Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scariest Story I Know

It's Halloween - I was asked to tell a spooky story. I first thought about stories about Night Marchers, but then realized I have an even spookier story than that.

Here's the scariest story I know.

Not long ago, a family was sitting at the kitchen table - wondering why they weren't able to make ends meet.

In fact, simply sitting there, they were getting deeper and deeper into debt.

A couple years before (2010,) their household income was $51,530. However, they spent $73,320 - they put 30-cents of every dollar they spent on a credit card.

The family had accumulated about $325,780 in credit card debt.

While that outstanding debt sounds like the amount of a mortgage, it's not. Unlike a mortgage, they have no house or anything else to show for this debt – it is simply money they owe.

Then 2011 came along - they made $55,000, but spent $96,500. Another deficit year - another year of credit card borrowing - and now their outstanding credit card debt is $366,000.

This year, the family is making $70,000, but spending $110,000 ... more deficit spending … deeper in debt.

They scratch their heads and wonder why.

This seemingly fictional family is real - these numbers represent the context of the national deficit and the debt.

The US national debt has passed $16 trillion. On president Barack Obama’s watch, the debt has increased, as campaign promise after campaign promise has drowned in a sea of federal spending. (Spending money we don’t have.)

When he was running for president, Obama condemned George W. Bush for adding $4 trillion to the national debt over eight years, calling it “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.”

Now - in less than four years - Obama’s Administration has already added $6 trillion to the debt. That means he is on track to triple Bush’s debt increase over eight years.

At $16 trillion, this number has passed total US gross domestic product (GDP), the measure of all that is produced in the economy - that's how much we collectively owe.

A January 23, 2012 poll indicates concern about the nation’s budget deficit has been increasing in recent years. 69% say reducing the deficit is a top priority - the most in any of the annual policy priority updates going back to 1994. (Pew Research Center poll)

A December 12, 2011 Gallup poll indicated Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009; 64% of Americans say big government will be the biggest threat to the country (nearly 2/3 of us.)


“The day after the Greek Parliament approved another round of deep spending cuts in the face of violent protests, President Obama released a budget proposal for the coming fiscal year that offers no real solution to the United States’ long-term fiscal problems.” (latimes-com)

"Drawing down spending on wars that were already set to wind down and that were deficit financed in the first place should not be considered savings. When you finish college, you don't suddenly have thousands of dollars a year to spend elsewhere - in fact, you have to find a way to pay back your loans." (cnn-com)

Obama's plan does not even begin reducing the debt and keeping it headed down. “Nor, for that matter, does it fulfill his 2009 promise to halve the deficit by the end of his first term." (usatoday-com)

Has the president so soon forgotten that nobody (not even one democrat in the entire the House and Senate) supported his budgets?

By a vote of 414-0, the usually-divided House of Representatives unanimously voted in bipartisan unison to deny president Obama’s 2013 budget (not one democrat supported the president’s budget.)

In May 2011, 97 senators voted against a motion to take up his 2012 budget plan — no senator (republican and democrat) voted in favor of the motion.

These outcomes speak for themselves; neither republicans nor democrats in Congress agree with the president’s budget.

“We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year — it’s done, we don’t need to do it,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters, echoing previous statements from his office. (February 3, 2012)


I think it’s pretty clear, the president and democrats don’t want budgets – they want unlimited spending and no accountability for the money they spend (the key reasons why budgets are prepared.)

A recent Treasury Department report notes a summary of federal spending for 2012. Some are suggesting it’s the 7-11 report – and Obama is the 7-11 president. (Did you read about it? Of course not, the main stream media ignored the sorry story.)

Let’s look.

Under Obama, for every $7 the US government has collected, it spent nearly $11 (or, to be more precise, $10.95).

(That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year — and is already knee-deep in debt - blowing nearly $110,000 a year.)

Deficits and debt cost money; it is called interest – paying this cost of borrowing does nothing in providing services and programs for the people today.

Likewise, to pay off the debt you have to use current dollars to pay back past expenditures – paying back past debt does nothing in providing services and programs for the people today.

We have been fortunate that interest rates have been low - their lowest ever … but, when interest rates rise (and they will,) more of our hard-earned tax dollars will go to paying interest on our growing deficits and debt.

Think about your household - I bet you find ways to cut spending to make ends meet. The folks in Washington, including the White House, don’t even try.

Obama - who recently showed that he apparently has no idea how big our national debt is - amazingly says of the debt, “[W]e don’t have to worry about it short-term.”

In other words, if you have $7 but spend $11 (and continually borrow to make up the difference,) year after year, it's OK - let future generations of Americans worry about it.

Since Obama took office, the national debt has increased from about $10.6 trillion to more than $16 trillion - a 50 percent increase. Obama's deficit spending has added more than $1-trillion each year to the growing debt, and apparently he doesn't care.

In the last four years, the national debt has increased by more than it did in the previous 17 years.

The national debt will increase from $16-trillion to $25.4-trillion in 2022, or 59-percent, under president Obama’s budget plans.

Government should follow the example set by the American household:
• live within your means (have a balanced budget)
• we can’t continue to spend money we don’t have (stop deficit spending and borrowing to cover the difference)

Stop the Rhetoric - Balance the Budget - Reduce the Debt

You can’t spend money you don’t have. You can’t borrow your way out of debt.

For those that still don’t get it, I think I need to repeat this simple, basic thought:

You can’t spend money you don’t have. You can’t borrow your way out of debt.

This is the scariest story I know - and we are all caught in the middle of it, whether we like it or not.

Every man, woman and child in the United States owes more than $50,000 as his or her share of the national debt. Every US taxpayer owes more than $140,000 as his or her share of the national debt. (The national debt has now increased by more than $64,000 per federal taxpayer since Barack Obama was inaugurated president.)

Scary, isn’t it? Happy Halloween.

Actually, you can change the direction we’re headed and how this story goes in the future - make your vote count next week.

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