Saturday, December 12, 2009

Paying for War; Then and Now


Until recently, there's been no serious call to pay for the two wars that President Bush started by raising taxes, and not raising the defecit. In fact, instead of raising taxes, President Bush cut taxes by $1.5 trillion in 2001 & 2003.  There are cases to be made on both sides of this point including the fact that during WWII taxes were rediculously high, they paid for only 40% of the war, and the defecit was 30% of GDP.  Now it's closer to  8%.  Today there's very little talk of sacrifice for the war.  When you look at what Americans had to put up with back then, in terms of taxes and sacrifice, it makes you wonder why we have so little a sense of individual involement and responsibility.   A different perpsective on funding the wars and sacrifice of our nation can be found here.
"The top marginal tax rate in 1941 was 81 percent on incomes greater than $5 million (about $72 million in today's dollars). In 1942 and '43, it was 88 percent on $200,000 per year ($2.6 million today). In '44 and '45, it was 94 percent on $200,000 ($2.3 million today). The Greatest Generation did more than just save pennies to buy war bonds... most everyone paid more in taxes and some 40 million people paid taxes for the first time."
"I love the right's worship of "The Greatest Generation," which of course earned its reputation for sacrifice under America's only three term president, who governed the economy in ways that even most liberals would today find shocking, shipped a generation of American men overseas to fight and die using a conscription policy that no politician would dream of suggesting for our pampered culture, rationed consumer goods including food (can you imagine how Americans would react to a ration on sugar today?), told Americans to go outside and plant vegetables in their yards (and then eat them!), and yes, saved America from the Great Depression and the world from Hitler.  The Greatest Generation did indeed earn the respect of those of us who follow, but let's not forget that they were lucky enough to have leadership that made the sacrifice mean something profound."
Pampered indeed.

3 comments:

  1. Yea, we got the "go shopping" guy as our President. What a difference, huh?

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  2. I guess one of the main points that I was trying to make but did not convey that well was that in WWII we had a serious draft and a serious tax. MUCH MORE than today. You did not comment on that. Sorry, sometimes the points from the brian to the fingers on the keyboard...Also, today, if we had the draft and had to pay for the insane war, my greater point would have been, would we have been for it?

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  3. And the serious tax did not come close to paying for the war, either, did it? 40% funded with outrageous tax rates makes me think our current crop of leaders have their heads you know where when they continue to spend recklessly. They think their puny little taxes will win the day. Right.

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