In regard to the current federal debt of $31 trillion, a number that, admittedly, is way higher than it should be, I thought I would repeat a comment I made in 2011 that bears repeating:
“Sir Winston Churchill once said, 'those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.' Within a year of being elected to office, President Reagan enacted the largest tax cut in American history. He then went on a giant spending spree, growing the Defense Department by 100%. Between him and his successor, George H.W. Bush, they managed to quadruple the federal debt. Later, President George W. Bush created another large tax cut, only this time he only helped the affluent. Once again, like Reagan, he spent big on defense, this time for two wars and the Federal debt had doubled again.”
Deficit spending by the Federal Government isn’t always a bad idea. During World War II, deficit spending was very high due to spending by the military industrial complex. We had to do it in order to win that war and the deficit was impacted more than this country had ever seen before. During the next 40 years, various administrations made various attempts to limit deficit spending. The economy was strong then and while the Federal Debt continued to rise, it was contained.
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That changed during the Reagan administration. Reagan was an anti-communist and decided to try to outspend the Soviet Union militarily as a way to defeat communism. This meant our Federal debt began to climb dramatically again and has been a problem ever since.
Present day Republicans want to blame programs like Social Security and other popular social programs for this high national debt but today we spend three quarters of a trillion dollars every year on this military industrial complex. Republicans do not want to talk about that. Interestingly enough, it looks like China is now trying to turn Reagan’s idea back on us and outspend us militarily. All this spending on weapons of war with no war declared is not a good thing and is made worse by corporations and wealthy citizens not paying their share. As a result, the federal debt will probably continue to increase.