Re: New York Times: U.S. Racing Toward Debt ‘Shock’

The reason this headline is so important is because while many companies and entrepreneurs will continue to do well in this country, what is possible to accomplish is being extinguished by our government and what is being achieved has a high probability of being extinguished  by the burden of debt.

For a long time I would look at our politicians and the general trends and conclude that is not an arena that I appreciate and it is somebody else’s life.  Now I look in the mirror.  I and all the voting citizens in this country are responsible.  That is right. As a nation, we voted for people who look to the latest trend of what is popular so they are re-elected. We voted for a president who campaigned on being critical of the debt of the prior administration and then came in and drove that debt into the stratosphere. Obama should be fired now for that fact alone among others. Just for the record, there are a lot of people who should be fired and leave with him. Nothing personal …this is business.

Have we ever voted for a person who stands for the principles of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution? Actually I am not aware of anyone winning on that platform. I am aware of people running on that platform. We didn’t like that idea because that platform holds us as individuals accountable for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not say, I am from the government and will solve your problems.  That formula clearly does not work.

This is a business blog with my focus being to offer sound guidance on helping companies and entrepreneurs move their businesses forward in profit at accelerating rates of profitability. Notice I said at accelerating rates of profitability, not accelerating debt like our government is doing.

So Why The Political Platform?

This is not a political platform. It is a business platform on the topic that our policies are going to drain America unless we take action. The action I recommend is based on business principles as I am not a politician at all.  If the US Government were a consulting client this is how I would approach it:

1. Clear definition of purpose: I feel there is a clear definition of purpose for our government and we the people have allowed people in office to ignore it. So let’ s use our foundation principles as the evaluation point and if our elected officials have not demonstrated compliance, we fire them.

2. Who replaces the masses that are fired?  People with experience running large organizations and know what it means to be accountable for compliance with the charter of why you are formed. Who are these people?  There is no shortage, there just is not a system in place to elevate them including a fair compensation system.  Get past the “you have to have been an angel all your life standard and we are only going to pay you $400,000 a year for being President. I would vote for paying the right leadership $100 million dollars a year  and link that to performance standards with base pay of $25 million. Now you have the attention of  some talent.

3. Key Tenant: basic economic and universal laws.

4. Tough stuff: the one way for this to be accomplished is to recognize the difficulty people have with change and then have leadership in place prepared to deal with the constituencies that say these changes are unacceptable.  These opposition groups should be in the minority if the leadership and related communication is in place.

Who Am I To Speak?

I am an American and I have my share of successes and failures. As a human, I have made good choices and some I would do differently. Do I have all the answers? No  but I do know this…I support  the founding principles of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our government does not. I am tired of that and I am speaking out .. and you?

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

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About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.


There is going to be more from me on this and I hope a lot of others as well. For now here is the article that resulted in my conclusion I have had enough.

New York Times: U.S. Racing Toward Debt ‘Shock’

Monday, November 23, 2009 1:51 PM Article Font Size
A page one, top-of-the-fold New York Times report Monday warns that U.S. debt is rising so fast that the federal government is careening toward a “payment shock” in the not-too-distant future.

The Times lead headline read: “Federal Government Faces Balloon in Debt Payments: At $700 Billion a Year, Cost Will Top Budgets for 2 Wars, Education, Energy.”

The Times headline appears eerie just as the Senate moves to push forward on a radical healthcare reform — with CBO estimates for a final bill costing nearly $1 trillion dollars over the next year.

The national debt now stands at over $12 trillion and the White House estimates that the cost of servicing the debt will rise to more than $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year. The Times suggests that $700 billion annual payment cost may be conservative.

The additional $500 billion a year in interest payments would surpass the combined budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Times observes.

Treasury officials face not only huge new debts incurred in response to the economic meltdown but a balloon of short-term borrowings coming due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are certain to return to normal levels when the Federal Reserve concludes that the fiscal emergency has passed.

“Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages,” The Times reported on Monday.

Interestingly, the alarming Times analysis comes as the nation is in the midst of a debate over healthcare reform proposals that could add many billions of dollars to the overall debt.

Record deficits have arrived just as payments for Medicare and Social Security benefits are set to explode, with the oldest Baby Boomers approaching age 65. This will result in what experts have long warned will be a “fiscal nightmare” for the government, the Times article notes.

“What a good country or a good squirrel should be doing is stashing away nuts for the winter,” William H. Gross, managing director of the Pimco, a bond management firm, told The Times.

“The United States is not only not saving nuts, it’s eating the ones left over from the last winter.”

As for the balloon of short-term borrowings coming due, that debt now accounts for 36 percent of overall debt, compared to the historic average of less than 25 percent, and more than $1.6 trillion is due by March 31.

Another problem: The Federal Reserve’s purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to prop up the economy pushed down long-term interest rates by about half of a percentage point, but the Fed is set to reverse those policies — that alone could add $40 billion to the government’s annual debt service expense.

The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, a group of market experts that advises the Treasury on debt management, declared this month: “Inflation, higher interest rate and rollover risk should be the primary concerns. Clever debt management strategy can’t completely substitute for prudent fiscal policy.”

And The Times warns: “There is little doubt that the United States’ long-term budget crisis is becoming too big to postpone.”