Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In the News/On My Mind/Off My Chest

This morning's Daily Breeze (dailybreeze.com) has a front page article "Obama tax cuts may hit $300B" by Steven R Hurst, AP. The second paragraph reads:

"If the two-year plan is enacted, workers would see larger paychecks almost immediately because taxes withheld by the government would drop. The break would be retroactive to Jan. 1, and couples receiving a $1,000 tax cut would begin receiving an extra $40 in twice-monthly paychecks AS THE GOVERNMENT TRIES TO SPARK MORE CONSUMER SPENDING."

Hello? More consumer spending is exactly what we DON'T need. What we do need is for people to pay off their debts. We have a new generation that was never taught and never learned something called "financial responsibility." If you can't afford to buy it, smile at the shop owner, put it back on the counter and WALK OUT THE DOOR. How hard is that?

Instead many of these people are only satisfied with instant gratification ("I must have it") and a totally unfounded sense of entitlement ("I'm worth it.") The part they're missing is the day that the credit car bill or the mortgage or car payment notification arrives at their domicile and they don't have the money to pay it. An older generation might well call this "the day of reckoning."

You can't, in fairness, expect people to do what they've never been taught. So I propose re-establishing wage garnishment and that credit issuers get a whole helluva lot tougher about repayment. You miss a month? That card is dead plastic in your pocket. You want it back? Pay your bill.

Oh, and on a larger scale, all major CEOs now work for $1 a year for fiscal 2009. Bill Gates included.

Somehow, somewhere the message has got to be gotten across: It's cash and carry, not charge and run.

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