version this week -- would add at least $1 trillion to budget deficits over the next decade, even when accounting for economic growth, according to independent tax analysts.

CBO: Senate tax plan would increase deficit by $1.4T over 10 years - Nov 27 2017

The Senate GOP's tax plan would increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 - Dec 6 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday said House Republicans will aim to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs next year as a way to trim the federal deficit.

“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said during an interview on Ross Kaminsky's talk radio show.

And no. The Democrats aren't any better. Look at the trillions Obama handed to Wall Street. That wasn't even a tax cut, it was a give-away. Obamacare is a sham,  willfully constructed in way that makes sure it can't survive. The Democrats only pretend to care for the people. As soon as they again have a majority and fake intent for pro-social reforms the Repubs will again whine about the deficit and the Democrats will be happy to fold.

Posted by b on December 7, 2017 at 19:12 UTC | Permalink


Rhetorical question begs asking...

So, which is worse; the devil that lies to you or the one pretending that it doesn't lie to you?

Posted by: Antithesis | Dec 7 2017 19:21 utc | 1

thanks b.. the choice is servitude to israel or servitude to the corporations... sometimes they can do both, lol..

@1 antithesis... it is really about the same as i see it.. the main thing is that everyone can see it and no one is duped anymore..

Posted by: james | Dec 7 2017 19:36 utc | 2

The Demopublican War Party: United to shovel more money into the maw of the oligarch class while stealing dollars, services, and servitude from the working class. Reverse Robin Hood/Reverse Socialism in full effect.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Dec 7 2017 19:37 utc | 3

Indeed. Two faces, same coin. The msm desperately wants to keep the relevant the age-old rope-a-dope of the Demotards vs. Rethuglicans 2K17! Jesus, ever-loving-Christ, though, you fuck with social security and Medicare and you bring on the wrath of AARP's membership.

Release the BLUE-HAIRS!

Can't wait, but that is another struggle for another day. In the mean time, I notice that even the mention of Paul Ryan elicits a shudder. Such a slime.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 7 2017 19:37 utc | 4

The annual debt service on $20T Debt
Is a remarkably low $240B as of 2016. Does this mean that the Fed can just keep short term rates low or even reduce them, vis-a-vis the Japanese model, and allow U.S. govt debt to grow to arbitrarily high levels?

Currently, we have $20T debt but the U.S. govt is borrowing at short term rates in order to get this amazingly low debt service. Now let's suppose over the next 50yrs our national debt grows to a ridiculous $100T, if the fed puts short term rates at 0.1% then our annual debt service will still be at the same levels or less.

Does anyone else believe that this is the game the U.S. govt is playing?
If it is then I wonder what the consequences are in keeping short term interest rates at artificially low levels in perpetuity.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 7 2017 20:57 utc | 5

Here's to the evolving True Political Awakening.

Move beyond the two-faced monkeys; the 2-faced division-makers; the 2 lying parties. Move beyond them into yourself, your own mind and thoughts, owned by no-one; a critical and independent thinker who seeks the truth.

Posted by: Antithesis | Dec 7 2017 21:05 utc | 6

I'll start taking the "deficit hawks" seriously when they start talking Defense procurement reform. Until then, its just "balance the budget on the backs of widows and orphans".

Posted by: DMC | Dec 7 2017 21:07 utc | 7

There was a large mound formed recently over the grave of former Republican senator from WI Bob lafollette Sr., this protrusion was caused by his rapidly spinning corpse.

Posted by: Whyawannaknow1 | Dec 7 2017 21:18 utc | 8

For those who are fortunate enough not to live in these Benighted States: have pity upon us, especially those of us who done our best to fight against this horror show.

Democraps are either just as bad or worse bc of their duplicity. The GOP is, at least, totally loud and proud of who they are, and no more dog whistles for them.

The Democrats, all while the GOP Tax SCAM was being shoved down our gobs, wasted all of their time and "emotions" on a witch hunt to toss Al Franken outta the Senate. Franken is not my favorite Senator by a long shot, but this is yet another chapter of the Democraps ACORNing their own purportedly in the name of "taking the moral high ground." My Aunt Fanny.

Complicit, greedy, conniving, venal, deplorable bastards the whole d*mn lot with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders (no great shakes but the pick of the litter).

Ugh. Don't get me started on all of those dual Israeli/USA citizens in riddling our Congress. They are ALL in favor of this Jersalem travesty with Schmuck Schumer leading the charge. That's not about Trump... or not much about Trump. I place blame on worthless scum like Schumer.

This is why people voted for Trump: they could see the worthlessness of both parties. Of course, voting for Trump was a complete Mug's game, as for sure, the way things have turned out was a foregone conclusion.

We are so screwed.

Posted by: RUKidding | Dec 7 2017 21:18 utc | 9

poll end of October 2017 shows widespread fed up with government policies and war

Posted by: Sid2 | Dec 7 2017 21:25 utc | 10

Franken should have agreed to step down when trump does.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 7 2017 21:26 utc | 11

>>>>> Bart Hansen | Dec 7, 2017 4:26:19 PM | 11

Franken should have agreed to step down when trump does.

<snark>But according to no less than Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, we have Donald Trump to thank for all these revelations about sexual misconduct, so it would appear that Trump has done the world, and women in particular, a great favour and we should all be grateful to him.</snark>

Pelosi: Trump, not Weinstein, prompted flood of sexual misconduct claims

House minority leader says president’s election, following revelations he boasted about groping women, led to airing of allegations against film mogul

The House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, has said Donald Trump, not Harvey Weinstein, inspired the recent and continuing wave of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men in Hollywood, politics and other sections of society.

“Harvey [Weinstein] didn’t evoke this. The election of President Trump evoked what happened to Harvey and now everybody is served notice,” Pelosi told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.


Trump has been accused by at least 24 women of inappropriate sexual behavior, ranging from harassment to assault. He denies all such accusations. It was, however, his own statements about his own supposed sexual misconduct that rocked his bid for the presidency in October last year.
As usual, The Guardian doesn't bother with real evidence.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 7 2017 21:47 utc | 12

Agree 200 % B. It is impressive how the Democrats do nothing, but nothing at all against the catastrophic tax 'reform', instead - me too!

Posted by: Pnyx | Dec 7 2017 22:01 utc | 13

I am still waiting on my Reagan trickle down. Reagan and fellow thieves stole social security funds to make their deficit look lower. Those funds have not been paid back....approximately $3,000,000,000,000. Now the dead beats are planning on slipping out of town.

Posted by: ger | Dec 7 2017 22:06 utc | 14

We should go back to the 1960 tax structure, the one in place after eight years of Eisenhower, so it should get plenty of Republican support, yes?

top rate on regular income: 91%
top rate on capital gains: 25%
top rate on corporate tax: 52%

The top income tax tier back then was $400,000 - adusted for inflation to 2017 dollars, that's about $10 million. So anyone with an income of $10 million would still get a take-home pay of $1 million a year. Seems like the right thing to do, doesn't it?

Posted by: nonsense factory | Dec 7 2017 22:18 utc | 15

Good one b, the demodogs will stoop their feet point figures so they can raise lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$ to pay their friends the consultants and lose more seats. It's what they do best.

If they did get power back they won't be giving anything back to us on Main Street for they have the same puppet masters as the repugs.

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 7 2017 22:49 utc | 16

I've almost given up. It's not just amerika; lookit Australia this week where the citizens are being distracted by a same sex marriage beatup which should have been settled in 5 minutes years ago - meanwhile the last vestiges of Australia's ability to survive as a sovereign state are being flogged off to anyone with a fat wedge in their kick.
Aotearoa isn't much better the 'new' government which was elected primarily because the citizens were appalled to discover that for about the first time in 150 years, compatriots - compatriots with jobs in 'the gig economy' were homeless in huge numbers, has just announced that the previous government's housing policy was a total mess, and that fixing the problem will be difficult -really Jacinda we never woulda guessed, I guess what yer really trying to say is nothing is gonna change.

