Is debt the central issue of our time, or a Tea Party distraction?

The US deficit is an issue both candidates have said they are deeply concerned about. We look at how much the deficit can weigh down the economy and our politics, and whether short-term stimulus is worth long-term debt.

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Recently in 30 Issues | Is The Debt Really A Crisis?

30 Issues Data: How Much Does US Debt Concern You?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

As part of the Brian Lehrer Show's 30 Issues in 30 Days series, the WNYC Data News team is designing interactive visualizations, tools and graphics to illuminate the data behind the issues. Join the full conversation on the role of long-term debt here.

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30 Issues: Is The Debt Really A Crisis?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

30 Issues in 30 Days is our election year series on the important issues facing the country this election year. Today: The actual significance of the national debt and how it might play into the election. Visit the 30 Issue home page for all the conversations.

Comments [46]

Debt in State Government Hits Fever Pitch

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

At the state level, exploding fiscal debt comes as Washington is on a to dramtically cut discretionary domestic spending on local aid.


Old World Economic Ills

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago economist and the author of A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity, argues the U.S. economy is in danger of falling prey to the problems he hoped to leave behind in Europe.

Comments [11]

Paul Krugman: Super Committee Failure is a Good Thing

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recap from It's A Free Country

Paul Krugman says we need to leave Social Security and Medicare alone, raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and get over our fear of government spending—which is why he's happy that the deficit reduction super committee didn't make a deal.

Comments [22]

Debt Committee Impasse May Keep Deficit Talks Going Through 2013

Monday, November 14, 2011

If they find anything [by the deadline], it's going to be window dressing...I think they could come up with something, but not anywhere near the level most economists say needs to happen in order to get this country back on a fiscal sustainable path.

Politico congressional reporter Manu Raju on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [8]

Why Should We Worry About Deficits Anyway?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We are not going to be able to get our fiscal house in order until we deal with our unemployment problem... The real issue is getting our economy back on track.

Comments [13]

Breaking Down Obama's Deficit Reduction Proposal

Monday, September 19, 2011

[It's as if Obama said,] Republicans don't want to compromise right now, so I'm going to come out with a plan that's closer to what I would actually want if I could do whatever I wanted.

David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief for the New York Times, on The Brian Lehrer Show

Comments [7]

The Politics of Deficit Reduction

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Now, the Republicans are becoming so radicalized. They actually do want to repeal the social contract of the 20th century so that's what the next election is going to be about, these gains that were made in the 20th century and whether we want to continue with the deal that we make to each other as a people, and I think it's going to be a fascinating election because it really is a referendum on something important.

Jonathan Alter, MSNBC analyst and author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [20]

Progressive Deficit Reduction

Monday, December 06, 2010

Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Columbia University professor, and author of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy  joins Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, senior fellow at Demos, and author of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future  to discuss the demise of the president's deficit commission's proposal.

Comments [27]