Bi-Partisan Utter-Destruction Of The Dollar (And, Consequently, The Economy)

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Bi-Partisan Utter-Destruction Of The Dollar (And, Consequently, The Economy)

Post by solutions »


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Your Second Short-Quiz Answers
From: Solutions
Date: Wed, December 29, 2021 9:41 am PST

Dear John,

I have just read your Second Short Quiz and its Suggested Answers (which are posted on our website even though they apparently won’t be featured in the weekly e-mails to our 197 members until Jan 1 and Jan 8, respectively).

Their last section (Section D) is entitled “When Will The Dollar ‘Hit The Wall’???”

Your Answer D-8 is –

“The truth is that nobody knows the point at which the ratio of debt to GDP will bankrupt any country in general or the U.S. in particular. So Prof. Kelton (our author) is ‘playing with matches’ which, presumably, even her own mother taught her NOT to do.”

My question –

You say “nobody knows,” but what do you think?

Your friend,


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Bi-Partisan Utter-Destruction Of The Dollar (And, Consequently, The Economy)
Date: Wed, December 29, 2021 10:12 pm MST
To: Solutions

Dear Solutions,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

Caveat Regarding Our Being a NON-PARTISAN Public-Policy Study/Action Organization

I’ve noticed that you often post my replies to your questions on our website – which, of course, you’re welcome to do.

HOWEVER, website readers should be aware of the caveat comprising the title of this section.

BECAUSE your question and my comments are ONLY BUILDING BLOCKS for deciding about particular public-policies.

FOR EXAMPLE, our focus book this month puts MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) under the microscope and I am only one person opining on its ramifications.

Other participants at our Jan 19 meeting may view any (and, indeed, every) ramification differently and may weight each differently.

Indeed, participants on Jan 19 would be entitled to believe that INFLATING AWAY THE NATIONAL DEBT (please see Sec. H below) would be the best national policy despite the hardships on workers, holders of savings accounts, retired people, etc., as described in the Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz’s Sec. B (entitled “Disaster For Those on Fixed Incomes”) AND DESPITE THE DANGER THAT TRYING TO INFLATE AWAY THE NATIONAL DEBT WILL OVERSHOOT AND SUDDENLY MAKE THE DOLLAR COMPLETELY WORTHLESS, THEREBY RUINING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FORCING ITS INHABITANTS (à la 1990’s Russia and à la 1920’s Germany) INTO STARVATION UNLESS THEY CAN GROW/CATCH/SCHOOT THEIR OWN FOOD, OR ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO BECOME A WHORE TO SOMEONE WHO CAN.

BTW, owners of fine art and other assets that have intrinsic worth would emerge unscathed from ruin to the dollar and the economy – so long as they avoid starvation by finding someone who can grow/catch/shoot food who is willing to swap her/his excess food for an occasional Leonardo da Vinci.

The Short Answer to Your Question

Q&A B-8 of the Second Short Quiz recalled that among the countries whose currencies (and national debt) became worthless were 1990’s Russia and 1920’s Germany – CAUSING STARVATION FOR ANYONE WHO COULDN’T GROW/CATCH/SHOOT HER/HIS OWN FOOD, OR WASN’T LUCKY ENOUGH TO BECOME A WHORE FOR SOMEONE WHO COULD.

Q&A D-1 thru D-7 recalls how in 2011, Europe’s “problem children” (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc.) whose national debts exceeded their respective Gross Domestic Products were saved TOGETHER WITH THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN BANKING SYSTEM by the combined action of six central banks [the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European (Euro-Zone) Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada and Swiss National Bank].

It would appear that that 2011 experience emboldens MMT proponents such as Stephanie Kelton (our focus-book author) to think that speculators could never bring down the “mighty” dollar and the “mighty” U.S. economy.

I believe MMT proponents are wrong!!!

And that the way things are going, I would leap at the opportunity to make a classic “over/under bet” that the U.S. economy will be destroyed in “under” 3 years.

BUT NOT because SPECULATORS will be able to make the U.S. dollar and U.S. governmental debt worthless – which could be countered by concerted action by the Six Central Banks (assuming the other five are interested in saving the U.S.).

INSTEAD, it is only necessary for INVESTORS to become skittish about the ability of the U.S. Government to service its national debt which is ballooning wildly in excess of U.S. Gross Domestic Product!!!

