It sounds ridiculous today. But not so long ago, the prospect of a debt-free U.S. was seen as a real possibility with the potential to upset the global financial system.
On today’s Planet Money: The legend of the national debt. Where the debt came from, what happened the one time we paid it all off, and who came up with the whole debt-ceiling idea in the first place.
What the solution to Europe’s debt crisis has to do with a bar on the coast of Spain.