Debt is dumb. Not to sound overly preachy, but I can not describe how liberating it feels to have shredded my credit cards 5 weeks ago. I had always been attached to them, they were my crutch and my sprain at the same time-- sounds familiar, huh? Kinda like addiction...can't live with it, blah blah blah.
The cutting of the cards came about at the close of an episode of Suze Orman which happens to be the start time of a show called, "Til Debt Do Us Part." Now I watch them both every week, probably to feel as if yes there are folks worse off than we, so after Suze I knew what was coming. Out of the clear blue sky I got up, went upstairs where I had hidden all 6 cards from myself and proceeded to destroy.
(Hint to all: I cut each card into 4 sections- first name, last name, security code on the back, and half of the card number. I threw away each section in a different place- Home, work, store, friend's place.)
Let me just try to say how STUPID I feel for waiting so long. The crap I was spending credit on- I don't even miss and can't even really name. Restaurants mostly. And since none of them had really reached a zero balance until this year, I suppose I have been paying interest on food I've eaten since 2000! Today, some of that food is still with me but most of it has been in the sewer for a very long time. Talk about waste!!
So anyway, what is my point? My point is that if I can do it, so can the government. Should we tax the rich? Should we spend less on government programs? Should we incentivise saving and limit borrowing? Well, all of the above of course.
Look, Republicans want to keep rich taxes low and cut spending. Democrats want to raise rich taxes a little and 'reform' entitlements.
DO BOTH. For now, raise rich taxes halfway and put a limit on entitlements. End tax breaks on mortgage interest. People who want to own a home will buy their home regardless of deductions. To balance the loss of deduction (except for grandfathered present mortgages), quit taxing our savings interest! Geez- I only get 1 stinking % per year, leave it alone. You may find more money in banks, less money in McMansions, and voila- less bailout urgency as a bonus.
What about me? I am a landlord. I would pay more if the mortgage interest deduction were discontinued. Now please refer to past post where I said we should cut income tax to a flat, deduction-free 10% anyway, and begin a 10% federal sales tax [on everything but survival needs- food, clothing, primary residence].
Just amend the idea to exclude taxing savings gains. (BTW, capital gains should also be 10%.)
Anyway, now that I personally feel nearly euphoric every time I pay off a card, and get giddy when checking the steadily decreasing balances, I advise Washington to do the same. Spread the Joy! Get rid of your credit cards!! Will you have to reduce spending? Yup. Start with congressional and IRS salaries. Identify, document, and tax illegal immigrants. More on that next time... Peace.