Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Red Letter Day

Today is a red letter day. Literally. Today America's national debt lurched past $13 Trillion Dollars. That's Thirteen Thousand Billion Dollars. That, folks, is quite a lot of money. That level of debt works out to just about $176,000 for every household in the U.S. of A. And, I'm here to tell you, that our debt will increase from now on at the rate of more than $100 Billion each and every month for the foreseeable future. Not good...

But before we talk about our problems, let's take a look at Greece. The Greeks are all pissed off because their parliament is engaged in a life or death struggle with spending. In order to obtain loans from the European Union to prevent default on its debt, it has to cut spending by more than 30%. But the people aren't happy with that quest. That's because they want to retain their 14 monthly paychecks every year. Yep, that's right. Their public sector employees, comprising more than 50% of the Greek population, get paid for fourteen months every year. And they want to continue getting six weeks paid vacation each year. And they want to still be able to retire will 100% of the average of their top two years' income at fifty years of age. Retirement at 50. Now, some members of the EU, most notably the Germans, aren't all that thrilled at shoring up the Greeks. That's because the Germans don't get full retirement benefits upon retirement until the age of 78. But Greece isn't alone in this quagmire. Spain, Italy and Portugal are in a neck-and-neck race to catch Greece in the "we're flat broke" olympics. And each of them will need a bailout if they're to remain semi-solvent.

So how does Greece resolve it's problems? America, the largest contributor to the International Monetary Fund, borrows $56 Billion Dollars from China to loan to the IMF. The IMF then loans One Trillion Dollars to the EU. The Eu then loans an initial $156 Billion Dollars to Greece. Experts tell us this is just the first installment. Many more such loans will be needed if Greece is to stabilize. Just so we're all on the same page, Greece has a national debt equal to 120% of its Gross Domestic Product. We're told that any country with a debt greater than 100% of GDP is circling the drain. America? As of today our debt is equal to 90% of GDP. And growing, as I mentioned at $3.3 Billion Dollars A DAY!

November 2nd is just around the corner. Remember, elections have consequences. I for one am hoping for change...

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