Government and Personal Debt

Are you, like the federal government, having more debt than you have income?  You are not alone.  The question is what to do about it?

The news seems to be telling us that the federal government does not have enough tax dollars to pay the costs of governmental operations and that it must borrow money to stay in business.  That sounds familiar.  But, do we have the added problem that when we go to the bank to borrow money to pay our bills, the bank says No.

As I understand it, the government has an “out” you and I do not have.  The government can obtain more money to pay its bills by increasing the debt-limit previously set by Congress.  Once that limit is increased the government can borrow more money and pay its bills.

President Obama and Congress are arguing about all of this with the President saying to Congress: Authorize an Increase in the Debt-Limit.  If you don’t, Social Security Checks and Veterans’ benefits could be delayed and government workers and vendors would not get paid and another economic crisis could be upon us.

Congress is saying to the President:  Before we authorize an increase in the Debt Ceiling government spending must be reduced.  Again, on the personal level, such approach sounds familiar.

The question then is: What government costs (and at the personal level what operating costs) can be reduced?  There are certain costs that are “musts” if the government and us, at the personal level, must incur just to keep going.

Of course, there is another way.  At the government level, increase taxes.  At the personal level, increase sale prices.

Which should it be, reduce expenses or increase sales?  If it is to be to reduce expenses, what expense reductions can the government, or those of us seeking to make enough to care for our family, put into effect?

I would be pleased to hear from anyone reading this commentary their answers to the questions raised herein.  My e-mail address is cmccarter@mccartergreenley.com. My post office address is Suite 2100, One Metropolitan Square Building, St. Louis, Missouri 63102-2751.  No phone calls please.

113 Comments


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