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Despite Tax Day in May, U.S. Government Runs Another Massive Deficit

Typically, the U.S. government runs a budget surplus in the month that tax returns come due. Not this year. Despite a surge in receipts, the federal government ran a $131.95 billion deficit in May, continuing the trend of overspending and ballooning budget shortfalls.

The federal budget deficit for fiscal 2021 now stands at $2.06 trillion with four months left to go. That compares with a $1.9 trillion deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2020, which included the first round of stimulus checks in April 2020.

Despite the fact that the economy has opened back up and the pandemic seems to be receding into the past, the U.S. government continues to run massive budget deficits month after month.

The media spun the lower May deficit as good news. Reuters proclaimed “US May budget deficit shrinks as revenues rise sharply” and noted that the May 2021 deficit was only about a third of the May 2020 shortfall. But given that the tax filing deadline was in July last year, it makes more sense to compare the May deficit with last July’s. This month’s shortfall was more than double the July 2020 deficit of $63 billion.

The U.S. government spent $595.7 billion in May. That was a 4 percent increase over May 2020, but down slightly from last month. Even so, the May shortfall still ranks as the third-largest deficit of fiscal 2021. So far in this fiscal year, the federal government has spent a staggaring $4.67 trillion.

You’ll hear Republicans blame Biden for the big deficits. He has certainly already done his share of spending, and he’s got more in the works. But he’s simply building on Trump’s borrow and spend legacy.

The government collected $463.7 billion in May. This was the highest monthly revenue for Uncle Sam this fiscal year; not surprising given the tax deadline falling in May. Many people went ahead and filed in April this year despite the extension, boosting April revenue as well. Revenue collection has given the appearance of shrinking deficits over the last two months.

The national debt stood at $28.2 trillion as of June 11.

According to the National Debt Clock, the debt to GDP ratio is 128.03 percent. Despite the lack of concern in the mainstream, debt has consequences. Studies have shown that a debt to GDP ratio of over 90 percent retards economic growth by about 30 percent. This throws cold water on the conventional “spend now, worry about the debt later” mantra, along with the frequent claim that “we can grow ourselves out of the debt” now popular on both sides of the aisle in D.C.

President Biden has pitched a number of corporate and individual tax increases, but he’s already had to back off on some of the taxes due to political pressure. That means most of this borrowing and spending will continue to be paid for through an inflation tax that will hit us as the Federal Reserve monetizes this massive debt.  That means more bond purchases and more money printing. In fact, this is already happening.

The Consumer Price Index is exploding.  The Federal Reserve continues to insist that inflation is “transitory” and nothing to worry about. Following the Fed’s lead, a lot of people in the mainstream seem to believe the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy, raise interest rates, and even taper its bond-buying program to fight inflation. But the question remains: how does the Fed tighten when it has to monetize trillions in debt? How can an economy built on borrowing and spending function if interest rates rise?

Simply put — it can’t.

It seems almost certain the massive budget deficits will continue into the foreseeable future. That means the government will need to continue borrowing and it will need the central bank to keep its thumb on the bond market to make that possible. After all, the Fed is the engine that powers the biggest, most powerful government in the history of the world.

The Fed had worked itself between a rock and a hard place. It has to print trillions of dollars to monetize the massive deficits. But that is causing inflation expectations to run hot. That is putting upward pressure on interest rates. But you can’t have rising rates when your entire economy is built on debt. The only way the Fed can hold rates down is to buy more bonds, which means printing more money, which means even more inflation. You can see the vicious cycle. At some point, there is a fork in the road and the Fed will have to choose. Step up and address inflation and let rates rise, which will burst the stock market bubble and collapse the debt-based economy, or just keep printing money and eventually crash the dollar.

The post Despite Tax Day in May, U.S. Government Runs Another Massive Deficit first appeared on Tenth Amendment Center.

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Big Government and Big Inflation

April’s 4.2 percent past year increase in the Consumer Price Index is not likely to dissuade the Federal Reserve from continuing its policy of near-zero interest rates. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell believes the rising prices are just a temporary phenomenon caused by the ending of lockdowns releasing pent-up consumer demand.

Powell may be right that the ending of lockdowns would inevitably be accompanied by a rise in prices. However, this is just the latest reason the Fed has given for putting off increasing interest rates. Powell does not want to admit that the real reason the Fed will continue to keep rates low is that increasing rates will cause the federal government’s interest payments to rise to unsustainable levels.

One way the Fed increases the money supply — and thus lowers interest rates — is by purchasing US Treasury securities. These purchases increase demand for US government debt, keeping government’s borrowing costs low. An expansionary monetary policy thus enables increased federal spending and deficits. Since the lockdowns, the Fed has worked overtime to monetize federal debt, doubling its holdings of Treasury securities.

A Truth in Accounting report from April concluded the real federal debt is 123 trillion dollars — over four times larger than the 28 trillion dollars “official” debt. The higher debt calculation includes the federal government’s unfunded liabilities. The biggest unfunded liabilities are the 55 trillion dollars in promised but unfunded Medicare benefits and the 41 trillion dollars in promised but unfunded Social Security benefits.

Congress could transition away from entitlement and welfare programs without harming current or soon-to-be beneficiaries by cutting spending on militarism and corporate welfare. Part of the savings from these cuts could be used to pay down the debt, and part could be used to provide payments for current and soon-to-be beneficiaries of government programs while we transition to a free market.

Unfortunately, there is not much appetite in Congress for spending cuts. The main Democratic criticisms of President Biden’s 1.52 trillion dollars budget, which increases spending by 8.4 percent, are that Biden is not proposing bigger increases in spending and debt, or in taxes on “the rich.” Biden’s budget increases are in addition to the trillions in other spending Biden is pursuing, including related to Covid, infrastructure, and his “American Families Plan.”

Republicans are making obligatory attacks on Biden’s spending, while also attacking Biden for increasing military spending to “only” 753 billion dollars. Republican complaints about Biden’s big spending ring hollow given their support for Presidents Donald Trump and George W. Bush’s spending increases and Republicans’ proposals to spend billions on infrastructure.

