Lessons Market Watch News

Something Stupid This Way Comes aka The Little MMT Birdy in AOC’s Ear

WARNING! The following hypothetical bullsh*t conversation is not a direct attack on AOC, nor should it be construed as such. Talking points have been culled from ideas mentioned in numerous interviews between the press, her, AND her advisers.

AOC: “Hey everybody, I’m so glad I’ve gotten so much support since I was elected. By the way, my friend told me about a great new way to create jobs. Anybody who wants a job can get one, and we’ll pay for the jobs by just charging it to the government deficit and tax rich people later to help pay the bill. Isn’t that badass?!”

Twitter People: “WOW! That sounds awesome. We can totally latch on to that idea without understanding how it works. I’m gonna tell my friends! You’re so cool, AOC!”

NSFW: “Um, AOC….what? How is that going to work?”

AOC: “It’s easy. So what people don’t understand is that when our government spends more than it takes in with taxes, it doesn’t really matter. We don’t have the risk of going bankrupt because we can just print more money. We make OUR OWN money because we’re a sovereign currency-making government. So let’s say I go to Target and buy something like one of those crappy “some assembly required” tables that take hours to put together. We put in on the government credit card. Then I take out a bit of napkin and write US Dollar on it in crayon, I can pay my credit card bill with that for now and now I’ve created a job for somebody. Americans get to put that table together if they want to. Guaranteed job. Later on, we can just tax the rich people in the country and then switch the piece of napkin for real money.

NSFW: “Wait, what? Who the f*ck told you that?!”

AOC: “My advisor Stephanie Kelton. She’s got a theory called MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) that says I can do that. The idea should at least be on the table”

NSFW: “Dude, we’re already in debt because we’ve financed too much sh*t with the government credit card for years. Now you with you’re buying tables. On a civilian level, we have an entire generation of people saddled with credit card debt and student loans and now you’re telling them it’s a good idea if the government gets us more into debt?”

AOC: “That’s totally different, because the government prints it’s own money. Our entire banking system is based on this already. This can be used to guarantee jobs and really it’s more important that we go ahead and over  It’s called quantitative easing. We just add an extra step to that. It’s worth it to spend the money now if it will create growth and help the economy.”

NSFW: “Go on…”

AOC: “We want to do a version of the New Deal like FDR did back in the day. We can have a bunch of government-run green initiatives and roll out things like new infrastructure and just charge it and pay for it later. Anybody who wants a job can have one. Like I said, deficits don’t really matter. We can just create new dollars to pay for it now. We only maybe have to worry about inflation.”

NSFW: “Deficits don’t matter… You know who else said that? Dick Cheney. He said that the Reagan administration’s work proved they don’t matter. I’m guessing you’re not a fan of Cheney or Reagan, right?”

AOC: “That’s different… he’s a malicious Republican. They’re sure as hell not going to spend the money on green initiatives. They spend it on things like war. Totally different”

NSFW: “Only the second half is different. Spending is what’s called fiscal policy. The creation of money is monetary policy. You may disagree on the spending part, but you seem to agree on the money creation part. If you’re saying we can just put the money on the government credit card you’re not doing anything different than anybody else. You’re just trying to use a newer “economic theory” to justify it. Trump likes putting stuff on the credit card too. And while YOU may understand how quantitative easing works, most of the population doesn’t really understand how the government uses it to keep interest rates down for economic stimulation. Trump just got on the Fed’s ass back in December for trying to raise rates. Raising rates is essentially shutting off the credit card. So again, you and the Republicans agree on SOMETHING.”

AOC: “Wait, how am I ANYTHING like Trump. He’s a piece of sh*t who doesn’t want to help the American people at all. He just wants to get rid of brown people and help the wealthy. I want to tax the wealthy. In fact, suggested the idea to put a 70% marginal rate on the “tippy top” earners of our country.”

NSFW: “Why do you want to tax the wealthy? You just said we can put it on a credit card because deficits don’t matter.”

AOC: “Well, we use that money to pay the bill later.”

NSFW: “When is later? We already have a lot of debt. If we don’t set a deadline now, how do we know when the bill is due? We keep overspending when our economy has massively slowed down in growth compared to other countries in the world. Why do you think it’s healthy to just keep the ball rolling? Sure, there are arguments to be made that overspending can be healthy when pulling out of an actual recession, but you sound more like a kid with a credit card that just says “spend now, and we’ll figure out how to pay the bill later”

AOC: “Every president has done it for years. Why is it not OK for us to do it?”

NSFW: “Ok, here. Perfect example. A lot of young people don’t think they’ll get any money for social security. That it’s an outdated program and that their parents and grandparents already maxed out the bill, right? Ok, so your MMT theory basically says that’s not possible because we can always issue more dollars and social security doesn’t have to run out of money if we don’t want to. So not only is social security not in trouble, but we should do social security on a larger level to finance giving people jobs and creating green infrastructure. So which is it? do you REALLY feel like we don’t have anything to worry about with us, our kids and their grand kids being able to get help from social security? or is this new economic theory just sound like it’s just a way to do stuff that looks great now at the cost of who knows what later?”

