What do you think would happen if we stopped overspending as a nation? Do you think it’s even possible? What are the unintended consequences of spending less? As a nation we spend more than we take in every year, and have done this for a long time. As a country, we have racked up a debt of more than $16 trillion dollars! That’s crazy!
Our nation currently has no plan for reducing our debt. So what do you think? Can we apply the same methods we use at our kitchen tables or personal computers to pay off our country’s enormous tab?
People argue over what to call the money we send to our government . . . taxes, revenue, penalties, income, etc. I don’t what to argue over semantics. Let’s just call it US Money.
I think I already heard one of you yell “IT’S OUR MONEY!” Like I said, I don’t want to argue over what we call it. So, if you want US to mean “United States” then that’s fine. If you want US to mean “us” then that’s fine. I just need a name we can use.
The federal government will typically take in over $2 trillion a year. That’s US Money. It sounds like a lot . . . right? Until, of course, you consider the federal government will spend way over the $2 trillion dollars throughout the course of a year. Just like many individuals or families, the government spends way more than it takes in — to a tune of more than $1 trillion dollars every year. That’s called the deficit. Altogether, the government has over $16 trillion in debt and that number is expected to increase by more than $1 trillion by the end of 2013!
Paying Off Our Debt
Many people in America talk a good game when it comes to debt. They give great lip service to straightening out their fiscal path to one of financial responsibility. However, the nasty reality is for an awful lot of people they do very little about it. It should come as no surprise, a large percentage of Americans don’t know the difference between the “debt” and “deficit”.
Since our politicians make our nation’s policies and spending decisions we as individuals have very little impact on our countries’ spending habits. We only affect our federal spending in one of two ways . . . by voting or by taking money from the government in any form.
Currently, our nation spends almost three-quarters of US money on Defense, Medical, Safety Net Programs, and Social Security benefits. That’s a huge chunk! These areas of spending equal more than the total US Money we now take in on a yearly basis.
As a fiscally responsible people what should we do? Would you suggest cutting back on everything we spend money on? Would you raise taxes to cover all current costs? Would you lower taxes to spur business growth and try to generate more US Money? Would you charge overseas companies more money to sell their goods in the US? Would you decrease benefits for current or future generations? What would you do? What’s your personal answer? Or, do you think paying off the national debt is impossible?
At some point, either today or in the future, almost all Americans will have to have an “ah-ha” moment. We must become sick and tired of being on the wrong end of the national loan business. We already know part of the problem; and believe it or not, most of our politicians agree on this first point . . . .
Our government is spending way too much money!
What’s not agreed upon is how much we overspend or how we should cut back. Very few politicians believe there is absolutely nothing which can be cut. Considering this fact, it’s not surprising our government can’t find a solution to this first point.
I remember when my wife and I became serious about our finances. We discovered an abundantly clear truth: There was never going to be any such thing as a savings which didn’t matter! No cut was or is too small! We looked for the best deals on everything. We asked ourselves if we really needed it. We asked ourselves if we could live with what we have. We decided to save up for newer things or finds ways to make do. We started cutting coupons!
Bottom line, our nation has to become that crazy coupon lady you see in the store! It has to accept a simple truth: No cut is too small!
The Take Away
All of us have our part to do. Our nation is made of both individuals and families who come together to work and succeed. I realize not everyone takes advantage of the opportunities provided to us. But most of us do recognize those among us who just “do it right.” It begins for our nation on this level. If individuals and families don’t square away their own finances then why would we expect our government to do better? Our government is a reflection of US! Some good, some bad, just like the people around us.
Do you think it is possible for the United States to make a turn around? Leave a comment and let us know!