July 27th, 2011

Fiscal Malfeasance and Political Footballs


photo credit: SS&SS

America is in financial disarray as a result of a consistent, bi-partisan effort to enjoy easy money today at the expense of our children tomorrow. Decades of unrestrained spending and expanding entitlements have continually compounded to produce the monetary morass in which we currently find ourselves.

The news has exploded in recent days with chatter surrounding the debt ceiling, and the laughably pathetic attempts by various groups within the White House and Congress to “compromise” and “negotiate” to reach a deal that will prevent the government from defaulting on its financial obligations. Unfortunately for the average taxpayer, the solution most entertained for preventing that default is to increase the debt limit, thus allowing the government to borrow trillions more dollars to satisfy its ravenous appetite for spending.

These alarming circumstances have not been found without a silver lining by some. Several congressmen, Senator Mike Lee chief among them, are seizing the opportunity to impose more long-term restraints by exploiting short-term conditions. Specifically, they are demanding that a balanced budget amendment be passed (among other conditions, all part of the "Cut, Cap, Balance" plan) as a pre-condition to securing enough political support for raising the debt limit. In other words, they are generally suggesting that they support raising the debt limit, so long as a vote is taken on the proposed balanced budget amendment.

This is utter nonsense. Imagine a reckless teenager who spends all his parents’ savings, maxes out their credit cards, and then demands—with physical threats—that they increase their credit limit and give him a larger allowance. It would be absolutely absurd for the parents to yield to such demands, especially in conjunction with a request for the child to not spend as much of their money in the future as he had in the past. Any sane parent would cut up the credit cards and work tirelessly to prevent that child from having any access to their finances from that time forward.

There is no principled room in this discussion for entertaining a vote to raise the debt limit under any circumstances. Tens of trillions of dollars now rest heavily upon the shoulders of our posterity, and to suggest adding yet more of a burden upon them is irresponsible and immoral—even if political victories are made in tandem with those awful decisions. The fiscal malfeasance that has long been synonymous with Washington has but one proper solution: stop spending.

Indeed, the deficit could be easily eliminated, and the debt paid down, and taxes lowered, were Congress to simply apply pressure to existing programs and expenditures. Instead, threats are made in an attempt to scare people into voting for more debt. In 2006, Mr. Obama decried “our government’s reckless fiscal policies” which led to a request to raise the debt limit in that year, which he regarded as “a sign of leadership failure.” “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” he said. “Americans deserve better.” The 2011 version of the same man is pushing hard for the opposing side, now threatening senior citizens in a political ploy to suggest that hard times are ahead for the nation’s vulnerable geriatrics if his demands—which he himself so vociferously opposed a few years ago—are not met.

Included in those demands is the condition that the debt ceiling be raised high enough to get the government through (on its current level of addictive spending) the next election, thus allowing the current party in power to not be taken to task over yet another debt limit increase. Few other circumstances than this one demonstrate how much of a political football this entire issue has become. Rather than reducing spending and governing properly, these politicians are (surprise, surprise) doing whatever is necessary to save face and retain power.

With such fraudulent motives exposed for what they truly are, it then becomes a concern to think that supposed solutions being touted as legitimate and necessary are being treated as if they would actually be effective. The balanced budget amendment, regarded highly by so many conservative congressmen, and touted so frequently as the only true “fiscal straightjacket” we can put on Congress, is itself a political football—a superficial attempt to restrain spending that includes within its very text numerous exemptions and loopholes. For reasons listed here, this is not just an ineffective idea; it’s a bad one.

If the Constitution itself is disregarded and disobeyed in countless and repeated situations, then why would any sane person think that an amendment to that document—especially one with an instruction manual on how to circumvent its supposed restrictions—would achieve a different outcome? What has the Constitution forbidden up until this time that has led Congress to restrain itself, because that document denies them the authority?

