by Tony Braun.
I would like to purchase a Bugatti Veyron. I love the way it looks. I love the speed with which its immense engine accelerates. I love the feeling of exclusivity that owning one of the most expensive production vehicles in the world will give me. My only problem is that I do not have the 1.2 million dollars needed to buy one.
What I will need to do is approach one of my well-heeled friends and persuade him, or her, to loan me the 1.2 million I need in order to fulfill my dream. The only problem with my solution is that I will not be able to pay back the 1.2 million dollars. I do not have sufficient income to enable me to live my life, put food on the table and pay all of my other obligations, while also paying off the debt to my friend. Frankly, if all I will have to do is pay off the 1.2 million I will still be in trouble. Thus, what I will need to do is approach yet another friend in order to borrow the funds necessary to service the 1.2 million debt I will have already incurred. Not a likely scenario, as even the most gullible of my well-heeled friends will be able to grasp the enormity of the financial hole I’ll be digging myself into.
The above is the kind of scenario that gets people of all income brackets into financial trouble. As my late father used to say to me when, as a child, I would want more food than I could possibly eat, ‘your eyes are bigger than your stomach.’ Such is the situation we, as a Country, find ourselves in today. Our collective ‘eyes’ are way too big for our ‘stomachs.’
We, the people, as a country and as a whole, keep electing to positions of great responsibility and trust individuals who should be looking out for our collective best interests, but instead look out for their own.
The USA has a current debt which is in excess of 16 trillion dollars. That debt rises continually as we borrow an additional 4 billion dollars every day of the week. That means we BORROW 1.6 TRILLION per year just to service the immense fiscal hole in which we currently reside and fall deeper each day. This scenario is completely unsustainable yet we continue on the same path.
On New Year’s Day, in the wee hours, the U.S. Congress passed a bill which averted the USA going over the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’ However, from what I have read, it does not come close to addressing the runaway spending by, and expansion of, the government. The deal seems to hold the line on income tax rates for most Americans but does not address all of the ‘hidden taxes’ that will befall many of us due to the gradual implementation of the immense healthcare law known as ‘Obamacare.’ It allows payroll taxes to rise back to 6.2 percent. It does nothing of substance to address the out of control spending of the Federal Government. It does not address reform of Medicare or Social Security or any of the other so-called entitlement programs which are under-funded and thus unsustainable.
The president, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have known about this ‘fiscal cliff’, under which massive, across the board, spending cuts must occur, since August of 2011, when they passed temporary legislation creating it to begin with, having not been able to work out a viable solution that all could agree upon at that time. They, collectively, have had over sixteen months to solve the problem, but didn’t. They waited until the last possible minute, and then some, to come up with merely a stop-gap solution that really solves nothing for the long term.
The U.S. government lives by my aforementioned Bugatti Veyron scenario. It borrows more money to service a debt which should never have been incurred in the first pace. They get away with it due to the fact that they, theoretically, are able to tax their way out of the problem. (Something, unfortunately, I am unable to do to fulfill my dreams). However, simply confiscating everyone’s hard earned income and savings will not, and cannot, solve our current problems.
Our president keeps saying that ‘millionaires and billionaires’ have to pay their ‘fair share.’ Of course these people already pay more than their ‘fair share’ as they currently pay an enormous chunk of the monies received by all government entities. But it sounds good. These days, that’s all that seems to matter.
Unfortunately, ‘sounds good’ sound bites will not solve the financial hole that our elected representatives have collectively dug for us. What is desperately needed is for all of us to get our collective heads together in order to, in the future, elect people of character and will power who can, and will, put their heads together and finally come up with a long term responsible solution, a plan, to eliminate the immense burden of debt under which we all live. In addition, they will need to find a fiscally responsible way forward which benefits all and which overly burdens none, otherwise we will continue to dig ourselves deeper into debt and continue forward as ‘The Bugatti Nation.’
There may come a time when all of this nation’s well-heeled friends, who continually loan it massive amounts of money to keep it afloat, come to the same conclusion that my imaginary friends above will have come to. That conclusion being that the United States of America, regardless of its ability to tax or otherwise attempt ridiculous slight of hand in order to appear able to raise funds to service its debt, is actually not credit worthy any more. That day may be approaching sooner rather than later. We have, indeed, become ‘The Bugatti Nation’, spending way more than we can afford.
For Today That’s … Simply My Opinion.
Tony Braun is a proud father and grandfather, and a former resident of Long Island where, as a Licensed Real Estate Broker, he specialized in Commercial Real Estate. He currently resides in Ocala, Florida. Read more of Tony’s articles at simplymyopinion.com.