"An urgency to rein in budget deficits seems to be gaining some traction among American lawmakers. If so, it is none too soon. Perceptions of a large U.S. borrowing capacity are misleading.
"Despite the surge in federal debt to the public during the past 18 months—to $8.6 trillion from $5.5 trillion—inflation and long-term interest rates, the typical symptoms of fiscal excess, have remained remarkably subdued. This is regrettable, because it is fostering a sense of complacency that can have dire consequences. "