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This edition: Federal Deficits





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Episode Details

During WWII, our national debt had more than quadrupled, so government encouraged citizens to buy war bonds and federal stamps to pay some of it off. In 1960 President Eisenhower achieved a surplus and reduced the debt, a feat not repeated until the 1990s. But a large tax cut in 2001, three wars, a down market and huge entitlement costs pushed the deficit and the national debt to an alarming new height that forced a fierce confrontation between Congressional Democrats and Republicans. These stories show that deficits can be helpful or harmful, but long-term debt is serious business.

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