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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

National Debt Redux

About a year and a half ago, I made this blog post about the national debt, at the request of one of our clients.  In the post I wrote:
This issue is so important and complicated, that I will not try to address it all in one blog post. Instead, I will look at pieces of the puzzle over several posts. Hopefully, I will get some feedback as I go along and will address the most pressing issues.

Much to my chagrin, I never followed up as promised. Since then, the national debt has become an even bigger issue, as witnessed by this summer's political drama on raising the debt ceiling. Fortunately, the very client who originally asked me to address this issue is also keeping me honest, having recently reminded me that I never made any subsequent posts. So, I will now take up the issue again, and this time, I promise to do it justice. 

I think the best place to start is would be with 
this article in yesterday's Wall Street Journalwhich provides an excellent primer on the national debt.  I encourage those of you who are interested in this topic (and who isn't these days) to read it.  The author of the article, John Steele Gordon, is a well known business and financial historian.  He recently wrote a book on the history of the national debt called Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt.  I have just purchased the book with intent of using it to help guide us through the discussion over the next few months. So, please stay tuned...