–Deficits and interest rates: Another myth

An alternative to popular faith

11/15/09 (AFP): “The US government announced last month that it had closed its 2009 fiscal year with a record budget deficit of 1.417 trillion dollars, up 962 billion dollars from the prior year. The huge gap stemmed from declining revenues and a massive boost to spending in a 787-billion-dollar stimulus plan designed to jolt the world’s largest economy from its prolonged recession. Concerns over the deficit underscore a fundamental tension undercutting Obama’s presidency in its first year — the extent to which he is attempting sweeping political change at a moment of historic financial peril.

“Many economists say high deficits during economic crises are acceptable to fuel government spending to stimulate growth. But long-term deficits can result in high interest rates, making it much harder for consumers to finance outlays such as new homes and cars.”

Yet another myth in the pantheon of economic myths circulating the globe. Look at the following chart and tell me whether you can see a relationship between deficits — even large deficits — and interest rates.

Debt vs Interest Rates

Contrary to popular faith, deficits are not the cause of inflation or high interest rates. Browse through the posts on this site, and you will see why.

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