I haven’t posted a message like this in quite a while, but this needs addressing and NO ONE seems to be talking much about it. Or if they are, no one seems to be listening. Please pass this message on – people need to know this, think it through, and take an active role in moving at least mentally toward change. Until we accept the problem and understand the absolute necessity for change it will only get worse.
Before I say anything else: if this seems unbelievable and outrageous – that’s because it is both. AND IT IS STILL TRUE. Take the time to VERIFY. If you do not check it out you are simply allowing it to exist as a non-fact in your mind and therefore putting it in the “it doesn’t concern me” or “there is nothing I can do about it” category. It’s that kind of hiding from the truth that has put us in this situation.
The need for me to post this was created when I heard a financial analyst on the news make the following statement: “The deficit in the US has reached the point where for each $1 (one dollar) that the government spends, it has to borrow fifty cents.” On it’s face the comment is so ridiculous that it is hard to grasp. Yet this is not really ‘new’ news. Most folks will say they know we have a significant national debt and some deficit spending but they don’t seem to consider what it truly means. So I will give you some info sources with the actual numbers then try to put into day to day life meaning.
Look at these:
This is the National Debt Clock:
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ after you look at it for a moment refresh you pc screen and note the change. Do that several times to get a feel for how it is growing.
Also check out:
http://www.federalbudget.com/ this chart shows not only the debt but breaks out where the money is going.
This shows the INTEREST we are paying on that debt:
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm over the last 8 months the average MONTHLY pay out for interest alone was nearly 27 Billion dollars. You read that right $27 billion a month on interest alone – that is paying nothing, not one penny on the debt itself.
Now I know most have already reached the point of info exhaustion and are about to stop reading and instantly forget all this. If that’s true of you, maybe you are part of the problem. Please don’t take the easy way out. Like a cancer, ignoring it will NOT make it go away. Let me wrap it up as quickly as I can by putting it into normal life activities.
First, what is a deficit? This is from Dictionary.com:
def i cit
[def-uh-sit; Brit. also di-fis-it] Show IPA
1. the amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount.
2. the amount by which expenditures or liabilities exceed income or assets.
3. a lack or shortage; deficiency.
4. a disadvantage, impairment, or handicap: The team’s major deficit is its poor pitching.
5. a loss, as in the operation of a business.
So, think of your household and expenses. Simple numbers for easy understanding.
You (meaning your total household) earn: $2000 per month take home money
You spend: $1000 per month for shelter (mortgage or rent, taxes and insurance)
You spend : $1000 per month on everything else (food, clothing, gas, savings, haircuts, movies, etc.)
Left over = 0
Because you are doing so well, no bill collectors calling and no unpaid bills, you decide that by cutting a few corners you can live in a bigger place. So you somehow convince a bank to help you buy better and your mortgage goes up to $1300 per month. Unfortunately, you can’t give up cable tv, or your blackberry, and eating out twice a week so you can only cut other expenses by $100/month.
Result: -200 your first deficit.
OK no biggie. You charge more and stop paying off the credit card every month and pay the minimum. Now in addition to what you owe the bank on the total amount of your mortgage, you have additional debt. Next month all is looking rosy when life happens. An auto accident. No problem, you are insured but there is that $1000 deductible. Oh well, on the plastic it goes. But now your minimum goes up $100 and your monthly deficit reaches 300. What will happen next month? Who knows, but stuff happens. Need a new roof on the house, lose your job, get sued, sustain a serious health issue which stops you from working for 6 months or longer, or anything else that you have seen happen to your neighbor or friend or family member. Stuff really does happen, to ALL of us.
Obviously I could carry this forward to beat it to death, no need. If you don’t recognize this as what really happens in life and why most people are as riddled with debt as the country you are lying to yourself. So using this level of money, let’s plug the USA numbers into this model, just for fun.
All expenses: 3500
Result: -2000 every month
No way! Yes way! And to help you understand the seriousness of this……as we borrow the -2000 each month to cover expenses, not only does the debt increase, but the amount of interest (which MUST be paid before anything else – if you don’t understand that ask a banker) goes up. SO? That means the rising interest itself creates a bigger deficit, which means bigger interest charges, etc, etc, etc. Is it any wonder that China is hesitant to loan us more money?
So there it is. This is not a negative message. If you view it that way, you will just dismiss it. Here is the point. We can, and we must fix this. There can be no solution without a clear understanding and acknowledgment of the problem. This is a stepping stone to the future. It really is in our control if we are willing to take the reins and use the power of our democracy to mandate needed change. We still have that ability.
So it is time to act. How? Where? First – check it out. Verify, investigate.And get this message out to everyone you can think of. Next – talk about it. To everyone. To the politicians even. Next – vote your convictions. Vote people out and vote people in. Forget party loyalty – who is trying (not just speaking it) to solve the trouble? Stop listening to speeches and track actions. Trade in some of your entertainment time and money to be active in your future. If we don’t do something about where we are going, I do not think we will like it much when we get there.
And one more thing. Several generations have put off doing what is needed by believing it would fall to the next. Well, it is no longer your children and grandchildren who will feel the effect of all this. It is us, It is now. ACT NOW.
Till next time. Good luck and God Bless.