The Federal Budget Versus The Household Budget

Feb 11, 2013

Politicians, economists, and pundits consistently compare the federal budget to a family budget, so it follows that like a family with a stack of bills on the kitchen table, government must tighten its belt and live within its means. Whether accurate or not, it’s an easy metaphor for a complicated problem and an almost dizzying amount of line items, deficit columns and numbers followed by lots and lots of zeros. We asked an economist to help us take the analogy a step further. What would the federal budget look like when scaled down to a real household budget? And is that an accurate comparison? With us today, Matthew J. Slaughter, Associate Dean for Faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

We discovered a wealth of links on the subject: