So making an attempt to pay off a debt somehow "erases" the irresponsibility of running up the debt in the first place?
You're saying that, not me.
I'm not arguing whether it is right or just or ethical to go into debt
BUT YOU JUST DID
Nope, I didn't. I argued about whether it is right or just or ethical TO PAY OFF ONE'S DEBTS.
And, should anyone else get all huffity, plenty of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, including our current sitting president, have racked up massive campaign debts. I make no judgement on whether going into debt to finance a campaign is good or not -- I accept it as the current standard behavior. Paying off one's debts (which seems to be a long-term problem for Democrats, Republicants, and Independents, also including our current sitting president), is a morally good thing.