The way out of this mess is not to impose fictional restraints, nor to increase the burden of debt on our posterity, nor to increase taxes. The exact wrong thing to do is to justify, provide for, or in any way support the current level of government spending or anything close to it. The correct thing to do—the only correct thing to do— is to dramatically, quickly, and stubbornly reduce spending across the board. Rather than tying spending to GDP or any other artificial metric, spending should properly be tied to constitutional authority; if Congress is duly empowered to do something, and that thing is at the time both necessary and proper, then by all means, do it, and provide funds for it. Anything else whatsoever—social security, NASA, foreign aid, military adventurism, bailouts, education, medical research, and a host of other monetary commitments we now have but that should be eliminated—must be denied and defunded.

Balancing the budget is to properly be done by constitutional restraint, absolutely. But that restraint is not some percentage of the whole economy, but rather the very delegated powers Congress has been given, and the areas over which such powers relate. As such, and given Congress’ extreme and long-standing deviation from that standard, our current fiscal problems would be properly remedied by generating the political will necessary to drastically reduce spending—and killing Washington’s sacred cows.

Any other attempt—even if sincere—falls short of what this country needs. Our economy is being driven off of a cliff at an alarming speed. Corrective action entails slamming on the breaks and throwing the car into reverse—not simply slowing the car down while maintaining the same course.

25 Responses to “Fiscal Malfeasance and Political Footballs”

  1. Mike Ebert
    July 27, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Lots of politicians and economists like to talk about how the economy will suffer if the government isn’t spending to support it, but they fail to understand what will happen to the economy if our government piles on any more debt or the Fed prints any more money. If the dollar loses its reserve currency status, if our credit rating gets dropped, if taxes have to go higher, then we will see what an economic brake looks like!

  2. July 27, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Connor, while I agree with the basic ideas presented here, I would suggest that there are only two ways to get there (there being truly reigning in federal spending to that which it is duly authorized to spend).

    One would be the way we got there the first time, through revolution and bloodshed. The second would be the way we got away from there in the first place, which is by slowly turning in the right direction (as opposed to the wrong direction which is what got us away from there), and then continuing to turn in the right direction and then actually moving in the right direction and then building momentum.

    As much as I would support your suggestion that we hit the breaks and put the car into reverse and immediately cut all unauthorized expenditures and programs, I don’t it’s possible to get there except by one of the two above mentioned means.

  3. David
    July 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    I think you are misunderstanding or misrepresenting Mike Lee’s position. He is not supportive of raising the debt limit in any case but feels the compromise is worth it to raise the debt ceiling if that concession can put the structural apparatus in place to bring the government train under control. I happen to agree with him on both counts (let’s just make sure that is out in the open).

    Everything you have written here looks good on paper but seems to ignore one fundamental fact – no one person can stop this train. That is where your analogy of parents dealing with a reckless teenager who has spent their money breaks down. Presidents, members of congress, and individual citizens have varying degrees of influence but none have the power to stop the train without assistance. You are right that what we fundamentally need is to generate the political will necessary to drastically reduce spending but it sounds like you do not understand how that can be done nor acknowledge the fact that we must do what we have the political will to do now even before the political will has been built to do what actually needs to be done.

    In education there is a principle called the zone of proximal development (ZPD). The ZPD marks the boundaries within which effective learning can take place. For example, it would be absurd to try to teach calculus to a child who has not yet learned to read numbers. I believe there is a ZPD equivalent when it comes to politics and society. The principles you have articulated, while ultimately correct are outside our political and social ZPD right now.

    Debt is a dangerous tool. There are situations when it is an appropriate tool to use and many more situations where is is not appropriate. For a family it is generally appropriate to use debt to purchase a house, but it is not appropriate for a family to use debt to finance most other things such as vacations or a new car every year. Likewise with governments. I would argue that it was necessary and appropriate to finance World War II with deficit spending but we have taken to financing virtually everything with debt. You and i both recognize that this is completely inappropriate and extremely dangerous. While your recommendation that we drastically reduce spending is correct you must recognize that unlike you and I, the majority of people (and a super-majority of those in Congress) do not yet recognize that no matter what we do at this point there are going to be severe consequences to our government overspending for longer than either of us has been alive.

