Date: Oct 28, 2012 7:12 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Speachless In New York (or, another OMG moment)

On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:

> First, the US became the biggest
> debtor in the world under Reagan, after
> he conned so many with the conservative
> lie that lower tax rates cause government
> revenues to increase over and above what
> they would have been with the higher rates. (Adjusted for inflation
> revenues went up
> around 17% under Reagan, but were
> projected to go up roughly twice that
> had the tax rates stayed the same.)

Are you talking in absolute dollar terms or as a percent of GDP or
what? In absolute terms, many nations will barely register just
because they're so small, even if they're drowning in debt, as you

Here's a fun graph:

I do think we should talk plenty about money in STEM class and the
machinery of interest. Euler's number e comes up in the study of
compound interest for example.

A lot of students confuse the deficit with the debt and believe that
the debt was briefly replaced by a surplus during the Clinton Era. In
actuality the debt has never been less than zero in their lifetimes.

I allude to this surplus in this old political cartoon I did long ago: (1998)

When studying fractions, percents, ratios, etc. etc., debt should
enter in, especially if calculated with interest as exponential curves
need to be appreciated.