Showing posts with label Currency/Money/Fiscal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Currency/Money/Fiscal. Show all posts

October 26, 2016

There is No National Debt








The public is lied to when it comes to the so-called national debt. 
They're clueless about it, as are most, if not all, of our lawmakers. 
First off, there is no debt. The debt is dollars. The government spent $20 trillion more than it took away in taxes over the last 240 years, and those dollars, held by the non-government, comprise a big portion of the non-government's wealth. Nothing is "owed." It's owned, by us, the people. 
Second, there is nothing to pay back. The money was paid, ended up in someone's bank account and now it's being held in the form of Treasuries. What's a Treasury? A Treasury is a dollar, the only difference being it's a dollar with a term (duration) and a coupon (interest payment). Why would people hold dollars in the form of Treasuries? To earn some interest, that's all. It's like saying, why would you put your money in a savings account as opposed to a checking account? Same reason, to earn interest. If you want it back in your checking account, you tell your bank and it switches it back from your savings account to your checking account. 
That's how it works with the government, too. It "pays back" holders of Treasuries all the time. That's called a redemption and when Treasuries are redeemed the government simply instructs its bank, the Fed, to take back the securities and credit the individual's (or firm's or foreign government's or whomever's) bank account and, voila, it happens. Paid back. In fact, it happens so regularly and on such a big scale that it will totally blow your mind. 
I am about to give you some numbers. Mind you, these are not numbers I made up or to which had some kind of top-secret access. Nor is this inside information that I am exposing. Rather, these are publicly available figures that you can get -- free -- right off the U.S. Treasury Department's website. 
The resource is called the Daily Treasury Statement and it's really a fascinating document. It is posted daily on the Treasury's website and it's literally like looking at the checkbook of the federal government. Just like your checkbook, it has all the deposits and all the withdrawals, among other things. You can see everything. Every line item of spending (withdrawals) and every item of revenue (deposits) that runs through the government's accounts daily, monthly and yearly. 
On this document there is a table -- Table III-A -- that gives all the redemptions of bills, notes, bonds and other securities the government redeems (pays back) every day, month and year. 
If you go to the last statement of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, and you scroll down to that table I just gave you, Table III-A, you will see the government redeemed (paid back) $94.2 trillion in one year! I put a screenshot below. 
Please note: All figures on the daily Treasury statement are in millions, so don't come back to me and say it was only $94.2 million. It's $94.2 million million. That's $94.2 trillion. See the image below. 
Daily Treasury Statement
Ninety-four point two trillion! In a single year. And nobody knew about this. Furthermore, the world didn't fall apart, the dollar didn't collapse, interest rates didn't spike, we had no inflation and everything was fine. 
There is the proof, right in front of our noses, that the debt is meaningless. It's just a bunch of bookkeeping entries. Keystrokes. It's time we stop fretting over this. People need to educate themselves about what this debt is and how they are being manipulated and propagandized about it. 
The debt is not a bad thing, it is an asset of the non-government; however, ignorant, cynical, corrupt, dogmatic and self-serving groups like the Pete Peterson Foundation and organizations like Fix the Debt are in the business of keeping Americans misinformed and getting them to act against their own interests. These groups are bad and need to be stopped. 
There is no debt! 


March 14, 2016

US foreign Aide Allocation-How much do they Get


                                                                   

Just over half the public think the U.S. gives too much away in foreign aid, and Democrats and Republicans disagree over who should receive aid

In absolute terms the United States has the world's largest development aid budget of over $31 billion in 2013. Relative to the size of America's economy, however, the United States is actually one of the least generous wealthy countries, with an aid budget almost three-quarters smaller than the UK's. Like most wealthy countries the United States aspires to give 0.7% of national income in aid each year, a goal that will come closer as John Kerry seeks to win congressional approval for a $50 billion foreign aid budget.
Research from YouGov indicates, however, that Americans either aren't aware or aren't convinced that, relatively speaking, America's foreign aid contribution is smaller than in many other countries. Most Americans (52%) say that the U.S. gives more in foreign aid than other countries relative to the size of the American economy, while only 11% say that the U.S. gives less. Almost exactly the same percentage (51%) believe that the U.S. gives too much in foreign aid, while only 9% think that the U.S. should give more to developing countries. 
Republicans (68%) are more likely than other to think the U.S. gives to much in aid, but even Democrats (42%) tend to agree that Uncle Sam is too generous internationally. 
Democrats and Republicans do differ quite significantly, however, on what the focus of American foreign aid should be. Half of Democrats (49%) say that foreign aid should be focused on the world’s poorest countries, while most Republicans (59%) believe that American aid should be used to reward countries which support American foreign policy.

March 3, 2013

6 Ways The Politicians-Sequester Hurt Special Ops


ap us army special forces ariborne training jt 130302 wblog Sequester: The 6 Ways Politics Hurts Americas Special Ops
U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Corey T. Dennis/AP Photo
Days after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News the sequester will make America less safe, the nation’s most elite troops – the men and women tracking and taking out terrorist threats abroad – said they too will fall victim to the political mess in Washington.
A spokesperson for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the umbrella organization for the special operations commands of each service branch as well as the shadowy, Osama bin Laden-killingJoint Special Operations Command (JSOC), told ABC News Friday the command expects the mandatory budget cuts to hit them in six ways. Though sequester went into effect Friday, the USSOCOM spokesperson did not say exactly when the specific effects of the cuts he listed would come into play for the command.
Check out the USSOCOM list below, then click here to see how Sequestration could affect you.
The Sequester Will Force USSOCOM To…
-Reduce training and flight operations
-Defer some maintenance on aircraft, boats, vehicles and facilities
-Eliminate or reduce some contracts
-Reduce planned facilities projects
-Delay replacement of materiel used in training and operations
-If the Defense Department directs furloughing of civilians, SOCOM will too

January 26, 2013

Senate Secretly Gives Pharma “Amgen” $Bill.and 3 Senators Get Paid by Amgen&You

This is how congress snow blind the public.  They tell you there is no money, no place to cut it except from the elderly and disabled. From Social Security, Medicaid and anybody that doesn’t make over at least 100K. Some people buy it. They have been told you have to work hard and if you don’t get rich you play the lotto and if things gets flaky come up with a scheme to screw people over. No bankrupt court..because real americans don’t get bankrupt. They scheme. In Long Island Today 80 LI Railroad workers were arrested for stealing 250K or more in copper wires from the company.  The company that keeps raising the fares. Who paid for the coper? You.
Of Coarse there is money. The biggest economy in the world, who do you think invented the dollar? The money goes to companies that pay the guys we put we put in Washington to represent them. Them as in 'them' Not You! Everybody is on it. Everybody knows it. The leaders in congress are leaders because of how long they’ve held their jobs. But people keep electing them. Nothing new here except once in a while a reporter or someone honest and smart decides to turn on a flashlight and we see a little bit of the corruption. The below report is the latest and most direct to the story which has been evolving since the New Year’s fiscal showdown. 
By the way did you ever hear a billion dollar outfit called Amgen? No, it’s on your payroll.
 Adam Gonzalez


The inauguration of a president is one of those spectacles of democracy that can make us remember we're part of something big and enduring. So for a few hours this past Monday the pomp and circumstance inspired us to think that government of, by, and for the people really is just that, despite the predatory threats that stalk it.

But the mood didn't last. Every now and then, as the cameras panned upward, the Capitol dome towering over the ceremony was a reminder of something the good feeling of the moment couldn't erase. It's the journalist's curse to have a good time spoiled by the reality beyond the pageantry. Just a couple of days before the inaugural festivities, the New York Times published some superb investigative reporting by the team of Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack, and their revelations were hard to forget, even at a time of celebration.
The story told us of a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen and three senators so close to it they might be entries on its balance sheet: Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and that powerful committee's ranking Republican,Orrin Hatch. A trio of perpetrators who treat the United States treasury as if it were a cash-and-carry annex of corporate America.

The Times story described how Amgen got a huge hidden gift from unnamed members of Congress and their staffers. They slipped an eleventh hour loophole into the New Year's Eve deal that kept the government from going over the fiscal cliff. When the sun rose in the morning, there it was, a richly embroidered loophole for Amgen that will cost taxpayers a cool half a billion dollars.


Amgen is the world's largest biotechnology firm, a drug maker that sells a variety of medications. The little clause secretly sneaked into the fiscal cliff bill gives the company two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs used by patients who are on kidney dialysis, including a pill called Sensipar, manufactured by Amgen.


The provision didn't mention Amgen by name, but according to reporters Lipton and Sack, the news that it had been tucked into the fiscal cliff deal "was so welcome, that the company's chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts." Tipping them off, it would seem, to a jackpot in the making.
Amgen has 74 lobbyists on its team in Washington and lobbied hard for that loophole, currying favor with friends at the White House and on Capitol Hill. The Times reporters traced its "deep financial and political ties" to Baucus, McConnell and Hatch, "who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy."
All three have received hefty campaign donations from the company whose bottom line mysteriously just got padded at taxpayer expense. Since 2007, Amgen employees and its political action committee have contributed nearly $68,000 to Senator Baucus, $73,000 to Senator McConnell's campaigns, and $59,000 to Senator Hatch.
And lo and behold, among those 74 Amgen lobbyists are the former chief of staff to Senator Baucus and the former chief of staff to Senator McConnell. You get the picture: Two guys nurtured at public expense, paid as public servants, disappear through the gold-plated revolving door of Congress and presto, return as money changers in the temple of crony capitalism.
Inside to welcome them is a current top aide to Senator Hatch, one who helped weave this lucrative loophole. He used to work as a health policy analyst for -- you guessed it -- Amgen.
So the trail winds deeper into the sordid swamp beneath that great Capitol dome, a sinkhole where shame has all but disappeared. As reporters Lipton and Sack remind us, just weeks before this backroom betrayal of the public interest by elected officials and the mercenaries they have mentored, Amgen pleaded guilty to fraud. Look it up: fraud means trickery, cheating and duplicity. Amgen agreed to pay $762 million in criminal and civil penalties; the company had been caught illegally marketing another one of its drugs.