    Unlike most, we recognize that the best we can do at this point is kick this addiction as fast as possible, face the consequences head on, and refrain from adding to the burden that our future generations are already saddled with as a result of the spending that has already taken place. The place where Senator Lee and I differ from you is that by taking the intractable position you have articulated we would lose any influence over the actions taken by the government and essentially be abdicating whatever strength we do have in favor of standing upon the theoretical high-ground. There are certainly times when this is the correct action (like when Mormon was commanded to stand as an idle witness to the destruction of the Nephites) but now is not such as time as far as I can see. We must continue to articulate the ultimate goal, which is what you have been doing, but we should not stop acting within the boundaries of what is currently politically possible. We need to continue acting to use our maximum possible power to apply the brakes now. Taking a stance that is too pure will only cause the rest of the participants to dismiss our warnings out of hand. After all, we can’t reverse course until we have slowed and stopped, there is no U-turn in this train track.

    I agree with you that the Constitution, if followed, already has all the spending limitations that are necessary for our nation. We should be willing to pay for the government we need and we should not allow the government to take more money than is necessary nor to spend money we might be willing to give on anything that is outside the scope of their authority. The reality is that the current state of our political will is such that those brakes have proven to be inadequate to keep our government in check financially. As much as it should not be necessary, I believe that a Balanced Budget Amendment is a necessity in our current political environment – I think it is the most effective brake that we can put to use to slow this train. I don’t know what Senator Lee believes about this but I agree with you that spending as a percentage of the economy is the wrong metric for restraint, and until the last few years I have opposed such an amendment. Again, this seems to be a matter of political necessity in our degraded political environment. I don’t believe that the amendment is flawless by any means, but like the agreement to accept a debt limit increase in order to install a new braking mechanism, if those flaws are the catalyst that allows the pill to be swallowed rather than rejected it seems an appropriate compromise.

    While you may argue that there is no principled room to entertain a vote to raise the debt limit, I believe there is. I believe it is either irresponsible or naive to rally against the strongest corrective action that can be taken in favor of the perfect corrective action that is outside our current capacity to implement. Until we have a much larger contingent in Congress who recognize the reality of the situation and the truth of what you (and not many others) have been saying it is outside our capacity to stop the excess spending cold and begin the process of repentance that requires that we finally pay back the credit we have already exhausted.

  4. David
    July 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    One more thought on why it is actually wise to raise the debt limit under the right conditions.

    I’ll admit that I acquired some debt due to a period of unemployment followed by less financial prudence than I would hope to repeat. When I finally got serious about erasing my debt the first thing I did was to acquire a new credit card to minimize the amount of interest I would be required to pay for the debt I had already incurred.

    Hitting the brick wall of either technical default or functional default of failing to pay what has been promised would cause our interest rates to rise on the debt that is already in circulation (you know they would never fail to keep reissuing the debt that we already have outstanding) to the point that it could be even more expensive than issuing new debt combined with a framework that alters our trajectory markedly. (Of course, none of the proposed deals besides Cut, Cap, and Balance even comes close.)

    Again, I’m just saying that raising the debt limit can be a legitimate piece of the path forward to abandoning this spending addiction and the lies of perpetual overspending that our government had been offering for so long.

  5. Mike Ebert
    July 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    The problem with gradually fixing the budget is that it hasn’t worked in the last 100+ years of near-constant deficit spending. (See chart 4 here:
    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/debt_deficit_history

    Everyone always puts it off for the next group to figure out. If we don’t draw a line today, just like no one else drew a line yesterday, where are we going to be tomorrow? Another day older and deeper in debt.

  6. July 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Great article.

  7. July 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Mike, we can all draw a line today. I’m with you. But your line won’t mean anything real.

    Suggesting that “gradually fixing the budget” “it hasn’t worked in the last 100+ years of near-constant deficit spending” is no argument at all.

    That would be like me saying that you shouldn’t try to fix the budget at all because fixing the budget hasn’t worked in the last 100+ years…

    Are you saying that drawing a line in the sand has worked in the last 100+ years?

    If Connor’s solution was an option I would choose it and so would Mike Lee. Unfortunately, it simply is not an option.

    While the BBA is not a perfect solution, the idea is not as stupid as Connor makes it out to be.

    Think of it as a ratchet. A ratchet is a mechanical device that allows movement in only one direction and each time you pull on it you move in that one direction and movement is not allowed to go back in the other direction. If we can successfully reign in spending one notch at a time and continue cranking the ratchet, we might be able to get where we need to be.