Some conservatives have even embraced the madness of Modern Monetary Theory. These conservatives are urging people to stop worrying about spending and debt and instead figure out how to use Fed-financed government spending to advance conservative ends.

The refusal of Congress to cut spending means the Fed will keep increasing its balance sheet in an effort to monetize skyrocketing debt. Eventually, the increasing debt and inflation will lead to a major economic meltdown. The meltdown will likely include a rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status.

The only way to avoid the crash is to spread the truth among enough people to force Congress to reverse course. Early steps in reversing course are blocking Biden’s big spending plans and passing Audit the Fed so the American people can finally know the truth about the Federal Reserve’s actions.

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Another Huge Budget Shortfall for the Feds

The U.S. government ran another huge budget deficit in April. The shortfall came in at $225.58 billion, running the total budget deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2021 to a record $1.9 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Monthly Treasury Statement.

That compares with a $1.5 trillion deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2020, which included the first round of stimulus checks in April 2020.

Some mainstream media outlets spun the April numbers as good news. Last month’s deficit was significantly smaller than the $660 billion shortfall Uncle Sam ran in March as it passed out billions of dollars to Americans. But the U.S. government continues to spend wildly and run up massive debt.

Having picked up the spending mantel from Donald Trump, the Biden administration spent another $664.8 billion in April. That was the second-largest level of outlays in fiscal 2021, topped only by March with the distribution of stimulus 3.0. In fiscal 2021, the U.S. government has spent a staggering $4.07 trillion.

The only thing that kept the budget shortfall from being even bigger was the fact that it was the best month for federal receipts this fiscal year. Uncle Sam collected $439.2 billion in April, primarily due to payments of individual income taxes.

The national debt currently stands at $28.17 trillion.

According to the National Debt Clock, the debt to GDP ratio is 127.8 percent. Despite the lack of concern in the mainstream, debt has consequences. Studies have shown that a debt to GDP ratio of over 90 percent retards economic growth by about 30 percent. This throws cold water on the conventional “spend now, worry about the debt later” mantra, along with the frequent claim that “we can grow ourselves out of the debt” now popular on both sides of the aisle in D.C.

President Biden has already pitched a number of corporate and individual tax increases, but most of this borrowing and spending will be paid for through an inflation tax that will hit us as the Federal Reserve monetizes this massive debt.  That means more bond purchases and more money printing. In fact, this is already happening.

The Federal Reserve makes all of this borrowing and spending possible by backstopping the bond market and monetizing the debt. The central bank buys U.S. Treasuries on the open market with money created out of thin air (debt monetization). This creates artificial demand for bonds and keeps interest rates low. All of this new money gets injected into the economy, driving inflation higher. We see this playing out before our eyes as the Fed has expanded the money supply by record amounts.

The Consumer Price Index is exploding, leading a lot of people in the mainstream to believe the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy, raise interest rates, and even taper its bond-buying program to fight inflation. But the question remains: how does the Fed tighten when it has to monetize trillions in debt? How can an economy built on borrowing and spending function if interest rates rise?

Simply put — it can’t.

The Fed had worked itself between a rock and a hard place. It has to print trillions of dollars to monetize the massive deficits. But that is causing inflation expectations to run hot. That is putting upward pressure on interest rates. But you can’t have rising rates when your entire economy is built on debt. The only way the Fed can hold rates down is to buy more bonds, which means printing more money, which means even more inflation.

You can see the vicious cycle. At some point, there is a fork in the road and the Fed will have to choose. Step up and address inflation and let rates rise, which will burst the stock market bubble and collapse the debt-based economy, or just keep printing money and eventually crash the dollar.

The post Another Huge Budget Shortfall for the Feds first appeared on Tenth Amendment Center.

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Unconstitutional Debt and Future Generations

These are serious numbers of dollars, the repayment of which will have seriously unpleasant consequences for future generations of Americans. Indeed, under Biden’s administration, the feds will borrow three times what they collect in taxes. This is not a new phenomenon, but it exacerbates the modern trend of spend now and pay later.

Under the Constitution, can the feds borrow as much as they want and can they spend it on anything they want? Here is the backstory.

When James Madison and his colleagues wrote the Constitution, they addressed the problem of debt. They knew governments borrow vast amounts of money to address emergencies, usually wars — as the 13 colonies had just done. When Madison and his colleagues were deciding upon the powers of the new federal government, they included the power to borrow money but excluded the power to create and operate a bank.

Madison understood that the Constitution limited the power of Congress to spend monies — whether obtained by taxes or debt — to the 17 discrete areas of governance delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.

Thus, when Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton proposed a national bank, Madison, then a congressman, argued fiercely against it. He offered that the Constitution intentionally omitted the power to create and operate a bank because a federal bank would tempt Congress to spend money it didn’t have on pet projects not authorized to the feds by the Constitution.

Madison lost the argument. The First National Bank of the United States was formed but went out of existence 20 years later. In 1816, at the end of his second presidential term, Madison had a change of heart and reluctantly signed legislation forming the Second National Bank of the United States. Yet, he never renounced his often-articulated fears of Congress exceeding its constitutional bounds by spending money nowhere authorized in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court on four occasions declined to rule if Madison was correct. Then, in 1936, the court — terrified of FDR’s court-packing threats — ruled that Congress’ taxing and spending powers are essentially unlimited so long as the funds are spent for the common good. If this ruling is correct, then Congress can buy any thing and bribe any person, and the restraints in the Constitution are meaningless.

This misguided ruling unleashed a torrent of federal government spending which has led us to the present tsunami of debt — $28.1 trillion. This is not an issue of Democrats wanting to spend and Republicans wanting the Madisonian approach. To Biden’s proposal of $2.3 trillion, Republicans have countered with offers ranging from half a trillion to $1 trillion.

Recent history shows the bipartisan addiction to debt. George W. Bush borrowed $2 trillion in eight years for the useless war in Afghanistan that Biden just ended. Donald Trump borrowed $2 trillion in four years to pay for tax cuts and to soothe the pain caused by unconstitutional state lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, what Biden wants is the most massive peacetime transfer of wealth in the history of the world, and none of it is authorized by the Constitution.

