Not complicated

I love the AT&T commercials with the guy and the kids. The tag line “It’s not complicated” is perfect for explaining the federal budget situation.

It’s not complicated. For every three dollars the federal government spends, two comes from regular income and one is borrowed. But they’re talking about billions and trillions of dollars – all of it other peoples’ money so it’s easy for them to lose perspective. So let’s knock off some zeroes and look at this as though it were a family budget.

Say you bring home $1,000 per week, but you’re spending $1,500. So you borrow $500 every week to cover your expenses. That seems OK for one week, but after a month you’re $2,000 in debt. After a year it’s $25,000, yet you’re still bringing home just $1,000 a week. And how do things look five or ten years out? It’s not complicated you can’t go on like this.

You have a decision to make. Do you find more money, or do you cut your expenses. More money could come from a second job, taxing your kids’ allowance, or having a yard sale. But those sources of income may not be sustainable, so you decide to cut your expenses.

Where do you start? It’s not complicated. First you reduce waste. You turn down the thermostat, turn off lights when not in use, and consolidate trips to save gas. Then you give up things you don’t really need, like Showtime, People magazine, or that $300 purse or fishing rod you want. You make smarter consumer decisions like shopping for less expensive insurance, clipping coupons, and brown bagging it. Next thing you know, by making some smart decisions and sacrificing a little, you are living within your means on a balanced budget and borrowing only when necessary.

It’s not complicated. This is how the budget of every family, business, non-profit, school district, and municipality in this country must operate. But Washington doesn’t work that way. Washington’s way is to continue to waste, borrow, tax, spend, and live beyond OUR means. But like the family budget scenario above, we simply can’t go on like this.

It’s not complicated.

Don Shade

South Williamsport

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom