Deficit Spending in Times of Economic Trouble

June 26, 2009 at 11:02 am | Posted in American politics | Leave a comment

Andrew Sullivan links to a graph which shows the level of debt over the decades:

The point he is trying to make is that we should look out for the debt we are incurring. A couple of things stand out.

1. The debt created during the Great Depression wasn’t so large when you look at debt in this fashion, and if we needed a stimulus injection as big as World War II’s mobilization, then we’re fairly on track right now with the debt we are incurring to create a stimulus, or to maintain economic output.

2. A lot of debt during the 80s and 90s wasn’t really necessary, at least not on the level they were.

3. I’d love to see a graph showing a comparison of debt to the level of taxation to the level of expenses. See, tax levels in the 1950s were generally quite high. And interestingly, business thrived, debt was paid down, and our country did well. Right now we’re complaining about taxation that is quite low in comparison, particularly for the filthy rich. And we’re drowning in debt. Something is not right.

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