The englanders are in even worse trouble with their brexit mess, the political elite is choosing to ignore a recent Northern Ireland poll which revealed that most people in the north would rather hook up with Ireland than stay with an non EU UK, so the pols there are arguing over semantics about the difference between "regulatory alignment" and "regulatory equivalence" as it applies to Ulster while the pound is sinking so fast it is about to establish equivalence with the euro by xmas.
No one is paying attention to what is really happening as in between giving us the lowdown on which 2nd rate mummer was rude to a 3rd rate thespian and advertorials about the best chronometer (who even wears a watch in 2017?) for that man in your life, the media simply doesn't have the time much less the will to tell the citizens how quickly their lives are about to go down the gurgler.

The only salient issue is - will the shit hit the fan before the laws are in place to silence, lock up and butcher dissenters, or will there be a brief period where we hit the barricades and have a moment of glory before humanity gets to enjoy serfdom Mk2?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 8 2017 0:10 utc | 17

b, have you really taken a look at federal government spending? What is the ratio of spending by the German government between social programs and discretionary spending for defense, agriculture subsidies, infrastructure, etc?

The majority of federal government spending is non-discretionary social entitlement spending with the biggest being health care spending. Just Medicare & Medicaid is a third of all federal government spending. Then you have to add health care spending for federal government employees and members of Congress, Tricare and VA. With health care costs growing at 9% each and every year as it has for the past 30 years, medical related expenditures as a share of total federal government spending will continue to rise.

Deficits will continue to grow as these entitlement programs grow automatically as eligibility grows. Even if all defense expenditures were zeroed out, the federal government would still run a deficit.

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 8 2017 0:48 utc | 18

Christian Chuba @5

You are already seeing the consequences of artificially low short term rates. Negative yielding sovereign European debt - meaning you pay to lend to some European governments. European junk bonds with 10 year duration yielding less than 10 yr US Treasury bond. Loss making, junk rated European companies raising even more intermediate term debt at 0.001%. Corporations borrowing to buy back stock. The Swiss National Bank creating money out of thin air and owning $85 billion of US equity in major US companies like Apple & Google. The Bank of Japan owning a third of all Japanese government bonds outstanding and the Top 10 holder of the companies in the Nikkei 100 index. Financial speculation off the charts across the globe.

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 8 2017 1:04 utc | 19

People dont understand what money is our how it is and can be created. They imagine it is like gold and limited in supply so that government can spend only from a finite supply which they must obtain by taxes or loans that require interest to be paid.

This fable is about as true as Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy.

Money has no value but as an instrument of exchange. It can be created by government to pay for benefit of a nation. Instead we allow private bankers to create money via loans (no printing press needed its just a line item on a spread sheet on their computers which shows up in the borrowers account) The privately owned central bank system limits or increases the supply by various means in a cyclical manner which leads to boom and bust cycles in the economy. The rich get richer after each bust cycle since they have cash to acquire assets available at depressed prices

As for the debt owed by the US the privately owned Fed will ensure the government can borrow whatever is needed for interest payments since they can create an infinite supply of money by acquiring junk and calling them assets. Out pal OPEC (Saudis) keeps Petro dollar (USD ) in demand and exchange rates are set within agreed upon limits by the worlds central banks under the BIS, with input from various shadowy groups like Bilderbergers, trilaterals and CFR. And if all else fails, an attack on the USD will result in the military option being used

To remain in power corrupt governments rely on a citizen base that is uneducated or misinformed, busy surviving to pay taxes and daily expenses, is dependent on government and in debt and is well entertained. They must also be divided by religion, race, social, gender, age and party (secular religion) and given a common external enemy to fear.

The system is working to perfection. Neoliberal economics is the icing on the cake and is the gift that keeps on giving to the chosen ones.

