Not totally dissimilarly, on dreary winter weekends you pick up on some outstanding reading in our case L. Randall Wray's FUNCTIONAL FINANCE AND US GOVERNMENT BUDGET SURPLUSES IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM. Looking at the footnotes I came across "Balanced Budgets and Depressions" by Thayer, Frederick C. – The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 55, Issue 2, April 1996 which had some information I'd not come across before but is consistent with the Functional Finance view:
"Since 1791, the earliest data available, the national debt has been increased in 112 years, decreased in 93 years. 57 of those balanced-budget, debt-reduction years have been concentrated in six sustained periods of varying length. Also since 1791, there have been six significant economic depressions among the innumerable "business cycles." Each sustained period of budget-balancing was immediately followed by a significant depression. There are as yet no exceptions to this historical pattern."
This is the record of six depressions:
1. 1817-21: in five years, the national debt was reduced by 29 percent, to $90 million. A depression began in 1819.
2. 1823-36: in 14 years, the debt was reduced by 99.7 percent, to $38,000. A depression began in 1837.
3. 1852-57: in six years, the debt was reduced by 59 percent, to $28.7 million. A depression began in 1857.
4. 1867-73: in seven years, the debt was reduced by 27 percent, to $2.2 billion. A depression began in 1873.
5. 1880-93: in 14 years, the debt was reduced by 57 percent, to $1 billion. A depression began in 1893.
6. 1920-30: in 11 years, the debt was reduced by 36 percent, to $16.2 billion. A depression began in 1929.
There has been no sustained period of budget-balancing since 1920-30, and no new depression, the longest such period in our history."
Reality asserts itself.