Debt Quotes

Most companies can survive even if their debt ratings are lowered below investment grade, although they will have higher borrowing costs.

— Alex Berenson

Botswana is actually very peaceful. It’s democratic. It never was in debt. They’ve been fortunate, they’ve had diamonds.

— Alexander McCall Smith

Here’s the perversity of Wall Street’s psychology: The more Wall Street is convinced that Washington will act rationally and raise the debt ceiling, most likely at the 11th hour, the less pressure there will be on lawmakers to reach an agreement. That will make it more likely a deal isn’t reached.

— Andrew Ross Sorkin

About two-thirds of bachelor’s degree holders borrow to go to school, and on average they’re graduating with more than $26,000 in debt.

— Arne Duncan

We owe an historic debt to American Indians. They have a unique set of concerns that haven’t been addressed, and I’d like to stand with them. Also, I’d like to get their views on immigration.

— Al Franken

A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.

— Alexander Hamilton

When you look what is happening in this country with the debt, the deficit, the CBO coming out and saying once again we’re going to have a trillion dollar plus deficit in 2012, the fourth straight year, and unemployment may be going back up to 8.9 or maybe nine percent by the end of the year, these are serious situations that are going.

— Allen West

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.

— Ambrose Bierce

At this time – we’re in a dramatic crisis – euro bonds are precisely the wrong answer. They lead us into a debt union, not a stability union. Each country has to take its own steps to reduce its debt.

— Angela Merkel

Make no mistake: I will work with both Democrats and Republicans to cut wasteful spending and reduce our debt in a balanced, responsible way.

— Ann McLane Kuster

I have been in love, and in debt, and in drink, this many and many a year.

— Alexander Brome

Twas drink made me fall in love, And love made me run into debt, And though I have struggled and struggled and strove, I cannot get out of them yet.

— Alexander Brome

I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.

— Barack Obama

A.I.G. was even larger than Lehman, with a substantial presence in derivatives and debt markets, as well as in insurance markets.

— Ben Bernanke

Monetary policy has less room to maneuver when interest rates are close to zero, while expansionary fiscal policy is likely both more effective and less costly in terms of increased debt burden when interest rates are pinned at low levels.

— Ben Bernanke

I have been working for Africans since I was 18, when I got involved with the Nelson Mandela concerts. I got involved with debt cancellation because Desmond Tutu demanded that the world respond to that situation.

— Bono

I can tell you this, if it wasn’t for my book royalties, I’d be in debt.

— Benny Hinn

We can recognize and give credit where credit is due, to the debt of taste we owe Europe, but we have taste, too.

— Billy Baldwin

If it took multiple debt ceiling hikes, I’d rather achieve the savings.

— Bob Corker

Southern Europe has not done enough to enhance its competitiveness, while northern Europe has not done enough to boost demand. Debt burdens remain crushing, and Europe’s economy remains unable to grow.

— Barry Eichengreen

If we had decided on January 5, in the new House of Representatives, to make no new spending bills, the debt ceiling would’ve still been hit, because, those are bills that are coming in as a result of purchases and commitments made by the administration and the previous Congress.

— Bill Johnson

I owe a great debt to motor-racing, and the first place I went to in Europe when I was 20 was Italy, and I was extremely influenced by it in books until I got there.

— Billy Al Bengston

Because reverse mortgages do not require borrowers to make immediate repayments, the interest charges are added to the debt every day, and the total amount owed grows over time.

— Charles Duhigg

When President Obama was in the Senate, when he was a U.S. senator, he voted against raising the debt ceiling. And he said it was a lack of leadership that had brought us to this point.

— Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Nobody wants the United States to default on its debt. Nobody. But, at some point in time, we’ve got to address the fiscal woes of this nation.

— Chuck Fleischmann

You never cash out a 401(k) or IRA to pay off debt, unless it’s to avoid a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

— Dave Ramsey

Enough is enough. Enough of the waste. Enough of the spending. Enough of the debt. Enough of the arrogance in Washington, D.C.

— Dan Benishek

If you look internationally over the last 50 years there have been improvements in the third world, but in the last 20 years the reverse has happened, with debt crises and increased poverty.

— David Korten

On any measure, Spain’s bank rescue has been a disaster. A hundred million euros have been added to the national debt, ten-year bonds are at a record high and the country’s credit rating has been downgraded three notches.