Check out the pdf on money creation by the Bank of England

Posted by: Pft | Dec 8 2017 1:24 utc | 20

There's no reason why with the current state of technology so much money is needed to campaign for office. Almost as if the MSM is conditioning us to believe it necessary.

There's no reason some one can't run a campaign using social media, YouTube and video conferencing instead of advertising (on same MSM) travelling long distances to campaign rallies and broadcast advertising. Microdonations and volunteering assistance can take care of the rest.

If there is a will, there's a way to run an outsider as a candidate. The recent death of Anderson reminded me of his difficulties running, but he ran at a time when none of these technologies existed.

I think people are just too lazy to make the effort. Most elections people are just too lazy to even vote.

Posted by: 666 Fifth Av | Dec 8 2017 1:33 utc | 21

Posted by: Pft | Dec 7, 2017 8:24:12 PM | 20

While I agree that money can just be created there is a limit to that particularly when low constraints on consumable supplies run parallel to established shortfalls on finite goods such as houses, land, food etc. Inflation runs rampant and we weak humans distract ourselves with cheap baubles instead of creating useful shit and putting a roof over the heads of our children - "waddaya want for xmas kid, a freehold shithole or a new VR headset?" "I'll take the vive Dad".

Churning out extra dosh works when it is part of a larger plan to increase productivity by encouraging people outta pointless 'shit industry' service jobs into either outright production like manufacturing or primary industry, or infrastructure investment like railways, roads, bridges & renewable energy projects. Just pumping fresh new bills into health n education will be great for those who work in these sectors, but is unlikely to create much flow on to the rest of the population.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 8 2017 2:05 utc | 22

NC @ 4 said: "Indeed. Two faces, same coin." Up the Oligarchs...

As was mentioned above, this new feudalism isn't just in the U$A, it's global.

BH @ 11 said:"Franken should have agreed to step down when trump does."

Absolutely!! Begs the question, who the hell advises him? What an effen' wuss. Sickening!!!

Posted by: ben | Dec 8 2017 3:07 utc | 23

P.S. Good take b, spot on...

Posted by: ben | Dec 8 2017 3:08 utc | 24

One should be clear about the chronology.

First, they torture logic. This opens wealth of opportunities, like torturing people. But in the realm of reasoning, arithmetic is next. The discovery that you can cut taxes, expand military spending and balance the budget goes back nearly 40 years ago -- at least you can promise it, and win elections!

Concerning the above article of b, actual cutting of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare did not happen and probably will not. What happens is that they are considered, because such considerations are presented as the proof of "serious thinking". Once you cripple logic and arithmetic, is there a better way to show that you are "thinking", and "seriously" at that? Since offering some actual reasoning supported by calculations is out of the question, what is left is public exhibition of mental effort, showing furrows on the forehead, lowering the tone of your voice etc. Then you show the public your Eureka moment, the tone of voice raises, and you have a spectacle of Trump describing how the peace spreads all over Middle East as "we" recognize the Holy City as the Capital of the State of Israel. And the similar cycle of hard thinking, Eureka! and inspiration that allows to offer the people something new and marvelous is repeated.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2017 3:11 utc | 25

Just another symptom of a dying empire: "Alfred McCoy argues in his new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power, that not only is the US’ status a superpower bound to be eclipsed by China, but also that America’s downfall will 'be more abrupt than we imagine.'"

A big challenge for many is to insulate family and community during the downfall, which will last awhile, regardless of where one's living. Of course, some places will be better sheltered than others. Studying the UK's decline after both World Wars ought to be instructive.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2017 3:32 utc | 26

...A big challenge for many is to insulate family and community during the downfall, which will last awhile, regardless of where one's living.

