Have Americans finished paying for Reagan's spending yet?

I just watched the GOP debate at the Reagan Presidential Library, and I was impressed with how Ron Paul dared to challenge the perception of Reagan as the Republican Messiah, the very essence of conservatism. Paul explained that he strongly supported Reagan until he actually won the Presidency and began to spend like a drunken sailor.

The question then occurred to me: given how much the federal government spends and taxes each year and that we’ve been in the red for quite a while, how far back would you have to go to say that all the spending of that year has finally been paid for?

It depends on how you want to define the question, and I suppose you could answer it in several ways depending on which political agenda you wished to advance.

The debt has not decreased since 1961, so one way of looking at it is that any amounts we’ve paid off since 1961 have been offset by new borrowing. So frm my point of view, we haven;t even paid off JFK’s spending yet… forget about Reagan.

Yes, I agree with anson. Bonds are not earmarked for purposes so the question is impossible to answer. When the city of Montreal floated 30 year Olympic bonds and paid off the last of them five years ago, we could say that the Olympic debt had been paid off. And even that is somewhat misleading since over the years, the city borrowed other money that they would not have if they hadn’t had the Olympic bonds to pay off. They also put off a lot of infrastructure maintenance that they are trying to catch up on now, but that is another story. I imagine that all the bonds issued during Reagan’s years have been paid off, but mostly selling other bonds.

It’s been what? About 30 years since Reagan. Might have paid it off, but hard to say. What isn’t hard to say is we will probably be paying off Obama’s spending for the next 100 years.

Cite?

It will never be truly paid off in the sense of the value of the money that is now being borrowed. The debt today is and in the future will be monetized. The US currency will be devalued by “printing” dollars and this worthless paper will be used to pay off the borrowing.

Do you really need a cite? Okay, now while my cite doesn’t say it will take a 100 years lets take a look at this quote:

I don’t know how you reason, but he has ammased more debt than all of the other Presidents COMBINED. And we haven’t paid off that debt yet, so I would think that 100 years is a reasonable thought.

From: http://www.cnsnews.com/node/72404

anson2995 writes:

> The debt has not decreased since 1961 . . .

Not true. The debt decreased from about 1995 to about 2002 and has risen since then:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

True, but this means you can set bounds on the timeframe. The upper bound is what anson said. The lower bound is timeframe over when the debt matches the total revenue–that is to say, if we pretended that all revenue went to paying down the debt, and that new spending came from “separate” bonds, how far back would we need to go?

The answer is roughly 3 years.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/NPGateway

The debt was ten trillion dollars in January of 2009, so you’re wrong about the “all other presidents COMBINED” part. And even if you weren’t, it only shows the power of exponential growth, not any particular president’s policy. Did you run the numbers for Bush?

My question for you is, how do you know when it is paid off? When the debt is zero and the government goes into the black? How do you know that it will take 100 years? We usually like facts in this forum.

Re-reading my post, you are right, it wasn’t ALL the Presidents, just Washington to Reagan. And you don’t see a HUGE problem with this? Obama is out of control and the damage that is going to be inflicted on this country will take decades if not centuries to pay for. Rep. or Dem. we have got to stop spending money. If you or I did this in our personal lives we would be bankrupt. The politicians from the local to the national level are drunk on public money and when they run out they just print more. Disaster is in our future if we don’t stop. I would say if we don’t change, but we can see how well that is working out for us.

Are you converting the deficit of prior presidents into current dollars, or discounting inflation entirely? As a percentage of GDP, the U.S. debt is currently lower than it was at the end of WWII. And does Obama get penalized for the disaster he inherited, or does that get pinned on him too?

Moderator Note

obbn, politcal jabs and political opinionating like this are out of place in GQ. If you want to discuss the politics of this, start a new thread in Great Debates.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Where were you when George W. Bush took the debt from $6 trillion to $12 trillion?

The increase under Obama so far has been from $12 trillion to $14.7 trillion. Nothing to sneeze at, but also less (in both absolute and relative terms) than the increase under Bush.

And here we go: BUT IT’S ALL BUSH’S FAULT. Do you liberals realize that there has to come a time when the person you elected can no longer place the blame on someone else and has to take responsibility for his own actions, don’t you?

I don’t give a flying leap what Bush did, he isn’t in office any longer and no matter what he did or didn’t do there is nothing that is going to change that right now. What is happening now is what is important. And what is happing now is we have a Presidient in office that promised the world to everyone, yet has delivered on almost nothing. Still, no one has jobs. Still, the economy is in the toilet with no end in sight. Still, Washington is spending like a bunch of millionaire wives at a Macy’s sale.

Do you not get it? The man of hope and change that you elected is neither. I am very sorry that your expectations have been shattered, but would you stop blaming Bush for everything. He isn’t in control any longer, Obama is.

I realize that we are off topic here and I apologize to the OP. But, we talk about the Reagan spending and if it is paid off, while ignoring the largest spending spree in our history that is occuring right now. I didn’t vote for Obama, but when he won I was hoping to see him fufill his promises and to see this historic President succeed. However, what I see is someone who constanly blames while taking no responsibity for himself.

And here we go: BUT IT’S ALL BUSH’S FAULT. Do you liberals realize that there has to come a time when the person you elected can no longer place the blame on someone else and has to take responsibility for his own actions, don’t you?

I don’t give a flying leap what Bush did, he isn’t in office any longer and no matter what he did or didn’t do there is nothing that is going to change that right now. What is happening now is what is important. And what is happing now is we have a Presidient in office that promised the world to everyone, yet has delivered on almost nothing. Still, no one has jobs. Still, the economy is in the toilet with no end in sight. Still, Washington is spending like a bunch of millionaire wives at a Macy’s sale.

Do you not get it? The man of hope and change that you elected is neither. I am very sorry that your expectations have been shattered, but would you stop blaming Bush for everything. He isn’t in control any longer, Obama is.

I realize that we are off topic here and I apologize to the OP. But, we talk about the Reagan spending and if it is paid off, while ignoring the largest spending spree in our history that is occuring right now. I didn’t vote for Obama, but when he won I was hoping to see him fufill his promises and to see this historic President succeed. However, what I see is someone who constanly blames while taking no responsibity for himself.

Talking to an Obama supporter is no different than talking to an Apple user. They will defend their choice of idol worship to the end, damn the facts and damn reality. It is maddening.

Blah, blah, blah. It was okay when a Republican white man did it, now it’s a Democratic nigger and THAT’S JUST WRONG. Otherwise, assuming Obama is voted out in 2 years, then anything HE did will also be water under the bridge and fine with you, but somehow I don’t expect that it’s going to work out that way.

Moderator Warning

obbn, I already instructed you to drop the political commentary. This is an Official Warning. If you continue to ignore moderator instructions, you will find your posting privileges in jeopardy.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Moderator Warning

Zakalwe, I already pointed out to obbn that political commentary was inappropriate in GQ. This is an official warning. Do not do this again.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

My apologies to the Moderator. I didn’t see the first warning. Will abide by rules.