— Daniel Hannan

The Republican argument that raising the debt ceiling encourages additional future spending is logically irresponsible. The debt ceiling has to be raised to authorize spending already approved by Congress. Despite that fallacy, the GOP has been able to score political points with its argument.

— Eliot Spitzer

I’m very interested in the more grass-roots consequences of the economic meltdown: issues related to mortgage foreclosures, debt collection, and the practices of credit card companies and others who hold a lot of consumer debt.

— Eric Schneiderman

I’ve criticized Republicans for their lack of fiscal discipline when they controlled Congress before 2007. However, that is no excuse to just continue with more of the same or, as the case is now, to make it worse. Under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s budget, we will double the national debt in five years and triple it in 10.

— Erik Paulsen

In a world awash in debt, power shifts to creditors.

— Fareed Zakaria

It’s a scary thing going into the workforce with a $50,000 debt and you’ve been trained as a classical theatre actor. There’s always a depression in the theatre.

— Frances McDormand

Debt collectors should be required to disclose the applicable statute of limitations in the body of their collection letters, in bold type. While it’s not illegal to dun a consumer for an old debt, it is illegal to sue for one.

— Gary Weiss

When Uganda got debt relief in 1999, the first item President Museveni bought was a presidential jacket for himself.

— George Ayittey

What Africa needs to do is to grow, to grow out of debt.

— George Ayittey

One of the things that Africa needs, everybody seems to agree, is some measure of debt relief.

— Gwen Ifill

Obama has been perhaps the most partisan President since Truman. He hasn’t learned to be civil – note his insulting speech to Paul Ryan, who did us the courtesy of scoring a budget. The president has to talk to Republicans when it comes to the debt ceiling. He has reached the debt ceiling before anyone expected.

— Grover Norquist

Some people use one half their ingenuity to get into debt, and the other half to avoid paying it.

— George Dennison Prentice

If you put a purchase on a charge card, you’re paying it off forever. You have to know how to pay it off before you go deeply in debt.

— Gregory Meeks

Debt can be the most addictive thing in the universe, and it can kill you. You get used to living high off the hog. It was intoxicating.

— Harvey Weinstein

Because Social Security has not contributed to our debt, Americans should be skeptical of any politician who says that benefits Americans have earned must be reduced in order to address our national debt.

— Hank Johnson

While the deficit and debt are serious problems, I oppose solving these problems by raising taxes.

— Jason Chaffetz

In 1828 we raised the duties, on an average, to nearly fifty per cent, when the debt was on the eve of being discharged, and thereby flooded the country with a revenue, when discharged, which could not be absorbed by the most lavish expenditures.

— John C. Calhoun

Some have been ensnared in the net of excessive debt. The net of interest holds them fast, requiring them to sell their time and energies to meet the demands of creditors. They surrender their freedom, becoming slaves to their own extravagance.

— Joseph B. Wirthlin

The truth is that the United States doesn’t need, and shouldn’t have, a debt ceiling. Every other democratic country, with the exception of Denmark, does fine without one.

— James Surowiecki

Less than a year after loading the company up with debt, Romney and Bain gave themselves bonuses four times bigger than the $8 million they had put into the deal.

— Jennifer Granholm

I can tell you if you look at the polls, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, they do not think we should increase the debt limit.

— Jim DeMint

The build-up of personal and collective debt in America and Europe should have sent warning signals to anyone familiar with the biblical institutions of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, created specifically because of the danger of people being trapped by debt.

— Jonathan Sacks

You’ll get the biggest bang for each buck by paying off the highest interest rate debt in your portfolio first, while making minimum payments on the remainder. It’s called the avalanche method, and it gets you out of debt cheapest and fastest.

— Jean Chatzky

Garnishments tend to happen when people hide from their debts and stop making even minimum payments. Eventually, creditors sell the debt to a collection agency.

— Jean Chatzky

As the founder and former chief executive of two publicly traded companies, I have had a great deal of exposure to how debt markets work.

— John Delaney

Don’t take risk, and don’t get into debt.

— John Fleming

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, although they’re not officially debt of the federal government, they are off-balance-sheet debt.

— John Thune

We, being the Western world, wouldn’t let Russia off the hook on debt. So there were demands on debt servicing in the early days until they ran out of reserves. There was no real aid program, just a fictional aid program.

— Jeffrey Sachs

If the current birth rate, which is the lowest in the major developed countries, continues, there will be no Japanese. Who will pay the enormous debt?

— Jim Rogers

New Zealand as a whole needs to save more, spend less and reduce our reliance on foreign debt.