What do you propose? Gardening and collecting a sustainable toolkit, say to produce arrows to bring game home? In any case, Britons were not exactly starving after the decline of their Empire, and American should adapt as well. I must admit that I have a dim idea how that will happen: will wages be reduced to the level of Bangladesh and competitiveness restored (necessary after the fall of the belief that US dollars are intrinsically valuable)? Perhaps we should learn how to prepare frugal yet tasty vegetarian meals.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8 2017 4:05 utc | 27

OT,but, if Roy Moore wins on the 12th, maybe Al Franken will rescind his intention to resign. Nah, that would require a lucid thought, and implied strategy, something the Dems don't do.

Sorry for the OT..

Posted by: ben | Dec 8 2017 4:08 utc | 28

Here's an excellent example of very partisan "journalism" that's part of the overall problem.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2017 4:10 utc | 29

Cutting taxes does not necessarily have to increase the deficit.

Granted. In a context where the monetary system is centralised and, regardless the political stripe of the government, incumbent administrations run perpetual fiscal deficits, then, yes, cutting taxes will increase the deficit.

In a healthy and decentralised monetary system however, or, at least, in a monetary system that is not perpetually and artificially pumped, cutting taxes will result in greater savings and more productive investment not to mention a higher natality rate.

I submit therefore, that given current circumstances and that if we are to run up sovereign debt no matter what, then I would rather cut taxes till the whole thing implodes.

Posted by: guidoamm | Dec 8 2017 5:02 utc | 30

What the GOP refer to as entitlements are earned benefits. SS and Medicare do not belong to Congress. They belong to the workers who paid for them. 55% of the budget is being spent on murdering other people's children and graft.
It isn't rocket science to understand that is where the spending cuts need to be made.

Posted by: CDWaller | Dec 8 2017 9:14 utc | 31

CDWaller says:

55% of the budget is being spent on murdering other people's children and graft.

yeah, hear about those boys in the 7th fleet...up to their greasy palms with graft and extra-legal pussy? the biggest scandal nobody’s talking about...

just google: fat leonard scandal

Posted by: john | Dec 8 2017 10:30 utc | 32

Guidoamm @ 30:

Cutting taxes is not a cause of increased deficits, there is no direct causation involved. However the reason that cutting taxes is not seen as a great idea in the current US economic context is that taxes are needed to invest in building and maintaining infrastructure (roads, bridges, railways and electricity, water and gas supply networks), in public schools and universities, public hospitals, in running law courts and police forces, in standardising and enforcing regulations, measures and standards, and in scientific and medical research. All these areas of government investment, dependent on taxation, generate jobs for people who then earn income to buy the goods and services that are provided by private business.

Cutting taxes of lower to middle class people will certainly stimulate spending on their part and enable some of them to save to create and run their own businesses. Likewise cutting taxes of small businesses can help them invest more profits into hiring more staff or improving their operations.

However cutting the taxes of already extremely wealthy people and corporations (but not cutting the taxes of lesser paid individuals, households and firms) may not necessarily lead to greater savings or productive investment. Wealthy individuals and firms may plough their money into asset speculation like real estate, leading to inflated prices for properties that shut out everyone else. They may also take their money and put it into overseas tax havens to minimise their tax obligations in their home countries even more. They might also use the money to undercut business rivals and buy them rather than invest it in more productive pursuits.

Whether control of financial systems is centralised or decentralised makes no difference if governments and central banks are already in thrall to neoliberal economics which spout free market and monetarist mantras without understanding that free markets rely on the trust and stability provided by some (but not excessive or onerous) government regulation.

Anyway the idea of governments going into deficit to finance the essential frameworks on which private enterprise and markets can thrive, when governments should have the power to create money on behalf of the people who vote for them, should strike us as strange.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 8 2017 10:42 utc | 33

It most definitely makes a considerable difference whether the monetary system is centralised or not.

From the arithmetical point of view, this monetary system affords an asymmetrical advantage in legislation and cost to the entity that, by law, is allowed to create and impose the medium of exchange.

The theory of money generation and injection into the economy sounds reasonable enough of course.

The national budget guides Treasury to request a sum from an investing entity and/or the central bank and gives a bond in exchange.

The bond carries an interest.

