I live on a budget. I know how much cash I have coming in and how much has to go out. We limit credit card charges and try to pay off whatever we charge, although sometimes that’s hard. Regardless, we have paid off the majority of our debt over the last 4 years and we are primarily a cash-and-carry family, now.
Watching our politicians bicker over the debt crisis, while the numbers go up and up and the American people wring their hands in helpless fury, makes me so angry I want to scream. Some people would say that might help – but, really, it will just scare the dogs.
In some ways, I think we, the American Public, are at fault. We bought into the marketing that told us we could have it all – that if we couldn’t afford it, we could charge it. We bought into the American dream that said owning a home was the be-all and end-all of happiness in this country. That and sending your kids to a good school. We blithely went about our lives following those beliefs – as our debt (individually and collectively) went up and up and up. And, we watched as our elected servants ran amok. We allowed them to feed our foolish egos by saying everything was fine. Meanwhile, they were spending our tax dollars in ways they felt were appropriate, without a thought about how that spending would impact all of us down the road. which turns out to be now.
Mind you, these are MY musings. I’m not good with large budgets so the numbers being spit out by one politician or another, one news anchor or another, morning, noon and night, are just numbers to me. They represent the dire straights we’re in but I have trouble understanding them. I hear them, I see them, and I sigh. Because they’re SO BIG… my brain sweats trying to comprehend them.
Then, I think about my budget – my little day-to-day budget, that depends on my income… which depends on a whole lot of other people being successful, and I know that their budgets (the folks who pay me) are being sucked dry, like a mosquito on the forearm of a sleeping baby, by this debt crisis.
That’s when I begin worrying. Because, when the debt crisis reaches its limit (and why aren’t we acting like it’s already met its limit?), it will put a lot of people’s family budgets in as much jeopardy as any terrorist threat. Again, my opinion. When you don’t have money for bills, healthcare, your mortgage or rent, when food is too expensive and you have to eat peanut butter sandwiches every day, you are being attacked as surely as any terrorist threat. Seriously, the Senate, the House, Congress, the President… they’ll be fine. Their salaries will continue. They have money in the bank to live on if they need to. Their healthcare will continue. If they feel sick (and they should), they can go to the doctor and not worry about how to pay for medicine.
Where is the recourse for the American people? We can’t wait to throw the bums out…then elect new bums – not in time. We can’t drop everything to march on Washington, which is what we should do, maybe. Our tweets and blog posts don’t matter to anyone in power. Not that I can see. It’s not that our government is acting like children bickering over the schoolyard ball which so many people are saying – that’s a laughable description of what’s happening.
It’s that WE, the American people, saw this coming, depended on our politicians (who, IMBO, never serve anyone but themselves once they actually get in office…) to fix it, and now… we’re supposedly mad as hell…with no recourse.
What’s the answer? There is no answer. We’ll all muddle along as well as we can, while the men and women on Capital Hill whine, complain, call each other names, insist they’re dragging this on for our behalf, then ride home in their chauffeured driven cars, to dine on salmon and asparagus – all the while sipping their favorite wine or mixed drink, telling their wife or husband how unyielding the ‘other’ party is and if they would just give in, this would all be over and everyone would be happy.
Of course, by ‘everyone’ they mean… themselves. And their families. Because none of the solutions I hear will help us, the American People.