Ploughshares Into Swords

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Defense spending under 17 years of Military Keynesians & Neo-Jacobins — Reagan I & II, Bush Snr & Jnr — comes to $6.1 trillion or 87% ($7 in $8) of the change in total public debt outstanding from the beginning of that era to today — add a little compound interest and you can see we’d easily reach a totality!

In fact, on a rough calculation and under the somewhat unrealistic assumption that NONE of the Republikudan war outlays were offset by taxes, but were all funded at the prevailing 3-month T-bill rate and that principal & interest was successively compounded at this rate from the end of the quarter in which the charge was incurred up to end Sept 05…. this would put their contribution alone to around $11.25 trillion — more than a whole year’s current private sector GDP!

For the record, Clinton’s two terms are sufficient to add another $3.8 trillion to the tab, so with the kinder, gentler bomber included we’d be getting close to 2 × all current debt outstanding, and more than twice the increment over the period in question.

Nothing like borrowing to build up a little useful productive capital for the nation’s old age!

Sean Corrigan [send him mail] writes from Switzerland.

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