December 7, 1941 and September 1, 2001

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by 45Auto, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    For the history buffs and those who like to think outside the box:

    What would have been the result if we made the same economic choices following 12/1/41 as we did following 9/1/01?

    Our modern assumptions about low taxes, deregulation and small government sound good. But would we have been able to win WWII that way?
  2. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    When you say "following 9/1/01?" do you mean 9/11/2001?

    Pops
  3. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad we didn't, 45A......

    We won WW2 by relying upon "small government/low taxes/private industry" productivity and development. We built ships in a week ! We built good tanks by the thousands ! We built good combat aircraft by the tens of thousands.....

    Yes, we did see some specific tax increases, (mostly in luxury goods), but a vast amount of our war spending was financed through War Bonds. Add to that revenue stream huge upsurges in the taxable income base due to an increase in the labor pool as - most significantly women and rural black populations were recruited to fill vacancies created by the draft - added to the IRS revenue stream. FWIW, we were still "paying off" those War Bonds in the Sixties.......

    BTW, economic performace increases adversely tracking taxes, isn't an "assumption". Its demonstrated fact ! Taxes are governments' means of populace control without direct confrontation ! >MW
  4. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    It's easy enough to check the historical record regarding what the U.S. Govt. did and did not do in WWII.

    First, taxes in WWII went through the roof! For wealthy Americans the top income tax rate in WWII was as high as 91%. (Imagine a rich CEO taking home only 9% of his income.) For another example of tax history, America began income tax withholding in WWII for wages. I think you get the point, lots of tax increases.

    In WWII, the U.S. Govt. had extreme controle of the economy through new laws and new agencies like the Office of Wage and Price Administration. Gasoline, tires, sugar, etc. all rationed. The prosecution of war profitiers was also in full swing. To do all of these things, the size of the U.S. Govt was bigger than it had ever been before.

    For some reason, Americans loved their Uncle Sam (The U.S. Government). Americans paid those high taxes and even bought War Bonds with what they had left over. We had a greater feeling of unity and common sacrifice for a higher purpose.

    Now that some historical high points of the American Govt. of WWII are in place, let me ask the question in a different way: Could we have beaten Hitler and Tojo if we had tax breaks, small government, and deregulation on the home front?
  5. jbmid1

    jbmid1 Well-Known Member

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    Actually 45, These were both actual crisis, not the kind that our current govt. likes to contrive to see how much mileage they can get out them. Rahm Emanuel's "don't let a crisis go to waste" concept. They were both
    real and the country made some drastic measures. There were more similiraties than differences in the economic arena, so, your original question makes no sense. 9-11 was not a catalyst for lower taxes and deregulation.
    The govt. grew in both cases.

    Some of the differences:

    In WWII the entire country mobilized for war; Govt, industry, civil defense.
    Post 9-11, Our secdef Robert Gates at one time remarked that not only is the country as a whole not on a wartime footing, niether is the Department of Defense.

    In WWII we were allowed to identify our enemies by nationality/ethnicity. Japanese Americans were rounded up and moved to internment camps.
    Post 9-11 we were encouraged to sing kum-ba-ya with our moslem brothers and encourage more of them to move to America.

    In WWII we created massively destructive munitions and used them as we chose.
    Post 9-11 we let hostile countries help determine our rules of engagement, and put our own soldiers in prison if they should fail to comply.

    The larger govt. post 9-11 did make life more difficult for most of us in America. It's a lot less fun to fly than it was before, and even when I go on deployment I have to go to a lot of excessive lengths to prove I'm not a terrorist.

    So, thanks for opening up this can of worms 45. I'm sure there will be others with even more to add.
  6. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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  7. jbmid1

    jbmid1 Well-Known Member

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    Good Graphic ofitg;

    Most wars are fought with deficit spending. WWII was no exception. So, high vs low taxes is really a non-issue. It's interesting, looking at the right side of the chart though, you don't see a major increase in the debt recently until around 2008.
  8. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I would like to see the chart show us the spending up to today!
  9. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    Three thoughts occurred to me when I saw this graph....

    1) We presently have WW2-level debt, but we can't blame it on Hitler and Tojo.

    2) We were able to pay down our debt after WW2, mainly because we were the only major power in the world to emerge from the war with our infrastructure/industrial base intact. We don't have that advantage now.

    3) I don't know what we would do if an all-out global war started now - our credit card is already maxxed out.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  10. jbmid1

    jbmid1 Well-Known Member

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    International bankers are always willing to loan money to profit off of wars.
  11. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    Nine years into the "war on terror" and we have WWII level debt. How come? Could it be that:

    . We failed to enter into a war economy after 9-11 and still fail to do so today.

    . we failed to set taxes at war time levels (we gave out tax brakes instead).

    . we failed to regulate financial insitutions as part of a responsible war economy.

    . we failed to go after war profiteers and root out corruption.

    . we call our Govt. "the beast" rather than "Uncle Sam." Loyalty is a thing of the past.

    . Americans seem to hate each other more than the enamy. The disloyalty to our presidents (W. Bush and Obama) has been so bad the Islamic brotherhood must love it.

    In WWII, the American people ran the economy like smart and responsible Patriots should run a war economy. I wish I could say the same for us today.

    To be honest, we no longer have the money to continue in Iraq and Afganistan, and yet we want more tax cuts? So much for the war on terror, what about the next war?

    In real terms, we have already lost the next war. The Chinese Communists have passed us in technology, education and in their economy. They have our jobs and they own us.

    How do we turn this around?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  12. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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    According to what I've read, the total costs of the Iraq War and the Afghan War have been 1.1 trillion dollars (since 9/11/2001).

    Since 9/11/2001, our national debt has increased from 5.8 trillion to 14.1 trillion.... so the "War on Terror" has only accounted for one-eighth of the new debt.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  13. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Well, just like WWII, we've fighting a war on two fronts. We only spent four years in WWII; we're already nine into this "War on Terror."

    Your complaints don't seem to hold up. We've been fighting a war for twice as long only to run up the same (proportionate) debt.

    There is a difference between loyalty and blind following. All those "loyal" citizens from the WWII era were encouraged to do horrifically racist things to other Americans.

    We can disagree on details--and perhaps even some foundational issues--without being disloyal to the nation.
  14. 45Auto

    45Auto Active Member

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    The costs allocated directly to the boots on the ground in the "War on Terror" changes depending upon who you ask, what's included and what's not.

    The important thing to remember is that modern war is fought on many levels: Perception, moral, economic, etc. The Islamists are in this for the long run. If we wreck our economy and down size our govt. (exporting jobs + tax cuts) we become week, we can't afford to fight and the enamy wins.
  15. carver

    carver Moderator

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    We are not at War with anyone! What we are doing is called a Police Action, not war. It is imposible to fight a War on Terror. Terror is a tatic, not an enemy.
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The Constitutional & RKBA Forum American Rifleman, December Issue Dec 15, 2009

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