Freeman

February 1987

Volume 37, 1987

FEATURES

The Politics of Deficit Spending

FEBRUARY 01, 1987 by HANS SENNHOLZ

During the first 150 years of U.S. history, it was a maxim of political economy that the federal government should balance its budget. The only exception was allowed in wartime when deficits were deemed to be unavoidable. But when the war emergency had passed, the federal government was expected to repay the debt as soon as possible. It was made to run surpluses for 28 consecutive years after the Civil War, and for 11 consecutive years after World War I.


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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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