Zergak, inozoentzat

Ingelesez: Taxation for dummies1

Dakigunez, herrialde subiranoek beren moneta jaulkitzen dute eta herrialde ez-subiranoek moneta erabiltzen dute (kasu, eurogunean herrialde kideek).

Herrialde subiranoen kasuan dirua ez da bankuen dirua, ezta politikarien dirua zein ‘ekonomiaren dirua, dirua jendearen dirua da.

Dirua jendearena da eta jendearentzat. Beste hitzez esanda, herrialde subiranoetan moneta helburu publikorakoa da.

Nondik dator dirua?

After a sovereign nation is formed, a monetary unit is defined so as to be used throughout the nation to account for all debts, obligations, contracts, valuations and transactions in the country (e.g. a Dollar in the US). The people then grant their government a monopoly on the issuance of money that is denominated in that unit. Note: the people don’t have this money so it can’t be first taken from them by the government – it is created and flows into the economy when the government pays for things.”

Nondik datoz zergak?

Why would US citizens accept Dollars? These State currencies would all be essentially worthless until the people of these nations imposed upon themselves, through their representative government, a sufficient form of tax that could only be paid by returning to the government some of its newly issued money. Voila! A national currency has been born! As long as the government maintains some taxation, there will be need for the government’s money.”

Ekonomialariek diotenez, “taxes drive money”2: zergek dirua gidatzen dute.


The government’s spending/investing/paying create positive fiscal flows of new money into the economy, building up the nation’s capital while providing incomes to businesses and individuals.”

Finantza aurrezki netoak:

Since the people desire to save some of the government money for future needs, the government allows some to stay in the economy and it accumulates there in banks as net financial savings of all the people and businesses in the nation (and other countries through trade).”

Eta zergak?

Some of the government-issued money is required to be taken back by the government in taxes to drive the universal demand for and acceptance of the State money as and when it is issued.

Note, taxation simply takes back what was first injected into the economy. It is NEVER used or needed to fund the government’s investments.”

Zergapetzeari buruzko zenbait ohar:

  1. Gobernu subirano batek ez du inoiz zergak jarri dirua eskuratzeko3.

  2. Dirua gobernuek ekonomian, gastuen bidez, jaulkitzen duten IOU da. IOU hori jendearen gaineko zerga obligaziorako ordainketan itzultzen da. Ez da errenta4.

  3. Edozein gobernu subiranok ez ditu behar zergak inbertsioak, gastuak, jendearen erretiroak, bonoen interesak, eta abar estaltzeko. Gobernu ez-subiranoek zergak behar dituzte edo eta maileguak hartu beren gastuak estaltzeko5.

Zergapetzeaz hainbat printzipio:

a) Lehendabizi zaindu hizkera ongi

Break all the links between taxing and spending! No more “trust funds” for Social Security or Transportation.

End references to governments saving their own money units.

Eliminate the words “taxpayer-funded” from our lexicon when referring to the national government.

Remove the concept of “pay for” from the discussion of what we should and shouldn’t do with fiscal policy.

End the “budget scoring” process. There is absolutely NO reason for government decisions of taxation to be part of discussions of what to invest.

This will take some effort to re-train our minds and politics, but it’s essential to restoring a right approach to using our currency and running a government of and for the people.

b) Jarri helburu ekonomikoak, eta gero konpondu politika fiskal zuzena

We have made fiscal policy about foolish accounting methods that have no application to sovereign currency-issuing nations. Toss it all out.

We are not balancing taxes with spending – we are balancing the economy as a whole, solving national challenges, investing in our nation’s future, preserving our land and resources, and fostering a prosperous, safe and happy future for our people.

Fiscal policy is about the government representation of the people using the currency to efficiently and effectively implement the people’s desired outcomes.

The starting position is to define the desired outcomes, then set the tax policy that best achieves them.

c) Onartu herrialde batean zergapetze unibertsala edo eta oso zabala dela eskaria gidatzen duena

Maintaining taxation of some kind is important, even if we have progressed so much that the currency is very widely adopted.

