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US Public Debt

The Economist put together a nice chart showing the blast-off of US public debt.  Republican or Democratic president, the debt grows either way:

 

Up up and away

We should take a look back to the other peak in public debt to GDP – WWII.   The great push back then was to sell “War Bonds”.  If you were a patriot and wanted to fight the evil Nazi’s overseas but could not serve your country directly, then you should buy War Bonds.  After a lot of marketing from celebrities and Uncle Sam, 85 million Americans purchased bonds totaling $185.7 billion.  To put that in perspective, that amounted to about $26,000 in today’s dollars for each of those 85 million Americans.  What interest rate did they get for that privilege?  About 1.5 – 3%, or the same as today.  I guess I would rather be paid that pitiful sum to pay for a world war than to pay for government fat.

 

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