Our government is doing the opposite of ‘fessing up.
While corporate America is unraveling from economic promises it could not keep, governments big and small are doing the opposite. In addition to their generous pension plans, we all now have health care (even non-citizens), food stamps, longer-term unemployment benefits, etc. The list of promises goes on and on. The government has its hippopotamus mouth going full blast in every election cycle, making promises to win elections.
Those who speak up (see Ron Paul) and point out that those economic promises are going to bankrupt us all are criticized and ridiculed. Unfortunately, there is one major difference between corporate America making promises and the government doing the same: the government is making promises with our money! It is driving us into bankruptcy. When that happens, the value of a country’s currency will normally collapse, destroying the wealth of seniors and savers in the process.
While it may be bleak, it is not hopeless. I recently read John Stossel’s latest book, “No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails—But Individuals Succeed“. The book outlines our current predicament in very easy-to-understand terms. It also strengthened my personal resolve and gave me hope… a funny choice of words, as I think about it.
Every day, more people see these promises for what they really are: hollow and illusionary. There is no point in debating whether they were made in good faith or not. Who the hell cares? The real issue is: they are promises that are financially impossible to keep.
John’s book reinforced what I already knew: Americans are a hardy lot, and a lot of us succeed in spite of horrible obstacles placed in front of us. The first step is to pop the illusion bubble, accept the responsibility for our own retirements, and get on with the job.
Oh, and to address the question I asked in the first paragraph. Worrying about breaking a promise is only important to folks with a conscience—not the kind of people who will just tell others whatever they want to hear. Guess what? We are on to their game and their phony promises. Educated, take-charge retirees can thrive when they put their minds to it. The government may renege on their promises, but we will succeed in spite of that.
I was so impressed with Stossel’s book that I invited him to join us for an exclusive discussion on the challenges facing seniors. In addition, I’ve pulled together other experts including David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, and Jeff White, president of American Financial Group, to give you practical solutions to today’s financial challenges.
Our event, America’s Broken Promise: Strategies for a Retirement Worth Living is free, and is available on-demand. Act now to watch this special event and learn more about the challenges facing retirees and savers.