  8. July 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    What did Ezra Taft Benson say about a government adhering to the Constitution….something about a three month time frame?

  9. Mike Ebert
    July 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    @JJL9 – Your attack on my argument is based on the assumption that radical change is impossible. That’s an arguable statement. The founding of our nation is a great example of radical change. Those men drew a line, and it meant something. During WWII the Allies drew a line and it meant something. The question is whether the men currently in office measure up to that level.

    I also never said I was against as much positive change as I can get my hands on. If we have to resort to a ratchet, then let’s make sure it’s geared as aggressively as possible.

  10. July 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Connor,

    I absolutely agree that we need to stop spending. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have.

    But it’s wrong to say that we can’t raise the debt ceiling – especially this late in the game. Regardless of any spending cuts that are made – the limit must be raised.

    “In February 2011, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service wrote that, in order to avoid having to increase the debt limit, the federal government would needd to ‘eliminate all spending on discretionary programs, cut nearly 70% of outlays for mandatory programs [such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security], increase revenue collection by nearly two-thirds, or take some combination of those actions in the second half of FY2011.’ ”

    http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/Documents/Debt%20Limit%20Myth%20v%20Fact%20FINAL.pdf

    Also, it’s important to remember that the debt limit is a fixed amount of dollars – as the GDP grows, the debt limit will naturally have to grow as well. This is why the limit has been raised almost 80 times in the last 50 years. I don’t know why we don’t just base it on the GDP – seems like we could avoid this stupid recurring situation.

  11. July 28, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    The budget is high because BOTH SIDES want it that way. The debt limited was raised countless times by the previous administrations, and no party has any intention of making anything other than token cuts to certain services that can be used as political footballs.

    Cut defense by some significant but not horrific percent, cut entitlements by the same. Despite all of their rhetoric nobody on either side will touch these most significant sources of spending.

  12. July 30, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    But all our arguments probably won’t matter because the system is meant to fail anyways. So either the debt ceiling is raised or we move away completely from using fiat money, either way the system is going to fail…..it was meant to fail in the first place. Look at Greece, Spain, Italy. Probably the only thing that is holding this sinking ship together is the fact that the U.S. currency is the reserve currency of the world. Unfortunately, we are already seeing some countries moving away from the U.S. dollar to other currencies. This spells greater doom for the U.S.

    Spend. Don’t spend. Who is to decide? The corrupt whores in Washington? The People?

    The question is, ‘what will bring the most freedom to The People?’ The Constitution assists us finding the answers to that questions whenever policies/directives/laws/etc. are in question……isn’t that why The Constitution was instituted in the first place?

    I’m sorry…..I get so upset at people that try to complicate things with their rhetoric to make themselves look good. From the politicians in Washington to the blogs we find on the internet. My calculus teacher said: “Simplify, simplify, simplify”. In my view The Constitution helps us simplify the problem to it’s fundamentals so that we can make a more informed decision in what to do……if that’s an oversimplified thought, then I’m in big trouble. I am a slow learner and I can only understand things in it’s most simple form. I believe that most people are like this. But, I digress….have we oversimplified the “problem” that faces us? Or have we not fully understood the real maginfication of the possible consequences of the debt crisis?

    It is time for ALL Americans to unite! We are the only hope for the future, for our country, and for the world. If freedom fails here…..then freedom fails around the whole world. This may seem like a doom and gloom prediction but it gives me life…..it makes me want to fight harder, yell louder, stand taller. I have a little girl. What kind of life will she live when she grows up after this battle if over and done with? As long as there is life in me, my fight will be in favour of The Constitution and the freedom of my family.

    Thank you Connor for your comments and insight. God bless you, mate. Long live the Republic!

  13. July 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Sorry for the double post, but CNN got the analogy right:

    “As we all know, if you run up a balance on your credit card and then decide not to pay the bill, there’s a huge price to pay. Your interest rate goes up, your credit score goes down and that triggers all sorts of costly dominoes to start falling. To not raise the debt ceiling is akin to refusing to pay your credit card bill.