The key question then becomes what is the best type of tax for this purpose.

d) Zergapetzea gobernuaren diru-sarrera edo diru-irteera neto osoaren parte bat da

Usually the amount taxed is a bit less than the amount injected. We usually call this the “budget deficit” – I prefer to say positive fiscal flows so we don’t get hung up with the wrong metaphor again and link taxes and spending like households – remember, governments have no income.

These flows directly impact the private sector economy – if the positive flow increases the private sector sees a gain. If they drop or become a negative fiscal flow (what we call a government “budget surplus”), the private sector has to see some other area grow or its economy will stop growing or enter recession.

If we tax too much or have too small of a net fiscal flow, there will be unemployment and the economy will lose productivity and fall below its potential.

So the total level of taxation matters. Economists should be paying much more attention to the net fiscal flows and how they can be optimized for the health of the economy rather than fretting over relatively meaningless accounting ratios like debt-to-GDP ratios and imaginary concepts like trust fund account balances.

e) Zergapetzeak ekonomian eragina dauka

The questions we should be asking in determining taxation are: i) what is the effect of the tax? ii) Is the effect desired? iii) If not desired, is the effect understood and permitted for the sake of achieving some other outcome.

Since taxation reduces disposable incomes it affects the amount of spending power in the economy, for both individuals and businesses.

Changes in spending will vary across types of businesses and individuals in different income brackets since their propensity to spend varies considerably.

Taxation can cause shifts in investments & portfolios as investors evaluate the after-tax yields or returns.

Taxation can affect the level of savings and the how that varies by age and demographics.

f) Zergapetzea erabil daiteke ekonomian baliabideak zuzentzeko edo birzuzentzeko

(Alegia: Taxation can be a useful tool to direct or redirect resources in the economy that may be in the public interest but that are not being recognized appropriately through market economic forces. They can be structured to provide incentives and disincentives for spending and investment decisions.)

For example, the US currently provides significant tax incentives for various capital investments which benefit the very wealthy, while the taxes on the wages of the average worker reduces their spending power and ability to save or invest.

Increasing taxes on “bad” things and reducing them on “good” things is a generally accepted principle to help in issues of public health and safety, environmental concerns, or to address societal and economic inequalities.

g) Prozesu politikoak ez dira optimizatzen ekonomiarekin jolastuz

It can be difficult for a political process to be counted upon to make necessary adjustments in a frequent manner to help the economy in the way the Central Banks believe they can. 

Political processes may not come up with the best answer and they may not be able to react very quickly. 

This suggests that much careful analysis should go into designing approaches to fiscal policy, especially taxation but also certain types of spending, to enable the net fiscal flows of the government sector to automatically adjust in a counter-cyclical way to the private sector economy. 

Such a “buffer” will result in less taxation and increased spending/investment during times of economic downturn, and vice versa. 

This does happen already to some degree (tax receipts go down when incomes and profits fall), but much more can be done to achieve a better outcome. 

Many of us would suggest that the primary desired outcome is that the economy maintains full employment of workers, but other outcomes can also be designed in.

2 Ikus Estatu monetaren historiaz, honelako lanak: Chartalism and the tax-driven approach to money by Pavlina Tcherneva. Monopoly Money: The State as a Price-Setter by Pavlina Tcherneva. Introduction to an Alternative History of Money by L. Randall Wray. What is Money? From The Banking Law Journal, May 1913. by Mitchell Innes.

3 Ingelesez: “It should be clear by now that a sovereign government never taxes to obtain money. Sovereign government don’t have “income” or “revenues”. These terms are unhelpful vestiges of the days of gold standards and mercantilism.”

4 Ingelesez: “Money is simply the governments IOU that they issue into the economy via spending, and they promise that IOU be returned in payment for the tax obligations imposed upon the people. Payment of taxes is simply a return of the IOU. It’s not income. New IOUs can be issued whenever they want to, so those collected back have no value other than to “warehouse” and re-use to save printing costs (as in the case of paper money).”

5 Ingelesez: “A sovereign government never needs taxes to cover its investments, spending, retiree payments, interest on bonds, etc. (Of course, any non-sovereign government such as municipalities and states must still tax or borrow to cover their expenditures).”

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