The difference between the US Debt & Deficit.

The super short version:

Let’s say Sam gets $50 per year in allowance (revenue), but owes his Mom $100 in “debt” after two years.  He accrued that debt by spending $100 per year. So, he spent $50 more per year  (“yearly deficit”) than he made in allowance.

2 years * $50 yearly deficit = $100 debt.


As told by others:

More depth of the difference between debt and deficit:

Even greater detail specifc to the US economy as it relates to taxes, social security, military spending etc:

The History of the US Debt

Breakdown of US Debt Over Time:

Here is a breakdown of debt accrued over 40 years:

Here is a picture snapshot from the site incase your feeling lazy:











Per Presidency Comparison:

This is the total debt accrued per president in a more condensed format:









I crossed checked it with the treasury data to make sure it was kosher – you can too:



The great thing abot history and numbers is it help remind us there is a difference between what rememebr and what really hapened.

If your going to base your opinions on these numbers and term, please know what they are, or else not only are you doing the country a diservice, but you are letting people use your naivety to control your feelings on an issue.


As you can see it isnt a question of president,  the larger issue is that spending more than we make has been an issue without our country as a whole for a long time. Many of us complain about the economy in a warm room with a bed to sleep onand food in our stomach. (Of course many do not, and we need to fix that too), but we spend more than we should, and then hope someone will save us so we can do it again. That might be a better issue to reflect on then the unsubstantiated blame game.

Worried about the future, or another bad decision from your past?

I hear quite a few people tell me that they are “voting on the economy” or that they are fearful of the future. The funny thing is we don’t need to be fearful or imagine the future  we have lived through some scary ups and downs in the past 10 years. The problem with voters that stick to one party or the other is they don’t realize that they are voting for the party, not the economy. How can I demonstrate this? Well instead of me assuming that *you* specifically have a certain type of economic voting track record, I will let you be the judge for yourself. Below is census data since 1993 in four year increments. Look through them and ask yourself how did you vote at the end of the shown term. Did you vote on the economy then? It is very possible that you got what you asked for.

1993-1997: A 200 billion dollar deficit became an almost break even budget.

Did you vote for more of the same, or for change?


1997-2001: If you voted for the same, you got it. A break even budget turned into a 100 billion dollar surplus with highs in the 200 billions.

Did you vote to change or more of the same?



2001-2005: If you voted for change you got it. A 100 billion dollar surplus turned into a sub 300 billion dollar deficit.

Did you vote for change or more of the same?



2005-2009:  If you voted for more of the same you got it. A 300 billion dollar deficit turned into a 1.4 trillion dollar one.

Did you vote for change or the same?

2009-2013:  Not much happened, but we went from 1.4 trillion dollar deficit to 1.3 (I agreed the dotted lines are fake, so I removed them)







The way I see it is all those years in the past you had a chance to vote for more of the same or change, and in the past it’s exactly what you got. Sticking to your “party” instead of voting on what is best for the country is very much what you get: a party in office, not necessarily a better country. So the main thing I want to do is put to sleep the concept of “I’m voting for the economy”. Based on your past it is very possible that you never really have.