The burden of the debt is that we create an ever-deeper conflict of interest between Lenders and Spenders. Yes, if you think of Lenders and Spenders collectively, you can say that “we owe the debt to ourselves.” But that is a dangerously vacuous way of looking at it.

An excellent analysis of national debt. In short, one person is doing the lending, and another person is doing the spending. At some point you need to pay pack the specific person who did the lending.

Source: Lenders and Spenders: Confronting the Political Reality of Debt - AEI