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Another financial meltdown in the U.S.?

President Obama is warning of one if the debt ceiling is not lifted.

The American government will exceed its legislated debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion in August.



Holy crap.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (yeah, they’re weenies and you’ll seldom hear me say anything good about them), our debt stands at $559 billion. That puts our national debt about 4% of the American debt. And we have about 10% of the population.


Neil Macdonald wrote this article a few weeks back on the American attitude to debt. In short, the goal of  many Americans is not to pay your debts, but to try everything in your power to wriggle your way out of them altogether or to negotiate a lower payback.

Before he dropped out of the Presidential race, that looney-tune Donald Trump basically said “meh” when asked what happens when the government hits the legislated debt ceiling and is no longer able to borrow money and service their debts.

“I don’t think you have to default,” he told a White House reporter. “You’re going to have to make a deal someplace.”

And this is a normal attitude of many who inhabit the land to our south.

Watch commercial TV in this country for a few hours and you’ll see what I mean. It’s strewn with advertisements for companies that claim they’ll “stand up to your creditors.”

Owe more than $10,000 in back taxes? Hire us and we’ll negotiate with the IRS for you. You might only have to pay a fraction of what you owe!

Big credit card bills? Hire us and we’ll deal with those awful banks. We may persuade them to forgive some debt!

Can’t pay your mortgage? Hire us and we’ll negotiate a “principal reduction.” There are even government agencies to help with that one.

Try Googling “personal debt negotiate reduction” and look at the number of hits. Seven million plus.

Pair this thinking with the widespread opposition to any further government borrowing and Trump’s make-a-deal idea is crack for the masses.

So whose fault is it?

Politicians that fall on the Tea Party side of the wacky ledger say “Hey, no worries! We’ll keep taxes low, privatize just about everything and no one needs to feel any pain!” And the voters buy these lines eagerly! They fear those damned socialists in the White House who are asking to put the country into more debt. Yet they had better leave my services alone.

And it is a-OK to walk away from your debt and damn the consequences.

I don’t like this mix. Too much globally depends on a healthy – or at least a breathing American economy.

Neil Macdonald is scared by all this – and so am I.


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