The Moore American

Local News

October 16, 2013

Citizens balance budgets, government can learn to

MOORE — In order to balance a household budget, living within your means is key. Hardworking American families understand this reality and plan budgets that anticipate paying for basic needs like housing, utilities, clothing and food, and for extras like eating out, going to the movies or taking a trip. Setting spending limits that don’t exceed income is how millions of Americans manage their budgets.

In our current situation, our country could face grave consequences with the looming Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline. You might wonder what it would really mean for America if we just missed the deadline and did nothing, like we did on Oct. 1, without passing a funding measure to keep the government open. It would be catastrophic, felt by every American immediately and severely. The first missed payment would lead to default, causing Social Security checks to be delayed, military to not be paid, financial markets to tank and banks to reduce lending. 

Never in our country’s history have we exceeded our borrowing limit and been unable to pay our bills and creditors. Allowing the United States to inch closer to this dangerous situation must be addressed immediately, but in that conversation, we must also acknowledge our unsustainable spending patterns. If we simply raise the debt limit without any effort to address federal spending, we will be in the same situation sooner than any of us would like.

Think about it. If you reached the limit on your credit card, you wouldn’t explain to your creditor that you needed an increased limit even though you were going to keep on spending at the same or even a greater rate. It is an unreasonable expectation because there is no attempt to change the underlying spending behavior. Increasing the debt ceiling with no strings attached would in essence make the United States even more indebted to our creditors.

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