The other is a list of the Presidents of these united States under the Constitution:
The Articles of Confederation, which allied the 13 colonies, were not finally ratified until almost 5 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, about 6 years after the start of the American Revolution in 1775 with "the Shot Heard Round the World." Under the Articles, and even before, the Continental Congress had no power to tax directly and no power to compel the States to support the Continental Army. The Congress fell back upon the traditional answer found by all governments who have a budget shortfall; they issued paper banknotes denominated as the Continental Dollar, supposedly backed by Spanish dollars, but which rapidly reverted to their true value, i.e. nothing. The Continental dollar's most lasting legacy was a phrase some today still recognize "Not worth a Continental damn," referring to both the paper currency and some of the language used by those forced to accept it! Issued in 1776, by 1779 the Continental was not accepted in trade for anything, as those people presented with them (correctly, as it turned out) thought that these pieces of paper would never be redeemed. Those people who held this paper, many of them patriotic Americans, traded real goods and services for a worthless piece of paper. The United States never did redeem that debt.
After the ratification of the present Constitution, the US under the control of the Federalist party issued a substantial amount of debt; when Jefferson became President the debt was about $83 million or a bit over over 4 million troy ounces of gold. (The cynic in me notes that much of this debt went to redeem promissory notes issued after the Continental dollar notes went sour, that were purchased by Federalist supporters who bought them at small fractions of the face value from the original note holders.) Under Jefferson the debt was reduced by about $30 million, and continued to drop until the start of the war of 1812, which added about $80 million back to the debt, which gradually was paid down thereafter. During the 1830s Andrew Jackson, who is one of the more under-rated presidents, actually oversaw two pivotal events which have bearing on this; he was the only president to ever preside over an effective elimination of the national debt, and he was the first president to get rid of the central bank of the United States. These two feats are not unrelated.
(By the way, those interested in a history of central banking in these united States will find "the Creature of Jeckyl Island" well worth the time to read. It's primary focus is on the Federal Reserve Bank, about which more anon, but it does cover the early history of central banking in some detail. I thought I was familiar with the overall history of the Fed, but I learned a lot from it. Amazon sells it- http://www.amazon.com/The-Creature-Jekyll-Island-Federal/dp/0912986212 )
But back to the debt. After Jackson, the debt rose during and after the Mexican War, and oscillated thereafter but never grew much past the levels seen during Jefferson's term, right up to the Civil War. It is worth noting, by the way, that during this time period between 75% and 95% of the Federal revenue was generated by taxes on imported manufactured goods and exported agricultural products. These taxes had a disproportionate effect on the Southern states, whose agricultural economies were crippled by an inability to purchase manufactured goods. Northern politicians insisted on protection of domestic manufacturers, who then charged rates for finished goods just under the cost of British imposts with shipping and import tariffs, and who purchased raw materials from the depressed market of the South.
Finally, after decades of attempts to find a way to reduce taxation and the attendant corporatist looting, many southern states elected to secede from the Union as is their right under the Constitution. (BTW, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln's predecessor in the White House, correctly stated that secession was lawful.) Lincoln responded by raising an enormous military force, for which he paid by issuing paper currency (greenbacks), and spending money far in excess of Federal revenue, financed by Treasury debt.
By 1866, after the bills for Lincoln's war were paid, the formerly and now forcibly re-united States were in debt to the tune of $2,773,236,173.69 or about two thousand seven hundred seventy three millions of dollars, or 23 times the previous debt incurred for the War of 1812. This was about 139 million ounces of gold or more than the entire production of gold in the US to that time, which explains the rampant inflation evident in the economy of the North, about which more shortly. Lincoln, in addition to the huge debt incurred, also financed his war by imposition of a completely unConstitutional and hugely unpopular income tax. (His other unconstitutional actions apart from starting a war without Congressional consent included suspension of habeus corpus, arresting the Maryland state legislature to prevent their voting for secession, imposition of involuntary servitude on the general population [military draft] and other tyrannical acts, but that is a subject for another time.) At one point during the war, greenback prices were 4 times the prices for goods in honest gold coins.
