U.S. debt is hitting historic heights. How much of a problem is that?

The last time the U.S. federal deficit was this high, as a percentage of the total size of the economy, was 1946. The debt-to-GDP ratio was 119%.

There’s news that amid the pandemic the amount of government borrowing this year is approaching 100% of the total economy. And it’ll go higher if there’s a new stimulus package.

But we survived 1946. So is it really a problem? Robert Bixby is executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on the government’s tendency to borrow money to pay its bills. He spoke with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio and the following is an edited transcript of their conversation.