Article Comment 

Voice of the people: Martin Pomphrey, Jr. M.D.

 

 

U.S. debt in understandable terms 

 

I was never a whiz kid at math and numbers so I can understand why folks may be confused with some of the numbers being bandied about in conjunction with the fiscal cliff debate (or lack thereof). A friend recently sent me an e-mail that simplified the issue for me. He compared the U. S. Government budget to a U.S. household budget by removing eight (8) zeros from the U. S. Government numbers. See what you think. 

 

* Annual family income: $21,700 

 

* Money the family spent: $38,200 

 

* New debt on the credit card: $16,500 

 

*Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710 

 

*Total budget cuts so far: $38.50 

 

Got it? OK now lets move on to lesson #2: Understanding the Debt Ceiling. Pretend you come home one day and discover there has been a sewer back up in your neighborhood. Your house has sewage all the way up to the ceilings. What would you do next, raise the ceilings or remove the sewage? 

 

Now, I think you and I can understand our country's fiscal problems a little better. And if we can understand, then why can't our elected officials understand and fix the problem? 

 

Martin Pomphrey, Jr. M.D. 

 

Columbus

 

 

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