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everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references.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.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it
Today is brought to you by the letter F and for Billy Joel’s song, we have foreign debts.
1983 Foreign Debt

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.

6 responses

  1. Susan says:

    Wow; I didn’t know that about Reagan’s administration. I always thought he was remembered as one of the better American presidents. Perhaps I’m wrong.

    *Visiting from A-Z, and from Canada!*


    • The Republican Party holds him up on a pedestal and rolls him out whenever they want. I remember him for how college financial aid changed for the worse under him as that effected me. I am sure he did many good things but when he is mentioned in today’s politics, they forget things like the foreign debt. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Reagan was a good president in many respects, but the economy was not one of them. o
    Of course nothing ever gets done to try to reign it in either. It’s like a runaway horse.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead


  3. Birgit says:

    He liked to spend the money and on more arms. I remember the fear that many people felt and thought nuclear war was going to happen.