Francis Bator points out something all the debt-and-deficit hysterics want us to forget: The point of macro policy is to influence the activity in the real economy where people have jobs and make things or provide services that other people buy.
Our problem right now is not that we’re “living beyond our means” as a country; in fact, total private consumption plus gross private domestic investment plus government spending is considerably less than our capacity to produce goods and services. If we stimulate demand, the real cost of the resulting production is zero. The position of the short-run deficit hawks is that we should continue to leave money on the table, on the ground that (other people’s) pain is good.
A separate point, not Bator’s but mine: If we were truly concerned about “the grandchildren” we’d be putting more money into basic research. With both NSF and NIH funding only a tiny fraction of the proposals they get (the top 6.5% for NIH, last time I checked), there’s tens of billions of dollars’ worth of “shovel-ready” activity that would provide jobs (and incomes that stimulate demand and thus more jobs) right now, and benefits for the future.