— John Key

After everyone has had a chance to bluster, posture, and pontificate, we are left with one basic question: under any foreseeable circumstance, would it be in our national interest to default on our debt? The answer is unequivocally no.

— John Sununu

Without true medical liability reform, our doctors will continue to leave, and young doctors coming out of medical school $100,000 to $200,000 in debt will not be able to afford such onerous costs.

— Jim Gerlach

Our experience is that most entrepreneurs are able to attract debt, even for risky and early stage investments. There are investors who provide debt, but very few who fund through equity.

— Jamshyd Godrej

Growth based on debt is unsustainable, artificial.

— Jose Manuel Barroso

Raising the debt ceiling is not additional spending. It is simply saying, you, the United States of America, can continue to borrow the money you need to pay the bills you have already rung up.

— Jay Carney

You talk to any of the job creators, and they’ll tell you one of the things that concerns them the most is the debt. And so high levels of indebtedness are going to lead to high levels of taxation, which lead to high level of unemployment.

— Jeb Hensarling

The Greek debt issue, for example, is such a threat because if that country ever defaulted, it might cause some bank that’s ‘too big to fail’ to actually fail.

— Jerry A. Webman

So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves. It’s an empire. There’s no two ways about it. It’s a huge empire. It’s been extremely successful.

— John Perkins

We can have tax cuts, but when we have tax cuts and do not have a surplus, the amount of the tax cut goes straight to the bottom line, adds to the deficit, and the deficit adds to the national debt, and sooner or later, the debt has to be paid.

— John Spratt

My opponent Senator Menendez and his colleagues are pursuing what I consider a Jon Corzine economic policy. Higher taxes, more spending, more debt.

— Joseph M. Kyrillos

I’m still a fiscal conservative, and I’m inclined to pay down debt.

— Jim Flaherty

In fighting the debt crisis, E.U. countries have enhanced co-operation and carried out reform with tremendous courage. This is laudable.

— Li Keqiang

We have determined as a society, as a country, as a people, that the incarceration and the supervision and the specific fines for a particular crime are that person’s debt to society.

— Loretta Lynch

Mr. Obama plans to boost federal spending 25 percent while nearly tripling the national debt over 10 years. Americans know that this kind of spending will have economic consequences, including new taxes being imposed by the new progressives.

— Karl Rove

I think what’s important to understand is if the United States hits the debt ceiling and is unable to pay its debts, the consequences will be immediate and dramatic.

— Kenneth Chenault

When gross public debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP, economic growth tends to decline considerably.

— Kevin McCarthy

Governments can inflate their way out of debt, but that has consequences, doesn’t it?

— Kent Conrad

The iPad was my first splurge after I got my first paychecks. I paid off the debt, and I now bring the iPad with me to auditions.

— Katie Leclerc

Energetic action on debt would make a radical difference to the prospects of many of the poorest countries in the world, at no practical cost to creditor countries.

— Kenneth Clarke

Were I more conversant with literature and its great names, I could go on quoting them ad infinitum and acknowledge my debt for the merit you have been generous enough to find in my work.

— Knut Hamsun

Debt is part of the human condition. Civilization is based on exchanges – on gifts, trades, loans – and the revenges and insults that come when they are not paid back.

— Margaret Atwood

We have a government that borrows $4 billion a day. We have a government that owes trillions of dollars in debt, half of that to foreigners, most of that to Chinese investors. I don’t – that is extreme. Not only is it extreme. It’s insane and it’s unsustainable.

— Marco Rubio

The biggest reason most people fail is that they try to fix too much at once – join a gym, get out of debt, floss after meals and have thinner thighs in 30 days.

— Marilu Henner

I think we are not serious about attacking the long-term debt problem, and that’s one of the things that he’s going to have to find a way to get on the agenda.

— Michael Bloomberg

Ever since going up to university, I have accumulated new debt, and new means of becoming indebted.

— Michael Gove

All we’re getting from the Democratic majority in Congress and from this White House is more bailouts, more spending, more planned stimulus, more deficits and debt, and the American people have had it.

— Mike Pence

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

— Matt Taibbi

If you must know, my parents came from pretty hardscrabble backgrounds in the southern Midwest. I certainly didn’t grow up poor, but I did spend my 20s and early 30s juggling temp jobs and choking on massive student-loan debt.

— Meghan Daum

Investment bankers do much of their business underwriting government bonds, in the United States and abroad. Therefore, they have a vested interest in promoting deficits and in forcing taxpayers to redeem government debt.

