Forgive Us Our Debts - Yarrow, Andrew L - Yale University Press
Political Science

Forgive Us Our Debts

The Intergenerational Dangers of Fiscal Irresponsibility

  • Andrew Yarrow
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In this immensely timely book, Andrew Yarrow brings the sometimes eye-glazing discussion of national debt down to earth, explaining in accessible terms why federal debt is rising (and will soon rise much faster), what effects it may have on Americans if debt is not brought under control, why our government borrows, and what it will take to pay it all back.


The picture Yarrow paints should concern all Americans. Specifically, he brings to light how rising Medicare, Social Security, and other spending on one hand, and insufficient government revenues on the other, make a mockery of fiscal responsibility. Deficits and debt, Yarrow asserts, are crowding out spending on needed investments in science, environment, infrastructure, and other domestic discretionary programs and could severely harm our nationís and our citizensí future. But he makes clear that this does not have to be a doomsday scenario. If we act in a bipartisan fashion to restore fiscal health, our legacy to the next generation can be much more than trillions of dollars of IOUs.


Andrew L. Yarrow is vice president and Washington director of Public Agenda, and teaches modern U.S. history at American University. A longtime former reporter for the New York Times, Dr. Yarrow has published extensively during the last 25 years, including Latecomers: Children of Parents Over 35, frequent op-eds, and many popular and scholarly articles.