"To Cut Or Not To Cut" National Debt And Budget Deficit In The Us.

1401 words - 6 pages

One of my better written essays complete with parenthetical references and a biliography. Most sources from internet Excellent, wonderfully written, great use of sources, good use of graphs"It's time to clean up this mess." Famous last words heard from the mouths ofmany different politicians when talking about the national debt and the budget deficit.Our debt is currently $4.41 trillion and we have a budget deficit of around $300 billionand growing. Our government now estimates that by the year 2002 the debt will be$6.507 Trillion. While our politicians talk of balancing the budget , not one of them hasproposed a feasible plan to start paying down the debt.In the early days of our government debt was considered to be a last resort. In1790, when Alexander Hamilton, as secretary of the Treasury, made his first report on thenational debt of the United States, he estimated it at close to $70 million. Afteralternately rising and falling, the debt stood at only $4 million, or 21 cents per capita, in1840. That was the lowest point ever reached by the public debt of the U.S. After 1840 itrose to a peak, in the last year of the Civil War, of almost $2.68 billion and a per capitafigure of $75.01. The only justification for debt of any significant amount was a war. By1900 this had been reduced to under $1 Billion. By 1919, the end of World War I, thedebt had climbed to $25.5 Billion. In each of the following years the debt was reduced,and by 1930 stood at $18.1 Billion. With the collapse of Wall Street in 1929, the country(debt history: 1850 to 1950)fell into the Great Depression, which lasted until 1940. At that time the debt had climbedto $51 Billion. By the end of World War II the debt was $269 Billion.Again the government worked to reduce the debt, and by 1949 it was $252.7Billion. At that point the Korean War started, sending the debt to $274 Billion by 1955.Since then, there has been no serious effort to pay down the debt. The main point to bemade was that on three separate occasions a major debt reduction effort had been made,but in the past 55 years in spite of much arm-waving there have been no similar results.The U.S. debt is divided into two major kinds of loans, marketable andnonmarketable. The former provides about 52 percent of the total and is made up ofbills, notes, and bonds that can be traded; the latter includes U.S. savings bonds,foreign-government-owned securities, and government account securities that areredeemable but not tradable. Maturity of this debt ranges from less than a year to over20 years, with the average maturity about 3 years. More than half of the debt, however,is short term, maturing in less than a year. A ceiling is placed on U.S. federal debt, andCongress must enact new legislation to raise the ceiling. Between 1981 and 1990 theceiling was raised from about $1.08 trillion to about $4.15 trillion.Unfortunately at the end of 1995 we reached the ceiling again, and Congressrefused to raise it. They felt that it had become...

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