The Big Lie wins again

Catherine Rampell jpg

The nice thing about fiscal policy (i.e. government spending) is that – like the person above — you can be an “expert” on it without knowing anything. You need not offer anything new or different. You need only repeat the Big Lie that money is physical and limited, that the U.S. government runs on loans and on tax revenue, and that a money creator is the same as a money user.

In other words, you only need to lie on behalf of the rich at the expense of the rest.

The liar above, Catherine Rampell, writes a twice-weekly, nationally syndicated column for The Washington Post. Recently she urged average Americans to blame their poverty on their parents and grandparents, not on the rich.

Catherine Rampell 03 jpg

“Older generations have racked up trillions in debt and stuck young people with the bill. Our politicians are paying older, higher-voter-turnout Americans with generous benefits that older people have not paid for and never will. The tab will need to be picked up by younger people.”


“For example, a married couple with a single breadwinner who earned the average wage his whole life and turned 65 this year will collect more than six times as much in net Medicare benefits as the couple paid out in taxes. That means young people must pay their bill.”

She blames just about everything on senior citizens, including climate change. The goal is to make children hate their parents.


“Fiscal issues aren’t the only way that young people have been done wrong by their elders. The warming of our planet also comes to mind.”


The sad thing is that Catherine Rampell’s opponents repeat the Big Lie as much as Rampell does. Her opponents could explain that FICA taxes do not pay for Social Security or Medicare, but instead they say that…

“Medicare benefits exceed the value of the taxes paid because USA doctors are paid twice as much as doctors in Canada, Germany and other wealthy countries. We also pay twice as much for our drugs and medical equipment. This is a case of upward redistribution from the rest of us to members of the One Percent.”

That is true, but it is not strong enough to overcome the Big Lie.

One opponent of Catherine Rampell’s says this…

“Imagine we told our children to give us $100,000 to support our retirement, and then to get that money back from their children, who will in turn get the money back from their children, etc. This is how Social Security and Medicare work. If this greatly troubles you, then you should be furious at the generation who lived through the Great Depression and fought World War II. They really made out like bandits because they paid very little money in taxes compared to the benefits collected.” 

And there it is. The Big Lie wins again.


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