Is There Too Much Worry About the Debt?

Paying off what we owe seems prudent. But it could also wreck America's economic future

Oliver Munday for TIME

Judging from the noises emanating from some corners of Washington these days, the federal debt has assumed pride of place as the source of national anxiety. President Obama has called for independent commissions to seek ways to reduce spending. The media are filled with talk of America's path of financial suicide; economists warn that the debt crisis in Greece is a dry run for the cataclysm that awaits America and the world as U.S. deficits and debt balloon.

The numbers are undoubtedly big, running into many trillions of dollars. The percentages are also daunting, with projections of total gross debt reaching...

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