Today on Reason.com: Without Borrowing, the Government Can Only Pay 60 Percent of Its Bills
“Here’s a telling fact about our current budget situation: If Congress does not agree to raise the debt limit, thus making it possible for the federal government to borrow again once the current $16.4 trillion limit is hit, the federal government will only be able to pay about 60 percent of its bills. That’s according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, which has published an apocalyptic report in advance of the debt ceiling showdown warning of the consequences should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling later this year.”
No doubt this economic fact will be perversely used by mainstream media and intellectuals as evidence for an argument in favour of more borrowing!
Bank Manager: I’m sorry Mr. Smith, but we won’t be able to increase your loan today.
Mr. Smith: What! Without it I can only afford to pay 60% of my bills. So, duh, I need a bigger loan. Are you new here?
Bank Manager: You need to reduce your spending, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith: Reduce my what?
Bank Manager: Spending.
Mr. Smith: You’ve lost me.
Bank Manager: You are living beyond your means. You cannot afford your current lifestyle. You can’t have all the things you want without increasing your income by at least 40%.
Mr. Smith: I beg your pardon. Who the fuck are you to tell me what I can and can’t have?
Bank Manager: I’m not telling you. It’s a consequence of your income.
Mr. Smith: Who are you to tell me I don’t deserve my lifestyle? I do deserve it, I’m a good person. I should be able to have whatever I want.
Bank Manager: But you can’t afford it.
Mr. Smith: I know I can’t! Because you won’t increase my loan! Jesus Christ! Can you find me someone who knows what the fuck they’re doing please?
Bank Manager: Mr. Smith, to maintain your current lifestyle what you need to do is increase your income by at least 40%.
Mr. Smith: Why should I! I work myself to death already for that lot. Sometimes I don’t leave the office until two o’clock on a Friday.
Bank Manager: It’s not our responsibility, Mr. Smith, to enable you to afford your chosen lifestyle. It’s your responsibility to ensure you have an income sufficient to support it.
Mr. Smith: That’s what I’m trying to do! But you’re stopping me! How can you not see that?
Bank Manager: Our money isn’t your income, Mr. Smith, because you have to pay it all back to us – plus interest. You don’t get to keep it or gain anything from it, unless you use it to generate more income. However, your last three loan increases from us have been used for cars and several holidays.
Mr. Smith: I’ve got to be able to get around! And so has my wife. And I shouldn’t go on holiday, is that what you’re saying. You’d rather I just worked every second of my life then would you, until I drop dead? My God, you’re inhuman.
Bank Manager: No, I’m saying you shouldn’t go on holidays you can’t afford to pay for.
Mr Smith: Why, because I dont deserve nice holidays? Is that it? Why shouldn’t I travel the world? Why should I miss out on all the finer things in life? Why should only those fat cat bastards get to do all that? Hm? They’re greedy and selfish, I’m a good person, but where’s my big Mercedes?
Bank Manager: I think we repossessed it last Tuesday, if I recall correctly.
Mr Smith: That’s it, I give up with you, you’re clearly insane. I’ll take my business elsewhere. Can I take one of these?
Bank Manager: They’re not free actually.
Mr. Smith: Unbelieveable! You won’t even give me a measely calendar for free! You banks! It’s all about profit with you isn’t it! You won’t be happy until you’ve bled me dry will you? Here you go, then. Take my watch, take my wallet, go on take all of it. I’ll keep my trousers if you don’t mind, or do want those as well?
Bank Manager: No, no, that’s fine. We’ll be round to repossess your house next Friday.
Mr. Smith: I won’t be in next Friday! Ha!
Bank Manager: You don’t need to be.