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Friday, January 21, 2011

National Debt- a modern history lesson

I recently discovered a website that provided the total US National Debt from 1929 through the present and some interesting stats popped out at me which gives good comparative perspective between past and present ~

-- In 1929. the National Debt was just under $17 billion.  In 1941, it was $48 billion.  In a span of 12 years covering the entirety of the Great Depression, and all the social and work-related programs FDR created, the US Debt went up by only $31 billion.

-- When WWII ended in 1945, the Debt ended up being raised to about $259 billion which meant an increase of $211 billion to fight moral, just wars on three continents (Europe, Asia & {Northern} Africa).

-- Between 1945-60, a 15 year period, the Debt rose by only $27 billion to a total of $286 billion by '60 and that included the fiscal expenditure for fighting the Korean War.

-- The first full year of US involvement in Vietnam (not simply using military 'advisors') was 1964 at which time, the US Debt was just under $312 billion. When Saigon fell in 1975, the US Debt had risen to $533 Billion, meaning that during the 11 years of military conflict in Vietnam, the Debt rose by $221 billion.

--  Between 1975 and 1990 which was when Iraq invaded Kuwait under George Bush Sr's watch, the National debt increased by approximately $2.6 Trillion dollars in 15 years to a total '90 Debt of $3.2 Trillion. This also included the massive arms buildup under Reagan which some credit as causing the Soviet Union's economic downfall during the '80s arms race.

~ "Black Hawk Down, Mogadishu, Somalia

--  Between 1990 and 2001, which was the first year of the Bush Jr. presidency, and bookmarked between eight years of Clinton, the National Debt rose by an additional $2.6 Trillion dollars, (taking only 11 years spend that much), to a 2001 total of $5.8 Trillion. During this period, US forces were involved in the Balkans and Somalia.

-- In 2006, after the beginnings of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Debt rose to $8.5 Trillion, an increase of $2.7 Trillion, and notice this time, it only took 5 years to achieve this feat.

--  In August, 2008, six years into Afghanistan and five in Iraq, the National Debt was $9.6 Trillion, an increase of $1.1 Trillion in 2 years.

-- Today the Debt is just over $14 Trillion, an increase of $4.6 Trillion dollars in 28 months since Sept. 2008 when Lehman Bros. fell & markets dropped. In addition to continuing the two wars, a Vast majority of the money has gone to Banks, Corporations and Wall St.  This averages out to $164 billion in new debt per month ($5.47 billion/day)

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