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Debt & Deficit Primer

The federal checkbook has been in overdraft territory for so long, it feels like business as usual. Not a good feeling to get comfy with. Economists differ over whether it’s fair to compare the whole country’s balance sheet to your household’s. But if you were bringing home a monthly $4,000 paycheck while spending $7,000, month after month, you’d get queasy eventually. The debt hanging over our collective American household surpassed $16 trillion. Manageable? Or should we be starting to sweat? Face the facts here.

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