In the last 60 years only three times has our national debt been less than it was the year before. Every time this happened it was in the 1950's and in each instance the debt decreased by less than 1%. To find the last time the debt was being paid down at any kind of significant manner you have to go back to the 1920's. It's been a while and things have changed a lot since then. http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm So ... What do y'all believe would happen to the economy if by some miracle we got into the black and were able to start chipping away at the debt?