The Myth of a Public Debt Crisis Debunked

Thomas Piketty’s forthcoming book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shows that on a net basis the U.S. does not have any public debt and perhaps never did.

Matthew Yglesias: “The conventional way for debt scaremongers to measure the national debt is to compare gross public debt to GDP. But the normal way you measure the debt load of a business or a household is to ask for a net figure.”

“It’s simply not the case that a large amount of gross debt is a sign of overextension. It’s typically a sign of prosperity and creditworthiness.”


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  • Lorehead

    Even this is misleading, because the U.S. has the options of inflating away its debt and defaulting, which for example Greece (which did not control its own currency and had a large primary deficit, requiring it to keep borrowing) could not.

  • mb5599

    $17+ trillion in debt……………….nothing to see here…….see my numbers…………idiot.

  • Econ101lab

    What an idiot. Like we could liquidate our assets. Sure, let’s give China, say, California, Nevada, and Washington state. That should clear up that debt.

    Quit pi$$ing on our legs and telling us it’s raining.

  • Richard Tebaldi

    Bull Tacos! Apparently written by an Obama know nothing about economics fan.
    You should be embarrassed to print this. I am considering canceling. Sheer stupidity to think this way.

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