The fact that their puppet master had been the subject of fines and a massive federal investigation mattered not to its servile pawns in the Senate, where pomp and circumstance are but masks for the brute power of money.
Peter Welch, Vermont's Democratic congressman, has just introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal the half billion-dollar giveaway to Amgen. Its co-sponsors include Republican Richard Hanna of New York and Democrats Jim Cooper of Tennessee and Bruce Braley of Iowa.
The Amgen deal "confirms the American public's worst suspicions of how Congress operates," Representative Welch told us this week.
As the nation's economy teetered on the edge of a Congressional-created fiscal cliff, lobbyists for a private, for-profit company seized an opportunity to feed at the public trough. It's no wonder cockroaches and root canals are more popular than Congress.
In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said the commitments we make to each other through Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security don't make us a nation of takers. But the actions of Amgen and its cronies under the dome on Capitol Hill show who the real takers are -- not those who look to government for support in old age and hard times but the ones at the top whose avarice and lust for profit compel them to take as much as they can from that government at the expense of everyone else. 
 

This week's Moyers & Company features an in-depth conversation with Rep. Welch about the bi-partisan bill he recently sponsored to repeal the giveaway, and the political factors that allow such crony capitalism to occur. Check your local listings for times and channels. 


December 8, 2012

America is Facing a Job Crisis Not a Fiscal One


Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Paul Krugman
It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff.
In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff.
Moreover, despite years of warnings from the usual suspects about the dangers of deficits and debt, our government can borrow at incredibly low interest rates — interest rates on inflation-protected U.S. bonds are actually negative, so investors are paying our government to make use of their money. And don’t tell me that markets may suddenly turn on us. Remember, the U.S. government can’t run out of cash (it prints the stuff), so the worst that could happen would be a fall in the dollar, which wouldn’t be a terrible thing and might actually help the economy.                  
Yet there is a whole industry built around the promotion of deficit panic. Lavishly funded corporate groups keep hyping the danger of government debt and the urgency of deficit reduction now now now — except that these same groups are suddenly warning against too much deficit reduction. No wonder the public is confused.
Meanwhile, there is almost no organized pressure to deal with the terrible thing that is actually happening right now — namely, mass unemployment. Yes, we’ve made progress over the past year. But long-term unemployment remains at levels not seen since the Great Depression: as of October, 4.9 million Americans had been unemployed for more than six months, and 3.6 million had been out of work for more than a year.
When you see numbers like those, bear in mind that we’re looking at millions of human tragedies: at individuals and families whose lives are falling apart because they can’t find work, at savings consumed, homes lost and dreams destroyed. And the longer this goes on, the bigger the tragedy.
There are also huge dollars-and-cents costs to our unmet jobs crisis. When willing workers endure forced idleness society as a whole suffers from the waste of their efforts and talents. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that what we are actually producing falls short of what we could and should be producing by around 6 percent of G.D.P., or $900 billion a year.
Worse yet, there are good reasons to believe that high unemployment is undermining our future growth as well, as the long-term unemployed come to be considered unemployable, as investment falters in the face of inadequate sales.
So what can be done? The panic over the fiscal cliff has been revelatory. It shows that even the deficit scolds are closet Keynesians. That is, they believe that right now spending cuts and tax hikes would destroy jobs; it’s impossible to make that claim while denying that temporary spending increases and tax cuts would create jobs. Yes, our still-depressed economy needs more fiscal stimulus.
And, to his credit, President Obama did include a modest amount of stimulus in his initial budget offer; the White House, at least, hasn’t completely forgotten about the unemployed. Unfortunately, almost nobody expects those stimulus plans to be included in whatever deal is eventually reached.
So why aren’t we helping the unemployed? It’s not because we can’t afford it. Given those ultralow borrowing costs, plus the damage unemployment is doing to our economy and hence to the tax base, you can make a pretty good case that spending more to create jobs now would actually improve our long-run fiscal position.
Nor, I think, is it really ideology. Even Republicans, when opposing cuts in defense spending, immediately start talking about how such cuts would destroy jobs — and I’m sorry, but weaponized Keynesianism, the assertion that government spending creates jobs, but only if it goes to the military, doesn’t make sense.
No, in the end it’s hard to avoid concluding that it’s about class. Influential people in Washington aren’t worried about losing their jobs; by and large they don’t even know anyone who’s unemployed. The plight of the unemployed simply doesn’t loom large in their minds — and, of course, the unemployed don’t hire lobbyists or make big campaign contributions.
So the unemployment crisis goes on and on, even though we have both the knowledge and the means to solve it. It’s a vast tragedy — and it’s also an outrage
.

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