Thank you Dr. Kelton. When this came up again a week or so ago, I said to myself something like ... well the US is a currency producing nation... what is this nonsense. But, I’m no expert.... and here you are saying exactly... ok, approximately what I thought about it. Thank you for your work! You are one of my heroes!!!

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Aren't there limits to how much money a government may issue without grossly devaluing the currency through hyperinflation? Thanks to MMT, I understand that a "balanced budget" is definitely not the limit, and that the national debt ceiling is a rather meaningless number in terms of the government's ability to spend money. But then, what is the limit on how much money the government can spend, and how do we move the national conversation to this real spending limit?

I also understand that there may not be a singular limit, but merely a range of options that will lead to different outcomes for the economy, and that some of those outcomes may be more preferable than others based on your politics.

For instance, if you have a lot of money, you may want less government spending so that your giant pile of money matters more. If you make your living off of government contracts, you would definitely want more spending.

Do you happen to have any references or suggested reading for how the government should decide how much to spend in any given year, what the government should spend it on, and how to make the spending more effective and efficient?

I'm sorry that is a lot of questions, and I do appreciate your posts.

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Nice to see you on MSNBC. Would be great if you could get on Fox and the mainstream broadcast networks. I think we often under estimate the intelligence of viewers. Fox viewers will appreciate your description of how the military, ag subsidies, and the border wall are paid for. ;) Your explanations, analogies and cool demeanor are 👍👍👍 and a lot people will get it.

The politicians (left and right) will only stop misrepresenting the “debt” when the fear mongering no longer works.

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Mint the coin, if reason doesn’t prevail.

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I hate it too. But, it forces the issue from the back to the front burner even for a short time...doesn't it.

I've read your book, 3 of Randal Wray's, Warrens of course, along with 4 others (including the job guarantee issue), and listen to the MMT podcast almost daily. With Christian and Patricia I'm triing to get smarter all the time. I'm passionate about econ was my minor a very long time ago. Your willingness to be the "face" of MMT regularly is what gets you the most respect from me. I know it must be very hard, to be attacked without the decency to be more informed on the issue. Go Stephanie go. I even have some ideas on marketing for it.

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It is such a stupid conversation, but if the GOP House wants to play silly bugger then propose cuts to spending that only impact their disticts. The tune would change in a hurry.

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While the Republicans are, typically, playing with fire here, at times like this I have to find the Democrats guilty of political nonfeasance. When they had majorities in both houses, why did they not attempt to abolish the debt limit once and for all? Instead, they leave themselves (and the country) in the position of having to seek an increase in the debt limit every couple of years, which just enables the Republicans to weaponize the issue against the Dems.

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Stephanie, I wish you would clearly state that the National Debt is actually an accumulation of all the expenditures by the federal government less the taxes it has brought in since the date when we started keeping track of these expenditures and taxes. So all the things that make up the federal government's "Red" are the U.S. taxpayers' "Black". We taxpayers enjoy the benefits of the federal government's spending on child care, hiring IRS agents to bring in millions of taxes owed by multibillionaires who avoid paying taxes through complicated schemes, etc.

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The debt limit crisis presents an existential threat to our democracy. The GOP House has no real power--any ridiculous legislation they pass (and they don't care about passing legislation) will never get by the Senate. And even if it did, President Biden would veto it. But...but...but...when it comes to the debt limit the white nationalist GOP has enormous power.

Janet Yellen's estimate of June 5 as being the drop dead date for paying bills is laden with irony. On June 6 we celebrate D-Day, when democracy made the final push to defeat fascism. On June 5, Republicans (the party of election denial) will launch their fascist assault on democracy and attempt to accomplish what they couldn't achieve on Jan. 6. And they'll probably try to expunge "Juneteenth" from the list of national holidays.

Is Congress still Congress if its members aren't being paid? Is the President still the President if he's no longer on the payroll? In "The Godfather," Michael Corleone visited his father in the hospital only to find that his father's protection detail had vanished. Realizing his father was about to be murdered, Michael kept his cool and saved his father. What happens in the 2nd week in June when members of Congress show up for work and realize there are no Capitol police officers around to protect them? And nuts like MTG walk through the door carrying AR-15's?

Trump has gone out of his way to caution Republicans not to screw around with social security and Medicare (he didn't mention Medicaid--I wonder why). Every smart fascist knows you have to take care of the people who support you. As this crisis limps along week after week, remind yourself that Republicans don't want a solution--they want to burn the house down. The Showdown at the OK Corral is coming. Buckle up.

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I'm not singling you out here, in fact I'm calling out all of the other cutting edge economists like Warren Mosler, Steve Keen, Michael Hudson, et al for not having daily news conferences shouting with their hair on fire that this is a titanic NON-ISSUE that the deluded and/or terminally demagogic are going to use to create chaos...when it doesn't need to happen. That needs to happen regardless.

But I am puzzled that all of you and the others above are failing to recognize that you all are missing the way to put this nonsense away FOREVER by uping your analysis to the paradigmatic level which will change the current monopolistic paradigm for the creation and distribution of new money, namely Debt Only to Direct and Reciprocal Monetary Gifting via a program of strategically beneficial and efficacious policies.

