Column: Plain talk about deficits offers no easy answers

For those of you who like to run to the dictionary while reading this column, I apologize for the simplicity and directness of the words I am going to use.

Governments get and spend money. There the comparison with households and businesses ends. Governments (federal, state and local) have the power to tax. They can pass laws that require citizens to pay money to the government. You and I and the business down the block cannot require such payments.

Governments spend money, just as we do, and they also give money to people who have certain needs. Thus governments can give money to the poor for housing, food or medical care.

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