A parable about debt

David Jeffers
Imagine your child going off to college and you give him or her a credit card with an unlimited credit limit.  Each month the bill comes in and each month your little high-roller is spending as though he or she has no responsibility for paying the bill.  As a matter of fact your child doesn't have to pay; you do.

Next week during Thanksgiving break you decide you need to set down your child and explain that this unlimited spending must be stopped because the debt is becoming so large that you will not be able to pay it off and all you have will be lost.

You pick the perfect moment, take your collegian into your office, and show your prodigal all the spending that has left you on the brink of bankruptcy.  The apple of your eye looks at you, listening intently and finally says,

Dad, it is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to your debt, even in the midst of this economic recovery, that at some point, your creditors could lose confidence in your ability to pay back this debt.

Do you think to yourself, "My goodness this college stuff is really catching on with my child.  Look at how much he has already learned about economics!"

No, you don't think that; you think, "I need to take a walk so I don't wring his scrawny, irresponsible neck!" (Figuratively speaking, that is)

Undoubtedly the frustration of a parent with a spendthrift child running up his credit card debt requires immediate action, such as taking away the credit card.

That was my feeling yesterday watching Barack Obama's interview with Major Garrett of FOXNews.

The most amazing part of that interview was that Obama said the following with a straight face:

I think it is important though to recognize that if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the US economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.

My question for Barack Obama is, "Who do you consider as ‘we'?"

Imagine your child going off to college and you give him or her a credit card with an unlimited credit limit.  Each month the bill comes in and each month your little high-roller is spending as though he or she has no responsibility for paying the bill.  As a matter of fact your child doesn't have to pay; you do.

Next week during Thanksgiving break you decide you need to set down your child and explain that this unlimited spending must be stopped because the debt is becoming so large that you will not be able to pay it off and all you have will be lost.

You pick the perfect moment, take your collegian into your office, and show your prodigal all the spending that has left you on the brink of bankruptcy.  The apple of your eye looks at you, listening intently and finally says,

Dad, it is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to your debt, even in the midst of this economic recovery, that at some point, your creditors could lose confidence in your ability to pay back this debt.

Do you think to yourself, "My goodness this college stuff is really catching on with my child.  Look at how much he has already learned about economics!"

No, you don't think that; you think, "I need to take a walk so I don't wring his scrawny, irresponsible neck!" (Figuratively speaking, that is)

Undoubtedly the frustration of a parent with a spendthrift child running up his credit card debt requires immediate action, such as taking away the credit card.

That was my feeling yesterday watching Barack Obama's interview with Major Garrett of FOXNews.

The most amazing part of that interview was that Obama said the following with a straight face:

I think it is important though to recognize that if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the US economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.

My question for Barack Obama is, "Who do you consider as ‘we'?"