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Excellent, timely look at history and significance of U.S. national debt
on September 16, 2010
This is a revised and updated version of a book originally published in 1997. The author reviews the history of the national debt from the beginning of the United States to the present, and does so in an engaging and informative manner. The book is written in a style that does not assume the reader has any specialized knowledge about financial or tax matters.
The author discusses the financial plight of the United States after the American Revolution, and the reasons why Alexander Hamilton (first Secretary of the Treasury) pressed for the creation of a national debt to deal with that financial plight. The author does a good job of setting forth the pros and cons of a national debt that have been raised and debated throughout American history, identifying the political ideas and movements that have influenced the debate over the national debt. The author also shows how and why the national debt has fluctuated over the years, and points out the consequences (both intended and unintended ) of the national debt and efforts to reduce it. Finally, the author reviews the rapid growth of the national debt during the past 40 years, identifies the serious fiscal problems posed by the current huge national debt, and proposes some possible solutions to address the national debt in a serious, systematic way.
Anyone interested or concerned with the current state of the U.S. national debt, regardless of the person's political views, should read this book. Whether you agree or disagree with the author's arguments and conclusions, you can learn much from this book.