That wealth will be received by poor and middle-class folks and wealthy bankers and industrialists, all of whom will be grateful to the Democrats for the short-term cash.

Who will pay for all this?

If Biden’s proposed corporate and capital gains tax increases pass, fewer Americans will be employed as corporations will have less money for new hiring, and investments will suffer as the cost of their fruits will increase. And the post-pandemic economic recovery, once anticipated at the end of the government’s unlawful lockdowns, will not materialize.

Add to this the near-certainty of inflation, and you will have Biden misery visited upon all. Inflation will also raise the cost of government borrowing. That means Biden’s not yet born great-grandchildren, and their unhappy generation, will be paying for Old Joe’s profligate and unconstitutional spending.

That members of both major political parties favor this unbridled borrowing and spending approach to government is unconstitutional and destructive but not surprising. Giving away cash and pushing the cost onto nonvoters — generations as yet unborn — can make members of Congress popular. It can also turn the public treasury into a public trough. Thomas Jefferson warned of the dangers of this as it would become habit-forming for politicians, and voters would grow to expect it.

President Woodrow Wilson borrowed $30 billion to pay for American military involvement in the useless and unjust World War I. American taxpayers are still paying the interest on the $30 billion. It now exceeds $15 billion. Only a government — heedless of basic economics and unfaithful to the plain meaning of the Constitution — would pay a 50% interest rate.

But here we are paying debts that are more than 100 years old and borrowing money as if there were no consequences. How much longer can a society last with a central government that does not pay its bills? Why have a Constitution that limits the government if no person or entity enforces the limitations? Why have taxes in the first place if borrowing and deferring debt will do?

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The Fed Enabling Biden and Congress’ Destructive Agenda

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 2021 will be the second year in a row in which the federal debt exceeds Gross Domestic Product (GDP). CBO also projected that this year’s federal deficit will be 2.3 trillion dollars, which is 900 billion dollars less than last year. However, CBO’s projections do not include the 1.9 trillion dollars “stimulus” bill Congress is likely to pass.

The CBO’s report was largely ignored by Congress and the media. One reason the report did not get the attention it deserves is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s continued commitment to making sure Fed policies enable Congress to spend as much as Congress deems necessary to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus panic.

As financial analyst Peter Schiff points out, the Fed’s commitment to ensuring the government can run up massive debt means the Fed will not allow interest rates to increase to anywhere near what they would be in a free market. This is because increasing interest rates would cause the federal government’s debt payments to rise to unsustainable levels. Yet, the Fed cannot admit it is going to keep rates near, or even below, zero indefinitely without unsettling the markets. So, the Fed continues to promise interest rate hikes in the future and the markets pretend to believe the Fed. When (or if) the lockdowns end, the Fed will find a new crisis justifying “temporarily” keeping interest rates low.

The Federal Reserve has not just endorsed massive federal spending, Fed Chairman Powell has also endorsed masks, vaccines, and social distancing to defeat the coronavirus and restore the economy. It is disappointing, but not surprising, to see the Fed go full Fauci.

The overreaction to coronavirus is a cause of the explosion in federal spending and debt we have witnessed over the last year. However, federal spending already greatly increased from January 2017 until the lockdowns. This spending growth occurred under a Republican president, a Republican Senate, and, from 2017 to 2019, a Republican House. One bright spot in Democratic control of the presidency and both houses of Congress is more Republicans will fight excessive spending and claim to be “deficit hawks.”

Republican hypocrisy in claiming to care about spending and debt only when a Democrat sits in the Oval Office is one reason why Democrats can so easily disregard debt. Another reason is the left’s embrace of Modern Monetary Theory. Modern Monetary Theory is the latest version of the fairy tale that politicians need not worry about debt and deficits as long as the central bank can monetize the federal debt.

Unless the government changes course, America will experience a crisis greater than the Great Depression. The crisis will include a final rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status. There will also be much increased price inflation. At that point Congress will have no choice but to limit spending, although it will try to hide cuts in popular entitlement programs by “adjusting” government measures of inflation. Congress could then blame the Fed for the reduction in value of government benefits.

Those who know the truth have two responsibilities. First, ensure they and their families are protected when the crash comes. Second, redouble efforts to spread the ideas of liberty and grow the liberty movement so politicians are pressured to cut spending and debt and to end the Fed.

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Chip Roy’s ‘Know Debt’ resolution would hang National Debt clocks in Congress

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) introduced a resolution Monday in the U.S. House of Representatives to keep lawmakers mindful of the rapidly ballooning federal debt.

Roy’s “Know Debt” resolution would put debt clocks in the main hearing rooms of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on the Budget, “in clear view of all the members.”

The resolution states, “Members of Congress should keep the gross national debt in mind when debating legislation that would affect the Nation’s fiscal situation.” It calls the national debt “the greatest threat to the national security of the United States” and notes that federal spending causes the nation to accrue “at least $100 million in debt every hour.”

“Our republic has been racing towards fiscal self-destruction for decades now, and it is time that Congress confront its ruinous behavior. Last week, we crossed the threshold of $28 trillion in total debt and are currently on track to have spent $6 trillion in pandemic ‘relief’ in less than a year,” Roy told TheBlaze. “For perspective, $6 trillion is more than the United States spent in 4 years fighting World War II and close to the total national debt when I came first came to Congress as a staffer in 2003.”

He continued: “If my colleagues and the leadership of this Congress want to continue mortgaging away our kids’ and our country’s future, having debt clocks in the House Budget and Appropriations Committee rooms is a simple way to confront them with the consequences of their recklessness every single day.”

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the national debt will eclipse 200% of gross domestic product in the next 30 years. In other words, by the year 2051, the debt owed by the United States government, which taxpayers are responsible for, will be more than twice the size of the entire value of the U.S. economy.

This current year, the federal budget deficit is estimated to be 10.3% of GDP, the second largest since 1945, during World War II. By the end of 2021, the debt is expected to be 102% of GDP, and that estimate does not take into account the $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending bill passed by the U.S. Senate over the weekend, nor proposals from congressional Democrats to pass an infrastructure bill.

Social Security, Medicare, and other mandatory spending continue to be the largest drivers of the overall debt. But the CBO expects annual budget deficits to increase as interest rates rise and the interest payments on the debt Congress must make to avoid default grow bigger each year.

