Fiscal Cliff for Dummies

Regardless of political affiliation, this summary explains the federal government’s budget and predicament.

The fiscal cliff put in a much better perspective:

Lesson No. 1

• U.S. tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
• Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
• New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
• National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
• Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000

Let us now remove eight zeros and pretend it is a household budget:
• 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 consider this.

Lesson No. 2

Another way to look at the debt ceiling:

Say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood. Now your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings. What do you think you should do? Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage? Author: Unknown

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and should not be interpreted as individualized investment advice. Investment objectives, risk tolerances and the financial situation of individual investors may vary. Please consult your financial and tax advisors before investing.

Susan Carr-Templeton

About Susan Carr-Templeton

Susan Templeton is the founder of Stafford Wells Advisors, a wealth management firm serving individuals, families and businesses and advising workplace retirement plans. Stafford Wells was founded in 2008 with the mission of delivering independent, complete, unbiased investment and planning advice, free of any conflicts of interest. Susan Templeton has more than 20 years experience in investment management. She received her B.S.B.A. degree in marketing from the University of Denver and her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Susan is a trustee for the Advocate Foundation where she chair’s the Planned Giving Committee and is a member of the Investment Committee. Susan serves on the investment committee for the Visiting Nurse Association (Chicago) and is a former trustee of the Village of Oak Brook Police Pension Plan.