WHEN THAT HAPPENS, as outlined in the Short Quiz’s Sec. C entitled ‘Disaster for the U.S. Government,” an increase in the interest rate on the U.S. national debt in order to attract investors from the current 1.9% rate to, say, 20% - would mean the U.S. Government would be faced with the unhappy choice of (1) DOUBLING TAX RATES AND FEES or (2) PAYING ONLY INTEREST, LEAVING NOTHING FOR ANYTHING ELSE SUCH AS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE DEPT. OF EDUCATION, ETC.

If you would like to bet that the interest rate on the U.S. national debt will NOT increase exponentially – causing devastation to the U.S. economy – WITHIN THE NEXT THREE YEARS, please let me know (I’m sure we can agree on specific parameters & definitions for the bet).

It’s a fair bet because there is, after all, a good chance that the U.S. economy will NOT be destroyed in “under” three years despite the demonstrated incompetence of the U.S. Government.

The Long Answer to Your Question – Harbingers of Doom

(A) “Sound and Fury” (of the times), “Signifying Nothing” (PERHAPS)

Real-estate’s “nationwide gospel” says the value of my home increased by 46.4% over the last 2 years.

Since U.S. Governmental inflation statistics are notorious for minimizing the impact of housing-cost increases (for the spurious reason that you don’t buy/rent a new home every year), a great deal (if not all) of that 46.4% increase has to represent the plummeting of the dollar rather than a REAL increase in real-estate values.

BTW, the increase in value of my home is an example of OUR BEST INVESTMENT ADVICE WHICH WE ONLY FIND A REASON TO MENTION EVERY FEW YEARS – find an asset (1) which will maintain its intrinsic value, and (2) against which you can borrow money (a mortgage in the case of your home) – because you are NOT (repeat NOT) making money on real estate BUT INSTEAD making money on YOUR NEGATIVE INVESTMENT IN (aka “going short on”) THE U.S. DOLLAR WHOSE VALUE IS ALWAYS GUARANTEED TO PLUMMET.

(B) Disabling The National “Debt Ceiling” Barrier

In 1917, the National “Debt Ceiling” Barrier was enacted by Congress.

Until relatively recently, it was one of the most important tools for combatting inflation.

It provided a limit on U.S. National Debt which, if reached, EITHER (1) had to be raised as an amendment to the original law, OR (2) the U.S. Government would be forced to reduce its spending notwithstanding pre-existing appropriations in order to stay within the limit.

Whenever the U.S. National Debt approaches the “Debt Ceiling” Barrier, there is always a lot of “sound and fury” – MOST OF WHICH COMPRISE OUTRIGHT LIES AS WILL BE DISCUSSED BELOW – about whether there will be a “Government Shut-Down”!!!

[Government “Shut-Downs” – as discussed below – are NEVER required, only a marginal curtailing of spending in order to stay within the “credit card limit” that is the “Debt Ceiling” limit.]

“Felony” No. 1

On 9/30/2017, the National “Debt Ceiling” was “suspended” until 3/1/2019.

Using the “credit card” analogy, a “suspension” means forget about any limit on your credit card – the new credit-card “limit” will be whatever new total balance you have reached during the “suspension.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a FRIENDLY credit-card company??? But, of course, the U.S. Government has “printing presses” for creating more dollars so the U.S. Government, in effect, is its own credit-card company.

“Felony” No. 2

On 8/2/2019, only 5 months after the “Felony” No. 1 “suspension” expired, a new “suspension” was enacted until 7/31/2021 to get past the Nov 2020 general election.

“Felony” No. 3

A mere 2.5 months after the “Felony” No. 2 expired, Senate Republicans agreed on 10/14/2021 to raise the Debt-Ceiling by $400 Billion which was projected to tide over the government until Dec. 2021.

In doing so, Senate Republican Leader McConnell announced that Senate Democrats would have to raise the Debt Ceiling in Dec. 2021 by themselves.

“Felony” No. 4

Mitch McConnell, like most pols 99% of the time, WAS LYING on 10/14/2021.

On 12/9/2021, Senate Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to raise the Debt Ceiling by $2.5 TRillion – “keeping in clover” the U.S. Government until 2023, after the mid-terms.

(C) BIG LIES About The Build Back Better Act of 2021

First, a minor “housekeeping” note about annual FAILURES to enact annual U.S. Government budgets on time.

Yes, a failure to enact a new budget by the Sep 30 end of the U.S. Government’s fiscal year to authorize spending for the new FY – could lead to a governmental “shut down.”

HOWEVER, this “shut down” cause (as distinguished from “shut downs” caused by the Debt Ceiling) are rarely a problem because Congress has perfected its expertise in enacting “Continuing Resolutions” (aka CR’s) that authorize the Government to go on spending at the previous year’s level while the “Sumo wrestling match” over the new budget plays out.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Aka “The COVID Stimulus Package,” it was signed into law by President Biden on 3/11/2021.

