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In planning for next U.S. recession, economists say, don't fret about debt

October 13, 2019 / Howard Schneider

Economists are divided about when the next U.S. recession will arrive, but they largely agree on this: the country will need to fight it with a massive fiscal program, and be ready to swallow deficits that may eclipse the trillion-dollar shortfall run by the Trump administration this year. Past discussion has focused on the Federal Reserve as the more powerful first responder, and how rising U.S. debt carries its own risks. Now talks are about how much money ought to be spent and where it should go - whether to infrastructure, programs to counter climate change or direct payments to households.