Monday, February 2, 2009

Deficits DO Matter

Recently I debated publicly with a Citi Group financial planner who suggested the national deficit isn't a factor when giving financial advice to students my age. I was stunned at his views, as if that debt didn't really exist, just an unlimited credit card you never have to pay back. I realized most people had no idea how deep we are.

Since most of the current financial climate started from huge amounts of bad debt wouldn't it be important to factor in the biggest and badest?

We all know it's big, it's past 10.6 trillion. That's $10,600,000,000,000.00 (it's important to see all the zeros) But why is it so bad? Because a federal deficit is the only debt on earth that can be past on to future generations. ALL other debt dies with the person. So what does that mean? It has to be paid back! The question is when...

What if it were today? Guess what uncle sam sends you a bill for $34,830. Wait that's per person! So in my case my little family owes $104,490. Yeah right, like I have that laying around... So the debt continues and compounds.

In the very near term our dutiful congress is going to approve the largest budget deficit ever. Mostly due to a large stimulus plan around 900 billion (that's $900,000,000,000.00 again with the zeros)

It may be nessesary, it could avoid crisis, that's not my point. But the proposed package will add another $3,000 per person to that deficit (another $9,000 for my family) While I will probably see $1,000 in a tax credit I think I'd rather keep my other $8,000 and buy a car or something to save the economy. Most likely I won't see that money again... But you can bet we'll have to pay it back.

Probably nobody is still reading at this point, and I'm probably preaching to the choir but if we can't make the deficit more real to the public it will continue to grow at a rapid pace.

Christy and I saw a great movie on the topic called IOUSA, a little dreary but the facts are real, just remember the conclusions are predictions we can change our course!


Lorinda said...

Your conversation with the "financial planner" illustrates why we are in the trouble we are in! I'm with you. We can't continue to spend and be oblivious to our debt woes, personally or globally.

Evaly said...
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Cindy Ardis said...

You are so smart. It hurt my brain just to read what you said and contimplate the implications. Good thing we have a smart generation, including you, that will hopefully make things better.