Here in the USA, we have a national debt currently exceeding 2.4 trillion dollars. For most of us, that is a meaningless figure, exceeding our easy understanding. However, when viewed as to how much each person owes, it can make more sense.
2.4 trillion is well over sixty-two thousand dollars per citizen. Wow, each of us owes that much, if spread evenly amongst all – man, woman, and child? Yes, but it is much worse than that. Not all citizens are taxpayers. If we only include those who actually pay taxes, that figure is almost 170 thousand dollars each.
I thought I was debt free! Between my wife and I, our share of the national debt would be $340,000. I suppose, as citizens and taxpayers, we are obligated to this debt? I guess I will have to contact a bankruptcy lawyer and file for Chapter 7.
I am not very familiar with bankruptcy, but I would hope if payment was demanded, we could still keep our house, truck, chickens, and goats. If not, does anyone out there want to adopt two senior citizens? No takers? You say you are in the same boat, and we need to contact a Rockefeller or other billionaire who would pay their debt and have room for ours too? No, I’m not dim; just making a point.
Does this huge debt seem ridiculous to anyone else? To be that far “in the red” in a so-called “rich” country has been shameful for decades. From our collective of citizens, I’ve heard no hue and cry about it, only a loud outcry from individuals when they are denied their personal share of the national teat.
If your neighbor worked as a store clerk, and he had credit card debt of over $15,000 dollars, money spent on big screen TVs, and other luxuries, you’d think him irresponsible, might consider him a ne’er-do-well, or possibly dishonest. Yet, many don’t look at our own government as being irresponsible for the tremendous debt we have all had a part in unless they are not providing healthcare, roads without potholes, or spending billions to protect us from ourselves.
We often hear that politicians don’t have the courage to make the hard choices that would reduce our deficit, but that is not true. It is we, the citizens of our country, that do not have the courage. Don’t think for one moment that politicians don’t do what we want. We want all the benefits, consider them our right, no matter the cost, and will not be denied by any politician that wants to be re-elected.
If the above seems harsh, I find I am not in the mood to speak gently. I also don’t want you to think I stand apart in this. I am as guilty as anyone. We each, as citizens, share the responsibility for the condition of life around us, and that includes what our government does on our behalf with our complicit agreement.
Starting anew, let us not dwell on our past errors. Let us avoid the potential disaster ahead, and all do our part. We should all be willing to bear up to the consequences that come from a belt-tightening. You know, a real budget, a balanced one. This country should not have an ongoing debt. We should have a savings account of 2.4 trillion dollars, doncha ya’ think?