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1. A debt may get mouldy, but it never decays.

Chinua Achebe (b.1930) Nigerian novelist, poet, and essayist. No Longer At Ease (1960)


2. He who buys what he needs not, sells what he needs.

Anonymous. Japanese proverb.


3. If someone had told you four years ago that the national debt would be doubled in the next four years, you would have insisted on a saliva test for that person.

Dale Bumpers (b.1925) U.S. politician. U.S. News & World Report (1984)


4. Think of all the energy you’ve wasted in your time looking for money to pay interest on your loans. If you’d used it on something else you might have turned the world upside down by now.

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian playwright and short-story writer. The Cherry Orchard (1904), Act 3


5. Bankruptcy or credit default is not an issue.

Bernie Ebbers (b.1941) Canadian business executive. Said a few months before the bankruptcy of World Com. Press Conference (February 2002)


6. Creditors have better memories than debtors.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) U.S. politician, inventor, and journalist. The Poor Richard’s Almanack series (1732-58) was originally published under the pseudonym Richard Saunders. Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)


7. Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa Claus what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want-and their kids pay for it.

Richard D. Lamm (b.1935) U.S. politician. U.S. News & World Report (1985)


8. I feel these days like a very large flamingo. No matter what way I turn, there is always a very large bill.

Joseph O’Connor (b.1963) Irish journalist and novelist. The Secret World of the Irish Male (1994)


9 The debt is like a crazy aunt we keep down in the basement. All the neighbors know she’s there, but nobody wants to talk about her.

H.Ross Perot (b.1930) U.S. entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and politician. United We Stand: How We Can Take Back Our Country (1992)


10. If I confess to you why I was so far behind you in these examples, you’d know why we have a budget deficit.

Ronald Reagan (b.1911) U.S. former president and actor. Said to a junior high school math class. Quoted in U.S. News & World Report (1984)


11. Things continue in government unless you feel a crisis. In fact, we didn’t have a crisis, so the deficit persisted.

Paul A. Volcker (b.1927) U.S. economist and banker. Time (1989)


12. At the rate we’re borrowing from abroad, in the space of three years we will have wiped out all of the holdings we’ve built up overseas since the Second World War and become a debtor nation.

Paul A. Volcker (b.1927) U.S. economist and banker. U.S. News & World Report (1984)


13. One must have some sort of occupation now-a-days. If I hadn’t my debts I shouldn’t have anything to think about.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish writer and wit. A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act 1