You’ve been hearing a lot about the budget battles in Washington and the threat of a government shutdown. I want to cut through the politics and talk about what it means to your life.
Should we have a government shutdown, the reality is you will wake up the next day and life goes on — unless you are a federal hire directly impacted, or you’re used to enjoying federal services such as our National Parks. Other than that, there will be little to no day to day change in your life.
But dealing with the federal debt limit, that’s too dangerous to play with as a political football. If we default by choice on the debts of the United States, that could lead to a recession…and it would be a dumb unforced error.
In the midst of all the confusion, I’ve heard some people pander to fear and encourage you to sell everything in stocks. No way, not any day. You’ve got to be in capitalism for the long haul. You can’t predict which way things will go and ultimately, capitalists will adjust to whatever market conditions are.
This much I do know: We’ve just got too many people getting old in America. That’s the truth. Just a few years ago, we had a 5:1 ratio of active to retired workers. Now we’re at 4:1. If you go out a few decades, we will have less than 3:1.
The math does not work for Medicare and Social Security at a less than 3:1 ratio of active to retired workers. So we have to make choices: Do we take less in the way of social services to hold taxes down, or do we keep delivering on all the Medicare and Social Security promises to people and have tax rates go crazy? Which do you want?
Unfortunately, nobody is talking about that central question in either of the main political parties. But my allegiance is to the United States of America and to my listeners; not to any political party. So I will keep talking about it.