After the conclusion of Lincoln's war, the debt was gradually paid off until just before the Spanish American war; the debt increased by about 700 millions of dollars for that war. 1913 saw the ratification of both the 16th amendment, which allowed taxation of income, and the establishment of a central bank. Spending, and debt, exploded. Rather than allowing the payment of the Civil War debt, which was one of the reasons given for the 1% tax on income, the debt doubled in just 4 years; from $2.9 billions to $5.7 billions in 1917, and then QUINTUPLED over the course of the First World War, rising to $27.4 billions under Woodrow Wilson. After Mr. Wilson's war, which was marked by Constitutional violations similar to those of the Civil War, debt gradually decreased until the start of the great depression. Under Hoover and then under Roosevelt, the debt for the first "War on Poverty" grew apace, more than doubling from $16 billions to $43 billions before the start of World War 2. This huge jump in the debt was due to both the massive increase in expenditure and the devaluation of the dollar; in 1933 Roosevelt unConstitutionally confiscated domestic gold reserves and then, having looted the citizens of these united States of their gold, devalued the dollar by lowering the value of the dollar to 1/35 of a troy ounce.
World War 2 cost these united States an additional debt of some $226 billions. In 50 years, the debt of these united States had grown from some $2 billions to over $269 billions. (Are you beginning to notice a pattern here?) Truman's 'police action' in Korea followed 5 years later on, impacting the ability of the post-WW2 economy to repay the debt. 1957 was an historic year; it was the last time that the US debt decreased. Since that time, the debt of these united States has NEVER decreased. It doubled in 1975 (18 years), doubling again in 1982 to $1,142 billions (7 years), then again in 1986, (5 years), and 1992. We saw something of a respite during the 1990s and early 2000s, for the debt did not double again until 2006, when it stood at $8,507 billions of dollars. It has doubled again in the last 6 years, and now stands at over 17 trillions, that is 17 million millions. This is more than the entire GDP of these united States.
(A side note about GDP; it includes all government spending, and a number of respected economists argue that this is erroneous, as government does not create wealth. If you include only private production and spending, the direct debt of these united States is double what we actually produce.)
Here is what a trillion dollars looks like: http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html
A trillion dollars is 10,000 pallets loaded 4' high with $100 bills . Stacked 2 high it takes over 1 1/2 acres; the present national debt in $100 bills would take 25 acres of pallets of $100 bills stacked 2 high. Put another way, at present prices that is 10 billion troy ounces of gold, or 311,000 metric tonnes of gold. In all of human history only about 4.4 billion ounces of gold have been produced. Ever. So our funded debt is about 2 1/2 times as much as the value of all the gold ever mined. Put it another way, if the 8133 tonnes of gold supposedly held by these united States had to back the dollar-denominated debt, the price of gold would be $65,000 per ounce.
And please keep in mind that this is only the direct debt of the Federal government; it does not include the debt of the several States or the other unfunded Federal obligations of these united States. Total unfunded Federal obligations are somewhere between $100 trillion and $300 trillion, depending on whose accounting you accept. I've heard lots of different estimates thrown around, but any way you slice it, this is more than the entire GDP of the planet, which presently runs around $70 trillions. Put another way, we owe more than the entire value of the planet Earth.
DC, we have a problem. A big, BIG problem. Regardless of how the present arguments over the Federal infringement of our civil rights are resolved, we simply cannot keep spending and committing money we do not have. I have been watching this issue for over 30 years, and I am frankly amazed that this has gone on as long as it has, but will-ye, nil-ye, we are coming to the point at which the Federal government will not be spending more than we take in.
