Tlaib Calls for US To Mint Two Trillion-Dollar Coins in Laughable COVID-19 Relief Proposal


Modern monetary theory is a heck of a drug.

If you’re not familiar with MMT, currently all the rage among members of the far left, the theory is essentially this: As long as a government can make money, it can spend money. Countries needn’t worry about debt — or inflation, because that can be taken care of by simply raising taxes to take more money in.

This is how the more left-leaning members of the Democratic Party have justified massive spending initiatives like the Green New Deal.

I’m not saying Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, was entirely thinking of it when she announced the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act — but, well, it’s a massive payout to the American people that she plans to pay for with “two $1 trillion platinum coins.”

That’s not some conservative pundit’s jaundiced description of the Automatic BOOST to Communities Act. That’s from the text of the proposal itself.

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Given that the Senate has now unanimously passed its $2 trillion relief act, I’m not quite sure this is going to be considered despite the fact it’s entirely autonomous from the garbage-laden proposal from Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leadership or the House Financial Services Committee’s relief proposal, which was similarly pork-strewn and unworkable.

Both of those were effectively DOA, and while it’s somewhat impossible to say the Senate’s plan, which rapidly inflated to $2 trillion, is modest, it certainly beats the speaker’s larded Democratic wish list, filled with odd items like carbon emissions goals and a U.S. Postal Service bailout.

However, Tlaib’s package will probably stand out among the clutter, if just because — much like the Green New Deal — this’ll continue to be something the new American left will return to until the crisis ends.

The plan would give each American a $2,000 prepaid card and reload it with $1,000 per month until a year after the COVID-19 pandemic is officially over.

Do you think Tlaib's bill is a good idea?

The plan doesn’t actually define when the “Coronavirus crisis” ends, which would be worrying if this had the merest chance of becoming law.

Additional worries might come from who it defines as recipients of the cards, which would include “[n]on-citizens, including undocumented people, permanent residents, and temporary visitors whose stay exceeds three months.”

However, you needn’t worry about how we’re going to pay for this, because we’ve got Tlaib-o-Coinz™:

“This Automatic BOOST to Communities Act would be a money-financed fiscal program for which no additional U.S. debt would be issued,” the proposal reads.

“Instead, the program would be funded directly from the Treasury, using its legal authority to create money via coin seigniorage, which is a statutory delegation of Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.”

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So the two $1 trillion coins would be minted by the Treasury Department — no explanation given why it wouldn’t be one $2 trillion coin, or, better yet, two hundred trillion pennies as part of a make-work program for the U.S. Mint.

Congress would then direct the Federal Reserve to buy the two coins. The Fed, in turn, would credit the U.S. Mint’s account and keep the coins, thus keeping them out of circulation, and the money would be released to the Treasury and disbursed to the American people

I feel like there should be an infomercial for this or something: It’s just. That. Easy!

“I fully support the [House Financial Services Committee Democrats’] #COVID19 economic response proposal,” Tlaib tweeted Saturday.

“I also want to encourage leadership to consider my truly universal relief proposal on behalf of #13thDistrictStrong.”

She then went on to describe the plan while insisting it would incur no new debt:

Good grief. You’d think Tlaib would keep the whole “mint two $1 trillion coins” part quiet.

Instead, she basically started the hashtag #MintTheCoin:

I supposed if you’re going to get owned, own it.

In case you haven’t noticed the problem here, it’s that no actual wealth was created to support this.

Instead, the taxes that MMT says would fight inflation would instead pay for stuff like this.

It would sap productivity, and not just from the ultra-wealthy. Taxes levied would not add up to the scale of excesses that giving $2,000 a month to every person in the United States, no matter whether they were a citizen or not — or even here legally — would mean.

This is a mess of a plan, yet it’s something that’ll be returned to by Tlaib for as long as the pandemic crisis lasts. Thankfully, one imagines it won’t last nowhere near long enough to see this passed.

On the off-chance this somehow gets through, however, there is one suggestion we like:

Agreed. I think Tlaib’s grinning visage should be on these things — and every other trillion-dollar coin we have to mint in the future to pay for the kind of insanity Tlaib and her friends will no doubt cosign.

You break it, you buy it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture