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Debt, the Government, and Me

In Politics on July 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

by:  David J. Lemon

So for the past few days I have been thinking a lot about this “debt crisis”. I have been trying to learn more and more about what is going on, what caused it, and possible solutions. Then I had a massive realization. I am the US government. Well, not quite, but we are very similar. I am about 25 years old and i started being financially responsible for myself about a decade ago. At first I didn’t have a lot of revenue, but I also didn’t have too many expenditures so everything tended to work out. That being said, I was an up and coming young man and I had big plans for myself. I needed an education so that I could make something of myself. I took out loans (in addition to working my ass off) and paid for a four year degree. But don’t think I was done there. There was another set of loans for my masters degree. I needed to extend my knowledge, abilities, and to some extent control over the world around me. I was “growing” and didn’t have the means to raise my revenues so I increased by debt to move myself forward. Fast forward through grad school, where my meager salary didn’t necessarily cover my lifestyle. I mean come on… I was an up and coming professional. I needed new clothes, new technology, and all sorts of supplies to keep my progress moving forward. At that point I guess I didn’t really realize how much I was spending because things were working out really well. I was succeeding professional and was on a path to becoming a fairly successful student affairs practitioner. Things were going great for David Lemon and I definitely didn’t want that to end. I needed a new car so I took an auto loan to buy one. i had all sorts of appointments in all sorts of places and i was hundreds of miles from my friends and family so it seemed like a perfectly legitimate expense that could be rationalized fully. As I moved forward and entered the professional world, new expenses arose. Insurance (health, life, auto, etc.), cell phone, and because i was done with school – payments on my student loans 😦

As I continued my life post-school, my expenses only increased, mostly because I felt I needed to be doing more and more. My revenue leveled off. Now that I’m full-time I can’t exactly just find a second job to create supplemental income. I’m not sure when i had the realization. I know it was while I was paying bills, but I realized that my expenses were exceeding my revenues, a fact that had probably been true before, but now I was reaching my credit limits.

Is this sounding familiar??? I really hope so. The US and I don’t have enough money coming in… and we can’t just create more. So what are our options. Well for me, I could call the credit card companies and request increases in my limits. It would free up my ability to spend more, but common sense tells me that’s not the solution. Really i just need to free up more of the revenue. How am I supposed to do this? I think the only option that I have is to cut my spending enough to create spending money while maintaining my ability to pay down my debts.

I don’t see how this doesn’t apply to the US Government as well. The Government could increase revenues by raising taxes, but I am fairly certain that there are millions of other hardworking Americans out there who are in a situation similar to me. Times are tough and raising taxes could have seriously negative effects on the economy. If taxes are raised it could halt spending of millions of Americans whose expenditures are simply greater than their revenues. I just don’t see it as a smart move. And what do you if you can’t increase revenue? You have to decrease expenditures. Cutting our incredible spending will free up more capital to pay off our debt and allow us to meet our financial obligations and keep our sterling credit rating. I’m not stupid though. I understand that the US needs more cash now to meet it’s obligations and raising the debt ceiling will accomplish that; however, giving ourselves several trillion more dollars to piss away without significant spending cuts is only going to be a temporary solution to the problem. The real fix needs to be permanent and it needs to happen soon. I don’t foresee it being an fun solution. in reality, it will probably require serious changes in a lot of peoples’ ways of life but something has to give.

I apologize if this offends you, but I definitely don’t apologize for writing it. I hope that you’re reading about what’s going on. If you’re like me and don’t like it, I hope you get involved – remember your time and your vote are the two most powerful weapons you wield in the world of politics. Go out there, get educated, get pissed, and DO SOMETHING!

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  1. In the same boat man haha. I’ve got a lot of debt but I can’t just abandon the payments and take a vacation for a few weeks just cause I don’t agree with the debt I myself wound up in.

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