I wonder if Bank of America is taking applications for the Darwin Awards?

Every year your receipts are exceeded by your expenditures you are running a deficit. No matter how small that deficit is, it increases your debt. The only way to reduce the debt is to run a surplus.

When I was still in the Air Force before I retired in 2000, I had a Motorola Satellite Phone, it had an antenna that looked like a gun barrel, and someone unfamiliar with this phone might have thought I was carrying some “James Bond” accessory provided by Q… I was never out of touch and I was required to keep it turned on and handy 24/7.

When I retired, the Air Force wanted it back, imagine that? So I bought a Nokia phone, it was analog and although it had a little whip antenna that you extended from the case, it had connectivity everywhere also. And even while driving through tunnels, it did not lose reception. It was foolish to use the phone while driving then, but it was not illegal.

Today and over the last 10 to 15 years or so, using digital phones, be they Samsung, LG, Motorola, or Nokia, all android (never had an Apple or iPhone…), I can lose reception (or just receive garbled half-phrases) when traveling under high tension lines, over bridges, or stopped on the wrong side of an 18-wheeler. My phones all work hands free thorough the vehicle’s radio now…

Ah, for the old days of carefree driving when you only had to worry if you had a dime to make a phone call as there seem to be public phones almost everywhere; and if you were somewhere desolate, folks were not afraid to stop and ask if you needed help…

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Yes, you are right about that. The relationship of deficit to debt can be confusing. There’s a highly educated (at least for political science issues) radio talk show host in this area that simply cannot understand the difference. He claims repeatedly that if there is a deficit, then automatically there has to be a debt. Or if there is a debt, then there is automatically a deficit. Neither of which of course is the case.

Another way to think about it, the measurement units for the two terms are different. Debt is measured in dollars. Deficit is measured in dollars/year. So common sense says one can’t be the same as the other, simply b/c they are measured in different units. Just like miles per hour isn’t the same as miles. Most folks know that it would be nonsense to say the “distance from San Francisco to LA is 60 miles per hour”. But I hear folks say quite frequently – even big-name news anchors – that deficit & debt are the same thing.

The Federal Budget can indeed turn from a deficit to a surplus. I think the last time that happened was during the Clinton (Democratic) admin. At the time the Federal Reserve Board was quite worried about this. They claimed a nation should always hold some debt, and if the budget surpluses continued, the debt would be eliminated, making the economy unstable. Needless worry. As everybody knows that problem was easily solved by the group who took charge after Clinton… lol …

The concepts of debt and deficit are closely related to the mathematical field of calculus.

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