Sit Down and Listen: We Need to Get Serious About Federal Debt

This is a serious sit down talk about my and your household debt as a share of the federal debt. It’s going up so much in the next ten years, rich debt consultants in the 1 percent category have made it their priority to cut our debt. They believe we can solve this problem if we act now because it will be a more expensive mandated priority if we don’t.

One of those national leaders is Bart Clennon from Wenatchee, who is an honorary Fellow and former President of the National Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He was a consultant to International Banks on financial reporting and appraisals of life insurance companies for management/acquisition purposes. He and his fellow actuaries have had this same conversation with corporate managers. And now that he’s retired and after meeting with his fellows in Washington DC, he told Wenatchee Rotary we must reduce the U.S. debt. 

He handed out sheets estimating your and my households owe $170,000 as our share of the federal debt, but ten years from now it will be $240,000. This debt is on top of your mortgage, credit card, student debt and anything else you owe. Commit to telling people it’s got be solved equitably.

Clennon said there’s no question we can solve it equitibly, and we have to believe that. The rich should pay more, and he said we’re willing to do that. We must. To keep it simple he and his fellows propose a combination of tax increases and benefit cuts, so that the government gets a $1 increase in revenue combined with a $2 cut in benefits.

We can do this. Personal debt counselors like Dave Ramsey get people out of debt by a proven four step process. Identify every debt. Cut the credit cards and live within your cash income. Pay off the smallest debts first so you prove to yourself you can do it. And keep going until you get it done.

You personally can fix the Social Security projected deficit by playing the social security game at the American Academy of Actuaries’ website  http://www.actuary.org/content/play-social-security-game. I just did it. Once I clicked on this URL, I hit a stopwatch and answered the questions. In less than three minutes I’d solved 100% of the problem by reducing benefits and increasing corporate and individual taxes. I could go back and adjust my answers if I wanted to.

“Everybody I know who has tried it has fixed it,” said Clennon.

Quit accepting myths that Social Security is broke. Tell peope you can show them how. Tell your kids to do it and then have everybody tell members of Congress to do it. 

Get mad. Every worker in your household is paying for it and deserves at least one Congressional vote this year to adjust benefits and revenues to restore the balance. Tell Congress to take a pledge to vote every year to restore Social Security according to the Fund advisors recommendations.

To identify the federal debt, we need to list every debt. Tell Congress to split the financial reports so the operating budget of Congress and the financial revenues and benefits of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are reported independently. That way we can work on them one at a time instead of being faced with a complex debt issue that seems incomprehensible. That’s what Ramsey and Clennon are telling us to do.

Other organizations are fighting back. Read billionaire Pete Peterson’s book Come Back America. Tell your family members in the millennial generation to join The Can Kicks Back, “a non-partisan Millennial movement to defeat the national debt and reclaim our American Dream.” Its website says, “Our growing debt is not just a political issue, but a moral one … as our generation faces a diminished future.” 

Let’s believe we can solve our moral and fiscal obligation. 

About Russellsclearskies

Writing to poke fun at a retired klutz like me who's curiously exploring the absurdities and complexities of the good life. .
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2 Responses to Sit Down and Listen: We Need to Get Serious About Federal Debt

  1. Garibaldi says:

    Right on Jim. Unfortunately most in Washington DC are only interested in their reelection; to hell with the future!

  2. Craig Robertson says:

    Jim, this is a troubling problem indeed. But it is not as simply solved as paying off the debt. If we do pay off the debt, then a substantial portion of that $17 Trillion (or whatever the number is now) is taken out of circulation, and is no longer available (without more debt being incurred) to our economy. It would be devastating. This is a scary problem that will require a wise, slow, and very long term solution.

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