    The debt ceiling has nothing to do with future spending. It’s simply a mechanism that allows the U.S. government to keep paying off the bills it has already run up. This is a completely separate issue from what we decide is the right pace of future spending for our country. The deficit reduction debate is about that future path. That anyone insists on linking the two is absurd. We must make good on paying off our bills.”

  14. David
    July 30, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Chris,

    If I promise to buy my wife a new bedroom set but that exceeds my credit limit am I still obligated to buy it for her?

    This is not about paying off what we have already run up, it is about whether we make good on promises that Congresses have made knowing full well that those promises exceeded the borrowing authority that they then had. Not raising the debt limit is actually akin to refusing to take out a new loan or credit card to make good on those past promises.

    The question before the current Congress is whether the promises that Congresses had previously made beyond the limits of their credit are deserving of taking out new loans or whether it is finally time to admit that those promises were made outside the limits of what they were authorized to promise and must therefore give way before the credit limit. The link between the two issues that you apparently don’t see is that the issue of deficit reduction is about answering whether the practice of promising more than Congress has the authority to promise is an acceptable promise going forward. Notice that the various budgets put forth so far all would require that Congress take on new debt. Not just the $2.4 Trillion that the president has requested but trillions more beyond that.

    If past (or present) Congresses and administrations had been honest they would have submitted their budgets along with the necessary requests for increased borrowing authority. Then the only time we would be facing the issue of raising the debt limit would be during the budgeting process and in the cases of unforeseen circumstances such as when they decide to bail out the banks and auto companies, or when they want to inject the economy with a stimulus.

    This is at least the third vote to increase the debt limit in the 30 months since Obama took office. There’s nothing absurd about trying to prevent this circus from happening with such regularity in the future.

  15. July 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    David,

    1st – read my first comment above. The debt limit is not a percentage of GDP (don’t ask me why). As long as the limit is set in dollars, it will have to be regularly increased to keep up with the growth of our country.

    2nd – your analogy doesn’t accurately represent the situation. The situation isn’t that you promised your wife the bedroom set – you already took it home, on credit. Now the bill is due and you realize that the family budget doesn’t accomodate your purchase. Obviously it was an unwise decision in the first place, but it’s too late now. You owe your creditor.

    Now, in this very simple analogy, you might be able to return the bed and remove your obligation.

    In real life, there is no such option. Bonds have been purchased, contracts have been filled, and members of the military have given service. If the debt limit isn’t raised, they won’t get paid.

    Let me stress again tht I am in no way advocating that the government doesn’t need to get its spending under control. The family in our example could simply go ahead and pay the bill for their bedroom set, even though it breaks their budget and will have other repurcussions. But they’ve got to find a way to make the right decisions in the first place.

  16. David
    July 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Chris,

    Your comment makes more sense when considered with your first comment. Thanks for the clarification. I fully agree that we should fulfill our obligations in paying for services rendered and bonds issued. The fact is that we can do al or almost all of that without raising the debt limit. The real question is whether we do the fiscally sensible thing and stop ordering more services – even many of the ones that we have previously said we wanted but have not yet received. Do we continue to offer agricultural subsidies and foreign aid when we have less revenue than our current spending. Do we continue to perpetuate foreign wars and maintain a worldwide network of military installations when we are not able to pay for them?

    Like the family with the bedroom set we can still scale back the spendin that we have been planning on since our revenues are nowhere near enough to cover those plans – that does not mean that I think we should fail to pay for the soldiers who have already earned their pay or that we should fail to pay the promised interest on the bonds already issued. Raisin the debt ceiling to continue to pay for planned purchases that we can’t afford is different than raising the debt ceiling to pay for services already consumed (or taken home as in the analogy).

  17. July 30, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    Thanks for the follow up, David.

    I think there’s one thing you may have misunderstood though. If the debt limit isn’t raised this month, members of the military won’t get paid – this month. We’re going to reach the debt ceiling in a few days – and when we hit it we stop paying the bills.

    In my comment a ways up, I pasted a quote from the Treasury which outlined what spending cuts would have had to be made months ago, in order to avoid raising the limit.

  18. July 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Chris, the US would not have to default on military pay. They probably would because then they could blame it on the Republicans.

