Tag Archives: Laurence Kotlikoff
I sat at my desk today, doing what I do every Thursday. Juggling bills. As I pondered how much I would have left for groceries, after paying the phone bill, and gassing up the old “Silver Toilet”( my very thirsty pickup truck), a thought occurred to me. How is it that so many people have no real understanding of our national debt? We hear about it all the time, ” our grandchildren will be faced with the burden of our national debt”. But do we ever really think about what that means to us as individuals? Household economics is really pretty straightforward. If there is no money left after paying the bills, then you don’t eat. Skip out on your power bill, you sit in the dark, decide you’d rather go on vacation than pay your mortgage, bye-bye home. Real life teaches us that if you continue to spend more than you make, eventually it will all come crashing down around you.
It works the same way with the government. It doesn’t matter what kind of fancy economic theory you adhere to, the simple fact is that our country is broke. I know, you’ve heard that before, so what? Well, what that means to me is that I’ll have to depend on myself more, and government less. It means that the Pell grant my daughter depended on for college isn’t going to be there, my Tricare premiums are increasing, and Social Security isn’t even a factor in my retirement planning. It doesn’t matter what the politicians promise, we have two choices, realize that we are going to have to accept cuts to government programs now, or wait until the government defaults and then completely lose that safety net while the economy implodes on itself sucking us in with it. Either way we will have to become less dependent on to government.
Given that cuts are inevitable, what makes more sense, to have a president that aims to control more of the population by increasing their dependency on government programs? Or a president who can make the tough cuts necessary to balance the budget? We have to ask ourselves, do we want to suffer the controlled hardships of a government learning to live within its means? The way the rest of us do. Or do we want to live through the devastation of a complete economic meltdown?
Americans have a noble tradition of pulling on our boots, rolling up our sleeves, and shouldering the work. We don’t run from hardship, we face it head on, grit our teeth and gut it out. It will be interesting to see, if this new voting generation will rise to the challenge, or if they will just curl up in the fetal position, consoling themselves with You Tube and reality TV, while waiting for a savior to come and bail them out.