We will either recognize the problem and cut Federal spending by 60%, overtly default on our debt and declare bankruptcy as a nation and try to work out the terms of the bankruptcy agreement with our creditors, including all of the residents, (legal and illegal) of these united States and our other creditors, or we will covertly default on our debt probably through more currency inflation. Massive cuts, overt default, or covert default. We will have to choose one of these three options. There are no others. Even a 100% income tax will not solve the problem; historically, tax revenue maxes out at about 17% of GDP regardless of the tax rate. We cannot tax our way out of this mess, and advocates of the so-called 'balanced approach' are lying to us about the potential effectiveness of a tax increase, not to mention the impact of yet another new tax on an economy struggling to escape the Greater Depression.
Given the demonstrated lack of political will to even admit we have a problem, as it stands I expect that the Federal government of these united States will not cut the budget as needed, which painful as it would be IMHO is the least bad option. Nor will we overtly default; the rulers of this nation will not permit those presently in authority to do that. So that means that by default we are doomed as a nation to add another stanza to the historical record, and default by inflation, which means ultimately to endure hyperinflation.
If we do, here is what that means to you, gentle reader. As the value of the Federal reserve 'dollar' drops inexorably towards its real level, i.e. ZERO, the prices of goods in dollars are going to rise. In 1913, the year that the Federal Reserve was established, you could get a nice suit or a first quality pistol for an ounce of gold. Today, you still can, but the 20 dollar banknote that you used to trade for that gold piece will not buy even the box of cartridges or the silk tie that used to be thrown in by the seller. (H/t to Jeff Cooper for this comparison) 5 years ago, rifle ammo was about 50 cents a round. Now, rifle cartridges start at a dollar a round, and go up from there. 5 years ago, .22 rimfire ammo was $12 for a 500 round box; today, it is double that, when you can find it. 5 years ago, a 16 ounce can of chili cost $1.50; today it is almost $3. That is price inflation, and it is the tax that you are paying every day for the Federal government spending money it does not have. This is inflation, and it is this tax that has eaten away at the American middle class over the last 60 years, and especially over the last 10.
Hyper-inflation is when prices double, not every 5 years, but every month and start doubling faster and faster. $4 a gallon gas bother you? Wait till gas prices hit $10, $20 or $50 per gallon. Do you think your boss can afford to double your pay every month? Every week? Every day? What will you do when the value of your pay drops by half every month? Think that credit card companies will keep issuing cards when they are losing 50% per month? Think that merchants will exchange goods for a plastic promise to pay when they are losing 25% on the deal because of the time it takes for them to get payment from the card companies? Imagine what will happen when all those folks who get EBT cards cannot buy enough basic staples to keep their families fed, or what will happen when stores no longer take them, or go out of business because they did. Ugly doesn't begin to cover what will happen to the large cities in these presently united States if we are subject to hyperinflation. Hyperinflation will utterly destroy us. That is why the DHS is buying so much ammo, and why Feinstein and the rest of those who would rule us are doing all the things we find so alarming. They know what is coming. Matt Bracken wrote about one such scenario: http://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/bracken-when-the-music-stops-how-americas-cities-may-explode-in-violence/
History shows us many, many examples of what debasement of a country's currency does. It was the destruction of the denarius that destroyed Rome. It was the destruction of the German mark and the hyperinflation of Weimar Germany that precipitated the rise of the Nazi party. Deficit spending and discriminatory tax policy was a root cause of the breakup of Yugoslavia. Deficit spending contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, and it will inevitably destroy these presently united States.
That is why I want to tell all the patriots who have come and visited my site to spread the word about the danger to the republic from further unchecked spending. Further deficits will destroy us more surely than a civil war over gun rights, and we need to be just as uncompromising and firm on this issue as we have been on our right to own and carry weapons of military utility. Those presently in authority must understand that the covert tax of hyperinflation is simply not an option.
We cannot keep spending money we do not have, and one way or another, soon, we will not be able to. It would be much, much better, if withdrawal from our spending addiction comes on our terms, and not those of the Chinese. Or the Federal Reserve.
Regards to all who serve the Light-