If you are a resident of the United States of America, you should be paying attention to the financial dealings of our leaders.
Here’s why: Their financial decisions WILL affect you!
Here are some examples:
- Interest Payments The national debt is just like YOUR debt – there is a BORROWER (the U.S.) and there is a LENDER (U.S. Citizens, Other Countries, and Outside Entities) Like any debt, interest must be paid. The United States just completed its 2013 fiscal year with interest payments of $415,688,781,248.40! Here’s a great question to ask: What ELSE could we have done with $415 billion?
- Credit Rating Reduction The U.S. has had its debt downgraded by Standard & Poor’s on August 5, 2011 and Fitch has warned of a possible downgrade in October 2013. This will increase the amount of interest the U.S. will have to pay on new debt issues.
- You and I (the taxpayers) will have to pay up (and so will our children and grandchildren) Budget doesn’t force “Income – Outgo = Exactly Zero” In fact, we PLAN to spend more than we make each and every month/year/decade. This is ridiculous and reflects a lack of financial education. Spending more than I make for months and years would never work for me personally, and it definitely won’t work for our government. I simply do not understand why a “balanced budget” is not a written and followed law.
- Your money is devalued As the government prints more money, it devalues existing money. MANY MANY MANY times in history, this “let’s just print more money” approach has led to hyper-inflation and currency collapse (Argentina 1991 and Mexico 1994 are two examples – Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, and Spain are all experiencing similar issues leading to major devaluation)
Here are some helpful websites that can help one better understand the debt held by the United States:
- Current U.S. Debt This is the official debt number from the U.S. Treasury.
- Monthly U.S. Budget Review This is the official math from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
- U.S. Debt Clock Provides many different perspectives of the current financial position of the U.S.
Actions YOU can take:
- Email your elected representatives Tell them you want them to make wise financial decisions that position the U.S. to have strong financial fundamentals: (1) a balanced budget, (2) financial reserves, (3) debt reduction plan, and a (4) economic investment plan
- Live these principles in your own life We elect people who are a direct reflection of who we are. Right now, as a collective group, U.S. citizens spend more than they make. Consequently, so does our government. What if we, as a collective group, lived within our means? I believe we would elect leaders who represent those same values. By the way, this is not a Republican versus Democrat issue – it is a “We the people” issue!