The idea of course is that government puts the money to use to promote and facilitate productive investment thus boosting the economy thus resulting in a return that is greater than the interest owed on the bond; ergo, capital formation.

So far so good if it weren't for the problem of perpetual deficits.

Because of interest owed, perpetual deficits conform to the law of diminishing marginal utility. Hence the reason that countries globally are running debt to GDP ratios of >100%.

The diminishing marginal utility of debt guarantees increasing fiscal pressure.

Fiscal pressure is brought to bear through legislation

As legislation becomes more labyrinthine and onerous, barriers to entry are raised

As barriers to entry rise, the economy is monopolised

Declining Business Dynamism

Monopolisation induces off-shoring of labour and profits

The above results in increasing under/un-employment

In turn fiscal revenue declines

Which brings about greater deficits and sovereign debt


I am skipping here the problems this monetary system poses vis-a-vis the right to private property

Posted by: guidoamm | Dec 8 2017 12:47 utc | 34

A segment yesterday on The Takeaway featured Joe Walsh, a former Repub House rep, and was all about how the right is taking over the Repub Party and that Walsh sees 4 parties emerging: A rightwad group, the remaining Repubs, the Corporatist Dems, and the lefty Dems or some new name.

He sees the rump Republicans joining with the Corporatist Dems for a centrist party. They're already there, of course, except they still want to contest the presidency and try for majorities. But the rightwads are essentially killing the Repub Party, per Walsh.

There is a summary, but no transcript, as far as I know. Segment can be listened to, taking only 7 minutes of your life....

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 8 2017 13:47 utc | 35

NPR on this morning's news program had analyst noting that the Repubs are directly trying to destroy higher education, and that the parts of the new tax bill are aimed at keeping people out of good schools. They hope to first drive away the lower and middle classes from post-grad degrees.

They believe that universities are "playgrounds of the left," and must be done away with.

I'd been pretty sure there was a movement to limit higher education and couldn't figure out how these pols saw our nation being able to compete if that was their goal. Well, seems the real competition is between the rightwads and any others, and the future be damned.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 8 2017 13:52 utc | 36

Link for the Morning Edition segment on tax bill's effect on higher education.

Audio only -- not sure if transcripts still get put up....

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 8 2017 14:05 utc | 37

Cutting taxes does not necessarily have to increase the deficit.

Only if (and that's a big 'if') there's a high enough economic growth. That's not the case of the USA: altough it registers annual GDP growths of 3%, it also has the second largest demographic bonus among the main OECD countries (behind only India). That means that, in a GDP per capita basis, the USA is barely growing above 1% yoy since the 2008 crisis.

Granted. In a context where the monetary system is centralised and, regardless the political stripe of the government, incumbent administrations run perpetual fiscal deficits, then, yes, cutting taxes will increase the deficit.

In a healthy and decentralised monetary system however, or, at least, in a monetary system that is not perpetually and artificially pumped, cutting taxes will result in greater savings and more productive investment not to mention a higher natality rate.

What you're saying doesn't exist: in a fiat currency system, the financial system is centralized by definition. Once upon a time, when the USA still used the silver standard, it had a decentralized financial system, with some 10ish big banks being the de facto central bank. With the end of the metal standard (be it the gold or silver standard) and the rise of the fiat currency standard, that's not feasible anymore. A fiat currency, by definition, must be "mined" somewhere: and it must be necessarily in only one place (central bank) -- otherwise, it is worth nothing by definition. Private banks create money, but not currency (e.g. Citibank can create US$ 1 billion dollars, but it must be denominated in dollars; it cannot create a "citibank").

Posted by: VK | Dec 8 2017 15:05 utc | 38

@ 9 RUKidding

“This is why people voted for Trump: they could see the worthlessness of both parties. Of course, voting for Trump was a complete Mug's game, …”

Here’s a 2 minute rant by Dylan Ratigan who encapsulates this notion perfectly. (starts at 2:36)

Ex-MSNBC Host: Democrats Are NOT The Solution To Trump!

