Money Morning Mailbag: Can Anyone Fix the Fiscal Mess?

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As opinions continue to pour in to the Money Morning mailbag, something is becoming quite clear: People are getting fed up with the national and global "fiscal mess." The pessimists outweigh the optimists and are tired of standing idly by watching ineffective financial policies.

As the United States continues to spar with China on currency issues and Greece has yet to make substantial strides toward recovery, U.S. taxpayers and investors fear that our country is headed for worse economic times. Despite the fact there's a financial reform bill on the horizon, there is overwhelming doubt that the government will implement as much of a financial system overhaul that's needed.

Here are some of the more passionate views on the government mistakes that caused a U.S. financial quagmire, threatening the country's future stability.

Greed + Government = "Fiscal Mess"

The foundational problem as I see it is socialism. As Margaret Thatcher famously put it: "The problem with socialism is that [eventually] you run out of other people's money!"

The second problem is simply plain old human nature, you simply can not legislate effectively against man's natural greed; people looking for an easy buck will always find a way around any new legislation!

What would help in my view is an honest monetary system that would preserve purchasing power, allow people to keep more of their earnings and provide incentives to save personally rather than allowing government to control the purse strings. This could be accomplished by backing our money with essential commodities like oil, copper and possibly other base metals as well as at least partial backing by gold and silver. The money supply should essentially be equal to and determined by the production of the country.

These commodities cannot be fiat [money] like our present "legal tender" laws. [They] give the [Central Bank] a monopoly for merely printing numbers on pretty colored paper, which automatically causesinflation through interest, siphoning off our money supply as loans are paid back. Our present system is arguably a classic Ponzi scheme requiring an ever-increasing number of new loans at ever larger amounts to keep the money supply liquid enough for an economy to function, while having no direct relationship to [gross domestic product].

It would also require revision of tax laws, such as one for a reduction in income taxes for every dollar saved, providing the necessary reserves for banks to lend while at the same time providing retirement security for the individual.

Political parties should be required by law when forming a government to be responsible for the promises they made to get elected - i.e., balanced budgets being a legal requirement so they could not buy votes by promising things they can only fulfill by running deficits, (money borrowed in the name of the taxpayers) eliminating as much as 50% of taxes that presently go to pay interest on debts incurred by all levels of government. Yes, this would also require governments saving a contingency fund in good years to balance out bad years when fixed expense might not be covered by realized taxes.

In short, what is needed is more emphasis on responsibilities and less on perceived rights and the sense of entitlement at all levels of society that has gotten us into this present fiscal mess!

- Posted on Money Morning Web site 4/2/10 by "Myron Martin"

More information on financial reform, the deficit and socialism:

No More Free Market

Until we understand that our Federal government abdicated U.S. self governance to the families owning the Federal Reserve (Internal Revenue Service, Social Security, Central Intelligence Agency - all privately owned, for-profit Delaware corporations) and that through campaign contributions, the legal system, educational propaganda spread through The Tavistock Institute, etc. our government is directed by others - not by "we the uninformed people" - we will not understand that free market economics no longer exists on a global scale.  Nothing is what it seems since 1913.

Free market economics only exists for the middle class entrepreneur.  Government largess and risk absorption at the expense of "we the people" is generously afforded to the lower class and to the uber-rich international elite.  The government of these United States has been turned against its own people and the direction of central banking is cleverly destroying the independent U.S. middle class.  Our entrepreneurial middle class is being traded in for a return to feudal serfdom and doesn't even know it.

- Bruce K.

More information on U.S. government financial policy:

Economy a "Train Wreck"

Everything I read these days points to another illegal, unconstitutional, undisclosed or stupid activity in the U.S. government or the economy.  It would appear that bashing China for not letting the yuan appreciate against the dollar is like cutting off one's head in order to lose weight.  Not a very good idea.

Now comes news that China is dumping U.S. Treasuries, as if this was the start of a looming catastrophe.  The Chinese government is not burning the Treasury bills; they are selling them to someone who is willing to pay a market price for these financial instruments. Who is buying them? What currency do they use to pay for them?  I presume that whoever buys them will get the full benefit of any interest guaranteed and backed by the U.S. government.  Oh wait, interest is 0%.  Is there any credibility in that guarantee?  Is there no safe place to store and protect savings left on earth?

Is there anyone with enough common sense to help us all avoid the train wreck?

- "Pan Nicky"

More information on China selling Treasuries and the yuan:

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry - and Broke

You say that the $60 billion [aid package] won't get Greece out of [debt].  But you leave us there in the lurch - why won't it cure the problem?

Has something like incompetence, passing one's time in taverns, a happy-go-lucky spirit, bureaucracy, machismo and throwing one's money around to impress, got anything to do with it, I wonder?

- David R.

More information on Greece's debt crisis:

Taxes Aren't the Answer

Increased taxes mean reduced job creation by businesses and individuals and no incentive to make profits when the rewards for making a profit are heavily taxed at all levels. The result is less initiative to create employment and jobs. Taxes increase, revenue from increased taxes decreases, while spending spirals out of control...

Eventually the system will implode and go bankrupt.

Currently super banks are back with no competition. Low interest rates amount to usury rates and robbery of depositors without using a weapon. We are out of control and people need to realize this and start working for massive changes in our financial system and government.

- Posted on Money Morning Web site 3/31/10 by "p.find"

More information on tax increases and financial reform: 

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