Relative debt has been higher

It's actually much lower now than after WWII

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  • Now VS WWII?
    Sept. 24, 2008 11:25 a.m.

    There are several glaring differences between now and the WWII period.
    The people of the 1940's had a proud independent attitude, believed in working for a living, and shunned intitlements, this included Senators and Congressmen. This is the reason that the gigantic debt caused by WWII was paid off in short order.
    Beginning in the 1960's (hypee generation) an ever increasing sense of entitlement oriented people (continuing through today) has permiated our society, including politicians who have continued to
    spend more than the government receives in taxes and other income, causing the hugh national debt we have today.
    I am not certain but, I do not believe that there has been a single administration in the last fifty odd years that has decreased the national debt. The current financial crisis is the result of a financial system that has become so complex that even the government and industrial experts had no clue that crisis was eminent.

  • Change our Ways
    Sept. 24, 2008 10:49 a.m.

    Until each individual learns to live within their means (ie no credit card debt past 30 days, no home equity loans to pay off credit cards, buy expensive things or vacations) AND learns to save 10% of their income, we will be in a mess. The same mentality that exists on a personal level exists for our politicians, too. "We can always go into debt and have what we want." Politicians buy votes through the things they vote in for their constituients whether it is good for the country as a whole or not. It is time to have term limits for all Congressmen and Senators. Make it a temporary civic job and they are more likely to keep our best interests in mind as a whole, rather than buy the next election. It is time to let the institutions fail that overextended themselves. It WILL affect us all. We can then tighten our belts and start out right. Trying to salvage this mess will have huge repurcussions. This is socialism. Let's go back to a republican democracy, where people fail and learn their lesson, and then build something better.

  • Something's on the horizon
    Sept. 24, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Organizations, churches, etc, have been saying for years to get your financial situation taken care; pay your debts off, live within your means, have a rainy-day fund, etc. People didn't listen and now they're in this mess. It's the lendors fault as well for offering these terrible subprime loans and not being more careful who they lent money to.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 24, 2008 9:59 a.m.

    The Republicans have nationalized our financial system. Welcome to the United States of France.

  • Charitas
    Sept. 24, 2008 9:55 a.m.

    The reporter wrote ... The debt has grown this decade because of borrowing to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ... this betrays a bias against our national priority of preserving sovereignty. All our expenses contribute to the debt not just one. Given the human nature of our leaders it is doubtful the debt would be less even if no war happened. 700 billion is about twice what the Iraq war has cost so far.

  • Some questions
    Sept. 24, 2008 8:36 a.m.

    Maybe the guy who wrote the article can explain this...

    When it was stated that there have been times that the size of the debt relative to the size of the economy has been larger, what does that mean? I believe the only logical way to look at our debt situation is to look at it relative to what each of us would have to pay to pay it off. I assume most of our revenue comes from individual taxpayers, not from business taxes (which just ends up being passed along to us anyway...). Perhaps now the size of American business is larger, therefore the "size of the economy" is larger than say 50 years ago, but is that relevant? Shouldn't we look at what the debt to taxpayer ratio is? I don't believe any real serious economist would say our current debt situation is sustainable. The preponderance of opinion is simply against that, therefore I question this article's basis in logic and fact.

  • Bob G
    Sept. 24, 2008 5:11 a.m.

    No wonder the SSA is in truble, the governemnt has stolen over $4 trillion dollars of savings from individual retirement accounts to cover an already disfunctional government. This bail out and borrowing more money is only going to make things worse. The economy is going to have to settle its struggles on its own as the free enterprise system is supposed to do. This bail out will not save our economy and it will only worsen the effects on individual americans. The days of excessive credit and corruption in lending should be the goals of government. Government buying their problems solves nothing. Government should be working on regulations and freezing the financial and credit industry from continuing to shuffle and trade debts on the open market as if they were assets. Our economy needs this collapse inorder to renew and re-establish itself with new regulations and laws. Free enterprise will fix itself if left alone and the rich will have to suffer just as the american people will suffer. What good is an economy without consumers just as financially secure? The federal reserve must stand fast and government and the people brace themselves for hard times.

  • Bob M.
    Sept. 24, 2008 4:04 a.m.

    I have a suggestion for Mr. Hess: Why don't you agree to do your part by paying your share of the nation's debt now? Plus, there are others who can't pay their fair share, so it would sure help if you would pay theirs!