Big Deficits and a Weaker Dollar

by

by Michael S. Rozeff

Hyperinflation in the U.S. hasn’t happened for quite some time. The last two instances that come to mind are confederate money in the 1860s and the continentals in the 1770s. In both these cases, governments used inflation to finance wars because their tax systems were weak.

A strong tax system (from the government’s perspective) has several aspects. It has a large productive capacity that it can tax without causing production to decline by a great deal. It can enforce tax collections. The required taxes are low compared to the overall government spending.


The U.S. tax system is not weak, but it is weakening. The productive capacity is difficult to evaluate, but it too has probably weakened. The U.S. economy has a large government sector (at least 40 percent) that is relatively inefficient. It also interferes with and distorts the private economy. The federal government has not been able to finance its spending by current taxes in a long time. Instead it has resorted to borrowing (deficit spending) and inflation. The results are a large national debt and a depreciating currency.

U.S. government financing has weakened further in the past year. The government is borrowing very heavily to pay for such actions as the absorption of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailouts of AIG and large banks, and the rest of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. A short while ago, the government sent out $160 billions of dollars of tax rebates. Meanwhile the Fed has, on its own and with government cooperation, vastly increased credits to the private economy. This has dramatically inflated the monetary base.

Continued on…

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff267.html

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