I don’t like deficit and debt, to be sure, but government borrowing should be seen as the symptom. The real problem is excessive government spending.
This is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of a balanced budget amendment, Based on the experiences of American states and European countries, I fear politicians in Washington would use any deficit-limiting requirement as an excuse to raise taxes.
I much prefer spending caps, such as those found in Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Colorado. If you cure the disease of excessive government, you automatically ameliorate the symptom of too much borrowing.
That being said, the fiscal chaos plaguing European welfare states is proof that there is a point when a spending problem can also become a debt problem. Simply stated, the people and institutions that buy government bonds at some point will decide that they no longer trust a government’s ability to repay because the public sector is too big and the economy is too weak.