As interest payments get bigger, they take up a larger portion of the federal budget, leaving less money for Congress to spend on popular programs or the military. The inevitable fact of continued spending is that Congress will be forced to raise taxes or borrow more money to pay the interest on the debt and avoid government default. Tax increases are unpopular, so it is more likely that Congress will attempt to borrow more money, which will in turn increase debt and make the interest payments even bigger.

“Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad,” the CBO warned. “A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

Republican lawmakers have recently revived arguments against wasteful federal spending to criticize President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 spending bill, but most Republicans were silent as the federal debt exploded under President Donald Trump, despite the fact that Republicans held full control of the federal government for the first two years of his presidency.

The national debt is a bipartisan problem that for decades has lacked a bipartisan solution, with no relief in sight.

The current U.S. federal debt is $28 trillion and rising.

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The Real Scandal of the Spending Bill

Last week Congress passed a massive coronavirus relief and omnibus spending bill. President Trump threatened to veto the bill, saying he wants an increase in the amount for “stimulus” checks authorized by the bill from 600 dollars to 2,000 dollars. The checks are designed to help those harmed by the lockdowns. President Trump also demanded a cut in some of the wasteful spending contained in the bill, such as the ten million dollars for gender programs in Pakistan.
At the 11th hour, however, President Trump signed the bill.

President Trump’s veto threat came after many people complained that a 600 dollars one-time payment was insufficient, and that the payment could be higher if Congress cut spending on militarism, foreign aid, and corporate handouts.

The text of the 5,593-page bill was made available hours before the votes in the House and Senate. Representatives and senators were told the bill had to pass immediately or else government would shut down around Christmas. This does not excuse voting for the bill. Congress should have refused to vote for this bill until members had time to read it. Those who voted “yes” should not get away with claiming the bill needed to be passed before members could read it.

While it is understandable that many are outraged over the way this bill was rushed through, the real outrage is that the rushed passage of omnibus bills has become a yearly Christmas tradition on Capitol Hill. These spending bills are always full of outrageous special interest giveaways. This practice denies the average member of Congress a meaningful role in carrying out one of Congress’ two most significant constitutional duties — funding the government. Congress long ago abandoned its other main constitutional responsibility — declaring war.

Whether 600 dollars or 2,000 dollars, a one-time stimulus payment is hardly adequate compensation for the suffering the government lockdowns have inflicted on the American people. Stimulus checks will not reopen closed small businesses or stop increases in domestic violence and substance abuse. A government check will not restore educational and development opportunities denied to children stuck at home struggling with “virtual education.” A one-time check will not compensate workers for the health problems developed due to having to wear a mask for eight hours a day. The only just solution is to end the lockdowns, and never again allow overblown fears to justify shutting down the economy.

Funding the government via massive omnibus bills drafted in secret and rushed into law concentrates power in the hands of a select few representatives and senators. It also gives the president excessive influence over the appropriations process. This is exactly the opposite of what the Framers intended when they gave Congress power over government spending.

This situation is the inevitable result of a government that tries to maintain the fiction that republican institutions are compatible with a welfare-warfare leviathan. Congress will continue to indulge this delusion until the system collapses. This collapse will likely be brought on by a collapse in the dollar’s value.

The combination of the high-profile coronavirus bill with this year’s omnibus spending bill has brought new attention to Congress’ practice of funding the government via massive, unread appropriations bills. Hopefully, the anger people are expressing, instead of just disappearing once people receive their checks, will strengthen the movement to return to free markets and limited constitutional government. Liberty is a far better option than descent into economic chaos and totalitarianism.

Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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Trump Administration Runs Yet Another Really Big Deficit in November

The Trump administration kicked off fiscal 2021 with the biggest October deficit in history. But with the first of November falling on a weekend, some November spending got shifted into October, inflating that month’s deficit. Now that we have the November monthly Treasury Statement, we have a better sense of how big deficits are running in the new fiscal year.

In a word — really big.

The November deficit came in at $145.3 billion. Some people wanted to spin this as good news because it was lower than the November 2019 deficit at $208.8 billion. But you have to factor in those calendar effects. The best way to gauge the budget shortfall through the first two months of FY2021 is to compare it to the deficit through the first two months of fiscal 2020.

The total deficit so far in fiscal 2021 comes to $429.3 billion. That compares to $343.3 billion in October and November 2020. In other words, through the first two months of the new fiscal year, the deficit is running $85.7 billion ahead of last year.

To add a little more perspective, the U.S. government is nearly halfway to a $1 trillion deficit in just the first two months of the fiscal year. Before last year, the federal government had only run $1 trillion deficits four times – all during the Great Recession.

Spending over the last two months came in at a staggering $886.7 billion. That compares to $814 billion through the first two months of fiscal 2020 — an 8.9 percent increase. Meanwhile, receipts to the U.S. Treasury fell from $470.7 through the first two months of FY2020 to $457.3 billion in October and November of this year.

As of Dec. 9, the national debt stood at $27.41 trillion. According to the National Debt Clock, the debt-to-GDP ratio is 128.59 percent. Despite the lack of concern in the mainstream, debt has consequences. Studies have shown that a debt to GDP ratio of over 90 percent retards economic growth by about 30 percent. This throws cold water on the Republican mantra “we can grow ourselves out of the debt.”

Most people shrug off these massive deficits, reasoning that they are simply a product of the economic problems caused by the coronavirus. But the pandemic has papered over an ugly truth – the federal government was getting into near-record deficit territory before COVID-19 arrived on the scene.

In fiscal 2019, the Trump administration ran a $984 billion deficit. At the time, it was the fifth-largest deficit in history. The upward trajectory continued through the first two months of fiscal 2020, with the budget shortfall running 12 percent over 2019’s huge number.

And the current massive budget deficit doesn’t factor in any additional COVID-19 stimulus that Congress will pass in the coming year.

According to a CBO report, on the current trajectory, the size of the national debt will be nearly double the size of the US economy by 2050.

