Yes, it's critical that we do so.
Yes, but only if we can.
No, it's really not that important.
Well I mean from a UK perspective in our merry go around from dem socialist (labour) to conservative everytime one person starts sensibly reigning in the spending Labour get in and spend it all again.
Its worse from an American one though right, because they both do it in spades. They just don't like cutting, on one hand its wasteful spending with democrats on failed healthcare reform perhaps or insane military spending.
The question shouldn't be if you should but whether it is remotely possible. Ron Paul like him or hate him, might have been a good influence. With an economy that can grow like the US just agreeing to a complete freeze of say the military budget would help.
A monetarily sovereign nation's debt can be "too large," although there is no exact line in the sand of what constitutes too large. There is evidence, including recent real world evidence (not just macroeconomic theory published papers and articles by Paul Krugman evidence) that countries with exceedingly high debt-to-GDP do not gain much from additional stimulus to try to boost demand. They do not experience positive Keynesian effects from more stimulus. Countries with relatively low debt:GDP can experience very enjoyable effects from stimulus to boost demand during recessions. But when you're already at super high debt:GDP, it's like offering a heroin addict who's going through withdrawals a couple of ibuprofen. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't achieve the addict's desired effect. At that point they basically turn to the last refuge, which is aggressive inflation-triggering policies, or bite-the-bullet austerity.
Deciding we should be deficit hawks is not as important as how, or in other words what expenditures need to be cut or changed to reduce this pressure. Medicare, Social Security and Defense should be some big, easy targets.
"The knowledge and prudence of the poor themselves, are absolutely the only means by which any general and permanent improvement in their condition can be effected." - Thomas Malthus