Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday urged bold action action to pull the economy out of a deepening slump, even if it means a surge in U.S. government debt.
"We are better off moving aggressively today to solve our economic problems," he told the Senate.
"The alternative could be a prolonged episode of economic stagnation that would not only contribute to further deterioration in the fiscal situation, but would also imply lower output, employment and incomes for an extended period," he said.
President Barack Obama's recent budget proposal projects an explosion of the budget deficit to $1.8 trillion, and a rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio to about 60 percent from 40 percent, the highest level since the early 1950s.
"All else equal, this is a development that all of us would have preferred to avoid," Bernanke said. But as things stand now Bernanke sees increasing the deficit as unavoidable.
And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. Do you agree with the government's spending strategy to turn the economy around?
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CNBC.com with wires