Jeff Epstein 🌹🌎 Host of @ActivistMMT 🦉 Profile picture
Third-year #MMT activist & host of podcast @ActivistMMT. I also sing: @seejeffsing Sometimes host of @historic_ly. Dem primary nonsense: @PBernardSanders.

Apr 23, 2018, 26 tweets

1/ There is so much good in this video by @cenkuygur and @TheYoungTurks: The federal government prioritizes war over programs for the powerless. Like many many times over. But Cenk (and @commondreams) are SO wrong in HOW it’s presented. #LearnMMT

2/ The fed govt is not constrained by💰. The U.S. is a sovereign nation with fiat (non-gold backed) currency. It has infinite💰at its disposal. Whatever it needs, write it in a bill, vote it into law. BAM. New💰. (It SHOULDN’T create infinite💰, but it damn well could.) #LearnMMT

3/ State & municipal govts, and households, ARE constrained by💰, since they can’t create the currency. (Well, at the risk of going federal prison for counterfeiting, they could certainly try.) The fed govt (Congress) are currency ISSUERS. Everyone else are currency USERS.

4/ So, if the fed govt can create infinite💰, it logically follows that it needs no income. It doesn’t need taxes. It doesn’t need to borrow anything from anyone. Ever. This is admittedly a mind bender and goes against everything we’ve been taught.

5/ I’m just a stranger, coming at you out of the blue. (Although I did just start my third year as a @TheYoungTurks subscriber, so I hope that counts for something.) You shouldn’t just believe me. Do your homework. Meanwhile, here are economists confirming what I’ve just said:

6/ Economist L. Randall Wray: “Taxes are not needed to “pay for” government spending.” #LearnMMT…

7/ Economist Bill Mitchell (@billy_blog) “Taxpayers do not fund anything.” #LearnMMT

8/ @StephanieKelton, Bernie Sanders’ economic advisor for his 2016 presidential campaign, and former Chief Economist to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee: #LearnMMT

10/ It’s a crazy, mind-bending concept, I know. But if you truly believe in #MedicareForAll & a living wage & free college & combatting climate change, it is absolutely critical that you understand this:

At the federal level (only), taxes do not “pay for” anything. #LearnMMT

11/ Why is this important? Because nonsense like this👇 guarantees that the powerless will never ever ever ever get Nice Things(TM): #LearnMMT

12/ Yes, Congress fights for an ever larger military, tax breaks for the rich, & all the mega-expensive programs benefiting the powerful. Yes, Congress fights tooth & nail against #MedicareForAll & all the moderately-expensive programs for the powerless. It’s unjust & a travesty.

13/ It’s unjust & it needs to change. We (the powerless) don’t need that big a military. We certainly don’t need tax breaks for the rich. For the powerful, war & tax breaks are a luxury (profit, power, & access to resources). For the powerless, #MedicareForAll is survival.

14/ But here is “why” it’s so important to understand that taxes don’t pay for anything: Bc although we need to deal with the injustices of a too-big military & rampant income inequality, we do not need💰FROM these things IN ORDER to “pay for” #MedicareForAll or other programs.

15/ Saying “IN ORDER to pay for #MedicareForAll, we must reduce or take💰FROM the military,”... it pits us against those who are hell bent on protecting our country or profiting off of war. They will fight us tooth and nail, and we will never get #MedicareForAll.

16/ Saying “IN ORDER to pay for #MedicareForAll, we must increase taxes on the rich,”... it pits us against, well, the rich and the powerful. They will fight us tooth and nail for their tax breaks, and we will never get #MedicareForAll.

17/ That’s exactly what this shit does👇: pits the powerless against powerful. It’s a battle the powerless will always lose. “The average taxpayer contributed X to the military” is meant to enrage the people: “STOP USING MY💰 FOR WAR! USE MY💰 **INSTEAD** FOR #MedicareForAll!”

18/ (A huge military and tax breaks for the rich are not a reflection of what the American people “pay for,” they’re a reflection of the decisions of the Masters of the Universe, to keep the powerful powerful and the powerless powerless.) #LearnMMT

19/ The entire concept of "pay-for" is a sham & a scam, & a trap & a trick. The second we bring up how to “pay for" #MedicareForAll, the conversation switches from the benefits of #M4A to, "You don’t care about defending this country!" Or, “You just want to penalize success!”

20/ The travesty of the “pay for” trap is not that "we are paying for a ridiculously large military when we could INSTEAD pay for #MedicareForAll." The real travesty is that the American people have been tricked into believing that we can’t have both at the same time.

21/ That’s exactly what these statements imply👇. It’s all wrong. We don’t have to choose. We can "afford" a ridiculously large military & tax breaks for the rich...AND #MedicareForAll AND free college AND a living wage AND everything the powerless need to survive and thrive.

22/ We don’t have to choose. The United States has plenty of real resources at its disposal. We can have both.

Let the rich have their toys. For now.

After we get #MedicareForAll, **THEN** we can deal with the injustices of a too-large military and rampant inequality.

23/ Conflating these battles (getting critical programs, how to “pay for” them, & dealing w societal injustices) is killing us. It guarantees we will never ever get them. Here’s my article about the pay-for trap, inspired by (& quotes) @StephanieKelton:…

24/ You teach & inspire millions. @TheYoungTurks & @jimmy_dore are my primary sources of truth. You have got to do better with this. The basic information in your TYT video (in part 1 of this thread) is all fine, but the framing is WAY off. Please #LearnMMT

25/25 Thanks for listening, @cenkuygur.

Here is my mini #LearnMMT twitter tutorial. There are lots of resources at the end to learn more:


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