The U.S. debt remains our darkest cloud

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

I don’t know about you but those numbers should be scaring the day lights out of us all. But perhaps we’ve all just become so accustomed to borrowing money that as long as the country can continue to borrow we assume that there must not be a problem. Oh sure we hear about the debt and the reduction in the credit rating but does it really hit home or as they say is ignorance bliss. As citizens of this country we are all co-signers and ultimately guarantors of this debt that’s been accumulating by Republicans and Democrats alike — we all own a piece of this.

Like any household the more money you owe the more expensive it becomes to borrow money. At some point regardless of how much interest you are willing to pay, lenders won’t put more of their money at risk knowing you are so far in the hole they’ll never see their money again. When you are spending 40 percent more money than you bring home, how long do you think it will take before someone comes knocking on the door?

The biggest difference between personal finance and the U.S. government is the government’s ability to print more cash. As long as our lenders, the other countries around the world, continue to turn a blind eye to this practice we can get away with it, but just as the government looks unfavorably on counterfeiters, so do the other nations of the world. Like any large debtor once it becomes apparent we have no intent or ability to change our spending ways, and pay off this debt our dollar will be rendered as having no value and other assets will be claimed in place of the cash to cover the debt.

The candidates will both talk about their plans to reduce spending and tackle the debt. Until the American public is willing to step up and demand that debt reduction is priority number one, our national leaders will value election and reelection, more than being the disciplined leaders who tell us the hard, cold facts we would rather not hear nor deal with. Think about your newborn child or grandchild who perhaps was just born owing $50,000, upon birth because we lacked the resolve to address this growing debt.

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com.

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