The New Global Virus Is Runaway Government Spending and Debt. By Stephen Moore.
When new British Prime Minister Liz Truss suggested lowering the United Kingdom’s highest tax rate from 45% to 40%, along with a 1% reduction in the income tax rate for all taxpayers, the bond markets and the central bankers around the world went stark raving mad.
The academic pinheads at the International Monetary Fund trashed the tax cut as irresponsible. The bond vigilantes started selling Britain’s bonds. And the Bank of England, which had also savaged the tax cut idea, stepped in to buy bonds to stop the bleeding.
The tragedy here is that Truss had the right idea. In an economic calamity as Britain has suffered for the past three years, cutting tax rates to increase investment and production in England is a way to reduce inflation and stave off a recession. It was the same “supply-side” strategy that President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used in the early 1980s to end the stagflation and economic malaise from the 1970s. The “supply-side economics” worked and helped launch a multidecade economic revival in both countries. …
Central governments catastrophically shut down their economies and businesses during COVID … Next, the governments of the world compensated for the shutdown of their private sectors by massively increasing government spending on giveaway programs. … Government spending in many countries, including the U.S., exceeded 50% of the entire national gross domestic product. In other words, we fought a war against COVID, and socialism won.
Now compare the magnitude of this $21 trillion spending spree with the Truss proposal to cut taxes, which politicos are now saying caused the bond market to go haywire. … The tax cut was 0.01% of the amount that was spent and borrowed by all of the countries in the world. It is inconceivable that a tax cut this tiny could cause a financial panic — or else the world has gone stark raving mad. The real reason that the U.K. is in this economic rut is that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Bank of England kept spending money and printing money at such a reckless pace. …
The virus that threatens the world today in almost every nation is runaway government spending and debt. It is the match that has lit the forest fire of runaway inflation. It doesn’t matter how much Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raises interest rates (which he must do to tame inflation). The stagflation of high inflation and slow growth won’t end until politicians start taking a chainsaw to their out-of-control budgets.
Government spending has not stimulated anything except more government and less private enterprise. The public sector has to go on a SlimFast diet — and for a long, long time to drain the excess spending out of the global economy.
What is all sadly ironic is that many of the nations of the world are now practicing Modern Monetary Theory. This is the radical idea that governments like the U.S. can spend and borrow increasing amounts of money at almost no cost because of low interest rates.
Whoops. Interest rates in the U.S. have risen on the 10-year bond from less than 1% to more than 3% in just the last 24 months. The 30-year mortgage rate has risen from 2.85% at the end of 2020 to nearly 7% today. Let’s just say Modern Monetary Theory can be thrown in the trash bin.
All that money manufacture over the last 40 years made the asset shufflers and takeover artists rich. Both used borrowed money, newly created into existence. That’s the great thing about paper money — no limits! Hence Modern Monetary Theory! Fund more good jobs for your allies in government — with more paper money!
Every use of paper money use in history has always ended in a great inflation, or some other disaster like a losing war that finished off the currency. Some reason always comes along when the people in control just feel they have to print more, just this once. The average age of a paper currency is two generations, or about 50 years. Our current one started in 1971, when the last link to gold was broken. That’s 51 years ago.