Fixing the Debt without Breaking America: Austerity, the Trillion Dollar Coin, and Ending Debt Ceiling, Sequester, and Budgetary Crises

Fixing the Debt without Breaking America

This book is about a counter-narrative to austerity politics. It exposes its fallacies, and, I hope, its closed-mindedness and futility. It also offers a way out of austerity politics.

That way out, is through the perspectives and truths developed by the approach to economics called variously Modern Money Theory (MMT), Modern Monetary Theory, or Neo-Chartalism. And it is also through using the method of High Value Platinum Coin Seigniorage (HVPCS).

In this book, I relate neoliberalism, the Washington Consensus, and austerity politics to the perspectives and truths of MMT, including MMT ideas about fiscal sustainability and responsibility, and to HVPCS and its promising application to ending austerity by providing the Treasury Department with the capability to harness the Federal Reserve’s power to create Bank Reserves out of thin air. Treasury can use to this capabiliity to repay the national debt, and to deficit spend Congressional appropriations.

If used, HVPCS would end the possibility of repeated and further debt ceiling crises; and would also remove any reasonable justifications referring to the current national debt/deficit situation for the sequester, or for the upcoming budgetary crisis, which the Republicans intend to create at the end of March and then repeat periodically throughout this year and probably next.

In brief, this book offers a solution to the damaging deadlock we see in Congress, and between Congress and the Executive, that periodically hurts our economy and harms our full recovery from the crash of 2008, even seven-and-a-half years later. The solution proposed here, $60 Trillion Dollar HVPCS (updated to $100 Trillion since the book was written), would be entirely game-changing for Washington politics. It would put the advocates of austerity politics literally out of business, and force them to create a whole new rationale for opposing measures that the economy and the American people need.

The book’s contents include chapters on:

— austerity, neoliberalism, and “fiscal responsibility”;
— a fix the debt narrative and counter-narrative; modern money theory truths;
— the real meaning of “deficit”, “surplus”, “the national debt”, and “national savings”;
— two ways of fixing the debt without breaking America;
— origin and early history of Platinum Coin Seignorage (PCS);
— the trillion dollar coin and the debt ceiling crisis: the coin hits the mainstream;
— incremental vs. small ball vs. game-changing PCS;
— the $60 trillion plan, policy space, and the end of austerity;
— is PCS inflationary?
— legal, political, economic, and institutional objections;
— high value coins and MMT; and
— the promise of high value platinum coin seigniorage for america: no more debt ceiling, sequester, or budgetary crises and more.

The 2nd edition (January 2014) revises the first (published in March 2013) and adds a new postscript chapter updating the politics of the continuing debt ceiling conflicts between the two major US political parties.

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