Squandermania

 

This would be a good day to remind you what fiscal conservatives were saying in 1941:

The entire editorial, from Liberty magazine, is here. It’s short and vigorous. Its author would weep today.

There are 17 comments.

  1. Member

    I don’t think its author would weep. More likely his head would explode :)

    • #1
    • April 17, 2012 at 9:51 am
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  2. Member

    $90 billion of debt? Pocket change. That’s how much this year’s payroll tax extension added to the deficit all by itself.

    It’s how much the Department of Labor requested for one year’s budget.

    It’s how much the deficit increased in 2009, to a total of $1.8 trillion.

    It’s the size of the individual state governments’ budget gap for 2010.

    It’s roughly the size of the Department of Defense’s war budget for 2013… in a year when we are nominally no longer at war.

    It’s surprising our poor, cash-strapped country hadn’t starve to death back in 1941, what with spending only a miserly $47 billion over what we could afford to that point.

    • #2
    • April 17, 2012 at 10:21 am
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  3. Member

    in 2010 dollars that is

    $1,317,600,000,000

    • #3
    • April 17, 2012 at 10:29 am
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  4. Member

    The lean times he speaks of for Americans did come, yet government spending ballooned in the next few years…and probably would have done so regardless as in six months the US would be drawn into the largest conflict in human history. 

    • #4
    • April 17, 2012 at 10:32 am
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  5. Inactive

    I’m with Blue Ant, what’s this guy complaining for. What a whiner. what a milksop. Come forward in history, ya editorial wimp, and shoulder some real debt.

    Sam Johnson said we need to be reminded more than we need to be instructed, and in that spirit I repeat the following for perspective:

    One million seconds is eleven days. One billion seconds is 33 years. One trillion seconds is thirty three thousand years. Now we’re talking some numbers.

    • #5
    • April 17, 2012 at 10:38 am
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  6. Member

    Reminds me of Dr. Evil, after being frozen (or whatever) for a couple of decades, holding the world ransom for “One Mil-li-on Dollars.”

    • #6
    • April 17, 2012 at 10:48 am
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  7. Member

    Was the debt milder then? I know World War II ended with a higher debt level (relative to output) then today, but I don’t know what it was in 1941.

    • #7
    • April 17, 2012 at 10:53 am
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  8. Member

    Who cares about the author? I’M weeping today.

    Great piece. Should be issued as a Romney campaign press release with minimal updating.

    • #8
    • April 17, 2012 at 11:05 am
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  9. Inactive
    Joseph Eagar: Was the debt milder then? I know World War II ended with a higher debt level (relative to output) then today, but I don’t know what it was in 1941. · 3 minutes ago

    If you mean the amount of debt per worker, I wonder if any period touches current levels. The current Workers-to-takers ratio is not healthy.

    • #9
    • April 17, 2012 at 11:06 am
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  10. Thatcher

    We are accruing $47 billion dollars of additional debt every 13 days, assuming it is growing at $150 million an hour. That would bake the author’s noodle right there: one five zero, zero zero zero, zero zero zero — every hour.

    • #10
    • April 17, 2012 at 11:10 am
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  11. Inactive

    90 billion just about covers the first lady’s wardrobe.

    • #11
    • April 17, 2012 at 11:14 am
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  12. Member
    Severely Ltd.
    Joseph Eagar: Was the debt milder then? I know World War II ended with a higher debt level (relative to output) then today, but I don’t know what it was in 1941. · 3 minutes ago

    If you mean the amount of debt per worker, I wonder if any period touches current levels. The current Workers-to-takers ratio is not healthy. · 12 minutes ago

    What matters is the percentage relative to output (GDP). Workers-to-takers ratios do not change today’s burden of today’s stock of debt. It does affect today’s tax burden, however.

    • #12
    • April 17, 2012 at 11:19 am
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  13. Inactive
    Guruforhire: in 2010 dollars that is

    $1,317,600,000,000 · 3 hours ago

    Thank you, I was curious.

    • #13
    • April 18, 2012 at 2:10 am
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  14. Inactive

    Gurutoo bad your calculation equals 1/10 th of the reality

    • #14
    • April 18, 2012 at 5:21 am
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  15. Member
    flownover: Gurutoo bad your calculation equals 1/10 th of the reality · 8 hours ago

    ??

    A dollar in 1941 is worth 14.64 2010 dollars. Thus 90 Billion is 1317.6 billion. or 1.3176 Trillion.

    It is less than 10 percent of our modern debt. Which is scary.

    • #15
    • April 18, 2012 at 5:52 am
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  16. Inactive

    Ironically, Mr. Jones was a New Deal Democrat!

    He gets a lot of credit for the policies that steered the nation through the Depression. He is, in some way, responsible for us being on the path we are on. Of course, Democrats and some Republicans have gone nuts with with our budgets in the intervening years.

    Jesse-H.-Jones-with-FDR.jpg

    • #16
    • April 18, 2012 at 7:27 am
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  17. Inactive
    Give Me Liberty: Ironically, Mr. Jones was a New Deal Democrat!

    Conservatism wasn’t wasn’t a counter-argument to liberalism before Bill Buckley, of course. Back in those days, corporatism was the counter-argument to the New Deal.

    Reminds me of Father Charles Coughlin, another non-conservative FDR critic.

    http://archive.org/details/Father_Coughlin

    At any rate, how can you not love phrasing like this:

    “…If all the flummery and flapdoodle of boondoggling had not happened and we had used that 22 billions…to buy ourselves battleships, tanks and planes, we would not stand where we stand today, unprepared, disorganized…”

    Beautiful.

    Thank you Mr. Lileks!

    • #17
    • April 18, 2012 at 10:12 am
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