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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Re-posting- A History of US Debt

This posting was written back in January but I felt it was important to re-post so that in combination with the previous posting, "IMF: Age of America Nears End", you the reader can see a clear timeline of National Debt from the Great Depression to the present, and fully grasp the damage done collectively by the last 5 Presidents, from Reagan to our current leader.

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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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Addendum-  4/26/11:   Some politicians want to blame you for the National Debt crisis-  too much being spent for Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, etc..  This is a blatant lie.  The Vast majority of the Trillions spent between 1981 and the present which has caused our National Debt to be so unmanageable was spent in two areas primarily-- Wars/Military Operations and Bank & Wall Street Bailouts.

From 1981 to the Present, the US military has been involved in the following- Granada, Panama (removal of Manuel Noriega), Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), the Balkans, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya.  During this 31 year period, the US government has also bailed out banks & Wall Street during the Savings & Loan crisis (1986-87), the Dot-Com bubble (1999) and 2007-08 crashes.  The Fed has also had to combat recessions in 1981-83, 1991, 1999 2001 and the current one, 2008- present.

This all costs money.

And during this period, wages have flat-lined while prices of goods and services have grown exponentially, and taxes for corporations and wealthiest individuals have been lowered drastically (For perspective, during the prosperous Eisenhower administration, the super ultra-wealthy were paying about a 90% tax rate)

Stated again from the previous posting, until we have a President (of either party) who has a healthy hatred of business, corporations and the market, nothing will change; certainly nothing for the better.

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