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Friday, April 08, 2011

Make things Tangible

The United States Government is shutting down because congress can't agree on a budget for the remainder of 2011. The government shutdown will affect hundreds of thousands of people employed by the Federal institutions.

They are arguing over $37 billion. That sounds like a lot of money. To you and me that's a huge amount of money. But the argument that has shut down the wheels of governing is over less than one percent of the annual budget of $3,818.8 billion.

Less than one percent isn't that much at all. The average salary for an American worker is $42,000, so it would be the equivalent of asking you to lose $400 from your annual spending. That would be $33 a month out of your pocket. You could sponsor a child for less than that.

But the issue is bigger than that. See, the big problem with the budget isn't that we're spending our money in the wrong ways, it's that we're spending money we don't have. Our annual Federal deficit is 43%. That means that our government is spending way more money than it brings in.

So if this were you or me, we would be making $42,000 a year, but spending $74,000 - racking up credit card debt of $31,000 a year. So our friends and family have an intervention to help us get our wildly out of control spending in check. They sit us down and tell us that we can't leave until we write a budget that we can stick to. So we write up our budget for the next month (a month with $2,600 in debt-spending) and we trim $60. Then our friends and family tell us that it has to come from a different place. We can't spend money on popcorn at the movies anymore because that's not healthy. We refuse to budge on the popcorn issue. So none of us go to work the next week. That makes good sense and it's best for everyone involved. Right?

How can you use tangible details to communicate your message.

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