I would argue that it is possible to be a deficit panda: to simultaneously worry about the debt and believe in an active and compassionate role for government. In fact, I would argue that worrying about the debt is required of those who believe in such a government role.Amen, Ruth, although I would suggest that moral prudishness is the first-order solution to poverty and the government is a second-order solution. That is, without prudish behavior, the government is, at best, a band-aid on a large, deep wound. Still, a safety net saved from the depredations of interest payments on a preposterous debt is something we can all cheer.
Failing to deal with the debt will hurt everyone, but the neediest will suffer the most. The economy-wide consequences of doing nothing - higher interest rates, slower economic growth, lower standards of living - will hit hardest those least well off. Meanwhile, the budgetary reality of mounting interest costs will eat away at the government's ability to provide a reliable safety net.
Whatever our disagreements, her article is worth reading in toto.