Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hammer Time

When I first entered the working world after graduating from college, I tried to be fiscally responsible. I didn't buy anything unless I had the money to do so and I paid my credit card bill in full every month so I wouldn't get hit with finance charges. Then one day I really wanted to buy a new hard drive for my computer but couldn't afford it so I put it on my credit card, figuring I'd pay it off eventually.

It was like a flip had been switched. I had the hard drive and while I was now in debt, nothing bad happened when I sent the credit card company less than payment in full. I started buying other stuff even though I didn't have the money and obviously I didn't if I was carrying balances over on my credit card from the previous month. Books, CDs, videos, computer games...whatever I wanted, I bought.

Around this time I was working with one of my best friends and we frequently went to lunch together, often eating in the food court of a local shopping mall. Consequently he saw how much money I was spending and whenever I bought something he'd say, "Hammer time." He was referring to MC Hammer who famously made a lot of money and then promptly went bankrupt because he blew it all on things he really didn't need. I just laughed and kept on spending right up until the day I got laid off and found myself drowning in debt with no income with which to make even the minimum payment. I won't go into the months that followed but suffice it to say that it wasn't pleasant and now that I'm out from under that debt, I don't ever want to be in that position again.

I explain all this because yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that in the first 50 days of the Obama Presidency, the federal government has spent $1 billion per hour. And they're not done as they prepare to spend more money on a second "stimulus" bill and grant giant corporations billions more in fourth and fifth bailouts after the first three bailouts or so failed to take.

To President Obama and his administration I say, "It's Hammer time!"

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