It's a common cry when it comes to government expenditure: "How are we going to pay for it?"
In some ways, this question is a reflection of the narrow debate that Australia has been confined to for the past few decades, in which government accounts were dishonestly treated as though they were household budgets. This was a political over-simplification of government debt that softened the public up to accept massive cutbacks as necessary, when they weren't.
But governments have countless more levers they can pull if, like now, they need to drastically increase spending. Australia's interest rates are at their lowest levels, due in part to the long-term absence of government spending. It means debt has never been cheaper to pay off.
Even after the pandemic, Tasmania's net debt levels will still be incredibly low by international standards.
And we know from past experience that if governments fail to provide the necessary stimulus during and after economic downturns, then the extent of the crash is far more severe and long-lasting, and ultimately costs the government more.
So it's pleasing to hear the government is urgently pressing ahead with "the most aggressive construction project" in the state's history, as Premier Peter Gutwein describes it. It's an opportunity to update critical infrastructure that has been neglected in the mad scramble for a budget surplus: providing more public and social housing, and improving schools and transport routes. Our health sector can receive badly-needed investment, and first home buyers can be given a financial incentive to enter the market, filling the gap as property sales dry up.
It means our construction sector will continue to tick over, skilled workers will remain employed, and we can make Tasmania an even more attractive place to invest.
Much like how science has been at the forefront of our health policy response to the coronavirus, an economic response that has jobs and infrastructure at its heart - and not political grandstanding on debt and deficit - must be followed.
Let's take this rare opportunity to build a better and fairer state for all.