A lot of people claim massive deficits and ballooning debt don’t matter. After all, the US government has been borrowing money for decades and the doomsday predictions haven’t come to pass. But debt is neither free nor is it irrelevant. Borrowed money has to be paid back – either through taxation or inflation – which is nothing more than a hidden tax.

In fact, the Federal Reserve makes all of this borrowing and spending possible by backstopping the bond market and monetizing the debt. The central bank buys U.S. Treasuries on the open market with money created out of thin air (debt monetization). This creates artificial demand for bonds and keeps interest rates low. The Fed now owns a record 16.5 percent of all the outstanding U.S. public debt. In the last 12 months, the Fed has doubled its holdings of Treasuries, adding a staggering $2.4 trillion in U.S. government bonds to its balance sheet – most of that since March. The Fed has monetized the equivalent of almost all the debt the U.S. has issued in the last year. All of the money printed to buy all of this U.S. debt is, by definition, inflation. That means it is devaluing your money as a matter of policy.

You can try to paper over the surging deficits and ballooning debt by claiming it is “necessary” to fight the coronavirus. The excuse certainly creates good political cover for Trump and other free-spending politicians in both political parties. But you can’t paper over the economic consequences of over-spending and debt. There is no such thing as a free lunch – even if you own a money printing press.

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Trump proposes $500 billion plan for black Americans, promises to create 3 million jobs and designate the KKK and Antifa as ‘terrorist organizations’

President Donald Trump on Friday announced a new $500 billion plan promising “opportunity,” “security,” “prosperity,” and “fairness” for black Americans if he is reelected in November.

The president’s campaign is calling this the “Platinum Plan,” Fox News
reported. Trump’s plan calls for $500 billion of capital investment into black communities, tax cuts and opportunity zones to support black-owned businesses, continued criminal justice reform, increased support for police, making lynching a federal hate crime, and the prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan and Antifa as terrorist organizations.

“For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken Black voters for granted. They made you big promises before every election — and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out,” the president said in remarks obtained by Fox News. “The Democrats will always take Black voters for granted until large numbers of Black Americans vote Republican.”

The plan rests on four pillars of economic, education, health care, and policing reforms.

Trump is promising a federal effort to help create 500,000 new black-owned businesses and 3 million new jobs for the black community. The plan calls for regulatory reform, examining “barriers to employment including fees, occupational licensing, arrest record inaccuracy and expungement.”

The plan would also expand the federal bureaucracy by making the Minority Business Development Agency permanent, appointing its leader to the assistant secretary of commerce level, and “create a sub-office of African American affairs” to partner with the private sector and develop black-owned businesses.

Trump is calling for additional reforms to make it easier for black Americans to build credit through rent, utilities, and phone bills as well.

“Full school choice” is promised, as well as increases to Pell grants, the development of more apprenticeship and job-training programs, and increased childcare tax credits for “access to quality pre-school.”

In terms of health care reform, the plan pledges to increase price transparency, leverage public-private partnerships to “develop healthcare facilities in low-income areas,” and “defend religious freedom exemptions to respect religious believers and always protect life.”

The Platinum Plan would also make Juneteenth a national holiday.

In his remarks announcing the plan, Trump committed to working on a “Second Step Act” follow-up to the “First Step Act” criminal justice reform legislation signed into law in his first term. Trump is calling for increased use of “drug rehabilitation vs. drug incarceration,” a new National Clemency Program focusing on “wrongful prosecution and rehabilitation,” police reform including “diversity training,” and programs to help find jobs for rehabilitated Americans with criminal records.

Trump also attacked his Democratic rival, Vice President Joe Biden, for “offering black Americans nothing but the same, tired, empty slogans.”

“I stand here to offer you solutions,” Trump said, adding “no one in Washington politics today has done more to hurt Black Americans than Joe Biden.”

Trump’s speech also defended the police and the unborn.

“Instead of fighting for public safety for these communities, the Democrats are attacking our police and empowering far-left rioters, looters, and anarchists,” Trump said. “In the Republican Party, we believe in protecting ALL black lives — including the unborn.”

platinum-plan-two-sider-v5.pdf by Raheem Kassam

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Appropriations Appropriations Clause Barack Obama CURRENT EVENTS Donald Trump federal spending Intelwars

Only Congress Can Spend Federal Monies

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of Appropriations made by Law.
-U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9

Congress and the White House have been at loggerheads for weeks on the next phase of federal aid to those suffering financially and who lost jobs because of governor-mandated lockdown orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At last count, more than 30 million Americans who had full-time jobs a year ago are today unemployed.

All states have unemployment compensation for which employees and employers make regular contributions. The payments of compensation are calculated as a percentage of income earned in the year before the job loss. Obviously, this number is different for all people, and it varies from state to state.

Embarrassed that it was caught flat-footed in the failure of leadership over the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government — pursuant to appropriations made by law — borrowed $3 trillion in April, May and June of this year and shipped out nearly all of it to small businesses and individuals. It gave $600 a week in unemployment compensation to those out of work, irrespective of their 2019 earnings and in addition to whatever state funds these folks received.

This is the worst way out of this politically induced recession. Borrowing and giving away money will just postpone the day of reckoning. Rather, the feds should cut taxes and spending drastically, and give tax credits to businesses for each person hired. The states, in turn, should permit those who want to operate their businesses to do so, with their customers and employees assuming the risk of patronage or employment.

But don’t hold your breath for these free market solutions to happen. It would mean a loss of control for the government.

Shortly before the $600 weekly payments ended two weeks ago, Congress began negotiating with the White House for a continuation of the payments. The House Democrats want to borrow and give away another $3 trillion, much of it to bail out cities and states hard hit by the loss of tax revenue. The White House wants to borrow and give away $1 trillion, but only in direct payments to businesses and individuals.

When it became apparent that a compromise could not be reached and Congress would not vote to extend the federal unemployment compensation to individuals, President Donald Trump ordered the Treasury to pay all unemployed people $300 a week, provided the states pay them $100 a week, in addition to their state unemployment compensation.

How can the president spend money that has not been appropriated by law?

Here is the backstory.

The Constitution champions the well-accepted structures of government known as the separation of powers and federalism.

