from Jonah Goldberg at National Review, How to Tell When Deficits are Bad

As a matter of economic policy, conservatives believe that the people themselves are better at spending their money than the government is. Cutting taxes and regulations drives economic growth. Liberals, meanwhile, believe that the government is the prime, or at least an indispensable, driver of economic growth.

This is why liberals tend to talk about spending on everything from infrastructure to education as an “investment.” The Obama stimulus was sold as an investment that would pay huge dividends, thanks in part to Keynesian “multipliers” — the idea that every dollar of government spending results in more than a dollar in economic growth. Obamacare, we were told, would reduce the deficit by cutting health-care spending and improving economic growth.

On the philosophical side, there’s an even starker conflict of visions. Liberals tend to start from the assumption that the government is entitled to as much revenue as it needs, and so tax cuts amount to giving people money.

Conservatives, on the other hand, start from the assumption that money belongs to the people and businesses who earn it. Letting people and businesses keep more of their money isn’t a handout or giveaway, never mind a robbery: It’s fairness.

The ultimate problem is that everyone says they care about the deficit, but few people care about it enough. Democrats think spending is more important than the deficit, and Republicans think cutting taxes is more important. And that’s why the national debt is more than $20 trillion, and growing.