All of your analyses are valid and potentially beneficial, that deserves praise...but they're only reforms and so don't COMPLETE the necessary action which is to implement a paradigm/ENTIRE pattern change...because historically everything adapts to a new paradigm...not the other way around. For example, Keynesianism was a very good reform, but what happened? Thats right it got morphed into the neo-classical synthesis...because it was only a good reform. But did we ever go back to nomadic hunting and gathering after we realized agriculture, homesteading andurbanization were a better way to survive and thrive? No.

We don't have the convenience of a lot of time to cogitate about whether or not we should analyze and swiftly form the mass movement necessary to implement the new paradigm. Look around and see the signs of social and political disintegration that are coalescing as well as the looming existential problem of climate change. I'm sure you're concerned about these problems.

Paradigms/operant applied concepts and paradigm changes are not mysterious, mystical things. They are historical phenomena that can be analyzed so as to decipher the new concept that applied will result in all of the beneficial effects of same. In my book I have tried to cover the socio-economic, political, ecological and cultural policies needed in a new paradigm program, but I welcome any additional input.

I would be happy to send you a copy of the evolving book currently posted on Amazon for analysis and/or further elaboration. For god sake, something must happen to resolve the converging crises we are facing.

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You don’t need to mint the coin. Numerous grounds are listed in this excellent article by Robert Hockett

Stop the Charade: The Federal Budget Is Its Own ‘Debt-Ceiling’ (https://www.forbes.com/sites/rhockett/2023/01/19/stop-the-charade-the-federal-budget-is-its-own-debt-ceiling/?sh=45602b4b7bc9)

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned" should be the beginning and end of the discussion. Biden can say "Stopping payments violates the Constitution. I am not permitted to do that."

Republicans have the burden of bringing the matter to Court, where they will lose, even with this Supreme Court.

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The Debt Limit could, I think, be a useful exercise if Congress was interested in a sensible top-down evaluation of our national spending priorities given the current state of the economy. But such exercises are not conducted in neat, orderly Congressional hearings televised on C-Span (unfortunately) but partisan political theatre on Fox and MSNBC. But maybe that's better than not discussing it at all?

I think even you, Stephanie, would agree that deficits begin to matter during times of rising inflation (according to your wonderful book The Deficit Myth). Fiscal deficits may not matter so much for today's specific flavor of inflation (e.g., as a mostly supply-side rather than demand side problem) assuming you agree with that. Maybe this is a "teaching moment" for explaining when deficits do matter and when they don't in periods of inflation. The Debt Limit is as good a time as any to have that discussion, it seems to me. The threat of default or a government shutdown? Well, that's all part of the theatre: we've been there before, and we always emerge OK. During the last big shutdown under Gingrich, non-essential Federal employees were furloughed for few days, but they got their back pay in full. The public was not amused, but we quickly returned to normal.

Should Biden "negotiate" when Team R is using default as a "gun" pointed at his head? No. That's not a negotiation, it's taking the economy hostage for a ransom (forced budget cuts). But my hope is that the American people will gain a sense of legitimacy around its government's spending after this media fracas is over.

IMHO, I think economists should make austerity (budget cuts) as a tool for fighting inflation the issue, not the debt ceiling or the threat of default. That's confusing the policy substance with the theatrics.

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The Deficit Myth is truly a must read and its a must that we understand that a household budget and a government budget is just not the same thing. Sadly, we as Americans help to spread the false myth about the nations finances, the credit card nonsense, we can't live beyond our means. If anything, the debt ceiling has to be abolished because its being used as a political football as to limit how much income that can go into the economy. That is just plain unacceptable. Our pathetic politicians never cease to amaze me here, especially Republicans.

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FYI - Mastercard and Visa do not lend money. They are the rails behind the actual card issuing banks that do the lending through cards branded either Visa or Mastercard.

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it's time to get rid of the debt ceiling. It's just a political bludgeon that helps politicians avoid facing constituents and explaining the actual ideology they hold to when they try to cut money from the budget. The public has to stop accepting the reason "we can't afford it" every time something is put on the block.

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Jan 22·edited Jan 22

If Congress has passed laws requiring spending, limiting the amount of tax the IRS can recover and limiting the amount of bonds, notes and bills the Treasury can issue, then the balance has to end up as a carried forward item at the Federal Reserve as a matter of accounting.

In other words any power the Fed thinks it has to say 'no' to a Treasury order to pay either never existed in the first place, or has been repealed under the doctrine of implied repeal.

Why bother with gimmicks. Go straight to the heart of the matter - the Fed is the agent of Treasury. It is their job to do as they are told. MMT people should be pushing that, not workarounds.

That avoids the issue argument and the discount argument with The Coin and the 'lets issue bonds at a reverse discount' approach.

If you're not following Josh Barro's argument for 'premium bonds', here it is: https://www.joshbarro.com/p/a-boring-plan-for-managing-the-debt

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