We Have The Means to Take Care of Our Veterans, So Why Won't We?
I previously published a piece calling for Election Day to be held on Veteran’s Day. But besides honoring Veterans with this poetic display of democracy in our republic, what else could independents do?
The United States is exceptional, we have a marvelously productive society. We could, if need be, produce any goods or services that we could need or even reasonably want. We just have to set our minds to it.
Why do veterans groups have to go on TV and beg for our wounded warriors? Why are there not better services to help prevent PTSD which can cause some veterans to end up homeless or worse? Why is the health care for veterans not as good as the health care for Congress?
There is a misconception about how money works in our society that is perpetuated by both the Democrats and the Republicans: it is driven by depression era thinking.
The U.S. cannot run out of money; it is the monopoly issuer of net financial assets. Net because while banks can also issue new dollars, they have to be paid back —therefore they net to zero. We cannot spend a net dollar until the U.S. spends it into existence.The only rational reasons to limit government spending are to: not interfere with what the private sector does best (which is most things), and to manage inflation -- meaning the cost of goods and services is not unduly outpacing wages. The best tool the U.S. has to manage inflation is taxing.
What government does best is provide goods and services that the private sector either can’t, won’t or would do a lousier job at—in the minds of most citizens. (E.g. I don’t want to pay a toll every ten feet while land or road owners extract their fair profit.)
So, if Congress has the power and the dollars to give veterans the health care they need, and we have the productive capacity as a nation to provide that health care without causing undo inflation, why aren’t we?
The U.S. Congress only chooses to limit government spending to taxing and borrowing. On this Veteran’s Day, maybe it’s time to embrace Modern Monetary Theory, and do what’s right, what’s just, what’s within our power.
Let’s save the ideological debate on government spending, freedom vs. order, large or small government to each subsequent issue, and in order of importance. Maybe this will be the only time, or maybe there will be other times to decouple federal spending from taxing and borrowing.
Only Congress can spend. We elect Congress. The push and pull of politics will continue, only this time after treating our veterans like the heroes they truly are.
Oh, the next modest decoupling worth considering might be the right to a fraud-free counted vote—on Veteran’s Day.