Per the Non-Partisan Congressional Budget Office (“CBO” whose estimates both parties view as Gospel), the “Estimated Effect on the Deficit” would be $1.92 TRillion, of which $1.23 TRillion would be in FY-2021 ending 9/30/2021 and $0.43 TRillion would be in FY-2022 ending 9/30/2022 (the paltry remainder in 2023-2031).

[Reference > Table 1.]

The Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2021

Aka “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill,” it was signed into law by President Biden on 11/16/2021.

Per the CBO, its estimated impact on the deficit for 2021-2031 would be $0.26 TRillion.

In addition per the CBO, the Infrastructure and Jobs Act authorized federal agencies to enter into contracts totaling in 2021-2031 $0.78 TRillion.

Although such contracts are legally binding, CBO rules decree that their impact on the deficit is NOT treated as the result of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, BUT RATHER it is treated as the result of future annual appropriations.

Without this CBO accounting GIMMICK imposed by Congress, the total impact on the deficit 2021-2031 is $1.04 TRillion.

[Reference > Summary.]

The Build Back Better Act of 2021

THIS HAS NOT BEEN ENACTED due to opposition on deficit/inflation grounds by U.S. Senator Manchin (D-WVa) in the equally-divided 50-50 Senate. [It had been passed by the House of Representatives on 11/19/2021.]

PER TYPICAL “FRAUD” (POLITICIAN-STYLE) BY PROPONENTS IN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CBO RULES, the original CBO estimate of the Act’s impact on the deficit had been reduced before passage from $3.5 TRillion to $2.2 TRillion – as a sop to Sen. Manchin’s position of NO MORE THAN A $1.5 TRillion IMPACT specified in his letter of last summer and signed in acknowledgement by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The typical “FRAUD” politician style???

By way of background, the CBO was created in 1974. Initially, it estimated the impact of proposed legislation for only a short period.

HOWEVER, pols are worse than Kindergartners and they quickly learned to “back load” detrimental impacts to the “out years” NOT covered by CBO estimates.

ACCORDINGLY, the CBO rules were changed to require 10-year estimates.

AND OF COURSE, the “Kindergartners” learned to manipulate the new rules by providing that new spending programs would only last for a few years (while the new revenue measures are permanent), safe in the Pol’s Adage that once a new spending program is enacted, it will NEVER be allowed to expire (which would offend voters who benefit from the program).

The “FRAUD” of the Build Back Better Act???

(1) Do NOT (repeat NOT) delete any new spending program in the original proposal, BUT RATHER

(2) Simply provide that the new spending programs would expire after a year or two SO THAT THE CBO IS REQUIRED TO IGNORE THEIR IMPACT IN LATER YEARS!!!


U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) who, like Sen. Manchin, has been playing the fairy-tale role of the small Dutch boy who saved Holland by keeping his finger in a dike despite isolation and fatigue and an inability to sound an alarm, requested the CBO to estimate what the impact on the deficit would be if the new spending programs of the House-passed bill (like the new revenue measures) were made permanent.

The CBO’s verdict???

The impact on the deficit 2021-2031 had only been reduced from $3.5 TRillion to $3.0 TRillion.

The rest WAS AN OPTICAL ILLUSION created by the “FRAUD” POLITICIAN-STYLE of providing that new spending programs would end after a year or two.

NB: Even Sen. Manchin is not a Saint – he had agreed last summer to support Build Back Better provided its impact on the deficit was only $1.5 TRillion and, per news reports, he had agreed with proponents that $1.7 TRillion was O.K.

[Reference for $3.0 TRillion deficit-impact of Build Back Better if new-spending programs were made permanent - > Summary.]

(D) Constant LIES By Pols Such As Janet Yellin Re The Debt Ceiling

Janet Yellin is the U.S. Treasury Secretary.

A simple Google search of “Yellin ‘debt limit’ social security” will document the zillions of times she said on TV this past Fall that if Congress failed to raise the debt limit, Social Security would NOT be paid.

This constituted CRIMINAL FRAUD since it was designed to frighten retired people into supporting a policy that they might otherwise consider unwise.


(2) Per 42 U.S. Code Sec. 401(a), The Social Security Trust Fund was established on January 1, 1940, and all payroll taxes for Social Security are paid into the Social Security Trust Fund.

[Other payroll taxes for, e.g., Medicare, are paid into other Trust Funds.]

