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The $60 Trillion Petition for Taking Austerity Off The Table

I have a petition to President Obama up at: It’s about minting that $60 T coin and ending austerity. The wording of the petition is:

”A 1996 law gives the Executive Authority to mint coins w/arbitrarily large face values and deposit them at the Fed. The President should immediately mint a $60 Trillion coin, and use the proceeds to pay off the national debt completely, cover all likely deficit spending by Congress over the next 15 years, and take the issue of spending cuts in programs that benefit the 99% off the table! Google “$60 Trillion coin” for background!”

The purpose is:

“Ending the emphasis in Congress on deficit reduction rather than the merits of policy proposals to create full employment, Medicare for All, & rebuilding education, US infrastructure, & energy foundations.”

A $60 Trillion Proof Platinum Coin could close the spending/revenue gap entirely in any fiscal year, and technically end deficit spending, while still retaining the gap between tax revenues and spending that can produce full employment. In addition, profits from the coin could be used to pay off the “national debt,” and would also remove the need to issue any more public debt in coordination with deficit spending for at least 15 years.

However, a $60 T coin is not only a solution for ending public debt, it also has the potential to take off the legislative/fiscal table the whole austerity mind set that bedevils our current budgetary process and provides it with a constraining conservative cast focused on narrow monetary costs considerations, rather than a broader progressive framework that weighs the real costs and benefits of proposed fiscal activities of the Federal Government.

The $60 T coin can free the Government from narrow green eye shade concerns and force both Congress and the Executive to evaluate the substance of legislative proposals based on their likely direct impacts and side effects on the lives of Americans, rather than their impact on Federal deficits and surpluses.

For example, currently we see before us proposals to drastically reduce the USPS in size after years of reduction in service and personnel and also proposals to cut already austere, by modern industrial nation standards, Social Security and Medicare programs, as well as massive spending cuts in other entitlement and discretionary programs. Why are we seeing these proposals? Would we be seeing these proposals if we were rapidly paying off the debt and we also had $ 44 Trillion in the Treasury General Account to be used for future deficit spending?

We’re seeing them now because of the effectiveness of a 35 year propaganda effort by deficit and debt hawks who have persuaded many Americans that the government is like a household which has enormous debt that will be burdensome to pay back. This view is false. But we can’t educate people about this in the near term. We can’t counter the deficit hawk propaganda with our own messages about the complex facts of government finance.

On the other hand, if we mint that $60 T coin, pay off the debt, and still have $44 T left in the TGA, then all the effects of the 35 year propaganda campaign will immediately go away. The debt will just no longer be an issue. Then the issues will be about what people need, and what improvements we can make by working together through our Federal Government.

That gets to be the fulcrum of the new politics, not debt. I think that’s where we want it to be. If you agree, you’ll follow the link above and sign my petition!

If you need more background to make a decision see here and here. But please consider this. I have only 5 signatures so far and I need 50 to get to the next stage of the petition process. So, if you really want to end austerity, then let’s get this over the first hurdle and let’s see how far we can take it into the public’s consciousness.

(Cross-posted from

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Joseph M. Firestone, Ph.D. is Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director and co-Instructor of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program, as well as Director of KMCI’s synchronous, real-time Distance Learning Program. He is also CKO of Executive Information Systems, Inc. a Knowledge and Information Management Consultancy.

Joe is author or co-author of more than 150 articles, white papers, and reports, as well as the following book-length publications: Knowledge Management and Risk Management; A Business Fable, UK: Ark Group, 2008, Risk Intelligence Metrics: An Adaptive Metrics Center Industry Report, Wilmington, DE: KMCI Online Press, 2006, “Has Knowledge management been Done,” Special Issue of The Learning Organization: An International Journal, 12, no. 2, April, 2005, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management, Burlington, MA: KMCI Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003; Key Issues in The New Knowledge Management, Burlington, MA: KMCI Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003, and Excerpt # 1 from The Open Enterprise, Wilmington, DE: KMCI Online Press, 2003.

Joe is also developer of the web sites,,, and the blog “All Life is Problem Solving” at, and He has taught Political Science at the Graduate and Undergraduate Levels, and has a BA from Cornell University in Government, and MA and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Politics and International Relations from Michigan State University.