Wrisley details the fact that from 1792 until 1862, the second year of the War Between the States, the national debt was calculated in millions of dollars.
By comparison, today we’ve racked up debt that is rapidly closing in on $15 billion.
Some background: Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and the period immediately thereafter amounted to about $75.5 million as of Jan. 1, 1791.
In what must seem utterly unfathomable to today’s national leaders, from 1796 to 1811 there were 14 budget surpluses and just two deficits.
The subsistence scam operated by South Carolina lawmakers was ably highlighted last week by one of my talented co-workers at The Nerve, Rick Brundrett.
Brundrett found that through the first eight months of 2011, state Sens. Jake Knotts, John Scott and Nikki Setzler each received $9,563 in taxpayer-funded “subsistence” payments intended to cover hotel and food costs in Columbia while on official legislative business.
What makes this particularly notable is that all three live within 10 miles of the State House in Columbia.
Knotts, a Lexington County Republican; Scott, a Richland County Democrat; and Setzler, a Lexington County Democrat, have received the same amount of subsistence payments as Sen. Mike Fair, a Greenville County Republican, even though Fair lives more than 100 miles away from the Capitol, Brundrett reported.
The situation isn’t a fluke, as nearly two dozen Richland or Lexington County legislators living within 25 miles of the State House have received subsistence payments equal to or greater than payments to lawmakers who live farther away, The Nerve found through a review of state House and Senate expense records, obtained under the SC Freedom of Information Act.