AOC: “I don’t see the problem, why can’t we do it if everybody else does? It’s an investment. At least, we’d be helping people.”

NSFW: “Are you though? This is exactly like when Trump passed the recent tax cuts. People making under about 180k a year got some kind of benefit, even if it wasn’t much. Everybody who hated Trump jumped on the bandwagon that “we may save a little money now, but it’s going to cost us down the line. Hillbillies just don’t understand economics.” We’ll this is just the left, “progressive” version of that. You’re wanting to  finance initiatives with things hopefully coming down the line. Sure you might create jobs now, but what if we’re paying for it for years?”

AOC: “They don’t understand economics, that’s why Trump also gave massive tax cuts to corporations and that didn’t work out at all. We have a completely diff…”

NSFW: “Ok, I’m going to stop you right there. Your argument is that taxes will come to pay the bill later. I get it. So the argument here isn’t really even about the tax code. We can fight over that forever. The argument is about whether or not its a good idea to just create money out of thin air to spend now because it will be spent on things you like and help people. That’s exactly what Trump and Republicans AND democrats have done for years. This is the Dick Cheney and Donald Trump “deficits don’t matter” ideology. Some people in the MMT realm have gone so far to say that talking extensively about deficits is fear mongering. It seems your advisers are really leading you down a dangerous road that’s going to put a nail in your coffin down the line. It’s ok to not know things, but when you promise things to the public and they assume you know what you’re doing because it sounds good? That’s how people like Trump end up in office. The average person doesn’t know any better. People don’t typically fact chick things that they already support. Most of your fan base consists of people reading tweets and Facebook posts about promises that sound great to people who are upset at how our country is being run. Doesn’t that sound f*cking familiar? And look where that got us. People now spend so much time retweeting stuff that sounds good and focusing on social issues while “tiny issues” like money creation get swept under the rug. What happens later? Things like the housing bust and the financial crisis and bailouts, etc etc. Then everybody goes blaming this side or that side not realizing that both sides are being f*cking stupid.”

AOC: “Did you just imply that I’m like the left-wing Trump?”

NSFW: “100% yes. Some of your ideas sound great and they’re refreshing. People are so f*cking upset about the presidency that you ARE a breath of fresh air. That’s how MAGA people felt when Trump started tweeting. That’s all we’re saying. Anti-Trump’ers love sh*tting all over MAGA people and how stupid they are, but you’re all falling into the same trap and don’t even realize it. When great programs are even hinted at being funded by MMT, that’s a risky bet that doesn’t need to be taken. MMT has NEVER BEEN TESTED IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY. IT OPERATES SOLELY ON THEORY. And just as a side note… I’m sure you’d be glad to know that the main guy behind your theory, Warren Mosler? He’s an extremely wealthy ex-hedge fund manager that lives in the virgin islands to avoid paying US taxes. Probably not the beacon of hope you’re looking for.

Your supporters may not have even paid attention to you mentioning funding initiatives other than you mentioning a 70% marginal rate on income, but they sure as hell love when you talk about jobs and healthcare. People need to know if “the bill” is coming for it later.  You want change, but you’re walking into a gun fight with a Nerf bat. The wealthy of this country are way more knowledgeable about financial matters than the lower income and middle classes that are starting to take action. People can’t just vote on social issues and programs to SPEND money on and hope for the best. If you want change, that’s f*cking awesome, but that’s just step one. In the same way that it took Trump being elected for people to wake up and pay attention to political issues; now you need to start looking at economic issues with the same fervor as people post on Facebook and Twitter about gender-neutral bathrooms or “the wall”. It’s the other side of the same coin, and nobody is looking at that side. The longer you go without looking at BOTH sides, the bigger the bill we pay down the line is going to be.

Nobody in this country gets to bitch about repercussions anymore if they don’t actively attempt to educate themselves before voting. Voting blindly just doesn’t cut it.”

AOC: “I dunno…I’ll  have to see wtf my advisers are thinking and try to convince my followers that the means are truly justified for the results people want.”  ***super optimistic response courtesy of NSFW***

NSFW: “Good, talk about it! You’ll also note I didn’t site sources for this exchange. I had over 53 sources saved just for this article and in the end decided why bother? It would be more helpful if people just did their own digging. I want you to SNOPES THE F*CK OUT OF US. Do your research, tear this entire conversation apart. You will learn a hell of a lot in trying to break down the argument. Think of how much progress has been made since the last election as far as people asking for citations for facts. Now do it with every politician when they talk about monetary theory, job creation, health care, etc. Wake the f*ck up and start learning this stuff now so we can do BETTER than every other generation that we like to complain about. All the information in the world is widely available, so now we don’t get to make excuses… we only get to admit when we were flat out wrong. How much we’re willing to pay for being wrong is up to us to decide right NOW.”

 

 

 

*The asterisks are to avoid work and school keyword filters.