Well, "It's the economy, stupid" is back in this election year in a big way! So, I have to bring up Jefferson's debt in the course of making us feel a little better. He loved to spend the money and he made some unwise decisions, and his family paid a big price for it.
Take a look at our Encyclopdia entry on his debt. He also tried to get out of debt within his own lifetime with a lottery. Can you imagine each of us trying such a thing?! Well, for us it might be a yard-sale, but for Jefferson, well, he always did think big. The "yard-sale" came later, at a horrible price for the Jefferson family and their many slaves.