Just a thought…

I am not a “financial person” by any stretch of the imagination.  I’m horrible about budgets, and will only check my account balance when it is coated in pie graph goodness.

So you can imagine my confusion with this whole ‘recession’ thing.  What I’m hearing is that a couple of years ago everything was dandy, and then poof all the money disappeared overnight.  Oh, and it was all Bush’s fault.  Along with that Madoff guy and his dog Ponzi. 

Fortunately, all the money that disappeared was found by the Obama administration (yay!) because now they’re giving it all back out!  Yep, they found the missing money and they’re doing the right thing and giving it back to us, the rightful owners!  Well, us and poorly run banks and the failing auto industry…

Maybe I’m crazy.  Maybe I don’t understand the deep intricate details of the nation’s economy, but why don’t we pay back our debt?  Part of this recession is about dried up credit, right?  Isn’t at least part of the reason the credit system dried up because we borrowed money to live lives we couldn’t afford?  We used all the credit up, so shouldn’t we work on paying it back rather than asking an anonymous third party we like to call “the taxpayer” to inject money back into the system?

During the presidential debate at Belmont, Obama and McCain were asked what sacrifices they wanted Americans to make for these economic times.  Neither answered the question, and I was disappointed.  I really wanted to know how we, as Americans, could make sacrifices for the greater good of our country, maybe even for our world.  I’m not even talking about huge sacrifices like the ones our great Founding Parents had to make so that we could have freedom, independence and cheap tea. 

No, I’m talking about sacrifice along the lines of WWII rationing.  There wasn’t enough butter and gasoline for everyone so the government said we’d have to learn to share better, for at least a little while.  I guess the government could have said, “Sit tight, America.  We’re going to pull some butter out of thin air, or maybe steal gasoline from another country.  We aren’t real sure on the details, but don’t worry your life won’t have to change a bit.”  But they didn’t say that.  They said, “Um, here is how much butter and gasoline we have, so let’s figure out how to make it work with what we’ve got.  Go team!”

Maybe 1940’s butter and gasoline is the equivalent to today’s credit card, and instead of making more credit magically appear we need to ration what is left and pay back what we owe.  Maybe we need to quit spending what we don’t have on things we don’t need.

Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Dave Ramsey…

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