    And without getting too long-winded, let me respond to this statement: “As we all know, if you run up a balance on your credit card and then decide not to pay the bill, there’s a huge price to pay…”

    There certainly is a huge price to pay, but when one finds them in a situation in which they cannot possibly pay off the debts they have incurred, paying the price now is better than borrowing again and again just to make the minimum payments and to continue spending and digging the hole even deeper.

    I’ve known a lot of people that have gone through bankruptcy, foreclosure, etc… It sucks. It’s painful. They lose their houses. They lose their cars. They lose their dignity. But a few years later they are in a better situation because they learned from their mistakes and they are in a better position than they were immediately prior to the bankruptcy.

    What’s my point? As bad as it would be to default and have our credit dinged, it might be worse not to.

  19. David
    July 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    That’s the party line being put out by the administration. I don’t recall where it is but somewhere there was a website (possibly the Wall Street Journal) where they showed the monthly revenue and the monthly expenses and allowed people to prioritize the expenses. Obama said that Social Security might not be paid but according to the numbers the Treasury Department has enough coming in to pay principle and interest on our outstanding debt plus pay social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and military pay (and possibly others, I can’t remember everything that fit) and still have some money left over. We can’t pay for everything but we can cover the essentials without raising the debt limit – it would be ugly and uncomfortable but not impossible.

  20. July 31, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Yes, if we don’t raise the limit, congress will likely try to prioritize military pay, but we don’t yet know how it will play out. It’s a possibility.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/07/26/usaaothers-plan-advances-if-debt-ceiling-stops-military-pay/

    Regardless, though, somebody won’t be paid, and everyone seems to agree that defaulting will hurt our economy at a very inopportune time.

    I’m not sure I understand the insistence on not raising the limit, though. As the limit is not a percentage of GDP (which it ought to be, in my opinion), the limit has to raised on a recurring basis, to keep up with the country’s growth. If it were based on GDP, we could set it once and leave it there. Somehow I think our politicians like it this way.

  21. July 31, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    You guys are debating the very thing they want you to debate. I agree with Peter Schiff when he said (paraphrasing)…it’s a matter of how we are going to default. Whether they raise the debt limit or not we are so deep in crap a dollar crash is inevitable because Washington won’t stop spending and too many people love their entitlements…..Something is going to give and it won’t be pretty. It’s just a matter of when.

  22. July 31, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    http://youtu.be/YvwqX6o69Iw

  23. July 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    We don’t need no stinking balanced budget amendment! Why? Because we already have a debt ceiling in place. It does the same thing. It tells the govt they have to balance the budget. It tells them they have to limit their expenditures to match their revenues. Obummer and all the others proclaiming default if we don’t raise the debt ceiling are liars. If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, govt will be forced to decided where they will cut expenditures to match revenues. They could decide to quit paying the interest on the debt (in other words, they could choose to default.) But they don’t have to. They could also choose to end the wars, they could reduce social security, medicare, medicaid outlays. They could lay off some govt workers. They could end the drug war. They could do a lot of things. Doing any of those things or any combination of those things will be better than continuing to wrack up more debt. There is no need to pass an extension to give more time. There is no need to pass a BBA. All they need to do is hold firm on the debt ceiling and then make the hard choices as to what to cut.

  24. July 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    @Shane

    The debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times in the last few decades. Reagan raised it 18 times, Dubya 7 times. I agree with you that we should pare spending back rather than raise the debt ceiling one more time, but this is hardly a fabrication of “Obummer” or “B.O.” or “Barry Hussein” or whatever you want to call him.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Best Quote on The Debt Ceiling Debate - July 27, 2011

    […] This is utter nonsense. Imagine a reckless teenager who spends all his parents’ savings, maxes out their credit cards, and then demands—with physical threats—that they increase their credit limit and give him a larger allowance. It would be absolutely absurd for the parents to yield to such demands, especially in conjunction with a request for the child to not spend as much of their money in the future as he had in the past. Any sane parent would cut up the credit cards and work tirelessly to prevent that child from having any access to their finances from that time forward.  -Connor Boyack at Connor’s Conudrum […]

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