George Washington Money Quote saying in the first State of the Union Address to Congress on January 8, 1790 that we should work out how to pay our debts ($11,000,000 at the time). George Washington said:
“An adequate provision for the support of the publicCredit is a matter of high importance to the national honor and prosperity” — George Washington
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The national debt was only at $0 one time in history, beginning January 8, 1835 when President Andrew Jackson was able to keep the debt at zero for about a year.