Tuesday, October 14, 2008

$516,000 and climbing

So what is $516,000? That's the debt per household that we're currently carrying thanks to the Bush administration's efforts to bankrupt the country.

Individually, then, for a household of four, that's over $129,000. That number, by the way, takes in most everything. Some estimates say the debt per capita (individually - what you and I would fork over) is $32,000 but that doesn't include full numbers. I also suspect these are both low numbers because I daresay the numbers the public actually hears are the right ones. I don't believe anything the government tells me these days, and that includes its debt figures.

Anyway, whatever the number, do you have thousands just laying around to hand over to pay for poorly planned wars, Wall Street bailouts, and tax breaks to the oil and gas companies?

I didn't think so. If I managed my household like this administration has managed finances, then we'd be declaring bankruptcy. Is that what is happening, do you think?

I don't know. I'm no economics major. I just know I have XX coming in and if I don't have it in the bank I don't spend it. I don't need the latest doohickey or thing-a-ma-bob. So I think the government doesn't really need the big boy toys it buys up either, all those bombs and bombers and tanks and all that other stuff that makes up the Pentagon budget. That's because we don't really need to be out making wars. We just need enough for defense and I think we have plenty for that.

We have 305.4 million people in this country. My calculator won't even go as high as this debt. Neither, apparently, would the national debt clock in New York, which was taken down so they could add another number to the trillions in debt that with which this administration has saddled you and me and our children.

If the people who own this debt (whoever that may be) suddenly said, pay up, I wonder what would happen? Would they come knocking on our doors asking for the pocket change? Would they say, no, I don't care if your mortgage is paid for, we own your house now? We own your roads and everything else. Go on now, there's the soup line.

Is this coup by paper?

Bill Clinton, for all his faults, didn't leave us looking for soup lines. I did well under Clinton. Maybe it was just timing and he had nothing to do with it, but give me the 1990s and Blue Dress Gate over what's happened since 2000 any day.

Here's an interesting note:

"For every dollar a Democratic president has raised the national debt in the past 63 years Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.84."

Almost triple the debt.

How about this:

"Debt has been on a steady incline ever since the Reagan presidency. The only exception to the steep increase over the last 30 years was during the Clinton presidency, when he brought spending under control and the debt growth down to almost zero."

Or this:

"At no time since 1945 when Republicans have been in total charge of both elected branches of government have they ever reduced spending."

I do not understand how people can vote against their own economic well being. Maybe someone can explain that to me. Are those single issues that emotionally compelling?

I do not believe for one moment that this great country cannot get a hold of its budget. I think with thoughtfulness and prudent use of time, money and resources we can get out of this hole. But will it happen in my lifetime?

I am not so sure.

FDR, where are you?


  1. And yet, for years the Republicans have been thought of as the fiscal gurus...I think those days are over!

  2. I bet we could have an interesting conversation. You have to wonder if some programs like FDR had would turn this country around. I'm with you on not being and economics guru, but I do know that I've lost $5000 in my retirement this year. By the time I'm old enough to retire (30yrs+), social security is going to be gone and at this rate all that I invested in 401k and 403b will be gone. I guess I'd better make arrangements to live under a bridge when I'm old. Crazy!!! Hopefully the election will bring about change and that things will rebound. I think this is the first time in my life, I've actually started to worry about my long term future.

    ANYWAY- I put some more pictures of Clinton over on my blog and updated the story for ya.


  3. The situation in our governmentand the economic circumstances in which we find ourselves now truly is a crisis. One of the many reasons we moved here was because my husband, who for many years has traded and invested, began to predict a long term downturn in economics several years ago. We believe that if we can teach our children the true value of "stuff" and what work is involved in the making of "stuff" then maybe they will in turn be more mindful of how they live, who they support, how they vote. We are in a spot where we can grow our food when times get tough. We can pick up dead wood or cut wood to heat our house. It is those in urban areas I worry about. I hope our government will do more to eradicate poverty and debt. I wonder, however, as a christian that if more christians would take on the challenge to help those who are in need mightn't we see a more realistic way to change things? Forget the matter of faith. What about humans of every faith(I just happen to be christian) stepping up to the plate. Let's share what we have with someone who doesn't because it is right. Because each one of us has been given to freely. The govt is so big and so corrupt. I want to shout to the churches, "PLEASE PEOPLE! HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR!" I know there are many folks who are helping, but if we could just eliminate one or two extra curricular activities per family, one or two shopping trips to wal mart per quarter, one or two restaurant meals every so often and give our time, food or cash to someone in need, what amazing things we might see! What if we started honestly praying for the desperate and hungry and lonely people who have such serious needs. Uh Oh. I have started to preach. Sorry. This is supposed to be a comment, not an editorial!

  4. I think part of the problem is the decline of a sense of community - we don't know our neighbors any longer so we can no longer be neighborly. Our need for community has not diminished, though, so we see the enormous growth of "community" in the rise of the mega-churches with the pastors creating community through appeals to hot-button topics like gays, abortion, and xenophobia. Allegiance to labels such as "progressive", "conservative", "New Age", etc., etc., also creates "community.


I enjoy your comments and always appreciate the opportunity to visit the blogs of my readers. I hope you have a great day!