Of course, if the government borrows to do so, the debt must eventually be repaid (or the interest on it must be paid forever). That fact has provoked strident protests about government “bankrupting our grandchildren.”

It’s an absurd complaint. Failure to stimulate the economy would mean a longer downturn. That, in turn, would mean longer stretches of reduced tax receipts, increased unemployment insurance payouts, and depressed private investment. The net result? Higher total public borrowing and a permanent decline in productivity compared with what we would have had under effective economic stimulus.

–Robert Frank, via Economic View: NYT

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