October 25, 2013

Letter: Irrefutably wrong

Recently the national debt was discussed in the dialogue section of The New York Times. As it turns out, when paying the debt down, we should do so very carefully and very slowly. America has only completely paid the debt one time (1835) but that was followed by one of the longest depressions in our history. Only six times have we balanced the budget and had a surplus for more than three years, followed by debt reduction and all followed by depressions. The Great Depression followed debt reduction of 41 percent from 1919-1930.

The national debt after World War II in 1946 was 121 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) but we had 27 years of the greatest prosperity in American history while still deficit spending. In those 27 years we had strong unions, financial regulation and at times tax rates as high as 91 percent on the rich.

Will the debt service hurt us? In 2012 the debt service ratio was 1.5 percent of GDP (3 percent is considered high). This is a lighter debt service burden than in all but two years from 1978 through 2008. Reagan quadrupled the national debt, and the debt service ratio was higher during his administration.

How you create debt is a more important question than the debt itself. The Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, aimed mostly at the rich, and the war in Iraq created $5 trillion in debt, but we still had the current recession beginning in 2007. Bush signed TARP (the Trouble Asset Relief Program) so the banks and stock market got a boost but loans to small businesses dried up.

It is never wise or necessary to cut the budget deficit in a weak economy. The shutdowns or near shutdowns by the Republicans in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 have created economic uncertainty while cuts in federal spending in the last three years have reduced growth by 0.7 percent, or $300 billion in lost output which cost about 2 million fewer jobs.

Georgia’s tax cutting and layoffs by Republicans have done nothing but move us from 25th down to 40th place in per capita income, and we’ve had the highest number of bank closures and among the highest home foreclosures.

What Republicans and tea party conservatives say about the national debt, tax breaks and who should get them is irrefutably wrong.

David Bean



Text Only
  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014