What am I missing?
OK, I admit I’m not the most educated guy on the planet. Far from it. In fact, I hate school so much, I’ve withdrawn from every school in which I have enrolled myself in the last 20 years under the horribly mistaken impression that it would be a good idea. The only ones in which I’ve enrolled and actually completed were those schools I was unable to avoid. Like those fun Army schools. Yeah, I’m the only person I know who took nine years to complete a three-year Army correspondence course.
I’m just a regular college grad. And it wasn’t even an Ivy League school. And I was lucky to make it out of there alive. After flunking out of both the math and physics departments in my senior year, I graduated half a year late with a Speech degree. Now THERE’S a rigorous major if I ever heard of one. (Sarcasmatron decisively engaged.)
But I’m not an idiot. As my friend Steve Rowe, a fellow retired Army colonel and one helluva smart guy, said on numerous occasions in his Owensboro, Kentucky accent, “Mama didn’t raise no fool. A couplea ugly kids, but there ain’t a dumb one in the bunch!” This applies to my situation as well, though my siblings would debate the appearance clause of Col. Rowe’s quote in our case.
So why don’t I get it? Am I that uneducated that the debt crisis “dialogue” is incomprehensible? Here’s an appropriately uneducated observation: WTF?
I can’t be THAT out of touch, can I? I mean, I carry a Mensa card, which means I take tests really, REALLY well. But it also means I have some (albeit limited) analytical and (possibly) critical thinking aptitude.
So why don’t I get it?
I know governments play by different rules, but here’s the thing: If I can’t pay my American Express bill because I’m over committed, is it likely that Visa is going to give me an increase in my credit limit so I can pay my American Express bill?
Wait. Don’t answer yet. Unless you’ve tried this like I did early on in my adult life, you won’t have the personal experience to answer definitively.
They won’t. Trust me.
So why do I keep hearing that this is a good idea for the federal government?
What am I missing?
The laws applying to individual finance here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. do not reward those who don’t pay their bills. There are lawsuits, judgments, repossessions and garnishments in store for those who don’t square up whether they are unsecured credit card bills, or mortgages. (Wait… I’m not so sure they can do that anymore for defaulted mortgages.) If you don’t pay your child support or alimony, you don’t get to put it on a newer charge account with a new, higher limit and introductory interest rate. You’re screwed if you don’t take care of business. Royally screwed. Personal experience talking here. Don’t pay your bar tab at the end of the night? The big, burly bouncer will see you now.
As I said, I know governments are different, but money at the individual level is a fixed resource. I can’t print my own currency to bail my sorry butt out of a financial jam. That’ll put me in jail. (No, this is one that I haven’t tried. Yet.)
So why do I keep hearing that printing more money is a good idea for the federal government? (Though just once, a trillion-dollar coin WOULD be awesome, right?)
I dunno. I guess those people in Washington who are supposed to be leading us to wealth and prosperity must be WAY smarter than me. They gotta be freaking Poindexters one and all. Einsteins even.
I dunno. I guess even with my big ass brain, I need more education to figure this out. Maybe I need to go back to school and learn how this all works. Maybe a degree in economics or political science would help me to understand that which eludes me. Maybe I just need more education.
Maybe I need a hole in the head, too.
But I DEFINITELY need a Lamborghini.