This was an interesting exercise - up to a point - so I thought I'd share. In this example, Ramsey is equating the amount of revenue that the US Treasury takes in as equal to an income of $55,000 annually, then he scales everything else accordingly. Federal Budget vs. Household Budget: How Do They Compare? - Budgeting - daveramsey.com The problem is that Ramsey never mentions the one huge advantage Washington has that no household, no matter how rich, ever can have. Specifically, the government has a guaranteed revenue stream because of its tax collecting authority. Households can lose revenue by losing jobs at the drop of a hat, especially these days. Is taxing authority enough to justify not worrying about the deficit? Of course not. In most situations, I'm opposed to the government spending more than it takes in, and that means that the current debt must be paid down going forward.