When your Republican friends start whining about the national debt, send them to this little note by Dave Winer. Dave lays it out clearly – the national debt simply isn’t the kind of problem you think it is. As the apex predator in the world’s economy, the US has a uniquely advantaged position that we’ve squandered over the last 20-30 years. From the article:
“One of the biggest misperceptions about how money works, even among educated people, is that we have to pay for projects by raising taxes. The fact they’re missing is that the Federal Reserve creates money. So we don’t have to raise taxes to provide relief to victims of disasters.
When they say the debt is something our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, that’s not true either. We can pay the debt by printing money. If we owe you $100 who’s to say if we got that money by taxing Americans or simply by giving you new money we created for that purpose?
Money has to start somewhere, and unlike a household budget, the US government has an infinite supply of it. Basically the only country with the power to create new money that can be spent everywhere is the United States.
The United States is unique because our dollar is the reserve currency for the world. So if say Egypt owes money to India, they pay them in dollars. If a small country is reserving some money for a future project, they store it in dollars. Our currency, unlike all others, is in demand all around the world. Which means we can give them dollars we just printed and they will send us goods that cost real money, because of course when we printed the money, it was real, simply because we printed it. “
If people really understood how we’ve squandered this advantage and allowed our social support system to decay, they’d be enraged. It’s completely and sadly ironic – the very same working-class people who identify as Republican are the ones who have been most harmed by this conservative gaslighting.