“If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year, & are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand.”
– Dave Ramsey
Today, I found this quote on my FB wall posted by a number of my friends. After taking a Quantitative Literacy class this summer, my first thought is to wonder where he came up with those numbers and wonder if this is accurate. I’ll admit I’m not a Dave Ramsey disciple, I’ve never taken a class or gone through any of his studies. However, I don’t have a problem with him and from what I do know of him, I’d be willing to put my trust in that the illustration is accurate.
Assuming it’s accurate, I like it a lot. I appreciate his analysis and putting it in terms that are more easily understood. What a great way to illustrate our predicament.
But I am puzzled. All of the thoughtful, intelligent friends who shared this quote, either explicitly identify their political views as “Conservative” or else I suspect their identification with Conservative ideology just because of what I know of them. (If any of you read this and this isn’t accurate, I apologize for assuming.)
So, what is the point my thoughtful, intelligent friends are trying to make?
I mean they’ve obviously not cut enough spending. In fact, what little they cut seems almost pointless to do so. I can get behind that. But, it seems like in all of this discussion there were at least a couple of times that our President was offering to make deeper cuts. Why didn’t they happen?
But let’s consider some more, let’s say this family actually accomplishes the (obviously herculean) task of reducing their spending by 23%. (They only accomplished .04%, but we’re just pretending…) So, now this family is actually living (barely) within its means still making $58,000 and only spending $57,750. So, they’ve got a whopping $50 to chip away at that $325,000 credit card debt. Since we’re still pretending, let’s pretend that is the magical 0% interest debt. In which case it would only take 6,540 years to pay it off.
So, it is baffling to me that Conservative legislators (or anybody else) can be so distraught and up in arms about our deficit and, at the same time, so adamantly, vehemently, obstinately opposed to coming up with additional revenue. Why didn’t deeper cuts happen? Because closing tax loopholes (not even raising taxes) and making more revenue were not options allowed to be considered because staunch Conservatives would not hear it.
My point is that it seems to me absolutely ludicrous, illogical, and pointless to fight and argue to reduce the deficit without being willing to increase revenue.
Right now, I am facing the prospect of our budget being suddenly about 15% more than the family income, and that’s not even including the debt that we’ve been chipping away at. And guess what: we’ve already cut our budget to the bleeding edge. (Oh, I might be able to cut our budget by another .04%…but again, what’s even the point of that?)
So, now I’m in search of additional income and I’m just guessing that Dave Ramsey would agree with me.
August 6, 2011 at 4:50 am
So here is the ideological difference. The conservatives and the liberals both agree that the revenue needs to be raised. (yes indeed they do) The liberals argue that raising taxes will accomplish this. The conservatives argue that a growing economy with greater employment will accomplish this.
Both sides know that we can never cut enough or raise taxes enough to reduce the debt. Not even Obama’s “balanced” use of both will make a dent
And actually to go back to Dave Ramsey…what actually came out of the debt ceiling deal is this. “We were spending 75,000, but planning to spend 77,000 and now we are only going to spend 76,000. We cut 1,000”. There are no real cuts, just a decrease in the planned rate of growth of the spending.