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Would you run your family budget like this?

TBO.com Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 08:40 AM

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A friend recently emailed me the following with regard to the "fiscal cliff" and the so-called debt ceiling — which really doesn't have a ceiling at all.

My friend didn't write it, and I couldn't find who did, but it's the most concise and meaningful explanation about the biggest problem facing our country I've seen to date. It was titled, "Fiscal cliff put in a much better perspective."

Lesson No. 1:

U.S. tax revenue (money collected): $2,170,000,000,000

Federal budget (money spent): $3,820,000,000,000

Difference between spending and revenue added to the national debt: $1,650,000,000,000

National debt (what we owe, but not including all liabilities such as Social Security): $14,271,000,000,000

Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000

Let's now remove eight zeros and pretend it's a family's household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700

Money the family will spend if they want to keep living a lifestyle beyond its means: $38,200

New debt on the credit card: $16,500

Outstanding balance on the credit card (a result from living beyond their means for many years): $142,710

Total budget cuts planned by family resulting in reduction on lifestyle: $385.

Got it?

Now here's another way to look at the debt ceiling.

Lesson No. 2:

Let's say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood, and your home has sewage all the way to your ceilings. What do you think you should do: Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage?

I thought this little vignette was the perfect demonstration of the fact that the politicians don't know what to do, but the average American clearly gets it. They understand you can't keep spending what you don't have, and you can't keep raising the ceiling because you don't have the discipline to stop spending.

At some point, the madness has to end and we're going to have to clean up all the mess.

Chris Ingram is a Republican political consultant and political analyst for Bay News 9. Email him at Chris@IrreverentView.com

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