The Untold History of the United States. PM, October 15, Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium. 53 Wall Street, Free and Open to the Public. Oliver Stone & Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States. New York: Gallery Books, ISBN pages On their song. understanding of history shapes behavior in the here and now. United States was recently at war in three Muslim countries and carrying out drone attacks.
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The untold history of the United States. byStone Topics Politics and government, History Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files. The PDF file you selected should load here if your Web browser has a PDF reader plug-in installed (for example, a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader). The Untold History of the United States, Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. New York: Gallery Books, Ron Briley. Sandia Preparatory.
If GDP fails to match expected growth levels it would further drive up the debt. The debt could adversely impact American competitiveness: The U.
The rising debt could impact the independence of monetary policy: As interest payments on U. It is assumed that such debt holders have insatiable appetites for U. S treasuries. Should lenders stop downloading treasuries and invest their money elsewhere, this would force abrupt, and painful, changes in government spending. Unfortunately, Congress often shifts course in a way that adds to the deficit. When the world is not changing rapidly, this is a very reasonable approach.
Each would make the future U. Congress is likely to spend more than baseline projections indicate. When forecasting deficits, the CBO operates under the assumption that current law, including current plans to decrease or increase spending and taxes, will be followed in the future.
However, the government regularly releases a report called the Financial Report of the United States Government, in which it gives an estimate of the U.
Figure 1. Another perspective: Debt on an accrual basis 2: The size of the debt is highly sensitive to economic fluctuations Forecasts by the Congressional Budget Office CBO have been an essential underpinning in debt reduction planning. However, the sheer scale of the national debt makes even marginal departures from the CBO assumptions produce significantly different levels of debt, thereby altering the relative urgency of addressing the issue.
GDP growth may be significantly different than anticipated. As Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff has demonstrated, after a financial recession, growth typically is relatively anemic while unemployment remains high for up to six years after the initial downturn. Furthermore, nations with high debt-to-GDP ratios tend to perform more poorly than those with lower debt ratios.
Rogoff concluded that over the last two centuries, nations with government debt in excess of 90 percent of GDP grew by 2 percent less per year than those with more manageable debt levels. In the post-WWII period, the average level of growth is almost 4 percent lower.
CBO projections for the next decade, however, assume high peak GDP growth without taking into account the possibility or likelihood of weak economic years. Recent growth has hovered around 2 percent, with no sign yet that the economy is capable of regularly growing at the real 3.
A deviation of 1 percent of average GDP growth over the next decade increases or decreases the U. In this environment, pledges to balance the budget by a certain date or efforts to manage towards a strict debt ceiling level will prove difficult because somewhat unpredictable economic fluctuations will determine the structural landscape that budget debates are played out over.
One-fourth of the U. Many of these T-Bills must be refinanced more than once per year, creating significant additional refinancing. As the United States continues to accrue debt, the amount that must be refinanced, and that is therefore affected by the market interest rate, will only grow. For example, as the U. Had there been a sudden rise for any reason in the interest rate on treasuries, the nation would have been forced to refinance at significantly higher interest rates.
In , due to action taken by the Treasury, this pattern has eased but will still require the United States to refinance an amount double the projected deficit. In , refinanced debt outpaced new issuances 5 to 1. Since the U. Treasury is forced to refinance large portions of U. The natural rise of interest rates that occurs during a recovery will force higher rates for U. These increased interest payments in turn will have to be financed through more debt, further compounding the problem.
While high levels of inflation are not expected by most economists in the short term, there is always a risk that at some point over the next decade there might be, for any number of reasons, an unexpected bout of inflation.
In this scenario, the Fed should be able to freely respond by raising interest rates.
On our current path, however, such an action would have an enormous fiscal impact. Figure 3. The impact of interest rates on debt projections Table 1. Impacts of altering CBO assumptions An alternative debt forecast Just how much sensitivity is there in the size of the debt problem?
Consider if four CBO assumptions discussed earlier—the Bush tax cuts expiring, the AMT hitting the middle class, the spending caps holding, and cuts to Medicare Part D—failed to actually materialize. Figure 4.
In an attempt to quantify this silent cost of interest, figure 5 illustrates how, for comparison purposes, a variety of key investments made over the next 10 years would cost less than the total interest paid on the debt. Specifically, these items include modernizing every school in America; 28 building 80, miles of highways; 29 paying for all costs associated with every STEM degree in the country; 30 tripling U.
The trillion dollars could be used for tax cuts, paying down the Federal debt, or any number of other uses. Figure 5 makes clear that a great variety of meaningful investments will almost certainly be left undone simply because interest payments will push them out of the budget.
Federal debt may raise the cost of borrowing for domestic-based American companies. When the government runs large deficits, it competes for funds that could be invested in the private sector. Higher costs for capital and limited access to investment will impact the borrowing costs of companies as well.
If the cost of borrowing rises for the U. As in governments, higher interest costs paid by firms will necessarily detract from other core operations of their businesses.
Stone and Kuznick offer a much less embellished version of the story: In addition, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally and militarily unjustified demonstrations of power, aimed at scaring Stalin and the Soviets into postwar submission rather than ending the war.
A very similar pattern will repeat itself throughout the century, as the imperialist US, hiding behind the facade of democracy, seeks conflict and creates enemies around the globe—from Latin America, South East Asia, and more recently, the Middle East. Keeping this historical precedent in mind, the recent blunders of George W. Bush, and the imperialist ambitions of Barack Obama should come as no surprise.
Once again, the cast of characters have changed, but the story, for the most part, remains the same.
Stone and Kuznick look back on the past with regret: By focusing on the actions of small cast of heroes and villains, Stone and Kuznick obscure the underlying driving force behind American imperialism and militarism—i. Despite its shortcomings, I would have to say that Untold History is still a triumphant accomplishment.
Whether or not it is revisionist history or another version of his story is up for debate, but this heavily footnoted work with nearly one hundred pages of notes at the end , provides readers with an ample amount of sources, as well as other avenues for further research.
Although some critics might accuse Stone and Kuznick of just preaching to the choir, such a cynical perspective forgets the fact that this version of American history is still unknown to many below the ivory tower academia.
Related Papers. By Anthony Cash. Atomic Bomb Memory. By Tokikake Toki Ii. Was the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki taken less to end the war with Japan than to frighten the Soviet Union?
By Cherry-Lynne Hopley. Profit and Public Interest: By Kathy Roberts Forde. Final essay Atomic bomb. By Jiawei Xiang.