Financial insolvency: What, me worry?

National debt, which was 120% of GDP in World War II, could reach 400%

We've learned nothing from the recession.

The American economy turned wretched because we borrowed too much. So, here we're doing it again. And again. And again.

In Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley is prematurely dipping into
billions made from selling taxpayer-owned assets. That money was
supposed to last decades, but lasting just one would be a surprise.
Just like borrowing, it's stealing from our kids.

Illinois' credit is so bad that its bonds are considered almost as
risky as California's, which has the worst rating in the nation. No one
is even close to figuring out how to pay the billions of debt the
Illinois owes to its lenders. Instead, Gov. Pat Quinn finds salvation
in--what else?--more borrowing, to keep CTA fares from rising, at least
for now.

Nationally, it's worse, if that's possible. Consider: During World
War II, our national debt was approaching 120 percent of our gross
domestic product. In other words, if we applied the value of all goods
services annually produced in the country to paying off debts, we'd
still be in hock.

Continue reading in The Chicago Daily Observer

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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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