It is interesting, if a bit scary, to watch Washington play out some of the economic debates of the last century. Keynes believed that a government had to take up the slack in private sector spending to get an economy back on track in a crisis, even though it led to government deficits. Friedman believed that as long as the government was keeping a balance between the amount of money in the system and the gross domestic product, everything would right itself eventually. Hayek of course believed in doing nothing at all other than balancing our budget.
I doubt if even one or two people reading this post knows enough about these sorts of things to have an educated opinion, despite our self-confidence. But the consequences are potentially quite severe, aren't they? If Keynes was right, then the push to balance the budget right now threatens to throw us into an even worse recession. If Friedman/Hayek were right, then we will be in for some bad times, but the government should basically let us suffer through it and do nothing to help.