December 03, 2012 at 12:42 PM EST
The Moral of the Fiscal Cliff
I have a wealthy neighbor – I have no idea how wealthy, but judging from his house, his many expensive cars, and other trappings, he’s definitely one of the richer people I know. The thing is, I never see him work – and he’s not retirement age either. We live in a rural area – off the beaten path, for sure – so all of my neighbors’ mailboxes are in one location at the end of the road. Earlier this year, I drove out to get my mail, and I couldn’t help but notice his mailbox FILLED with second and third (and final!) notice bills. He’d clearly been ignoring them for weeks, if not month. So in order to afford all of his expensive living, my neighbor is apparently putting it all on the credit card. He had me over to a backyard barbecue a couple months back and after a few beers (expensive imports, of course), I asked him about his debt. He explained that he’s not worried about paying off his credit cards and other debts because he’s so rich that he can always pay off one credit card with another loan. His credit was getting hurt, sure, but by the time his creditors all caught on to him, he’ll be able to pay everyone off with inflated dollars. Weird, right? His whole debt scheme is based on his belief that inflation will save him… And from the look on his face, I believed him. The man wants for nothing – and doesn’t feel obligated to anyone or anything. He buys what he wants using other people’s money, and then he thinks he’ll be able to pay that debt back when inflation crushes the dollar. Pretty airtight plan, right? So imagine my surprise when I came home early from work recently, to find my front door broken in, and my wealthy neighbor carrying my TV out of my house. I’m a non-confrontational person – but I was shocked. Especially when my neighbor spotted me, and broke down crying. I said, “What are you doing? I thought you were wealthy – why are you stealing from me?” He looked back at me and said, “It’s true, I’m wealthy, but I’m in big trouble with my creditors.” I responded, “Well, which is it: are you credit-worthy? Are you going to pay back your debts with inflation? Or – are you in trouble with debt? “No, it’s true: I’m in trouble with debt and spending and I NEED to steal from you in order to make ends meet.” That’s when he pulled out a gun, and told me, “I’m taking this TV – and I might need some more stuff from you and the rest of our neighbors soon. That’s just how it is.” --- If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly what’s happening right now with our federal government and the fiscal cliff . Most people have this bad habit of thinking of the “government” as some permanent structure or god-like being. But the government is just a group of people. Yes, they have buildings and guns and fancy suits and speech-writers and sharp looking haircuts – but they’re a lot like you and me. And they’re also exactly a lot like a rich neighbor who does what he wants at the expense of others. Right now, the federal government already gets most of its spending cash by issuing new debt primarily in the form of Treasury bonds. How does it pay off that debt? You guessed it – primarily by issuing new debt. They’ve told us (in actions more than words) that they don’t care about debt. Debts will be paid off with cheaper dollars – down the road. The federal government can have all the cake (and guns and prisons) it wants, and it can eat it too, and it won’t have to pay the bill. But wait – now we’re told that, yes, there is a bill to be paid. And it won’t be paid by making cuts and sacrifices to the federal budget. It will be paid by you, starting January 1 – or else. It would be a lousy deal if it was just my neighbor stealing my TV at the point of a gun. It’s a lousier deal still that it’s my government, and they’re talking about taking more of my salary every year until I die. What am I doing about it? Well, I’ve worked closely with my boss, Ian Wyatt , to put together a simple guide on how to buy special dividend paying companies that are just under the radar of the kinds of new taxes the Feds are threatening. If you’re interested, you can read this guide for free by clicking here now .
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