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For a country like the US—one that runs persistent current account deficits—government deficits are perfectly normal and

 almost always necessary to achieve healthy economic outcomes. 

That doesn’t mean budget surpluses are impossible—we saw them under the Clinton administration 1998-2001—but it does make them unsustainable, as Wynne Godley and Randall Wray warned. 

This thing we call a government “deficit” is just the difference (G-T) between two numbers. 

One number tells us how many dollars the government disperses into our hands each year (G) and the other tells us how many dollars it subtracts away from us, mostly through taxation (T). A fiscal “deficit” happens when the government puts in more dollars than it removes (G>T).

We can refer to it as a “government deficit,” or we can call it a “non-government surplus.” 

Stephanie Kelton 5 March 2022


As long as the US runs a giant trade deficit, we are going to have lower interest rates than we would otherwise

John Mauldin 11 February 2022


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