In economics, a deficit is an excess of expenditures over revenue in a given time period.
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- The only way you can finance a deficit is by inflation. You cannot raise this amount of money by genuine borrowing. You borrow from the banks, which create credit for the purpose. A large government deficit is a certain way to inflation.
- Friedrich Hayek, in "Business People; A Nobel Winner Assesses Reagan", The New York Times (December 1, 1982)
- But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents our of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We've raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations in the world. We have 15 billion dollars in gold in our treasury; we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are 27.3 billion dollars. And we've just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.