MEGAN MCARDLE: Why Won’t America Learn The Lessons Of Italy? “That doesn’t mean that we need aim for zero debt, or zero long-term obligations. But we should understand that every additional dollar we promise in the future is not simply one less dollar that future taxpayers get to spend on themselves–but also one more dollar of risk added to a rapidly growing mountain. More and more Americans found this out about their own personal finances the hard way. Unfortunately, this painfully acquired knowledge does not seem to have filtered through to our legislators.”