|The fuse is burning|
Now while our Canadian Federal or Provincial governments are not by any stretch of the imagination "fiscally responsible" they do not even come close to displaying the free spending mindset and the reckless fiscal abandonment that our American neighbors to the south are engaging in, particularly at the Federal level in Washington. Watching their antics as they battle over adjusting personal tax rates higher, debt ceiling increases, and implementing spending cuts, would be comical if it was not so serious that the outcome has the ability to negatively impact the entire global economy. Even a simpleton knows that you can not continuously spend more than you take in, unfortunately this basic fact seems to be lost on America's elected officials especially the guy currently serving as President.
So if a simpleton can understand the concept, why can't supposedly bright elected officials?
Here's what I think........
The numbers are simply too big to grasp and for most people tend to lose their meaning or impact.
Lets face it, years ago when you were told someone was a "millionaire" you could wrap your head around the fact that individual was well off. The math was simple, a house in a decent neighborhood cost $80,000, a nice car ran you about $10,000, your annual pay was about $25,000, and a weekly trip to the supermarket set you back $75 for a family of four.
Things became a whole lot harder to comprehend as inflation made a buck worth less and "billionaires" starting popping up (those extra three zero's made the math much more complex). A billion dollars and its buying power was for the most part beyond the comprehension of most of us, including the majority of our elected officials. Those holding elected positions and control over taxpayer dollars starting treating "millions" like pocket change and "billions" like the currency of the day.
So when the phrase "trillion" hit the media, most of the population did not have an inkling of just how much money a trillion dollars truly is, and again this included most elected officials.
So where am I heading with all of this? Well, just the other day a friend sent me an email that was making the rounds that I believe places the entire American "Fiscal Cliff" situation in perspective and in such a way that an average Joe (or a frustrated one) can wrap his head around. Now as you read, don't focus too much on the actual numbers as they tend to change daily, so they may not be accurate to the penny at any given time. The point of this exercise is perspective and bringing the numbers into focus, so here goes.....
* U.S. Government Revenue: $ 2,170,000,000,000 (trillions)
* U.S. Federal Budget: $ 3,820,000,000,000 (trillions)
* New Debt Incurred: $ 1,650,000,000,000 (trillions)
* U.S.Government Overall Debt: $14,271,000,000,000 (trillions)
* Recent Budget Cuts: $ 38,500,000,000 (billions)
Now just for fun, let's remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget
* Annual Family Income: $ 21,700
* Money The Family Spent $ 38,200
* New Debt on Credit Cards $ 16,500
* Owing on the Credit Card: $142,710
* Total Budget Cuts So Far: $ 38.50
That's right, in the above scenario of our household budget the US Federal Governments budget cutting equates to a mere $38.50 (thirty eight dollars and fifty cents) or in simple terms "a drop in a bucket"!
Seriously, would anyone suggest that the above family budget was anything other than a disaster waiting to happen, so why are people so blind to the fiscal train wreck in Washington? Again, I personally believe that the numbers are just too big for most to comprehend and understand the severity of the situation.
Fortunately, the email contained a second part that explained the situation in such a simple way that even the guy currently sitting in the Oval Office should be able to understand (one can only hope).
|Says it all|
Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ......Raise the ceilings, or remove the crap?
Now if someone can just provide me with Mr Obama's personal email address, I would be happy to forward him the email. Who knows, by using simple enough terms and with no big words involved maybe he will grasp the severity of the situation he is placing his country (and the world) in.