In browsing my Personal WaPo, I came across Ed Roger’s anti-debt rant. I call it a rant because rather than reasoned arguments, he tries to throw big numbers at you ($341,288!) and hope you’re sufficiently outraged. It occurs to me that people like Ed (i.e., his “top 25%” that “owe” that much) probably go into more debt than $341,288 when they buy houses. And if they think that debt load is worth it to live in a good neighborhood, then I think the same load is worth it to keep our country functioning.
His article did succeed in getting me to think more about our debt, specifically how long it will take to pull it down to sustainable levels. No doubt several years. We could hasten that day if the Federal Government could refinance its entire debt at today’s incredibly low rates. Rather than paying people at a 4% rate (that investors locked in back in 2003), could we give creditors some money upfront and start paying them back at the prevailing sub-2% rate? I would much prefer to spend money now, before the bulk of the baby boomers start retiring and save on the interest later when we’ll also have to pay for the boomers’ health care.
Perhaps the Fed did something akin to what I’m suggesting in 2009 to pump money into our then-depressed economy. If so, I can’t find it in this Wikipedia article on the subject; if not, they should now.