The United States is experiencing a host of serious economic problems, including soaring unemployment, stagnant production, a crippled housing market, and ballooning government spending. Although each issue is important, it is the government's burgeoning spending, along with the recent two-year extension of the Bush era tax cuts, that has really captured everyone's attention. The hot economic topic discussed around the kitchen table, at dinner parties and business meetings, on nightly news programs, and in academic settings is the deficit and the national debt.

Most people agree that the government is a big spender and the mounting debt is troublesome. In fact, in a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, federal government debt and terrorism ...

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