Borrow from Peter to pay Paul is the best Policy ?
>> the government expects to operate into perpetuity and therefore has little motivation to pay off debt in a pure financial perspective. As long as the debt collectors don't come around with a baseball bat, there isn't much reason to pay debt.
The government has the same incentive as everyone else not to run up too much debt; interest payments. As an individual the amount of debt you can sustain is tied to the amount of interest you can pay without compromising your ability to support yourself in other ways. Less interest = more to spend on yourself / others.
As a country, how much of our current spending is going to just paying off interest on our debts ? We cannot avoid that spending and no cuts, alone, will ever reduce it by a penny. The only way to reduce interest payments is to pay the debt off (or by generating hyper inflation to reduce the effective debt amount, but that is somewhat akin to chopping off your arm to lose weight...).
Of course, as an individual, you could get more and more credit cards and run up more credit (and therefore more interest) paying one off against the other but - at an individual level - this will eventually fail as you run of of creditors willing to lend to you. Also, the longer it goes on the worse the aftermath will be. Your offspring or relatives may even be hounded to pay off your debts after your demise.
At a governmental/country/world level this may work but only if *all* other countries are doing the same. However not all countries are. I wonder what China will do with all its stockpiled gold that we sold off cheap to feed our spending ? Keep lending it back to us ? Maybe, maybe not. I'd rather not risk finding out, personally.
I'm no economist, but surely a more responsible attitude is to use credit when you need it (or for convenience) but pay it off asap to avoid paying too much interest - balancing defecit and surplus over the long term. We might then, as a country, be able to afford to pay for the basics of a what modern society needs.