By Corinne Wnek
We’re having a heat wave. A political heat wave. It is so hot, it makes the outside temperature seem like fall is in the air. I dare you to watch the news these days and not be sucked into the black hole of national politics. Who cares if Sarah Palin or Chris Christie will run for President? Mindless speculation like this is clearly taking a back seat to the debt crisis debate that now dominates American homes, offices and TV sets.
I’m not the brightest bulb in the socket, but even I know that if you want to dance, you have to pay the band. To live with unmanageable debt is just stupid and irresponsible. If I operated the finances in my home like the government does in Washington, here’s how it would go down with my conservative, cash conscious, husband:
Corinne perkily greets husband at the door: “Hi Sweetie. Dinner is just about ready. How was your day?”
Rich, slugs in and sifts through the mail: “Hey”.
They begin to have dinner together when Rich notices the pile of bills in the little bill holder.
Rich: “I thought you were going to pay the bills a few days ago. Why are they still there?”
Corinne: “Well, honey, I WAS going to pay the bills but then I noticed there wasn’t enough money in the checkbook. So, I’ll need to borrow from my mother and my sister and maybe your brother, too. They’ll be very understanding and sweet about it. But I’m not so sure about the credit card people. What grumps!”
Rich, looking perplexed: “What do you mean you have to borrow money? What happened to the money that was deposited in the checkbook? You know, to pay the bills? And what grumpy credit card people are you talking about?”
Corinne, also a little perplexed yet, thoughtful: “Well, let’s see now. Oh yes, I remember. There was the new flat screen TV we got for your birthday, then the little getaway we had for our anniversary, the car repairs we put off for so long and the spa fee for the dogs grooming session, which, by the way, has to be scheduled three months in advance if you want to get the top groomer. Then there was the cable and phone bill, my birthday present from you that I absolutely love and then when you figure in all the utilities and car insurance, well, we just ran out of money. But I’m going to borrow a little mon…
Rich, a little agitated, cuts her off: “So you have to borrow money to pay for our expenses? Maybe we should just cut back and live within our means so we are not in debt to anyone. Did that ever occur to you?”
Corinne, perky again, gets up to lovingly rub Rich’s shoulders: “Silly, nobody does that anymore! Now who’s grumpy?”
Maybe it’s been a long time since we Americans were asked to live within our means. Maybe we have become very entitled people. Maybe we just lack discipline.
I wonder if there is one, big, national credit card somewhere in Washington, D.C. that could just be cut up and shredded to end this nightmare of spending and debt.
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