Don’t mire our future in debt

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Pretend this family is our U.S. Government. Each $1,000 owed equals one trillion ($1,000,000,000,000). The bank is the national debt. A part-time job is like a tax hike. The good idea is an increase in employment. If this family makes $2,500 per year, and owes $3,500, that is a loss of a $1,000, which the bank makes up for as an interest-only loan. This $2,500 is not very much money in today’s world, but let’s go back in time when this kind of money meant something. Their debt over the years has increased to over $15,000 plus interest. No bank would make this kind of loan today, but this family is different. Their debt is now at about $16,000 and keeps mounting. How is this family going to pay back this loan? One option is to cut expenses. That would help, but too much of a cut could be painful. Another option is to take on a part-time job, while still working full time. A new job that paid more would even be better. That could put them up to the $3,500 threshold. Another year plus interest goes by. A good business idea has pushed them up to $4,400. Now we are getting somewhere. They owe about $17,000 now, but they’re reducing their debt at $1,000 per year. In 20 years, most of this debt would be paid back. I know the U.S. economy is far more complicated than this simple analogy. There is still hope if we begin acting now, or our grandchildren could be strapped with a very heavy burden. Yes, we are that American family. Richard Lutzoff, Auburn