Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bernie Sanders Reminds Me of My Nono Ugo

I like Bernie Sanders. He reminds me of my grandfather — my Nono Ugo — may he rest in piece. Nono used to carry candy in his pockets to give to my brother and I when Mom wasn’t looking.

We liked candy. Who doesn’t? Free college, free health care, medical and family paid leave, more robust social security, upgrading our crumbling infrastructure. Sweet!

But America is burdened with over $19 trillion dollars in debt. “Trillion.” 12 zeros. That’s about $160K per U.S. taxpayer.

Interest payments on the debt are the fastest growing area of federal spending. And interest rates are at historic lows. When they go up again, look out!
We’re looking at the possibility of $500 billion in annual interest payments by 2020, with a debt close to 80% of our gross domestic product (GDP). After that, without fundamental structural changes, we enter an Aegean Sea of debt that could sink the ship of state.

I have good teeth. I can thank my mom for that. My dad, a florist, who I loved dearly, was overly generous. He would’ve literally “given away the store,” if it weren’t for my mom, who had a good business sense, was pragmatic, and tough — she spoke her mind. Thanks to her, there was money “in the till” to pay for the dental care my brother and I needed. All that candy can rot your teeth.