A Brief History
On January 8, 1835, President Andrew Jackson saw fit to celebrate the rarest of events in American history, the only time the US has ever had a zero balance for a National Debt. This rare and wonderful situation lasted until 1837, never to be seen again.
Today, we routinely talk about our national debt, which is about $31.5 Trillion at this time. Our spending for Fiscal Year 2023 has exceeded our tax revenues by about $336 billion, adding that amount to our national debt.
The last time the US had a balanced budget, where spending did not exceed revenues, was during 1998-2001, when Bill Clinton was President. Oddly enough, even during a budget surplus the US national debt still grew!
Will we ever balance our budget again? Most observers say NO!
Question for students (and subscribers): Should the US have a law requiring a balanced budget? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Arndt, Thomas. America’s National Debt: Examining the Facts. ABC-CLIO, 2022.
Lane, Carl. Understanding the National Debt: What Every American Needs to Know. Westholme Publishing, 2016.
The featured image in this article, a graph, created by Ninjatacoshell using Microsoft Excel, depicting the U.S. federal debt from 1790 to 2009, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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