“Live within your means,” cautioned my father, reminding me time and time again of the difference between wanting and needing, too. Does no one heed such advice anymore? Apparently, not so much, and the spending abuse starts at the very top.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the budget deficit for this 2019 fiscal year will hit about $900 billion. Moreover, from 2020 to 2029, it projects deficits of $11.6 trillion, along with annual deficits of $1.2 trillion from 2025 to 2027 and $1.4 trillion in 2028 and 2029.

Then there’s consumer borrowing… Credit card debt hit a startling $1.021 trillion back in 2017 and then jumped to $1.039 trillion last year. Plus…

  • 59% of credit card holders carry an unpaid balance on at least one card.
  • Some 39 million card holders have been in debt for at least 2 years, countless others even longer.
  • Some folks don’t even know how much they owe.

And then there’s the outstanding student loan debt which hit $1.46 trillion at the end of 2018, with those between 18 and 29 “owning” more than $1 trillion of that figure. Put another way, at graduation, the average student walking away with a bachelor’s degree at graduation also walks away carrying an average of $30,000 in debt.

And what does that mean for the rest of us? Those in-in-the know say, that the upshot, among other things is:

  1. Less spending to help drive our consumer-driven U.S. economy;
  2. Delayed home and new car ownership;
  3. Countless college grads moving back home, supported by their parents;
  4. Fewer new businesses opening;
  5. In 2016, loan forgiveness programs cost taxpayers more than $108 billion.

Bottom line: We all had better get our spending under control and live within our means, lest this house of cards falls down.