— Murray Rothbard

For me, there will be no enemies but unemployment, the deficit, excessive debt, economic stagnation and anything else that keeps our country in these critical circumstances.

— Mariano Rajoy

Municipal debt outstanding doubled in the past 10 years. And in the past 30 years, the U.S. has been in real economic nirvana.

— Meredith Whitney

It is simply science fiction fantasy to say that, if you do not raise the debt ceiling, that everything is going to collapse.

— Mike Lee

It’s disrespectful to tell the French in the morning that you’re going to reduce the debt, in the evening that you’re not going to make any savings, and the next morning, after thinking about it, that you’re going to spend more.

— Nicolas Sarkozy

These subsidies from four European governments, which include aircraft launch assistance, capital injections, debt forgiveness, have enabled Airbus to develop and range market airliners well below cost.

— Norm Dicks

Debt is a mistake between lender and borrower, and both should suffer.

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb

After Cadbury, the candy company, separated from Dr. Pepper, the soft drinks maker, Cadbury was able to substantially lower its debt load. The profits of Cadbury, the candy company, zoomed.

— Nelson Peltz

The U.K.’s debt belongs legally to Westminster, so Scotland, by definition, can’t default on it.

— Nicola Sturgeon

Debt is a social and ideological construct, not a simple economic fact.

— Noam Chomsky

Direct mail was the basis of a lot of new Right organizations in the ’70s and early ’80s, and it actually led to the downfall of the majority of them. It’s very expensive, and you end up putting your organization more and more in debt if you’re not successful with it.

— Nina Easton

The call for debt cancellation is welcome, but debt does not just go away.

— Noam Chomsky

What Enron was doing, what caused investors to embrace it in a rapture of baffled awe, was hiding debt.

— P. J. O’Rourke

Will I obliterate national debt? Sure, why not?

— Pat Paulsen

If we didn’t propose these reforms, we would not have proposed a budget that got the debt under control.

— Paul Ryan

The President didn’t offer any clarity in his latest speech about what he would do to tackle our nation’s debt before it tackles us and it’s still not clear how he’ll keep Medicare from going bankrupt. One thing is clear though, Barack Obama isn’t interested in governing or putting forward solutions to fix our nation’s problems.

— Paul Ryan

What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

— Paul Ryan

First our pleasures die – and then our hopes, and then our fears – and when these are dead, the debt is due dust claims dust – and we die too.

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

If you’re trying to get out of debt, you have to be willing to treat everything as expendable.

— Phil McGraw

The United States owes a great debt to its inventors. Far from being grateful to them, it places every obstruction in their way and makes it enormously difficult to secure a patent.

— Preston Sturges

Debt is one person’s liability, but another person’s asset.

— Paul Krugman

The real danger with debt is what happens if lots of people decide, or are forced, to pay it off at the same time.

— Paul Krugman

To date, every American citizen has nearly $27,000 in public debt riding on our backs.

— Paul Gillmor

At some point, the dollar has to give. You can’t just keep printing money, and monetizing debt, and buying bonds, without the dollar imploding.

— Peter Schiff

If you ask the question of Americans, should we pay our bills? One hundred percent would say yes. There’s a significant misunderstanding on the debt ceiling. People think it’s authorizing new spending. The debt ceiling doesn’t authorize new spending it allows us to pay obligations already incurred.

— Peter Welch

The Citizen’s Petition reflects Vermont’s spirit of pragmatism and across-the-board cooperation. I applaud the ‘Campaign to Fix the Debt’ for calling attention to one of the country’s most pressing problems, our ballooning national debt, and for urging policymakers to find practical solutions.

— Peter Welch

Historically, the minority party in Congress votes against raising the debt limit, forcing the majority party to whip its members into casting politically painful votes in favor.

— Peter Welch

My husband has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years, and I owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim.

— Queen Elizabeth II

We should make sure that unscrupulous schools do not prey on uninformed students, leaving them with high debt and useless degrees.

— Raghuram Rajan

There are a lot of anachronisms in Washington, but the need to periodically raise the debt limit by Congressional vote is certainly one of them.

— Roger Altman

If Congress adds 5 percent to the debt, then their pay should be cut by 5 percent.

— Ron DeSantis

If we reach the debt ceiling, we don’t have to default. Getting to that point just won’t allow us to reach new debt.

