Wednesday, December 14, 2011
My deadbeat Uncle
My Uncle Jack has a problem with obsessive spending. He owes everybody but he can’t stop. When the bank cuts him off he starts writing hot checks and when that gets too hard he goes down in his basement and starts printing money himself. There’s only one way to make him stop, we lock him up where he can’t do it any more.
My Uncle Sam has a problem too. Like Uncle Jack he too is writing checks he can’t cover and he also has a printing press so he can print his own money. As attractive as it sounds we can’t lock him up where he can’t do it any more because there is one difference; people cover his losses. And what the people don’t give him, he can borrow from the world.
But more and more the world is having trouble too and the time is about to come when they quit loaning Uncle Sam forty cents of every dollar he sends. And if he just keeps running those printing presses after that the money he prints will keep getting more and more diluted until it is worthless. We’ve all heard the stories about how Germany did this after WWII until it took a whole wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread.
There is just one thing left to do, the people have to give him more money. The problem is 8.6% of the people don’t have jobs so they are taking money from him, not giving it. No wait, there’s another 10% who have given up looking for work so they aren’t counted in those numbers and neither are the ones that are underemployed and also still getting money as well. That means at least one in five are not putting money in but are taking it out. Our response to the problem is illogical, we increase the credit limit to allow even more borrowing. What? Are you kidding me?
Every time our leaders make a speech it is about spending more money. Every time Congress gets in session they are talking about how to spend more money. Money we don’t have. Money we have to borrow. We don’t hear them saying it because we are distracted since they are not talking about spending money, they are talking about programs. A program is a good thing, right? We all want the things these programs offer, right? When I was a kid and walked into a candy store everything looked good too, but I didn’t have credit to borrow money and didn’t have a printing press so even though the candy was good I couldn’t have it. When did we forget that lesson?
Uncle Jack is under control, he’s locked up where he can’t spend money he doesn’t have. But what do we do about Uncle Sam, put it off until people quit lending him the money he needs to keep up his spending habits and the printing presses have run until money is worthless? Put it off until 30% or 40% of the people are taking money from the government instead of giving it? What will the money they are getting from the government be worth anyway?
We have to make my Uncle Sam quit spending money he doesn’t have, but how?