I was educated in the wrong things. Karl Denninger explains - in a way I struggle to understand fully - how the US government's schemes to support the banks must ultimately be financed by Treasury bonds on such a scale as to seriously damage their credit rating and pump up interest rates to a ruinous level.
This is a consequence of avoiding taking the right action, i.e. finding out who's insolvent and letting them go bust. I still remember Henry Paulson's panicky look when Congress threw out the bailout bill the first time.
Once you've pulled the pin out of a grenade, you can throw it, or you can hang on to it. Madly, it looks as though the government is following the latter course, and hopes to be able to handle the consequences.
Relevant to the above is Wat's resume of public debt history in the UK since World War II, showing how important it is NOT to get into debt, to fight inflation and control the finances.