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#Thread 1: Paying for the #GreenNewDeal


“You don’t find the money. You find the votes.”

Welcome from @rohangrey! Here are clips from a 5/24/19 workshop at Harvard Law School on budgeting & macroeconomics of a #GreenNewDeal. We're proud & humbled to work with our cosponsors: the HLS Forum, @IGLP_HarvardLaw @DSA_Enviro @GISP_Tweets @thepublicmoney & @SunriseBoston.
In today’s thread:

The State of the Green New Deal "Pay For" Debate, pt. 1
Simon Metcalf @SunriseBoston

The State of the Green New Deal "Pay For" Debate, pt. 2
Andrés Bernal @andresintheory

The Federal Budget, pt. 1
Stephanie Kelton @StephanieKelton
The State of the Green New Deal "Pay For" Debate, pt. 1
Simon Metcalf @SunriseBoston

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are going to cost us one way or another. We would rather pay now with a #GreenNewDeal than pay later with hundreds of millions of human casualties.
Many in the @sunrisemvmt have environmental science and energy management backgrounds. We believe that without a Green New Deal, we are going to see suffering and death on an unprecedented scale. #ClimateChange
The State of the #GreenNewDeal "Pay For" Debate, pt. 2
Andrés Bernal @andresintheory

To understand the pay-for: let go of myths about how money and economics works. Learn about how our institutions actually work. How does the Federal Reserve actually work? The budget process?
A public sector #JobGuarantee would build our capacity to execute the Green New Deal.

It would also prompt us to reconsider how public spending functions. This reframing creates options for building and expanding democratic and worker-owned (#employeeowned) businesses.
The Federal Budget, pt. 1
Stephanie Kelton @StephanieKelton

When asked how to pay for the #GreenNewDeal, think less like a banker, and more like a beaver.
What is the Green New Deal? It's the idea that no one gets left behind; everyone can participate in limiting the rise in global temperatures to save humanity. #JobGuarantee
Opponents to bold, progressive laws try to scare people with big numbers that are distorted and out-of-context. What really matters: Congress appropriately thinking through any spending on a #GreenNewDeal, and crafting the budget to avoid an inflation problem.
#MMT says: let's incorporate - into the budgeting process itself - consideration for inflation risks. You can have triggers. You can have clawbacks. Safeguards. As part of the legislation itself. To avoid Congress saying, "uh-oh we need to raise taxes; we've gone too far."
The correct way to budget for a #GreenNewDeal is the way we did for World War II. To think about, as economist John Maynard Keynes did in his book How to Pay for the War -- how to allow the government to engage in a mass mobilization without causing inflation.
WW2 planning wasn't about finding #money. It was about how to organize and produce the real resources: people; factories; machines; airplanes; munitions; soldier uniforms & weaponry & food; tanks; bombers -- w/out excessive inflation. And how to do it in a way that was just.
In WW2, the government went from 15% of the total economy to taking half of all GDP -- a massive mobilization in a short amount of time. It is true that inflation got up to ~11%. But it was really well controlled, given the scale of the intervention.
How to transform to sustainable energy justly; maintaining jobs, incomes, prosperity; without inflation? What if we don’t have enough slack today for a Green New Deal? To start: @mercatus estimated #medicareforall would save 200 B/yr. Those $ imply people who've been freed up
Rightsize Wall Street to free up resources. Our defense budget could be reduced for another 1% of GDP. For every business that moves itself offshore, disemploying people - they are now available. Free up resource capacity. And build new capacity with a federal #JobGuarantee.
Audience Q: Would a wealth tax create the fiscal space necessary for a #GreenNewDeal? A: I doubt it, because wealth doesn't chase many goods or services. But excessive wealth concentration does corrode democracy. We should still tax wealth!
The wealthy are taking more than their fair share. The reason that wages are stagnating, and families aren't getting ahead, and more than half the population is living paycheck-to-paycheck is because: the wealthy are taking too much! The remedy: pre-distribution.
If you're that waitress who isn't part of the Federal #JobGuarantee program, but benefits because more people have money in their pockets; go out to eat more often; leave a more generous tip; you get helped in the process.
Congress can pass any bill it chooses, and that will authorize the spending. You find the votes - not the money! Members of Congress pass legislation; there's an appropriations process. Through the budget authorization, it's done. Wipe your hands; you've paid for it. #MMT
The Fed will clear any payment authorized by Congress - end of story. That's where the money comes from. This is it folks: 10 years. That's how long the IPCC gives us to avert #climatechange > 1.5°C. Congress needs to authorize some big-time spending to do the Green New Deal.
That we understand this is scary for people. Because this is empowering. It is a much cleaner way to get where you want to go: to say, "No; we understand that Congress can authorize the spending, and we don't have to mess around with all this pay-for stuff."

10 years.
For the full video:

Start times for the above speakers:
0h:58m - Opening remarks @rohangrey
1h:01m - Simon Metcalf @SunriseBoston
1h:16m - Andrés Bernal @andresintheory
1h:52m - Stephanie Kelton @StephanieKelton

And stay tuned for our next thread!
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