Under the separation of powers, Congress writes the laws, the president enforces them, and the judiciary decides what the laws mean and if they are constitutional. Since federal monies can only be spent by legislation, and since only Congress writes federal laws, only it can enact legislation that spends federal monies.

I use the phrase “federal monies” rather than “federal funds” or “taxpayer dollars” because the federal government is broke. It owes $26.5 trillion to its creditors. So, whatever monies Congress gives away, it must first borrow.

But whether Congress is giving away taxpayer dollars, buying battleships or borrowing money, it must do so by legislation. We know this because the separation of powers prohibits the president or the courts from doing Congress’ job. We also know this because the Constitution expressly states in Article I, section 9, that no money shall be spent except when appropriated by law.

Stated differently, the Treasury cannot legally borrow or spend a nickel unless it has been expressly authorized to do so by law — meaning by legislation enacted by Congress. This is neither a novel nor a political observation. It is Constitutional Law 101.

Thus, when the president — no matter his goals — attempts to exercise power that the Constitution has given exclusively to Congress, it is the duty of the courts to stop him.

It is similarly the duty of the courts to enjoin the president from enforcing any law or taking any action that violates the principle of federalism. This principle mandates state sovereignty and independence in areas of governance reserved to the states. Federalism is mandated as well by the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution.

According to the Supreme Court, that clause means that state officials decide how to employ state assets and spend state funds. Stated differently, neither the president nor Congress can tell the states that they must spend $100 a week on unemployed people in their states.

Inasmuch as Trump’s executive order has the state contribution of $100 a week per person as a trigger for individuals to receive the federally borrowed $300 a week, the executive order is not only doubly unconstitutional, it is functionless as an instrument of aid. Rather, it is an instrument of politics only.

Not too long ago, an American president asked Congress to change immigration laws. When it refused to do as this president asked, he boasted that he could govern more effectively than Congress using his phone and pen. He then signed 24 executive orders purporting to accomplish what he had requested of Congress. One of the candidates running to succeed him blasted this unconstitutional presidential behavior and denounced this president.

The president was Barack Obama and the candidate was Donald Trump. How different the world must look from inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. when looking out than from outside looking in. Yet, the Constitution remains the same. It is the supreme law of the land. And, as such, all government behavior is only lawful when it is subordinate to it, no matter what any president says.

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Economy End the Fed Federal Reserve federal spending Intelwars

The Federal Reserve Will Likely Cause the Next Crisis

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly both recently denied that the Federal Reserve’s policies create economic inequality. Unfortunately for Powell, Daly, and other Fed promoters, a cursory look at the Fed’s operations shows that the central bank is the leading cause of economic inequality.

The Federal Reserve manipulates the money supply by buying and selling government securities. This means that when the Fed decides to pump money into the economy, it does so by putting it in the pockets of wealthy, and oftentimes politically-connected, investors who are able to spend the new money before the Fed’s actions result in widespread inflation. Wealthy individuals also tend to be among the first to invest in the bubbles that form when the Fed distorts interest rates, which are the price of money. These investors may lose some money when the bubble bursts, but these losses are usually outweighed by their gains, so they end up profiting from the Fed-created boom-bubble-bust cycle.

In contrast, middle-class Americans lose jobs as well as savings, houses, and other assets when bubbles burst. They will also not benefit as much as the rich and well-connected from government bailouts and stimulus schemes. Middle- and working-class Americans also suffer from a steady erosion of their standard of living because of the Fed’s devaluation of the currency. This is the reason why so many Americans rely on credit cards to cover routine expenses. The Federal Reserve is thus the reason why total US credit card debt is almost one trillion dollars.

Big-spending politicians are also beneficiaries of the fiat money system. The Fed’s purchases of US debt enable Congress to massively increase welfare and warfare spending without increasing taxes to politically unacceptable levels. The people pay for the welfare-warfare state via the Fed’s hidden and regressive inflation tax.

Low interest rates also benefit politicians by keeping the federal government’s interest payments low. This is an unstated reason why the Fed will keep interest rates near zero or even lower interest rates below zero.

In response to the government-caused economic collapse, the Federal Reserve increased the money supply by about a trillion dollars from mid-April to early June. In contrast, it took the Fed all of 2019 to grow the money supply by 921 billion dollars. Even before the lockdown, the Fed was massively intervening in the economy in a futile attempt to prevent economic crisis.

A coming crisis will likely be triggered by a collapse in the dollar’s value and a rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status. The economic collapse will be worse than the Great Depression. This will result in widespread violence along with government crackdowns on liberties, accelerating the US slide into authoritarianism.

The only way to avoid this is for Congress to make drastic cuts in spending — starting with defunding the military-industrial complex — and to audit then end the Fed.

Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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CURRENT EVENTS deficit Economy federal spending Intelwars National Debt

The Looming Financial Nightmare: So Much for Living the American Dream

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
-Frédéric Bastiat, French economist

Let’s talk numbers, shall we?

The national debt (the amount the federal government has borrowed over the years and must pay back) is $23 trillion and growing.

The amount this country owes is now greater than its gross national product (all the products and services produced in one year by labor and property supplied by the citizens). We’re paying more than $270 billion just in interest on that public debt annually. And the top two foreign countries who “own” our debt are China and Japan.

The national deficit (the difference between what the government spends and the revenue it takes in) is projected to surpass $1 trillion every year for the next 10 years.

The United States spends more on foreign aid than any other nation ($50 billion in 2017 alone). More than 150 countries around the world receive U.S. taxpayer-funded assistance, with most of the funds going to the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Meanwhile, almost 60% of Americans are so financially strapped that they don’t have even $500 in savings and nothing whatsoever put away for retirement, and yet they are being forced to pay for government programs that do little to enhance or advance their lives.

Folks, if you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re not living the American dream.

We’re living a financial nightmare.

The U.S. government—and that includes the current administration—is spending money it doesn’t have on programs it can’t afford, and “we the taxpayers” are the ones who will pay for it.

As financial analyst Kristin Tate explains, “When the government has its debt bill come due, all of us will be on the hook.” It’s happened before: during the European debt crisis, Cypress seized private funds from its citizens’ bank accounts to cover its debts, with those who had been careful to save their pennies forced to relinquish between 40% to 60% of their assets.

