Sunday, December 19, 2004

gift-giving restraint  

posted by Michael Piwonka 11:44 AM
Every holiday season we see the same warnings about not spending more than we can afford for Christmas gifts. Public service announcements stress the need for financial responsibility and restraint so that we don't put ourselves in debt.

I've heard stories of people who spend so much money on their credit cards that they need the entire following year to pay off the debt (or worse yet, never seem to catch up). By then the next Christmas rolls around, and they do the same thing again.

No wonder those types of people can never seem to get their heads above water financially; no wonder they can't seem to put any money aside for later in life.

It has become the American way of life: pile as much as possible on your credit card without concern for future repercussions. And I think that most of the people that live that way are aware that they shouldn't do it. They just don't seem to be able to restrain themselves.

And you can understand how they might learn this behavior. After all, credit card companies inundate them with offers, retailers advertise immediate gratification with deferred payments, society in general tries to keep up with the Joneses.

And then we have the federal government. The epitome of reckless spending. All rules of fiscal responsibility are conveniently thrown out the door when it comes to our own special interests.

Bush has set a great example for all of us: how to take a $127 billion surplus and turn it into a $412 billion (and growing) deficit. If he gets his social security wish, we can add up to $2 trillion in debt over 10 years.

Now I'll be first to agree that social security is in dire need to help, but I would argue that Bush needs to get his current financial problems under control first.

It's like paying off that first credit card before you apply for (and receive) the next one.

I'm just confused how Bush has maintained the conversative label while being the most liberal spender in history.

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