Much of the content on this site centers around the idea of properly engaging one’s critical thinking skills to sort through the various spin and bias that the information we all receive is filtered through before we get it.
Lying With The Truth
A recent (Jan 2019) interview with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC”) (D-NY), the newly-elected youngest woman ever to serve as a United States Representative and self-described Democratic Socialist, aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
This interview featured conversation related to tax increases on upper income brackets, and why progressive taxation is a thing and how it really works, kind of knocking back against the usual hype and misunderstandings.
How this interview was marketed provides an interesting example of how a lie can be manufactured and made to appear as the most obviously evident truth.
The early reporting on this interview features headlines about how AOC wants to “raise taxes to pay for” this and that and so forth. The problem is, she didn’t say that. And hundreds of media outlets told you she did.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is an economist and well versed in what’s come to be known as “MMT” or “Modern Monetary Theory.” It should be noted immediately that MMT is “theory” in the precise same manner that gravity is a theory. It’s a straightforward series of well-reasoned, factual observations about how money works.
One of the key components of MMT is the understanding that federal taxes don’t pay for federal spending. Ever. Not one dime. Federal taxes are destroyed on receipt. In modern times, this mostly means zeroing out lines in a few ledgers across a few accounts (per transaction) and keeping track of them all so you know how much money is currently in the economy. However, it literally also means that if you pay your federal income taxes in cash, that money is destroyed on receipt (more or less, given the flow of business).
I don’t want to get off on a whole tangent about MMT here, I’ll be writing more about it in the future and there’s a ton of great information out there that I’ve linked within the body of this article. Please go research it when you can. What’s important is that first, federal taxes don’t pay for federal spending, and second AOC knows this and so does a key segment of her core national constituency.