Could it happen here? Could the government actually seize private funds for its own gain?

Look around you. It’s already happening.

In the eyes of the government, “we the people, the voters, the consumers, and the taxpayers” are little more than pocketbooks waiting to be picked.

Consider: The government can seize your home and your car (which you’ve bought and paid for) over nonpayment of taxes. Government agents can freeze and seize your bank accounts and other valuables if they merely “suspect” wrongdoing. And the IRS insists on getting the first cut of your salary to pay for government programs over which you have no say.

We have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used, but we’re being forced to pay through the nose, anyhow.

We have no real say, but that doesn’t prevent the government from fleecing us at every turn and forcing us to pay for endless wars that do more to fund the military industrial complex than protect us, pork barrel projects that produce little to nothing, and a police state that serves only to imprison us within its walls.

If you have no choice, no voice, and no real options when it comes to the government’s claims on your property and your money, you’re not free.

It wasn’t always this way, of course.

Early Americans went to war over the inalienable rights described by philosopher John Locke as the natural rights of life, liberty and property.

It didn’t take long, however—a hundred years, in fact—before the American government was laying claim to the citizenry’s property by levying taxes to pay for the Civil War. As the New York Times reports, “Widespread resistance led to its repeal in 1872.”

Determined to claim some of the citizenry’s wealth for its own uses, the government reinstituted the income tax in 1894. Charles Pollock challenged the tax as unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor. Pollock’s victory was relatively short-lived. Members of Congress—united in their determination to tax the American people’s income—worked together to adopt a constitutional amendment to overrule the Pollock decision.

On the eve of World War I, in 1913, Congress instituted a permanent income tax by way of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution and the Revenue Act of 1913. Under the Revenue Act, individuals with income exceeding $3,000 could be taxed starting at 1% up to 7% for incomes exceeding $500,000.

It’s all gone downhill from there.

Unsurprisingly, the government has used its tax powers to advance its own imperialistic agendas and the courts have repeatedly upheld the government’s power to penalize or jail those who refused to pay their taxes.

Irwin A. Schiff was one of the nation’s most vocal tax protesters. He spent a good portion of his life arguing that the income tax was unconstitutional, and he put his wallet where his conscience was: Schiff stopped paying federal taxes in 1974.

Schiff paid the price for his resistance, too: he served three separate prison terms (more than 10 years in all) over his refusal to pay taxes. He died at the age of 87 serving a 14-year prison term. As constitutional activist Robert L. Schulz noted in Schiff’s obituary, “In a society where there is so much fear of government, and in particular of the I.R.S., [Schiff] was probably the most influential educator regarding the illegal and unconstitutional operation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code. It’s very hard to speak to power, but he did, and he paid a very heavy price.”

It’s still hard to speak to power, and those who do are still paying a very heavy price.

All the while the government continues to do whatever it likes—levy taxes, rack up debt, spend outrageously and irresponsibly—with little thought for the plight of its citizens.

To top it all off, all of those wars the U.S. is so eager to fight abroad are being waged with borrowed funds. As The Atlantic reports, “For 15 years now, the United States has been putting these wars on a credit card… U.S. leaders are essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan.”

If Americans managed their personal finances the way the government mismanages the nation’s finances, we’d all be in debtors’ prison by now.

Still, the government remains unrepentant, unfazed and undeterred in its money grabs.

While we’re struggling to get by, and making tough decisions about how to spend what little money actually makes it into our pockets after the federal, state and local governments take their share (this doesn’t include the stealth taxes imposed through tolls, fines and other fiscal penalties), the police state is spending our hard-earned tax dollars to further entrench its powers and entrap its citizens.

For instance, American taxpayers have been forced to shell out more than $5.6 trillion since 9/11 for the military industrial complex’s costly, endless so-called “war on terrorism.”

That translates to roughly $23,000 per taxpayer to wage wars abroad, occupy foreign countries, provide financial aid to foreign allies, and fill the pockets of defense contractors and grease the hands of corrupt foreign dignitaries.

Mind you, that staggering $6 trillion is only a portion of what the Pentagon spends on America’s military empire.

That price tag keeps growing, too.

In this way, the military industrial complex will get even richer, and the American taxpayer will be forced to shell out even more funds for programs that do little to enhance our lives, ensure our happiness and well-being, or secure our freedoms.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in a 1953 speech:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?

This is still no way of life.

Yet it’s not just the government’s endless wars that are bleeding us dry.

We’re also being forced to shell out money for surveillance systems to track our movements, money to further militarize our already militarized police, money to allow the government to raid our homes and bank accounts, money to fund schools where our kids learn nothing about freedom and everything about how to comply, and on and on.

Are you getting the picture yet?

The government isn’t taking our money to make our lives better. Just take a look at the nation’s failing infrastructure, and you’ll see how little is being spent on programs that advance the common good.

We’re being robbed blind so the governmental elite can get richer.

This is nothing less than financial tyranny.

“We the people” have become the new, permanent underclass in America.

It’s tempting to say that there’s little we can do about it, except that’s not quite accurate.

There are a few things we can do (demand transparency, reject cronyism and graft, insist on fair pricing and honest accounting methods, call a halt to incentive-driven government programs that prioritize profits over people), but it will require that “we the people” stop playing politics and stand united against the politicians and corporate interests who have turned our government and economy into a pay-to-play exercise in fascism.

We’ve become so invested in identity politics that label us based on our political leanings that we’ve lost sight of the one label that unites us: we’re all Americans.

The powers-that-be want to pit us against one another. They want us to adopt an “us versus them” mindset that keeps us powerless and divided.

Trust me, the only “us versus them” that matters anymore is “we the people” against the police state.

We’re all in the same boat, folks, and there’s only one real life preserver: that’s the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution starts with those three powerful words: “We the people.”

The message is this: there is power in our numbers.

That remains our greatest strength in the face of a governmental elite that continues to ride roughshod over the populace. It remains our greatest defense against a government that has claimed for itself unlimited power over the purse (taxpayer funds) and the sword (military might).

This holds true whether you’re talking about health care, war spending, or the American police state.

