45 million 18-29 year olds will be eligible to vote in this year's presidential election, representing the largest potential voting bloc in the country. Learn more about the issues, register to vote and get involved with MTV's Power of 12. Today, we've got another "Jargon Buster" for you.
OK, friends. Get your thinking cap on. Today's Jargon Buster has some vocab lessons to give you a well-rounded understanding on US spending ... if you can bear to think about it.
debt, noun: the amount of money borrowed by the federal government at any given time.
deficit, noun: the amount by which a government's spending (called expenditures) exceeds its revenue (known as receipts) each year.
So here's how it works. When Uncle Sam collects taxes, that money goes toward our country's annual receipts. (Think receives = receipts.) If that sum is more than we spent in a year (spending = expenditures), then it has a surplus. If the expenditures exceed the receipts, however, it has a deficit. Oopsie!
A deficit is that value in any given year. So if we make $5 in one fiscal year, and we spend $7 in that same year, our deficit for the year is $2. If only ... word on the street is that the US may have accrued a deficit of over a trillion dollars this year.
A debt, on the other hand, is the total amount of moola the US has borrowed to cover its string of deficits. With all of those annual deficits going to a much larger I-O-U on the whole, the government ends up borrowing money from other countries. The debt is that total amount of money we owe. The national debt, at the moment, is around $15,702,044,200,000.
The moral of the story: Pay your bills on time, minimize the loans you take out, balance your checkbook. Let's teach the big boys how it's done.