WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE
FROM A TO Z
On September 27, 1989, the iconic song by Billy Joel, We Didn’t Start the Fire hit the airwaves. It was a history lesson set to music. When you first heard the song, did you know or remember all the people places, things and events mentioned in the lyrics? I sure didn’t. Back in 1989 before the internet was something everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references. This month, for the A to Z Challenge, I am writing about that history.
Although foreign debt has been an aspect of the United States government even before it was the United States, the 1980s are particularly notable. During the 1980s ‘Reaganomics’ started a trend of higher and higher obligations to foreign creditors that continues into the 21st Century. When Ronald Reagan became President in 1980, the nation’s debt/GNP ratio was 33%. The policies of the Reagan Administration paired tax cuts with increased defense spending and refusal to cut spending elsewhere, causing foreign debt to soar. When President Reagan left office in 1988 the debt/GNP ratio was 53%, the highest in US history.