The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
Armadillo Holes and Horses
Anyone that has ever ridden a horse knows you have to have some intelligence for your protection and that of the horse. A good cowboy knows that he has to be aware of his surroundings and know the territory. If the cowboy is riding the horse on a well maintained race track, he can run the horse at full speed and not worry about dangers such as armadillo holes and such. On the other hand, if the cowboy is riding in an unfamiliar field he must go at a slower rate and watch for dangers that could hurt him or his horse. If the cowboy is riding in the forest he can run the risk of being knocked off by low hanging limbs. In the long run, the most sensible thing to do is to slow the horse down before you hurt him or yourself. Riding horses is a lot like spending money; all of us need to slow down to avoid being hurt.
In the 2009 fiscal year we Americans have run up a budget deficit of 1.4 trillion dollars. It is easy for us to hear those numbers and become numb to them, but that amount is roughly 10 percent of our total economy. The alarming thing is that amount is triple what it was just a few short years ago. The only time the deficit came close to reaching that percentage was during times of war such as the Second World War. There are projections that over the next decade the red ink will increase by an additional 7.2 trillion dollars. Over the past few days there has been talk that congress will have to raise the debt ceiling. The current $12.1 trillion limit could reportedly jump by as much as $1.8 trillion.
It has become a joke that our government will ever limit the growth of debt. When the debt reaches the $14 trillion point the ceiling will be raised again. Out here in the real world you would be hard pressed to find a banker that would just keep loaning you more money, especially if you were already in debt so deep that you couldn’t pay off what you already owe. We Americans need to take a lesson from the cowboy who knows when to slow the horse down and prevent injury to himself and his horse. Like a horse stepping into an armadillo hole, the black hole of debt can be just as dangerous.
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