Personally, I blame the American Education System.
Governments are not people. People are not governments. Governments live forever. Governments can print money. Governments get most of their income through taxing.
When times are good, a government should save.
When times are bad, a government should spend.
It’s completely the opposite of people.
If you spend when times are good, you get a bubble. Those are nasty when they pop, if you will recall from recent history.
When you save when times are bad, you choke off the economy and end up with even less tax revenue. Apparently nobody alive remembers Hooverism and the Great Depression. It is tragic (and was tragic at the time, too).
So yes, take all of this hatred of the debt that should have existed when Bush was touting his tax cuts and remember it for the future when the economy is back on track. But don’t keep food from people who need it NOW. Don’t cut off education NOW. Don’t stop spending on infrastructure. Yes, think of efficient ways to use money that will benefit the entire country 20, 30 years from now. But paying off the debt is not one of them. Forcing it to be paid off in the future, sure, but not paying it now, not at the expense of real people’s lives and the ability of the US economy to ever grow again.
I don’t normally comment on or link to the Huffington Post articles my mom sends. (There’s often a lot of rhetoric without a commensurate understanding of the difficulties of governance.) But I think Robert Reich does an excellent job explaining what I just tried to explain here.