Posted by: pantaraxia | Dec 8 2017 15:11 utc | 39

Piotr Berman | Dec 7, 2017 11:05:09 PM | 27

"What do you propose? Gardening and collecting a sustainable toolkit, say to produce arrows to bring game home?"

Most people living within the Outlaw US Empire are situated in urban or suburban environs where such individual acts will be futile at best. Individual's bolded since it will require a collective effort to endure. The contemporary just-in-time delivery system that discourages accumulating large inventories has already shown its dire limitations in recent short-lived disasters. Dimitri Orlov has written extensively on what collapse would look like and what can be done to improve resiliency, as has the Post-Carbon Network, and both stress the importance of strong community as the most important component of a resiliency toolkit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2017 15:57 utc | 40

Ryan is just a bought and paid for shill, like all his coinhabitants of the US congress and senate too.
I enjoy watching the Great American spectacle and British one too. It is what makes most of us EU citizens defend it vigorously, at least we have some rights, liberties left, while most other citizens in the world are left to hang and dry. Especially in the deplorable regimes of the US and Britain. But then again, these countries never had a revolution of their own, where the rich were made to answer for their crimes. We had. In my country it was peaceful, the rich knew what could come if they did not share.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Dec 8 2017 16:33 utc | 41

One of the best (brilliantly simplest) articles I have seen on money creation in "Democratic West". It is old, 1996, and I have already posted it here before, but very much relevant (although web site changed in meantime, and this is new location).

by John H. Hotson

Posted by: ex-SA | Dec 8 2017 16:37 utc | 42

41;What country?Laugh.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 8 2017 17:05 utc | 43

"U.S. abdicating responsibility to be world's policeman." from the New York Review of Books. You can always hope.

Posted by: Dave | Dec 8 2017 19:18 utc | 44

The US is an oligarchy with a Hollywood pretty face (Dems - Reps, Congress, Senate.) What takes place is a jockeying for advantage, for influence, for law-writing, paid for by ‘contributions’ - the rich and powerful (corporations mostly) buy the pols to do their bidding, and everyone pretends that some ‘real issues’ that concern ppl are actually being adressed, so some quarrels are made public, hyped, in a sort of lame C-level show, a simulacrum of political discussion which never leads anywhere, as the end results are always scripted, predictable.

Ppl are to be focussed on spurious issues, blasted 24/24 by the MSM, along with plentiful portions of bread and circuses, distractions.. social identity, sex!, religion, dress, drugs, abortion, etc. and stigmatisation of any dissidents or rebels, and there you go.

Meanwhile, the vicious oppositions, deadly struggles at high levels have to be hidden from the public view, which leads to some incomprehensible, mysterious, happenings (and many deaths..) All must be covered up by a hysterical daily-news cycle, where nothing ever fits into any schema, it is just one sensational oo-aa after another, a form of sick entertainment and click-bait. To drown everything else out.

The election of DT threw a spanner into the works and has been very revealing.

It seems as if the ‘new US natives’ - poor, white trash, Hispanics, blacks of course, illegals, Mexicans, the young, refusniks, vagabonds, etc. are set to just die if not by direct gun-shot. But the cycle of killing off the home population imho only works once. (?)

The economic aspects (taxes, deficits, gvmt. spending, etc.) are an aspect, an offshoot, of the general organisation, and can’t be judged independently.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 8 2017 19:34 utc | 45

Guidoamm @ 34:

That Brookings article you cite on declining business dynamism and entrepreneurship is neither here nor there. There are many reasons why the rate of new business development is declining in the US and one reason may be that US federal and state governments are not encouraging individuals to establish new businesses by providing loans (through public or state-owned banks) or advice.

Corporations themselves may also contribute to declining business dynamism by preventing new firms from entering their industry (by undercutting their prices or lobbying governments to raise legislation against new entrants that favour their own inerests). Additionally where do the educated people who set up new businesses come from if the US government keeps cutting down on funding for schools, universities and scientific and medical research?