(3) According to the Annual Reports of The Social Security Trust Fund (the 2021 Annual Report is available at and others are available by changing “2021” in that IP address), the balance in the Social Security Trust Fund actually GREW from $2.897 TRillion in the 2020 Report, to $2.908 TRillion in the 2021 Report.

[NB: Per the 2021 report, Total Income was $1.118 TRillion less “Total Outgo” of $1.107 TRillion of “Benefit Payments” and $0.006 TRillion of “Administrative Expenses” – netting to the $0.011 TRillion “INCREASE IN NET ASSETS” from $2.897 Trillion to $2.908 TRillion.]

(4) 42 U.S. Code Sec. 401(c), provides that The Social Security Trust Fund’s “Board of Trustees shall be composed of the Commissioner of Social Security, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, all ex officio, and of two members of the public (both of whom may not be from the same political party), who shall be nominated by the President for a term of four years and subject to confirmation by the Senate…..The Secretary of the Treasury shall be the Managing Trustee of the Board of Trustees (hereinafter in this title called the ‘Managing Trustee‘).”

ACCORDINGLY, AS “MANAGING DIRECTOR” OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Treasury Secretary Yellin knew full well that she was engaging in CRIMINAL FRAUD with her false claims that a failure to raise the National Debt Ceiling would affect operations of (and her fiduciary duties vis-à-vis) The Social Security Trust Fund!!!


BTW, as you’re aware, my Harvard Law School class of 1967 had monthly in-person lunches for 35 years at the Harvard Club of NYC which, with COVID, morphed into weekly Zoom chats permitting participation from classmates throughout the country – and I have participated regularly in both.

During our 10/12/2021 Zoom chat, I raised the issue of Secretary Yellin’s CRIMINAL FRAUD claims that a failure to raise the National Debt Limit would mean no Social Security payments. The overwhelming reaction was that the “Social Security Trust Fund” is not real with fiduciary responsibilities for Fund Trustees – but merely an expression invented by the media. WHICH JUST GOES TO SHOW HOW EASY IT IS FOR POLS LIKE SECRETARY YELLIN TO MISLEAD EVEN WELL-INFORMED PEOPLE.

ACCORDINGLY, during our 10/19/2021 Zoom chat, I came armed with copies of 42 U.S. Code Sec. 401 and the last two annual reports of the Social Security Trust Fund. The overwhelming reaction this time was that prosecuting Pols for their Criminal Fraud would be unprecedented. As already noted above – GOD ONLY KNOWS WHY NOT!!!

BTW, in all fairness to my HLS classmates, they tend to believe pols so it is understandable that they would have believed Secretary Yellin’s rhetoric and, accordingly, assumed that all the talk about a “Social Security Trust Fund” was merely a “figure of speech” invented by the media and NOT a real legal structure.

(E) Constant LIES About Build Back Better and Inflation – Led by Pres. Biden

A simple Google search of “Biden ‘Build Back Better’ Inflation” will document the many times during November-December that President Biden has claimed that his Build Back Better legislation will REDUCE inflation!!!

As documented above in Sec. C entitled “BIG LIES About The Build Back Better Act of 2021,” its impact on the National Debt per the CBO would have been $3.0 TRillion 2021-2031 (vs. the widely-reported impact of $2.2 TRillion) if the “Kindergartners” populating Congress had not engaged in their usual FRAUD by providing in the legislation that new spending programs would end after a year or so (while the new revenue measures would be permanent) KNOWING FULL WELL that spending programs never end as a practical matter.

It would be amusing if it weren’t so sad, that President Biden, et al., obviously bullied quite a few Economic Professors into falsely claiming that Build Back Better would reduce inflation.

Such bullying tactics are typical of Pols who know that Professors are largely dependent on governmental grants for their research which, of course, can be terminated “in the dead of night” if the professors don't "knuckle under."

In contrast, all of the financial press opined that Pres. Biden’s claim did NOT “pass the laugh test.”


[On Pols never getting prosecuted for their Criminal Fraud, please see the remarks in the preceding section concerning the 10/12/2021 and 10/21/2021 weekly Zoom Chats of my Harvard Law School class of 1967.]

(F) Is The U.S. Supreme Court Accurate In Their Century-Old Mantra That The Solution To LIES is MORE LIES???

In 1927, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously wrote in his concurring opinion in Whitney v. California (274 U.S. 357) –

“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

In the 94 years since Whitney v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court has applied this maxim in myriad different circumstances to champion “free speech” even though –

(1) It has always been recognized that there are limits to “free speech” such as defamation, such as “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater,” etc., etc.

