I get emails from many sites (have to have a program to keep track of my passwords) nad one I get is from a basically humor news letter. But here's an introduction to one of his latest emails:
I am in the neighborhood of 50-years-old (ahem), I have a 401k that I have been contributing to for 13 or 14 years, my wife has an IRA that she has been contributing to for about the same amount of time. We also have a savings account which provides us with a fund for if the engine in one of our cars blows up for an uninsured reason or if we need a few extra thousand for a vacation, etc.
We are currently in our second house since getting married but thanks to an increase in property values we have about 35 percent equity in the house. We also started college savings accounts for each of our boys when they were born, which isn't going to cover four years at university but will give us a nice head start for each of them. To listen to it you'd think we were in pretty good shape, but apparently our toes are hanging over the edge of disaster.
Until recently David Walker was comptroller general of the United States, meaning he was head auditor for the most important and powerful government in the world. In an interview last year Walker warned that there is a $43 trillion hole in America's public finances that's getting worse every day, and it is eventually going to lead to a financial collapse that will make my (and your) retirement plans disappear in a wave of recession, inflation and unemployment. It's becoming increasingly obvious that, within the next 10 years, the U.S. government will simply not be able to borrow money fast enough to keep up with its exploding expenses.
The Economic Policy Institute recently projected that under the current tax regime, by 2014 all government revenue would be consumed by four areas of spending: health care for the elderly and the poor, Social Security for retirees, national defense and interest on the debt.
Interest on the national debt would be about half of all government tax revenues by 2031. And ten years later, the cost of servicing the debt will exceed all government revenues.
History provides some harrowing examples of what happens when an economy collapses under the weight of unsustainable debt. One of the most chilling is Argentina in 2001. When the International Monetary Fund cut off its support for the country's escalating debt, the effect was catastrophic: the value of the national currency plunged, decimating the savings of millions. The resulting surge in inflation and sudden slowdown in consumer spending put thousands of businesses into bankruptcy within weeks.
That, in turn, put further millions out of work and pushed one of South America's biggest economies into a punishing recession.
As unfathomable as it may seem, most economists think something like that could happen in the United States. Doesn't sound very cheery, does it?
Imagine if the company you work for suddenly went bankrupt and the market was so bad that you couldn't find a job for more than half of what you were making (if you could find work at all). You decide to cash in all of your savings and retirement funds to make ends meet to discover that what used to be worth 30, 40 or maybe 50 thousand dollars is now worth about 15 or 20. How long do you think you would keep your house or even your car? It makes you want to start writing letters to congressmen, doesn't it?
Now, the author is normally a cheerful, lets have a laugh, kind of guy. But I didn't find anything to laugh at in this part of his email. Like so many other Americans he is definitely worried about his and his family's future. Maybe we should be writing BO?
As the CEO of this business that employes 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama is our next President, and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.
To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees of about 8%, but since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off six of our employees instead.
This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here and I didn't know how to choose who will have to go.
So, this is what I did. I strolled through our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.
I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change; I gave it to them. If you have a better idea, let me know.
It's also time for the kind of joke I never tell. I've got too much couth for this.
It has just been reported that the head gardener at The White House has been dismissed after 28 years of loyal service to the many US presidents.
When interviewed the gardener protested his innocence and said "All I know is I was walking past the Oval Office and I asked, "Has anyone seen the spade and the hoe." The next thing I knew I was fired."
Every headline on this blog has an added feature. Simply click on the headline ("header") and you will be whisked away to a different land. Sometimes you will wind up on a page that has something to do with the posting. More often there will be absolutely no connection. You pays your money and you takes your chance. Good luck.