No Government has the luxury of unlimited spending power and the bill for the current necessary spike in spending will eventually land on the taxpayers' doormat.
his economic crisis is utterly unprecedented - Ireland and all of our key trading partners have been deliberately placed into recession by governments in a bid to contain the spread of a deadly virus.
In every case, states are stepping in to the extent they can to carry the immediate costs of the medical emergency and of sustaining the population materially through the shock.
Ireland is relatively lucky. We are a wealthy country - thanks to liberal economic policies and a decades-long commitment to international trade - and entered the crisis on one of our periodic upswings.
The Government also moved fast in March to shift the apparatus of State to prioritise getting funds to healthcare and wage supports in particular.
The initial response to the crisis was rapid and meaningful. But it was based on an understanding of the Covid-19 outbreak that is proving to have underestimated the situation.
The original assumption was for a so-called V-shaped crash - one where the economy deliberately plunged to a low would rapidly swing, on an equal and opposite trajectory, back to full recovery in fairly short order.
We got the dramatic plunge in jobs and economic output. But the central assumption is now for a much slower recovery, over years rather than weeks or months.
That might prove pessimistic in time - ignoring the splurge coming when the savings of the majority of workers who have kept their jobs are unleashed, but it's safer to assume things will be getting back towards normal later rather than sooner.
As the facts change, policies must follow.
The speed at which policies and practices were successfully rewritten on the hoof in March, combined with swift easy access to cash either from the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) or borrowed cheap on the bond market, has allowed a big element of fiscal complacency to set in across swathes of the population and policy-makers.
From the hardest edge of the political left to employers' groups representing some of the wealthiest groups in society, demands for free money have poured in in recent weeks.
Money is certainly needed - funds will have to be found for hospitals, homes and to support business where the markets won't. But even borrowing at close to 0pc interest isn't free money.
The rapidly rising national debt is tax-deferred, not taxation-denied.
Twelve weeks is no longer a credible timeframe to contain the outbreak.
In the healthcare system, normalisation of routine practices and procedures will have to happen relatively quickly because care deferred ultimately means care denied.
In the economic sphere, the policies rushed into place in March must now be revised in the cold light of fiscal prudence. Bailing out households remains the right core approach, but tough calculations must be done to assess by how much and for how long because the crisis has no end in sight.