That’s Debatable:

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Pro narrative

Greetings all. The following analysis is based on 150 arguments, contributed by people around the globe and identified as high-quality arguments supporting the notion that we should stop worrying about national deficits.

Seventeen percent of these arguments suggested that national deficits have no direct impact on the economy. A high deficit does not mean a high risk of default - the financial institutions are strong, and productivity is increasing, thus the danger of an economic fallout is minimal. The U.S. dollar is the global sovereign currency and therefore the United States is in a very strong position to continue raising their national debt level without any downside. In the short run, government deficits encourage the economy to produce more real goods and services. But the economy will produce what the government wants, not what individuals and households want.

Eleven percent of the arguments proposed that to an extent, the national debt allows financial growth. National spending that generates jobs in military and infrastructure will allow private industry to safely develop and deliver products that increases GDP and decreases the debt ratio, even if it increases the deficit. A deficit allows us to spend more on budgetary items that expand the economy and address urgent social problems, therefore we should embrace national deficits. Our nation's debt is not like personal debt, and there's no risk of "bankruptcy," because a nation can inflate its way out of debt with no real stigma. Spending money stimulates the economy which will then bring the government money and lower the deficit.

Another recurring point, raised in six percent of the arguments, is that spending into a higher deficit is acceptable during a health crisis. Increasing the national deficit will enable the economy to grow faster in the current pandemic situation. While the total cost of the deficit worries me, we must continue spending to get through this hard time. National deficits don't really matter. We should spend what we need to get out of the pandemic and rebuild our economy. We should allow deficit because in this period people’s lives might be lost if not enough funds spent.

Six percent of the arguments mentioned that deficits are only logical during times of cyclical or temporary economic stress. Large national deficits in an era of prolonged low interest rates provide the welcome capacity to lift a nation out of a crisis such as a recession, depression or catastrophe. Deficits matter during periods of economic expansion, deficits should be reduced so the nation has the capacity to expand deficits during recessions or depressions to stimulate the economy. Borrowing makes sense to fight a recession or make needed investments but borrowing for tax cuts and consumption programs will undermine economic growth. National spending that temporarily assists citizens during a time of crisis will make citizens better prepared to return to work when the crisis ends so the GDP can quickly recover.

Six arguments implied that there is no reason to worry about the deficit. Low interest rates on government debt suggests that markets agree that national deficits are not a reason to worry. The government debt is not the same as a person’s debt because it prints its own money. National deficits sound scary but there is no evidence that the dynamics of past will play out in the future. Despite deficits rising there is little evidence of dollar degrading. As long as inflation isn't an issue then governments should continue to invest in the economy, from quantitative easing to pandemic income relief to companies and citizens.

Another four arguments conveyed that worrying about the national deficit is arbitrary. Money in actual fact is just a virtual number which eventually can be reset or set to default. Thus, why should we worry about National deficits? Money is a made-up concept, and the federal reserve can simply purchase back its debt at will, which it has done in Japan since the 80s.

Three arguments proposed that deficits are acceptable when borrowing is easy and interest rates are low. Interest rates are so low it costs the government almost nothing to borrow. Now is the time for government to rebuild our infrastructure.

To conclude, the above examples reflect the crowd's opinions that we should stop worrying about national deficits. Thank you for joining.

Con narrative

Greetings. The following analysis is based on 183 arguments submitted by people around the world, identified as high-quality arguments contesting the notion that we should stop worrying about national deficits.

Seventeen percent of these arguments suggested that a rising deficit can lead to inflation and cripple the economy. National deficits fundamentally weaken a nation’s economy and must be arbitrated to achieve a balanced resolution. They are cause for concern because it will undermine the economy if it continues to soar. The increasing national deficit and rising long-term debt is a ticking time bomb that could have drastic consequences on the economy in the long term. We should worry about national deficits because they can hurt the economy if the debt bubble breaks. We should also not crowd out private investment which high government loans lead to due to deficits.

Twelve percent of the arguments proposed that a deficit leaves an economy more vulnerable to responding to crises. National deficits run the risk of a default, which would cause an economic fallout that could in turn lead to a global financial crisis. You should worry about national deficits because public debt means we don't have the resources to respond to crisis situations when they arise. Our (U.S.) national debt is unsustainable right now and will hinder the government’s ability to help fight the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. National deficits leave the country open to situations where they may have to compromise on future decisions or be left vulnerable to threats.

Another recurring point, raised in twelve percent of the arguments, is that national debt burdens future generations. Expanding deficits only lay a financial burden on future generations of Americans. Although not per se bad, we have an irresponsible level of debt that unfairly harms future generations and harms our ability to respond flexibly in future emergencies. The debt will be pushed into the far future, wreaking havoc on the economy of the future. We cannot pretend that we have money that we don't have. It's disrespectful to younger generations to run up the national deficit.

Eight percent of the arguments mentioned that big deficits that grow the debt create interest rate risk. A high deficit cripples the flexibility of governments to borrow money during recessions. Deficits matter when there are no revenue sources in the future that will plug the gap. This will eventually raise borrowing costs and will severely impact allocation strategies. Deficits add to debt and make borrowing more expensive. Servicing debt gets in the way of funding useful government programs. A higher debt to GDP ratio will reduce trust in a country's credit, making their bonds riskier for investors.

Eight percent of the arguments referred to the point that high public debt is dangerous. Deficits don't matter when they are small; when they grow substantial relative to GDP, the taxing authority granted to governments becomes untenable to the populace, leading to governmental collapse, instability, and default. A lot of the debt of nations is owned by foreign entities, thus a deficit is a threat to sovereignty. While the world is so unstable with politics, wars, prevalent racism and extremism, also having high national deficits around the world will cause more instability. A high deficit mandates a constant pushing of the debt ceiling, which causes political strife.

Seven percent of the arguments indicated that increasing the deficit means increasing federal taxes on individuals and businesses. Ignoring national deficits might act to subvert the existing financial structures that benefit a few powerful people in the same way that a general rent/tuition/taxation 'strike' might, but with potentially catastrophic environmental consequences. You should worry about the national deficit, as it is over 3 trillion USD currently. With a very high national deficit, the U.S. economy and GDP will be tarnished, and taxes will be high. It is important we make sure to stop the deficit from growing even further because the American taxpayer will have to pay it. Thanks to rising debt, rising interest payments will crowd out investments, defense spending, anti-poverty programs, and tax cuts.

Six arguments implied that COVID has created an economic emergency and extreme hardship for millions. Big deficits mean growing federal debt, and its already at its highest point since World War II and may limit governments’ ability to continue to fight the economic effects of the pandemic. Eventually debt must be repaid or written off, and a national bankruptcy would cause massive collateral damage to individuals who are directly or indirectly dependent on those "safe" bond investments.

To conclude, the above examples summarize the crowd’s arguments, opposing the motion that We should stop worrying about national deficits. Thank you for joining.

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