More and more American families these days are learning to live within their means. They’re making trade offs about what they want, what they need, and what they can afford. They’re trying, during these hard times, to make their dollar stretch as far as possible. You’ll notice that what they aren’t doing, or at least not in great multitudes, is borrowing against their future so as to maintain their lifestyles. Sure, the draw to live as one has become accustomed is strong, and likewise, the ability to buy on credit is still a possibility. Were there no repercussions, were it simply a case of someone saying, “here take this, no strings attached,” we wouldn’t need to make sacrifices so that we can live within our means. However, when we know that there will be repercussions for our spending, that the credit card bill will come or that the bank will want their money back, we also know that we are going to have to do more with less.
Note, this is not a post about family budgets, but a post about national budgets. America, like America’s households, needs to learn to get more done on less money. Just as with those households, it is easy for the country to buy on credit, on the assumption that we can repay at some later date… far too easy in fact. Very little will stand in the way of our nation going deeper into debt, but just as with a normal household, someone has to eventually pay the bill. That money is not given to us—it comes with repercussions. Our President seems to be operating in the same mode as his predecessor: putting our nation into deeper and deeper debt so as to pay for all the projects that he wants to start or maintain. Congress raised the federal deficit cap in February of 09, they raised it again this month, and are poised to raise it again next month as part of a larger economic bill, currently before the Senate. Simply raising the amount of debt the federal government allows itself to accrue is easy enough to do.