So, you’ve probably seen the post floating around the internet, mainly facebook, comparing the national budget with a household budget. Ya know, break it down and magnify by removing 8 zeros to see the problem in a much closer perspective? (I’ll find and link it later.) Well someone commented how you can’t compare the government debt problem to a household budget problem and there’s too many other tangents to consider. Oh really? Why not? I may not have an economics degree from some big university but I still have a basic understanding of some of this crap. In other words, my nose can often smell a poopy diaper from the other room.
The US government has a credit rating by three major credit agencies just like every average American has a credit score. They may be different companies but the fact remains we all have credit scores, and they’re kind of a big deal, ya know. So, what happens if you have no credit? It’s a little hard to get a loan; bigger the loan, more difficult to obtain. What happens if you have poor credit? I.e. you have credit cards/loans/etc but aren’t paying them off in the timely manner that is required of them. I.e.e. You aren’t fulfilling your side of the loan contract you agreed to. What is the bank going to do? Raise your interest rates, repossess items the loan is for (house, car, tv), prevent you from getting more loans. What happens if your interest rates go up? It gets even harder to pay those loans off. And pretty soon you’re floundering in a pool of mud that’s rather hard to get out and getting clean. Blah blah blah. Sucks, don’t it? That’s life, dearie.
The government gets loans from a lot of places, including other countries. Guess what? China apparently owns most of our debt (http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/ss/How-Much-US-Debt-Does-China-Own.htm). Some of you might be saying, “Ew, China?!” or “you’re linking to about.com?!” I’m on a tight schedule here with Sesame Street being only one hour long, okay? I’m a mom. Cut me a little slack here.
Getting back to the topic on hand – Last year was the first time the US got demoted from AAA status down to AA+ by one of the credit agencies that rates us, S&P (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_government_credit-rating_downgrade). The two other dudes eventually decided to follow suit with their own ratings. Of course, Obama and many others pretty much said, “you can’t do that, you suck!” Sorry dude, but they can. Just because you’re the government doesn’t mean you don’t have to play by the same rules and regulations as us little guys. You don’t pay the bills, you loose your credit standing. Oh and the US rating can affect ours, too. Remember that teenager in my letter, getting a hold of daddy’s credit card? “What, I can’t just get what I want, whenever I want?!” Afraid so, deary. Daddy’s credit score has just been affected and something needs to be done.
So, what to do about it now? Just keep raising the debt ceiling? NO. Just like a paring knife can’t cut up a watermelon, it’s time to take to the budget and government-run agencies with a figurative hack saw. My daughter was quite sad when I said we couldn’t feed every stray cat in the neighborhood. We just can’t afford it. I wish I could care for every person standing on the streets but I just can’t. Another blogger whose opinions have been floating about recently, posted a GIANT list of things being funded by the government and I must agree, there sure are a lot of stray cats on that list. Some who could possibly stand on their own two feet if privately funded rather than by the government.
Yes, it will hurt. Yes, people will loose jobs, especially in this time where jobs are in high demand. Ya know what? I don’t think I’d want to work for the government right now. You know how rats are the first to flee a sinking ship? Yup, if I was on the government ship, I’d jump right about now and find somewhere else to go pronto before everyone else does/has to, too. It’s cushy right now, you say? How much longer can this last?
If a business does a crappy job, it goes out of business and somebody else comes along to take over. What happens if the government goes out of business? Oh don’t think about that, you say! Why not? That couldn’t happen!? Is the government really invincible? It’s huge! It’s ginormous! Which will just make the fall even harder. Gravity is a lot more kind on my kids when they fall when compared to me and my fat butt.
Admit it, the US government has a budget problem. It CAN be compared to a household budget. And continuing throwing more money at it won’t help. But I’m just a mom. What do I know about budgeting?