Archives For debt

Worrying About Debt….

March 3, 2014

2014-03-02_16-18-10“The time to worry about debt is before you get it, not after you got four-fifths of it.” – Will Rogers, 21 December 1932

These words of wisdom were just as ignored in Will’s day as they are today by almost all of us and especially by our government.

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About The Debt…

November 28, 2012

We are three billion in the hole and will be three billion more next year, and not a Congressman has got the nerve to ask voters to pay part of it.  —  January 29, 1933    Will Rogers

Obviously this quote was said long before even Grover Norquist’s parents were born but it is equally true today as it was in Will’s time. The fact of the matter is up until President Bush, taxes have always gone up to help pay for our wars. But when so many  from the GOP crawled up to the altar of Mr. Norquist with their pledges to NEVER raise taxes this tradition was very unwisely flushed down the toilet. When will we ever learn to never say never? Sometimes it seems that those guys in congress love their party more than the love their country. I don’t know; I’m just a simple guy but it seems that way to me. Continue Reading…

Source: Defense cuts could further dim US jobs picture – Life Inc..

There are thousands of civilian jobs related to the war effort, and cutbacks in defense spending have already led to reductions in these defense-related jobs, including direct government positions or those with defense contractors.

Outside of slightly more federal money spent on citizen’s safety nets the defense budgets are the biggest use of our tax dollars.  We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. As shown by the quote above and the source article one of the arguments our hawks give us for maintaining our military spending is that it creates much needed jobs. The graph below provided to me by my friends at the American Friends Service Committee show that the same money could produce many more jobs if spent outside of our military complex. The only reason we spend as much as the rest of the world combined on our military is because our politicians and generals have chosen to make us the policemen of the world.

Continue Reading…

RJ’s Doctrine….

October 22, 2012

Tonight is, thank heavens, the last debate for this presidential season. It will be on foreign policy. I can tell you in advance what will happen. Each side will tear into the other saying their opponents foreign policy will assure the total destruction of the United States. There will be little of anything but put-down and counter-put-downs.

If I were running for president I would give you very clearly what I would proudly call RJ’s Doctrine: Continue Reading…

About That Debt….

September 26, 2012

I know there is a lot of fury going on now about how President Obama has increased the national debt. So, when I came across this graph it got my attention. I have had several ranters here lately who proclaim that “that idiot Obama is bankrupting the country”. They go on and on about the increased deficit and how it is their sole reason to drive that “idiot” out of office. I am going to try and give you some insight into this situation but as President Clinton said recently you are going to have to pay attention…

Continue Reading…

Not Spending Enough???

May 14, 2012

Source: Economy Watch – Bernanke says demand too weak to bring down jobless rate.

Consumers are not spending enough and businesses are not investing enough to put a big dent in unemployment, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday

How many years have we heard about the dreadful effects of consumer debt in the country.  It is typically reported that the average family has more than $8,000 in credit card debt!  Everyone, including most economists, say we are just living beyond our means. But now here is the number one financial guy in the country saying we are in the trouble we are because we are not spending enough!

Someone needs to tell these guys that you can’t have it both ways without some serious increases in the average guy’s hourly wage increased spending won’t happen. Since wages haven’t gone up in almost twenty years now I don’t see us coming out of this high unemployment period anytime soon.

But what do I know….

Paying the Fiddler…

January 5, 2012

This would be a great world to dance in if we didn’t have to pay the fiddler. – June 27, 1930  Will Rogers

I haven’t heard the phrase “Its time to pay the fiddler” in years. When I looked it up on Wikipedia it was shown to be a country music song sung by Ernest Tubb among others. It goes something like this:

Well it’s time to pay the fiddler
And it’s sad to know we’ve danced it all away
But the warm night’s disappearing
Leaving nothing but the cold hard light of day

Since “paying the fiddler” is in this Will Rogers quote it must pre-date this song but I expect that the meaning has pretty well carried over. This relays the same message as “burning your candle at both ends” or to us more nuanced we might say that “you eventually have to pay for the consequences of your actions”.  I kind of like the fiddler one the best though. ;)

For philosophical reason, whatever that is, let’s put this saying into perspective. We in the U.S particularly, but in the whole world in general, have been living on borrowed money  for too long. So maybe now it is time to pay the fiddler and that is what is happening now. Our economy has contracted due to people unable to sustain past spending practices.  Our credit cards are maxed out and since we are paying  18- 24% interest on them, the banks and their owners are getting wealthy, but we who have this massive debt can no longer afford to keep spending. Unfortunately this sequence of events played out at the same time as the financial institutions were getting more creative in where they got their ever increasing profits.

So here we are paying the fiddler. How long will it take to get him paid off? No one seems to know but I would bet it is for at least a few more years if we have the patience to keep up the payments.  Unfortunately, we in the U.S. are not known for our patience. What’s going to happen is anyone’s guess but I would guess that nothing good will come from our future actions if we don’t realize that we’ve danced it all away leaving us nothing but a cold hard light of day.

Enough of this silliness but what do I know….

Living Debt Free….

September 27, 2011

The average consumer carries over $16,000 in credit card debt. And there is usually a mortgage and probably a car loan in the pile too. They say the total personal debt of U.S. consumers is over $11 trillion.  Unfortunately many of those are middle aged and moving into their retirement years. With all this debt they are obviously not putting away much for their later life.

It is quite startling how much debt many seniors today carry into their retirement! Four out of ten carry a mortgage with them into their golden years. Almost five out of ten carry a $6,000 credit card debt!  My father taught me to “put money away for a rainy day”.  While that message stuck with me it obviously didn’t with many of my cohorts.

What makes one person maintain a lifestyle that is debt free while another piles it on? My father and his generation were called Depression babies as he was  six years old at the onset of the Depression of the 1920s. My grandfather had a pig farm and was not seriously affected by the depression but I still remember Dad’s stories about some of his neighbors who were very much affected. Depression babies like my dad did not like debt but for the most part they are all gone now and quickly being replaced by us baby boomers. From the evidence it looks like many of us have not followed in our fathers’ footsteps about being debt free. Why are so many so ill-prepared for their senior years? I’m sure part of it has to do with “wanting it now”.

For some who are on retirement’s door it is already too late and that means they have to keep working whether they like it our not. Unfortunately, even among this group, there will be those who because of health or other issues will not be able to work in their senior years. What will happen to them. Most likely they will be trying to live on basically Social Security benefits which average usually a little over $1,000 per month. What would happen to those if even the Social Security safety net were removed?  According to some in the audience at the latest Republican presidential debate we should let them die! I hope and pray we never become a nation who lets that happen! But sadly I didn’t hear of anyone on the stage renouncing that idea!

I see the results of trying to live on Social Security alone weekly at the soup kitchen I volunteer.  Our lunch and dinner guests increase by about 25% the last week of the month when the checks are running out. We all would like to say “that happens to others” but I’m sure the “others” did not believe it would happen to them either.  No matter how close to retirement you are it is never to late to be reigning back some expenses in order to save a few dollars.

All this political foolishness is getting insane. I just wish the president would grow a backbone and tell congress to give him what they gave the previous president seven times. Give him a “clean” bill that raises the debt limit in the next three days. Yes we need to look at spending but we don’t need to put the country in a totally unnecessary peril to do that. Those guys are risking everything I have spent my life saving for my retirement.

This game playing stupidity has gone on for much too long now.  Its time for some “grownups” in our nation’s capital to take charge…..   Where will we get them??

President Obama please don’t let me down once again.

But what do I know….