(2) In the political arena, it has come to NOT mean “the solution to lies is more speech,” BUT RATHER to mean “the solution to LIES is MORE LIES”!!!

(3) In the U.S. Constitution, our Founding Fathers (sorry, women were not allowed to vote until the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on 8/18/1920) provided an exception for Pols’ false statements BUT ONLY IF MADE ON THE SENATE FLOOR OR THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES –

“The Senators and Representatives…..for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.” [Constitution, Article 1, Clause 6.]


(G) Inaccuracy of CBO Estimates as One Reason for the National Debt Ceiling

As you may recall (an old resume is available at viewtopic.php?f=211&t=752&sid=9f3d30244 ... aee0655722), I served 1994-1996 as the Chair of the American Bar Association Tax Section's Committee on Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers (the nation’s top 300 international tax attorneys with 22 working subcommittees).

And 1987-1994 as the Chair of various of those 22 working subcommittees.

And that I served 1996-2002 as the American Bar Association Tax Section’s technical reviewer for international aspects of submissions to the U.S. Government by all ABA Tax Section committees.

During that 1987-2002 period, I and my colleagues would roll our eyes over CBO estimates of tax revenue THAT WERE A MERE FRACTION OF THE IMPACT ON ONLY ONE CLIENT!!!

But CLIENT-CONFIDENTIALITY requirements barred informing the CBO about how hopelessly wrong their estimates (read “guesses”) were!!!

This alone is a reason why National Debt Ceilings are needed!!!

After all, it’s one thing for the CBO to guess that inflation and the economy are NOT “headed into the ditch”!!!

And IT’S QUITE A DIFFERENT THING when the CBO estimates (aka guesses) prove wrong NOT to have a guard rail to keep inflation and the economy out of “the ditch”!!!

(H) Misc. Comment on INFLATING AWAY The National Debt

During my first month or so at Texaco Inc. (when it was still a Fortune-Ten company), I attended a briefing for top-level executives by U.S. Treasury Secretary George Shultz 1972-1974.

During the Q&A period, I asked him whether, in his opinion, the National Debt might ever become a problem.

[It is sobering to remember that, per the U.S. Treasury Department at ... histo5.htm, the National Debt at 9/30/2001 (the first fiscal year end in President George W. Bush’s reign) was only $5.67 TRillion – and at our most recent fiscal year end, it had ballooned to $28.43 TRillion. And as noted in Sec. B above, Congress has already raised the Debt Ceiling by another $0.4 TRillion on 10/14/2021 and raised it yet another $2.5 TRillion on 12/9/2021.]

George Shultz puffed on his pipe for almost a minute (this was his characteristic way of manufacturing time to think) and then responded that he didn’t think so because we could always “inflate away” the National Debt!!!

PERHAPS it might be possible to achieve George Schultz’ dream of inflating away the bulk of our National Debt.

[NB: inflating it away completely would mean reducing the value of the dollar to ZERO!!!]

But doing so –

(1) Requires a lucky guess how much inflation can be engineered WITHOUT A SUDDEN COMPLETE COLLAPSE OF THE DOLLAR!!!

(2) And it requires a callous disregard for workers, holders of savings accounts, retired people, etc., as described in the Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz’s Sec. B (entitled “Disaster For Those on Fixed Incomes”).

Thank you again for your e-mail.

If you have any questions or comments, I know you aren’t shy.

Your friend,

John K.

Site Admin
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:38 pm

Sexist Comments

Post by solutions »


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Your Sexist Comments
From: Solutions
Date: Wed, December 29, 2021 10:09 pm PDT

Dear John,

Normally you are immaculate vis-à-vis being careful to avoid any comment that might be considered sexist – for example, always specifying “s/he” or “her/his” rather than using the old legal rubric that masculine pronouns are deemed, unless specified otherwise, to include the feminine.

However, I couldn’t help notice the number of times you said in your Suggested Answers to the Second Short Quiz and your Dec 29 response to my Q about what you think of “modern monetary theory” –

“[A national currency suddenly becoming worthless thereby ruining the national economy, citing 1990’s Russia and 1920’s Germany] CAUSING STARVATION FOR ANYONE WHO COULDN’T GROW/CATCH/SHOOT HER/HIS OWN FOOD, OR WASN’T LUCKY ENOUGH TO BECOME A WHORE FOR SOMEONE WHO COULD.”

Shouldn’t you have said “whore/gigolo”?

Your friend,


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: My Sexist Comments
Date: Thu, December 30, 2021 7:08 am MDT
To: Solutions

Guilty as charged!!!

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