As for the rest of your comment, well, I have to admit I had to laugh. Who "monopolises" most Western economies these days if not the global financial economy and the small coterie of banks and their shareholders (and the corporations they are also shareholders of) that control that economy?

Posted by: Jen | Dec 8 2017 20:03 utc | 46

#33 ..."should strike us as strange."

Strange indeed. Which is precisely why they do not need to tax us a single dime. It's also precisely why they will never open the vault at Ft Knox without a "Trump" on steroids forcing the issue with military might.

The 14th amendement should be nullified by a new constitutional amendment. Taxing the public while having the power to print currency without real affect on your currency is theft and sociopathic.

Posted by: GovThieves | Dec 8 2017 20:42 utc | 47

Perhaps off-topic but it's a great quote from a CounterPunch article today and I didn't know where else to share.

"Now that Robert Mueller has proved that Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin by obstructing an investigation by Comey into Michael Flynn’s lying to the FBI about not colluding with the Russian ambassador on behalf of Israel at Kushner’s behest, the dominoes are surely about to fall."
-C.J. Hopkins

Posted by: spudski | Dec 8 2017 20:46 utc | 48

@ ex-SA with the John Hotson link

Thanks for that. I like this quote:
Banking came into existence as a fraud. The fraud was legalized and we’ve
been living with the consequences, both good and bad, ever since. Even so it is
also a great invention-right up there with fire, the wheel, and the steam

I keep hoping to educate the public about this fact and then bring up the question of whether society is better served by having banking controlled by a few or as a public utility.

Would that we could ever get to ask the question to a non zombie populace.....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2017 22:20 utc | 49


""Corporations themselves may also contribute to declining business dynamism by preventing new firms from entering their industry (by undercutting their prices or lobbying governments to raise legislation against new entrants that favour their own inerests)."

Indeed that is so as is the fact that the economy (and society) have been captured by the banks.

This is not merely happenstance however.

This is an arithmetical ramification of a centralised monetary system that is imposed by law upon society.

A centralised monetary system must inherently have a sponsor which in our case comes in the form of a cartel (the Federal Reserve)

The iniquity starts with the origination of the medium of exchange. The sponsor of the system has no obligations towards anyone. Certainly, it has no legal obligation other than the liberty to create the monetary base and credit at will.

Clearly, in this context the sponsor of the system has a vested and arithmetical interest in, at best, not solving crisis and, at worst, abetting it.

The sponsor of the system has a vested interest in ever expanding the monetary base and credit.

This is how entities like the World Bank, the IMF and the UN come into focus. This is why both the central bank and government are in the business of picking champions, i.e. corporations that are favoured by government largess and preferential legislative and legal treatment.

You and I are almost on the same page Jen.

One of the reasons that government funds education and allows foundations and banks to fund education too, is so that certain fundamental economic principles can be subverted.

Foundational concepts like the definition of savings, or the difference between savings and investment or, indeed, the definition of capital have been thoroughly subverted in the past century.

Nobody noticed for example that in that presumed bastion of socialism that is supposed to be Europe, in the 60s labor suddenly began to finance capital by government mandate (social security).

Too, having completely subverted the definition of capital, academics and sundry pundits have successfully replaced it with money. This has allowed the central banks with the support of the political construct, to artificially drive interest rates to unprecedented levels in history thereby effective the greatest transfer of wealth from all towards the sponsors of the monetary system.

147 entities with cross holdings in 47 million

Notice how the list above is in all similar to the original list of the Systemically Important Financial Institutions published ca. 2010 and that Eric Holder in testimony to congress declared that certain institutions are too large to be prosecuted....

Have to run ... will carry on later...

Posted by: guidoamm | Dec 9 2017 8:54 utc | 50

Social Security should be eliminated. The baby boomers who benefit from it are reactionary bourgeois parasites. They should be starved in the street while we appropriate their McMansions. No, this is not sarcasm.

Posted by: Old Ez | Dec 12 2017 14:32 utc | 51

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