— Ron DeSantis

If we weren’t running deficits, if we weren’t spending more than we were taking in, there would be no reason whatsoever to increase the debt ceiling.

— Ron Johnson

When I moved to L.A., I was penniless, absolutely beyond broke and in debt up to my eyeballs.

— Ryan Tedder

You know, when Republicans were in charge, we doubled the debt. But, now, our concern is the Democrats are in charge and they’re tripling the debt. So, really, our concern is that we want smaller government.

— Rand Paul

Pull in your belt, spend less, and reduce debt.

— Ray Dalio

An example of good debt is the debt on the apartment houses I own. That debt is good only as long as there are tenants to pay my mortgages. If tenants stop paying their rent, my good debt turns into bad debt.

— Robert Kiyosaki

At my lowest point, I was nearly $700,000 in debt.

— Robert Kiyosaki

The minute a Wall Street firm purchases your debt, your bank no longer has it on its financial statement, which then allows the bank to look for more credit card customers. That’s one reason why you get so many credit card offers.

— Robert Kiyosaki

All but a very few of us are in debt. We exist as entities who borrow money and spend the rest of our lives making interest payments on a debt tally that never seems to budge. Whatever wealth we have, in labor, property or cash, is suctioned to the top.

— Roger Ebert

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, the public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.

— Ross Perot

To vote is like the payment of a debt, a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible.

— Rutherford B. Hayes

Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and State, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.

— Rutherford B. Hayes

Death’s a debt his mandamus binds all alike- no bail, no demurrer.

— Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Right now, a majority of the debt is owed to foreign interests, Japan being the largest purchaser of government debt today, soon to be surpassed by China as the number one purchaser of our debt in this Nation.

— Ron Kind

Typically, students slide into debt through the extension (by credit card companies) of unaffordable credit lines.

— Robert Manning

A world in which government is burdened by historic debt, philanthropy has limited resources, and the private sector is only interested in its own personal gain is simply unsustainable.

— Simon Mainwaring

Even if you were to fall into extreme financial hardship and file for bankruptcy, you need to understand that your student loan debt will not be discharged in bankruptcy. It is the Velcro of all debts.

— Suze Orman

Thousands of Ohio families are going deeper and deeper in debt just trying to pay their heating bills, fill prescriptions, and buy groceries. The current minimum wage is simply not enough.

— Sherrod Brown

Too many Americans are out of work, and our debt is out of control.

— Susana Martinez

Whenever we can, we tend to use debt to fund deals, as Aspen is very cash generative, so it doesn’t make sense to issue equity. Over time, we can eliminate debt.

— Stephen Saad

We’ve had years and years and years of compromises, and that’s led to $14 trillion in debt.

— Tom Graves

Public borrowing is costly these days, true, but interest rates on municipal bonds are still considerably lower than those borne by corporate debt.

— Thomas Frank

When George W. Bush entered office, the national debt was $5 trillion. When he left, it was $10 trillion. I think the administration spent too much money.

— Ted Cruz

A lot of the Republicans wanted exactly what Barack Obama wanted, exactly what Nancy Pelosi wanted, exactly what Harry Reid wanted, which is to raise the debt ceiling, but they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it.

— Ted Cruz

Both on an individual and a national scale, debt imprisons.

— Tom Hodgkinson

When you’ve paid your debt to society, you need to be reconnected and re-engaged in society.

— Tom Vilsack

What our Republican friends are doing, if we look at what they do and not what they say, they have decided that the most important thing in this country is to increase payments for interest on the national debt.

— Tom Allen

Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down.

— William J. Clinton

It’s heartbreaking to see so many people trapped in a web of enforced idleness, deep debt, and gnawing self-doubt.

— William J. Clinton

President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade, with two and a half dollars of spending reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases, and tight controls on future spending. It’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

— William J. Clinton

Poets, like friends to whom you are in debt, you hate.

— William Wycherley

I came from a working-class family, but I was supported by a grant system and had my fees paid, so I came out of Oxford with a debt of something like £200.

— Val McDermid

The evergreen story of people in debt becomes even sexier in an economic downturn, when debts inevitably get harder to pay.

— Virginia Postrel

Right now the problem in Thailand is we have high debt, but we don’t know how to earn the new source of revenue back to Thailand. This is my job.

— Yingluck Shinawatra

Government bonds have basically been sold in the domestic market, so there is some sense of stability, but the amount of public debt is really severe… Japan must manage its finances with a sense of urgency.

— Yoshihiko Noda
Debt Quotes

You May Also Like