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It’s a debtor’s life for better or worse

By Dian Vujovich

When it comes to money, debts count. If you don’t have any you’re up the creek —no debt repayment pattern means no credit rating. If you have too much, you’re up the creek too. So no matter how you slice it, that four-letter word is kind of like a can’t-live-with-it-can’t-live-without-it ordeal.


Focusing on our national debt—something that impacts all of us no matter what the size of our purse is— the Congressional Budget Office has published a chart that’s worth a look. It’s titled “The 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook:Infographic.”


What’s interesting about this visual is that it offers a snapshot of two different projected scenarios relating to America’s current debt mess along with bar charts about where federal budget dollars get spent.


In the CBO’s scenario labeled the Extended Baseline Scenario (EB) you’ll get a glimpse of is how the size of our debt might look in the future if there are no changes to current laws and tax increases are put in place. In this case, the infographic reads:” Non-interest spending continues to rise, however, pushed up by the aging of the population and the rising costs of health care, and revenues reach historically high levels.”


In the CBO’s Extended Alternative Fiscal Scenario (EAF) the graph shows what the debt level might look like should the current tax laws, put in place by W, don’t expire and are extended. Here, “Revenues remain near their historical average, and the gap between noninterest spending an

d revenues widens over the long term…”


In either case, the graph reads: “Recent federal budget deficits, including net interest, have been the largest since 1945. As a result, federal debt is expected to exceed 70 percent of GDP at the end of 2012.”


No matter what side of the political fence you favor, getting out of thi

s debt mess requires changing: Changing our tax structure and our spending choices.


By the time you’ve acquired a few gray hairs, it becomes clear that the first step everyone has to make in order to change is to look squarely at the problem, in this case d

ebt, and face it.


That’s not an easy thing to do when the debt we’re facing is personal or family related.


But the debt we’re speaking of here is of the national sort. And when it comes to Washington and resolving money problems, facing them comes with a huge number of strings attached.


The CBOs 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook: Infographic is below and at

http://tinyurl.com/7e8a36e .

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