As far as paying down debit, it is not a knee jerk reaction. It is a responsibility of every individual, company and government to pay it's bills. There are two ways to do that ... control spending and increase revenues.
As I said, this is a moral commitment. Not fiscal policy.Some people seem to have a moral objection to taking on debt. One of the worse cliches among politicians is the comparison of the government to a family sitting around the kitchen table trying to figure out how to pay off the credit card. It makes absolutely no sense in terms of fiscal policy. It's a Protestant morality tale about the importance of working hard, avoiding excessive consumption, and "living within one's means".