What if the most prominent debate in politics is based on a myth? When any politician proposes a new spending priority, the number one question inevitably asked is: "How will you pay for it? Where will you find the money?" Stephanie Kelton says this is the wrong question to be asking a sovereign government that issues its own currency. And this question prevents real debate about the most urgent crises facing humanity today: the climate crisis, the coronavirus crisis, and an economic crisis. She says, “Finding the Money is the easiest part.”
Kelton embarks on a challenge to turn everything we think we know about money, debt, and taxes upside down.
FINDING THE MONEY captures the historic rise of Modern Monetary Theory, one of the biggest theoretical shifts to hit politics and economics in decades. Kelton states the US federal government is not like a household, it does not borrow money like you or me, and the national debt is not leaving a burden for our children and grandchildren to pay back: in fact it is doing quite the opposite. Her ideas run so counter to mainstream economics, she is not surprised when top tier economists from both sides of the political spectrum berate the theory as “voodoo economics”, “dangerous”, and “just plain wrong”.
We need your help to bring this MMT movie to life! All donations are tax-deductible thanks to our fiscal sponsor, Filmmakers Collaborative Inc. We are raising $15,000 to finish production, and begin editing a short version of the film with the goal for release by September 2020.
But if you know anything about MMT, you know that it is a complex story that demands a feature length film. The project will expand into a longer form in 2021 that takes the viewer on a 5,000-year journey through the history of money, while exploring the current conflict and debate around Modern Monetary Theory.
Kelton and MMT insist there is a fundamental myth about money lying at the heart of economics. She explains in a country where the government creates the currency, taxes don’t really ‘pay for’ spending. In fact the government must spend dollars into the economy before it can collect any dollars back as tax revenue. According to her, this simple reversal of order changes everything.
How can we pay for expensive new proposals like Medicare for All or a Green New Deal? Kelton states the same way Congress pays for everything: it votes to fund the spending. “You don’t find the money, you have to find the votes.” Instead of asking ‘how will you pay for it?’ we should be asking ‘how will you resource it?’ This debate will affect everything from politics, to pocketbooks, to the health of the planet. And has the potential to shift the deepest partisan divisions in the US.
We believe the American people have a right to participate in this urgent and timely issue. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved, through your skills, time, or donations. We are seeking a few special partners to get involved through matching grants. The full budget for the short film is $75,000, and we are 60% of the way through production.
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