Saturday, July 3, 2010

Giving credit where credit is necessary

Hopefully I'm not about to describe you, but for a moment pretend I am. 

Let's say you lost your job a year ago and despite scrimping, cutting coupons, dropping HBO and the Playboy channel you've long-ago burned through your savings paying for the basic necessities like rent, food, gas, insurance, car.  You're now using your credit cards to simply keep yourself and your family alive. 

Fortunately you've just been offered a menial job that won't even pay the bills, but may start you on the road to getting back on your feet.  With some hard work, training and a bit of luck you could advance and within a year start rebuilding that nest egg.

Quiz time.  (Don't worry - this is easy if you have more than four brain cells to rub together)

Should you:
A) Immediately cut up your credit cards and never use them again
B) Keep on as before
C) Buy some decent, but not extravagant new work clothes to replace the scruffy jeans and t-shirts you've lived in the last year; and pick up a couple of books or even take a class on your new career so that you can move up the ranks faster, increasing your marketability and value to the new company..

If you're a member of the GOP I'll bet you answered A.  After all, that's what the party is advocating for the Federal government.  The economy is starting to show shoots of recovery so now they want to slash spending on things like benefits for those most effected by the down-turn; health care; infrastructure and other items that will improve life for most Americans.  Economists the world over have shown that benefits to the poorest members of society have the most stimulative effect but these idiots want to stop the spending now before the recovery is solid.

Don't get me wrong - I'm no lover of routine deficit spending.  I complained when Reagan tripled the debt and when Clinton increased it too before balancing the budget for the first time in my lifetime. But there's a time and place for tapping into credit.  Do you have a mortgage and/or car payment? Then you agree with me whether you like it or not.  Especially when times are tough - that's when you go into debt.  Once finances are better, though, the card should be used only when you have the funds to pay for it - *of course*!  You don't buy a new car every year.  Well, you *shouldn't* unless you're a Rockefeller or a Bieber.

When the economy is soaring and there's a yearly surplus but a national debt (if you don't know the difference leave me a comment and I'll be happy to explain) the LAST thing you do is give it away like George Bush did with the tax cuts for the rich and corporate in 2001 and again in 2003. The money should have been used to pay off the debt or at least invested for a rainy day.  Like the kind of torrent brought on by mostly-Republican deregulation and incompetence. (For the record, infrastructure improvements are an absolute investment in his country's future, but I digress, right Rachel Maddow?)

Bush's cuts amounted to 4 trillion dollars in lost government revenue. No, that's not a typo.  Never-mind the wars that were never funded honestly, the medicare drug benefit that was fraudulently overpriced and oversold, etc. And now those same a-holes are screaming about federal spending for the downtrodden to feed their families, pay rent and look for work? 

Their level of cruelty and heartlessness is positively, you guessed it, absurd.

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