I'm involved in a small group that tries to help struggling families.
One of the first things that we do is help the household come up with a budget.
I started thinking about this last night.....
Regardless of what you mistakenly think of as your financial stability, if you pay Federal Income Taxes, then your household's share of the current national debt is somewhere around $100,000.00
Your share of the upcoming unfunded spending requirements - baby boomer retirements, Medicare, Medicaid, government employee pensions, money to be burned at government bonfires, etc. - your household's share of that is around $550,000.00. But only if you pay taxes.
When my small group meets with a struggling family for the first time, we look to see which expenses can be cut. There's sometimes a free-loading family member or boyfriend somewhere in the picture. (Usually a healthy, able-bodied male.) We politely suggest that they throw his ass out.
Sometimes there's an ex-husband or ex-wife who was supposed to be providing child support, groceries, or hell, even living with the family and supporting them. But he or she is no longer contributing.
The list of problems is endless.
Anyway, to get to the point, if one of our client families met with us and told us they wanted to get a pony for their kids - yes, a pony - we would immediately object to this purchase with hundreds of valid reasons why getting a pony would be a horrible idea. There's no money for a freakin' pony. Please, please, please don't get a pony. You need to be cutting expenses, not buying something that eats its weight in dollars every day.
None of our "client" families owe anything on our national debt. (43% of Americans don't have to pay any Federal Income Tax.) Government debt is not their problem.
Unless you have savings greater than $550,000.00, and you're in the group that has to pay Federal Income Taxes, then your debt is worse than that of any client family we've ever tried to help. None of our client families have a $550,000.00 debt. They have some problems, but they're not that dumb.
Think about that the next time Obama comes on TV, listing all the reasons he wants a pony.
Pony pics came from here and here.