America paid for its wars —until Nixon

We’re headed for an economic collapse.

This is in response to Larry Benson’s letter to the editor (“Republicans only complain about debt when Democrats hold the White House”, published Jan. 5). I admire Larry’s sticking to the data and pointing out how the Republicans are silent when they are the ones putting the nation further into debt. I would like to add more history.

Our nation used to pay off the cost of each war we waged. Hamilton ensured we paid our debt for the Revolutionary War; the Civil War introduced the nation’s first income tax; the still-existing tax on your telephone bill was instituted to pay for the Spanish American War; World War I was paid for with an income tax again; World War II and the Korean War raised the top federal income tax rates to 94 and 91 percent respectively.

Richard Nixon started to pay back for the Vietnam War but chose not to — he wanted to get re-elected. Ronald Reagan increased our total federal debt from $738 billion to $2.1 trillion in order to juice the economy and guarantee his re-election.

The only further attempt to repay our nation’s debt was by the Democrat Bill Clinton. Since then, the tax cuts for the rich and corporations have put us ever further into debt. The debt has accelerated until now of all the U.S. dollars in existence, over forty percent of them, were minted only in the last year! Historically this is what happens when nations are approaching economic collapse. It is obviously not sustainable nor is it possible to pay it back. The old adage about when you are in a hole, stop digging, is being ignored.

The term when I was young was “good as gold, and sound as the dollar.” What a joke that sounds like today. When I lived overseas I found people hoarding the U.S. dollar under their mattresses, treating them as if it were gold to hedge against inflation of their own currency. They are going to be in for a big surprise.

We are headed into a recession/depression way beyond the crash of 2007-08. I only recently found out that there was an anticipated run on our banks in 2008 where the banks actually requested large amounts of cash just in case, but it didn’t happen. This next time, we will have a new problem. The Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act outlawed another possible bail-out for our banks, i.e. bank solvency can only be achieved now by a bail-in. This means they would have to confiscate your savings and checking accounts, much as they have done in nations such as India, Argentina, Cyprus, Venezuela, Greece, and soon maybe Turkey.

To quote someone else, “just sayin’”.

Eugene Clegg