The authors explain what national debts and deficits are, and what they are not. One thing they are not nearly as big as we think. Another thing they are not is a burden on the shoulders of our grandchildren. And one thing they are is a potential means of financing economic growth. Heilbroner and Bernstein do not shrug aside the debt and deficit. "The only remedy for our present frightened state of mind", they write, "is explanations that are simple but accurate, facts that will defuse unreasoning panic, and arguments that will stand up under the most skeptical examination."