If you had a choice, would you let the U.S. government manage your money? OK, so that's a rhetorical question. But humor me. I know I wouldn't let it. The government's failure isn't limited to the Bush administration or the Republicans who now control Congress. For administration after administration, no matter which party held the White House and Congress, the federal government has consistently violated the standards of sound financial management. Given a choice, none of us would ever let anyone with the U.S. government's record of financial management touch our money. And any household that managed its money so foolishly would be headed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a choice about letting the government touch our money. The government's hand reaches deep into all of our personal finances. But if we fight hard enough, we do have some say about how that money is managed in the future.
Uncle Sam Flunks
The Congressional Budget Office issued its Budget and Economic Outlook on Tuesday. And as we wait for President Bush to deliver his own budget, now is a good time to step back from arguing about the details of any specific budget plan and look at the terrible job that our government does at managing our money as well as the consequences of that mismanagement. Let's start by looking at how the government does on my five rules for managing debt. Why start with a look at how the government manages its debt? Because it's a useful indicator of how the government manages all of our money. With the annual budget deficit running at $400 billion to $500 billion for the next few years before accelerating as more baby boomers retire, we're likely to add the huge sum of $5 trillion to the total federal debt over the next 10 years.