8 thoughts on “Pilot Guest Columnist Frank Palmieri: Currency dominates U.S.-Sino relations

  1. Politico the other day featured a piece promoting “Modern Monetary Theory.” The Pilot today features a critical commentary on Bretton Woods. Further, in the fever swamps of the Qanon phenomenon, there are prognostications that President Trump is playing “4d chess” to ultimately take down the Federal Reserve.

    Suddenly, U.S. monetary policy is becoming a thing.

    It’s no wonder. The federal government seems incapable of curbing its financial excesses while an increasingly vocal younger generation is coming to power.

    But the situation doesn’t bode well. Our intellectual class appears to be scouting about for magic bullets to sell the young, who are both credulous and angry.


  2. Our obligations go up each year. Yet the mantra of lowering taxes that will pay for themselves is repeated over and over, with little to show for it.

    Unlike other capitalist nations that have strong social safety nets, we try not to pay for ours as we go, but rather borrow until our total debt is now matching our GDP. True, we have self-inflicted military spending and that adds to the deficits each year. The military-industrial complex is a hungry animal and demands to be fed. Jobs, shareholders, the Pentagon and, most of all, the Congress put pressure on our spending for bullets that shames the advocacy of the AARP for seniors.

    But, again, military spending is not the biggest drain. Although the wars in recent decades could have paid for a lot of bridges as well as shoring up SS and Medicare.

    The refusal of Americans to pay via taxes is the problem. And if we get another recession, the only place we can go is to the printing presses.

    Or default.


    1. RE: “The refusal of Americans to pay via taxes is the problem.”

      That’s one way to put it, I suppose. It would be just as valid to say our government refuses to confine its spending to the amount of taxes Americans pay.

      It doesn’t really matter which way you define the problem. The math is the same.


    2. “Unlike other capitalist nations that have strong social safety nets” our middle class does not pay its way.

      Those European “safety nets” are paid for with flat payroll taxes and consumption (VAT) taxes. Our country alone expects the investing class to pay for everything.

      Europeans pay for their benefits proportionately. The current US Democratic party expects to get everything for “free” meaning paid by the evil guy who provides them with a job and goods at affordable prices.


      1. Are you saying that our SS and Medicare withholding are not flat rate taxes? And they are on gross pay, before deductions. In case you forgot, that is about 15% off the top for everyone.

        As far as “free” no one expects that. Remember we pay over 1/3 of the median household income for very high deductible and heavily co-paid health insurance. So the working and middle class families of four effectively pay 50% of their total household income for SS, Medicare and health insurance.

        Then add taxes onto that. Federal, state, local, property, sales, etc. And don’t forget tariffs. The tariffs our president thinks the Chinese are paying. Of course Americans are paying those tariffs, but the liar in the Oval Office thinks his supporters are idiots, apparently.

        If anything, the Medicare for all will hit families for a lot less and put a lot more money into the economy in sectors other than just healthcare.

        The GOP has nothing. Trump has nothing. And they both promised to have it all. Especially Trump who promised better health insurance for everyone at lower prices.

        Yeah right.


        1. Yes, FICA covers SS and Medicare A & B(but not D) The top 10% of earners pay for everything else.

          And the promised Medicare for all would be paid for by an even more progressive tax scheme.

          Drive capital out of the US and the jobs go with them.


  3. Here is the rub, however.

    Americans vote for the spending and the taxes.

    Our system of governance through democratically elected representatives makes every citizen responsible for how we finance our nation.

    Our government is us.


    1. RE: “Our government is us.”

      In that case we should be worried, because “us” has begun to think that radical monetary policies may offer solutions to the problems irresponsible fiscal policies have led us to.


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