A personal story from Edie:
Several years ago I found myself to be in deep credit card debt. It was a situation that I had brought on myself and done to myself, and I was going to have to pay back by myself.
It had seemed like no big deal while it was happening. After all, I deserved to go places and have nice things; I had no children so I wasn't keeping food out of their mouths. I had a good, stable job and plenty of time before retirement to get it paid off.
Eventually, my consistent choice to spend beyond my income finally caught up with me. Since I had been unwilling to make my budget balance while it was still in my hands to do so, I had to finally face the fact that I no longer had a choice. There were no more credit cards, no extra money, and no bailouts. I had to stop spending, get on a budget, and face the reality of my situation.
Oh, sure, I had stimulated the economy through all the purchases that I had made. That was a good thing, right? Didn't the banks get help because of the interest I had been paying? They earned money off of me that could be used to make home loans to other customers. Another good thing! Unfortunately, when the dust settled, all I was left with was toxic assets, i.e., things I never needed and, in several cases, never used. I ended up giving a lot of it to friends and to charity.
Now, in case you are wondering, I'm doing well. I paid the debt off myself -- no bankruptcy, no bailout. I even have a really good credit score. But it all came at a price -- and a great lesson learned. I never again want to experience that level of bondage. All my creditors owned me. I gave my future freedom of choice away to a little plastic card, because the day finally came when I had few choices. The burden of debt governed all my choices.
Here's the moral of the story:
The government thinks they have an unlimited credit card. They claim that the stimulus/bailout packages are going to revive the economy. Maybe they will, maybe they won't; only time will tell. But don't think for a minute that the taxpayers will be left off the hook, even if it works. Our creditors (the Chinese) are about to cut us off. Our president is encouraging a budget of several trillion dollars. There is no money to pay for it, no matter what supposedly good things are in it. There is no way that President Obama is going to be able to keep his promise of not taxing the middle class. He is going to have to tax everyone to even begin to make a dent in the debt.
It's time to stop the spending while it's still our choice to do so. Otherwise, the Chinese are going to make the choice for us. Please write or call your senators and representatives and let them know that you do not want the proposed budget to be approved. Let them know that you will not vote for them if they support out-of-control spending. Washington is accountable to us; remind them of that.
Here's another thing:
President Obama is going to push healthcare reform. Why would any American with common sense support government-controlled healthcare? What has the government managed successfully so far? Hmmm... not Hurricane Katrina cleanup; not social security, Medicare/Medicade; not the postal service; and certainly not the bailouts. If you think getting good healthcare is difficult now while you still have say in the process, wait and see how difficult it will be to just get a shot once the government is controlling it. Do we really want Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, or Chris Dodd dictating our wellness program? The thought makes us sick.