While we’re on the subject, do me a favor and don’t let yourself be fooled into believing that the next crop of political saviors will be any different from their predecessors. They all talk big when they’re running for office, and when they get elected, they spend big at our expense.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is how the middle classes, who fuel the nation’s economy and fund the government’s programs, get screwed repeatedly.

George Harrison, who would have been 77 this year, summed up this outrageous state of affairs in his song Taxman:

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,

If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.

If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,

If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

Don’t ask me what I want it for

If you don’t want to pay some more

‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die

Declare the pennies on your eyes

‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

And you’re working for no one but me.

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CURRENT EVENTS federal funding federal spending indefinite detention Intelwars National Defense Authorization Act NDAA NDAA 2020 Space Force

NDAA 2020: Surveillance, Space Force, and Indefinite Detention

By an overwhelming majority, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.

The bill to fund the Department of Defense is nearly 3,500 pages long and authorizes $738 billion in defense spending in Fiscal Year 2020.

Believe it or not, congressmen were given fewer than 19 hours to read the bill before voting on it. Despite this impossible impediment to achieving even a modicum of understanding of what they’d be voting for, the measure passed 377 to 48.

Before summarizing the content of the legislation, it is appropriate to consider how 377 members of Congress — erstwhile representatives of the people — voted to pass a bill spending just south of $800 billion without knowing whether they were violating their oaths to support the Constitution of the United States. Those are not the honest and virtuous men we rely on to protect us from tyranny.

Now, on to the multi-billion dollar boondoggle masquerading as a defense appropriation.

First, the bill as approved by the House and Senate stripped out a proposed provision that would have required President Donald Trump to seek additional congressional approval before committing U.S. military resources to overseas combat operations.

As passed, the president can act as king, calling out the U.S. armed forces anytime he wants to deploy them, anywhere he wants, for any reason he wants. This is anathema to the Constitution and to the principle of separated powers upon which it was built.

In 1793, James Madison addressed this very point in a letter written to denounce executive attempts to usurp power to wage war. Madison wrote:

Those who are to conduct a war [the executive branch] cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded. They are barred from the latter functions by a great principle in free government, analogous to that which separates the sword from the purse, or the power of executing from the power of enacting laws.

Madison is so strident in his insistence that the power to make war not be placed in the presidency that in a letter responding to Alexander Hamilton’s support for presidential power to call out the military, he begins with the bold pronouncement that if any president were to presume the war-making power, “no ramparts in the constitution could defend the public liberty or scarcely the forms of republican government.”

In the modern era, notably, it is typically the president who initiates the commitment of American troops to combat zones, who orders the military might of the United States of America to deploy here or there to fight this or that foreign foe. The Congress is rarely involved in that decision, with the exception of allocating money to the supplying the armed forces with requisite equipment, ammunition, and other necessary supplies.

Comes now the NDAA for 2020 and by a bipartisan vote, Congress seditiously ceded its constitutionally delegated power to declare war to the president.

Wars in Syria, Iran, and who knows where will now be as easy to carry out as they have been for decades.

While many consider this power to part of the president’s prerogative, surely there are some who, in light of the release of the Afghanistan Papers by the Washington Post, are not prepared to let the men and women of the U.S. armed forces be used as political pawns and canon fodder for the foreign policy predilections of presidents and their powerful patrons. In its summary of the report, the Cato Institute explained:

The report reveals that U.S. officials have been engaged in a protracted campaign to mislead the American people. Under three successive presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump — who all promised to avoid getting sucked into an open-ended nation-building mission, civilian and military leaders, writes the Post’s Craig Whitlock “failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan…, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”

President Trump and his congressional co-conspirators are not satisfied with sending traditional troops into harm’s way, apparently.

This latest NDAA officially creates (and funds, of course) President Trump’s “Space Force.” Space Force, proposed by President Trump in 2018, is, as reported by military.com, “a 6th independent military service branch to undertake missions and operations in the rapidly evolving space domain.”

Believe it or not, the NDAA 2020 creates an office called “Chief of Space Operations (CSO)” and another one called “Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration.”

That’s right. Not only can the president wage war on Earth, but he can now start wars in space. Let’s hope nobody discovers oil on Mars!

Perhaps the most pernicious provision of the latest NDAA has been included in every annual version of the bill since 2012: indefinite detention.

On December 31, 2011, with the signature of then-President Barack Obama, the writ of habeas corpus — a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta — became voidable upon the command of the president of the United States. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel also became revocable at the will of the occupant of the White House.

Of course, the denial of habeas corpus (or a trial) comes a little late in the process of being indefinitely detained.

Put simply, Americans would not need to worry about being held without charge if the president was not authorized in the same act to deploy the armed forces to round up “suspects” and detain them indefinitely. Being apprised of the laws one is accused of having violated is important, but it’s the detention and the manner of it that must be of more immediate concern to those who are alarmed about the new world order being defined by the NDAA.

One of the most noxious elements of the NDAA is that it places the American military at the disposal of the president for the apprehension, arrest, and detention of those suspected of posing a danger to the homeland (whether inside or outside the borders of the United States and whether the suspect be a citizen or foreigner). The endowment of such a power to the president by the Congress is nothing less than a de facto legislative repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the law forbidding the use of the military in domestic law enforcement.

Finally, 377 of the “people’s representatives” voted to renew the “authorization” for the unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens.

The provisions of past NDAAs establishing domestic surveillance programs were renewed in the 2020 bill without any reforms or effective protections of the rights of Americans protected by the Fourth Amendment.

As for the president, he happily promises to collude with Congress in the legislative repeal of some of the Constitution’s most fundamental protections of liberty, tweeting on December 11: “Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA: Pay Raise for our Troops, Rebuilding our Military, Paid Parental Leave, Border Security, and Space Force! Congress — don’t delay this anymore! I will sign this historic defense legislation immediately!”

The depth of the Deep State is revealed by the fact that all of the Democrats who supported the NDAA of 2020, which codifies corruption and unconstitutional usurpation that most undoubtedly is an abuse of power, are the same people who have invented abuses of power with which to charge President Trump, their ally in the expansion of the military-industrial complex in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published at The New American Magazine and reposted here with permission from the author.

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