The Deficit Myth

Author:
Stephanie Kelton
Date Published:
06/09/2020
Deficits do matter, but not the way we’ve been taught to believe. We’ve been told that China is our banker and that Social Security and Medicare are pushing us into crisis. We’re told the U.S. could end up like Greece and that deficits will burden future generations. These are all myths.

Vice-president Dick Cheney famously boasted, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” He was wrong.

Deficits do matter, but not the way we’ve been taught to believe. We’ve been told that China is our banker and that Social Security and Medicare are pushing us into crisis. We’re told the U.S. could end up like Greece and that deficits will burden future generations. These are all myths.

Deficits can be used for good or evil. They can enrich a small segment of the population, driving income and wealth inequality to new heights, while leaving millions behind. They can fund unjust wars that destabilize the world and cost millions their lives. Or they can be used to sustain life and build a more just economy that works for the many and not just the few.

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