In the late 1970s, the U.S. saw inflation rates of some 20%/year as a result of the spendthrift ways of the late Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations as well as the tax increases which were imposed in a futile effort to get more revenue. The U.S. was on the verge of a classic hyperinflationary cycle of the "monetary model" type.
Then Federal Reserve head Paul Volcker responded by dramatically increasing interest rates, which is why we had a 21.5% prime rate in late 1979. All this, of course, doomed the Carter Administratioin to one term status. It was left to the Reagan Administration to pick up the pieces, which it did with its 1982 tax cuts, which more than doubled revenue to the Treasury by 1989, allowing the Fed to ease off on interest rates.
A nice piece on hyperinflation can be found here (and yes, it's substantially accurate).
I believe that hyperinflation is inevitable in the U.S. for one very simple reason: Since July 2008, the Bush and Obama administrations have combined to increase the money supply by almost 300%, and Obama's administration continues the practice of "quantitative easing," which is a fancy term for printing money, even while receipts to the Treasury continue to fall. This fiscal year alone, we will spend $3.6 trillion, while taking in only $1.9 trillion. There's no way that rate of red ink is sustainable. The projected figures tell us that we will add some $8 trillion of debt by October 2012. Add to that the huge tax increase that automatically happens in January 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire, the additional tax increases that the Administration wants, notably "cap and trade," which will cost every American household at least $1,200/year in increased energy costs and the inevitable increases in oil prices as we produce less oil worldwide, and it's easy to see from where the impetus for inflation will come.
Nevertheless, at some point in time the economy will try to improve. At that point, all that money that's been produced and will continue to be printed will come out of hiding, looking for something to buy - and finding far less to buy that it needs, will spark sharp inflation. Given the fact that the Administration and the Fed are agreed to keep ratcheting up the money supply, hyperinflation, IMO, is the only possible result.
And don't think for a minute that borders will offer any shelter; this plague will quickly spread to Canada as we..
Enjoy the ride!
Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly
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