A Sunny Transition and a Rainy Forecast

By: Patti Bankson

On Tuesday President and First Lady-elect, Barack and Michelle Obama met with President and Mrs. Bush at the Obama family’s soon-to-be new home, The White House. For all the contentious bickering that goes on in our elections, unlike a lot of other countries, our transition from one leader to a new one is impressively peaceful. In reporting on that meeting, the press used the word “Gracious” a lot when referring to President and Mrs. Bush. Their tone often implied that it’s a surprise.. The surprise to me is that they would think it’s a surprise. Laura Bush is a class-act and always very gracious. President Bush, however you may feel about his politics or policies, is also very gracious. Just look back at all the names he’s been called… stupid, Hitler, etc…. and he never responded or defended. Grace under fire. Gracious.

But, Graciousness is not what’s on my mind this week. What’s on my mind is Money. Not who has it or who doesn’t, but the mismanagement of money. That’s really the problem, isn’t it? Starting with the fact that to you and me, the word “Budget” means something completely different than it does to our government(s).

This is how WE budget (supposedly): We know we have X number of dollars coming in, and those dollars have to cover all our non-discretionary spending… mortgage (or rent), food, utilities, transportation, clothes, etc. If we’re smart, our out-go doesn’t exceed our income, and at the end of the month (or whatever the pay period) we have something left over. That “left-over” is what we get to spend for “fun”. But, only after putting some of it away for a rainy day.

Retailers make it seem so easy… “For only $10 per month you can have your cake and eat it, too”. “Just put it on your credit card”. The credit card companies do their part… they give you the “Pay full amount” or “Make minimum payment” option. Etc. Before you know it, $10 here, minimum payment there, and Boom! A mushroom cloud of debt hovers over you, following you everywhere you go.

Banks and Mortgage companies (not you, C.D.M.) make it seem so easy. Why worry about buying a house you can actually pay for? Go for the no or low interest loan… and as a bonus, you can “own” more home than you can actually afford… until the truth behind the “teaser” hits you.

Then, there’s “Big Daddy” government. Unfortunately for those who were looking to their leadership for… well, leadership, leadership can’t balance their budget, either. And this is where we talk about the really big difference between how we budget and they budget: When they run out of money, they can (legally) print more. And big bonus for them: They have us. They can raise our taxes. They… Democrats and Republicans… promised us anything and everything, even when they knew it’s immmpossible to actually deliver!

Remember that rainy day you were supposed to save up for? Well, it’s raining. And the financial problem most people have right now is that there’s no room left on their credit cards to buy an umbrella.

Your comments are invited at pbankson@cfl.rr.com

© 2008 Patti Bankson

About The Author Patti Bankson:
Send comments to pbankson@cfl.rr.com © 2011 Patti Bankson The Way I See It / The Apopka Chief / www.thelandofthefree.net

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