There are three ways for a government to pay for debt: issue new debt, collect taxes, and cause inflation. Inflation is a ‘hidden tax’ on a populace- it decreases the value of future money, and allows governments to pay off their current debt with devalued money. The United States dollar, as the world’s reserve currency, gives the United States a unique temptation (opportunity?) to pay off their debts in a currency it can print. What exactly is inflation, though? And if you believe inflation is on the way, how do you set yourself up to counteract it?
One of Milton Friedman’s most influential and revolutionary theories was his challenge to the traditional Keynesian consumption function, which includes simple after-tax income as a variable in the consumption. Friedman countered, however, that those who consume today take future taxes, price increases, salary increases, and other factors into account. This is summarized in his Permanent Income Hypothesis. More specifically, this counters that people consume based off of their overall estimation of future income as well as opposed to only the current after-tax income.