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Glenn Beck - Current Events & Politics - America’s Forgotten Depression... and Roaring Recovery!
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The Revolutionary Debt
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By Larry Schweikart
Home > Current Events & Politics > America’s Forgotten Depression... and Roaring Recovery!
America’s Forgotten Depression... and Roaring
February 24, 2010 - 12:31 ET
Ever hear of the Great Depression of 1920? No, me either. Do you know why?
Because the recession that began shortly after World War I ended never
deepened and never became “great” (as though any depression is great).
There is a history lesson in that story that our leadership in Washington
should keep in mind today.
As the United States, and the world, came out of World War I, the economies
of the warring powers had been cranked up to full production to meet
wartime demands. Suddenly, in 1918, the Armistice was announced, and within a year, troops began
returning to civilian life. The influx of millions of soldiers worldwide introduced sudden unemployment, and
thousands of farmers came back to farms that were already at or near full capacity, causing farm prices to
fall. In the United States, Woodrow Wilson’s hand-picked successor, James Cox, the newspaper magnate
from Dayton, Ohio, ran on a platform of reducing America’s wartime debt through a policy of maintaining
Wilson’s outrageously high wartime tax rates.
The Progressive President Wilson had been in office when the Income Tax
Amendment was passed—a story in itself. While the goal of the Progressives
who favored an income tax was first and foremost wealth redistribution (not
raising money to run the government), the income tax itself was largely sold
to the American people on two major positive features. First, its rates were
(by current standards) ridiculously low. Most people paid no income taxes at
all, the bottom bracket paid only about 1%, and the very richest Americans
paid only 6% (today, many states