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So, will paying down the debt ruin us - I think not

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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:44 AM
Original message
So, will paying down the debt ruin us - I think not
Edited on Fri May-27-11 09:04 AM by ThomWV
Watching Douglas Brinkley speak on Cspan this morning I was reminded that the Second World War cost us $4 Trillion in today's dollars. When I thought about that I realized that "we" paid that debt off during the same time that saw the greatest rise in living standards this country has seen. It is when we built our transportation system and did major scientific research. It was during the years following the war, when that multi-trillion dollar debt was being paid off, that we both put a man at the bottom of the Marianna's trench and on the moon. The period of repayment was shared with the Civil Rights Movement too and rural areas got electricity, schools and libraries were build all around the nation. Interestingly enough, at that time the size of the workforce was less than half what it is now, it wasn't as well educated as today's, and there were no jobs that Americans would not or did not do. But the baby boom was on and vets, generously funded by a thankful Government, were going to college at record rates, and the future promised less toil and more leisure.

And we paid that debt off as we prospered. We taxed ourselves a lot during that period too, don't forget that; the maximum rate was almost three times what it is now and we paid it - during a time when single earner households were the norm. The taxation did not inhibit our expansion, in fact in the minds of some it lead directly to our golden years.

We are far into debt now. If the past shows us anything it is that debt need not be crippling, it is not an indicator of the nation's imminent demise. One need only to go back a generation or two to see for themselves, we can pay off our debt and concurrently improve our physical and social condition. We did it before, our fathers, mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers are the one's who did it - there is not one single reason other than the obstructionism of the capitalist party (the Republican Party, the Tea-Party, and Blue-Dog-Democrats) and their slavish devotion to the master class that prevents it.

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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. May I respectfully make one correction. It is the BLUE DOGS
not Yellow Dogs. Yellow Dogs would rather die than
vote Republican. Died in the wool Democrats Jim Hightowe
calls himself a Yellow Dog. Liberals.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Corrected, and my apology to Yellow Dogs everywhere
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. I agree. Our debt as a percentage of GNP is not that bad.
We will need to raise taxes on the wealthiest, and this is where the problem is. They will fight against any and all tax hikes tooth and nail, but that's politics.
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End Of The Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. Post WW II conditions were a bit different, though.
We gave monetary aid to 18 European countries, who then used it to buy U.S. goods to rebuild their countries and economies. A win-win for us. Lots of manufacturing, exports, jobs, pent-up consumer demand after the war, and, as you mentioned, taxes.

Not so today.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:50 AM
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5. There is a big difference though
The post WWII debt was to pay off a big item, a war. Kind of likew buying a house and then paying it off.

The debt we have now is due to an operating deficit.In today's budget, instead of the major item being making tanks and planes and uniforms, it is sending checks to people, be it medicare, medicaid, social security, salaries, food stamps, unemployment, whatever...

In fact if the entire government was eliminated ecept for checks we send to people, we would still have an operating deficit.

Once we stopped making the tanks and planes the deficit went away.

We can't do the same thing this time.

We can't just stop sending people checks. People won't allow it anymore here than in Spain or France or anywhere else.
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