Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of August 3rd, - August 9th, 2007

Fiscal Pressure

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The US Flag

  Pluto is a powerful planet that doesn't fool around.

  In the popular genre, it is probably most famous for its sexual exploits, but it often manifests as fiscal pressure as well. When Pluto makes a hard aspect to our inner planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars), we often find ourselves financially backed into a corner, being forced to confront repairs at home, a loss of income on the job, or an old loan resurfacing for the umpteenth time.

US Mercury Pluto oppostion

US Mercury Pluto oppostion

  The US of A, born on July 4th, 1776, came into being with a Mercury Pluto opposition. In 1860 and 1861, as the bloodiest confrontation this nation has ever fought commenced, the progressed Mercury squared Pluto igniting the natal configuration. As the celestial scythe came down, this is what history records:

  (At the start of the war...) "Confederate bonds were more popular in England than the bonds of the United States. The world's treasures were closed against us. The bankers of Europe, with the Rothschilds in the lead, would not touch our securities. Their united clientage included the investors of Great Britain and the Continent, and a popular loan could not be effected without their co-operation. We were engaged therefore in a threefold contest,--a military one with the Confederacy, and diplomatic and moral one with the governments of England and France, a financial one with the money power of Europe."

  (All quotes from Twenty Years of Congress, by James Gillispie Blaine, Senator from Maine)

The Confederacy

The Confederacy

  It was the opinion in Europe that the Confederacy would win the war, and that the country might be further divided, not only North from South, but, with time, East from West as well making us more 'manageable' in European circles. The country had always relied on credit, but this was a crisis never before faced by the economy or the nation.

  "With no power to exchange our bonds for coin except at such rates as would destroy national credit... our situation was not merely one of anxiety but of peril. Never in the history of national progress through trials and crises, were wise statesmanship and financial sagacity more imperatively demanded. The Rebels might fight without money, for they had no national credit to protect; but to the Union, bankruptcy meant final and hopeless ruin..."

  "The task of Congress might well strike some thoughtful legislators as that of making bricks without straw. As the Rebellion took form and organization, it became clear that the ability and willingness of the people to raise large sums of money were vital factors in the problem of the maintenance of the Union.
James G. Blaine, Senator from Maine in the 19th century

James G. Blaine, 19th century senator

It was well that no one knew just how great were the burdens which the loyal people must bear. It is no disparagement to the leading statesmen of that era, that they did not at first propose measures adequate to the emergency, because no standards existed by which the magnitude of that emergency could be estimated. If Congress had understood on the 1st of July, 1861, that the ordinary expenditures of the government would be, within the fiscal years 1863 and 1864, more than the entire expenditures of the National Government from the foundation of the nation to that day, paralysis would have fallen upon the courage of the bravest. If the necessity had been proclaimed of raising by loans before the 1st of July, 1865, two thousand millions of dollars more than the National Treasury had ever received from loans and revenue combined, the audacity of the demand would have forbidden serious consideration."

  Fiscal pressure, indeed.

  Say hello to Pluto.

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The US Flag

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