Time Essay: Why Deficits Really Matter

Twenty-nine billion dollars! A mind-boggling sum. To many people, grappling with their own family budgets and worried about their own personal deficits, it is absolutely alarming that the Government proposes to spend that much more than it takes in during a single year. Yet the figure is a small fraction when compared with the total size of the U.S. economy. By the end of the budget year in September 1980, the U.S. will be producing goods and services at an annual rate of $2.6 trillion. So what does the $29 billion figure actually mean? Do deficits really matter? If so, why...

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