To the editor:
What ever happened to old-fashioned patriotism?
The treaty that closed the Revolutionary War in 1782 provided that the English trading houses in America could collect their just debts from their debtors. The debt collectors’ details disclose that most of the great planters (100 slaves or more) were bankrupt, having financed the war.
In the War of 1812 and the Civil War, prominent citizens organized, financed and led regimental units into battle. During the Civil War, President Lincoln was advised, “Issue Treasury notes, bearing no interest, printed on the best banking paper and declare them legal tender and issue enough to pay off army expense.” The greenback dollar was born.
Some well-to-do wanted to do more. The Chicago Board of Trade Field Artillery was one example of many independent regiments and companies. The heavy debt of World War II was paid for, starting in 1946 with a 90 percent tax on the highest incomes. I can recall no great public outcry. People bought war bonds.
The Vietnam, Iraq and Afghan wars were financed by IOU’s by the ones who ordered the war. We are now faced with the task of retiring those greenback dollars. One choice seems to be to pass the burden onto the less fortunate. It seems they need to lower the level of living.