I know this is not an article about personal finance, but it is about finances that affect you personally. Just as the officer in the example cannot keep his spending pattern unchanged, neither can our nation. Someday, all those loans will come due. Since the federal government is us, it means that you and I, our children and our grand-children will be responsible for paying off those loans. Given the sheer size of the problem, neither tax increases nor spending decreases alone will address the issue.
There likely will be tax increases, which means you and I will have less money in our pockets for our everyday expenses. There likely will be funding cuts as well; this will mean fewer federal grants to help agencies buy equipment. It will probably mean fewer criminals in prison and fewer probation officers watching them. Combined, this means officers will be taking home less money, working with older equipment and seeing more convicts on the street. That is an ugly combination; one that does not inspire politicians or citizens to tackle the problem. The longer the problem festers, the worse it gets, and the more drastic the solutions will have to be.
Government deficits are not imaginary figures; they are real; they are yours and mine and they have a real impact on us and our job. Ignoring the deficit problem does not make the problem go away; it only makes it bigger and more difficult to solve. You would not let your beat partner continue to spend himself into oblivion. Certainly, our nation deserves the same concern.