Archived Story

Answers from Uncle Obama, Uncle Mitt

Published 8:57am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Column: Al Arends, My Point of View

Sam and his wife, Mary, were making a good income. Both had good jobs that provided good benefits, health insurance, retirement plan and each had three weeks of vacation. They had a nice home with a sizable mortgage and two vehicles, a Ford F-150 and a 2011 Toyota Camry.

Al Arends

In the summer, it was golf once or twice a week, and in the winter, it was bowling. Eating out was a family affair once a week, and they snuck out once a week by themselves or with some friends. Their two children were great kids who liked sports; one played hockey, and the other volleyball and golf. Just a nice typical family except their income did not cover their expenses. They were falling behind, and all of a sudden tragedy hit. Mary’s job was cut to part-time. What would they do?

Sam decided to go to Uncle Obama and see if he would help him out.

Uncle Obama was a nice guy and said let’s figure this out. You say you are maxed out on two credit cards. I’ll bet you could find a business that issues their own credit card and you should be able to use that to cover your groceries. You can get a second mortgage on your house to carry you over for a while and, of course, you can borrow from your 401(k) retirement plan to pay for your vacations. Maybe you can find a doctor who will cut his fees to provide for physicals and other health needs. The doctor may have a big loan he has to pay back because of his education, but that is not your worry. I believe this will get you by for a little longer, but eventually, you may have to declare bankruptcy and let those rich creditors pay for all your problems.

Sam was a smart guy. He didn’t really like the outcome especially knowing that he was going to have to find a cheap, unqualified doctor and he wouldn’t have any retirement plan. What was he doing to do, because his future was bleak if he stayed with his Uncle Obama’s plan?

So he turned to his Uncle Mitt and asked what he should do?

Uncle Mitt looked at him and said, “I don’t like what I see and it is going to be a little painful, but I think we can work this out so that you will have a bright future.

“First, you have to cut back on your expenses. You may have to sell your house and find something less expensive, but a second mortgage doesn’t solve anything and will put you deeper in the hole. You may have to get rid of that new F-150 and find a cheap older vehicle, because you cannot afford two big car payments. The family cannot take three-week vacations and don’t even think of a second home on a lake. That will come when your situation changes. Cut out the night when you and Mary go out, but keep the family night out. Now that we have cut expenses, let’s look how we increase your income. You know you cannot spend your way out of debt.

“Could Mary find another part-time job to help make up your loss of income or maybe she looks for another full-time job? It may not pay quite as well as when she was working full-time at the other job, but it pays more than a part-time job.”

Sam liked Uncle Mitt’s plan. It wasn’t going to be as fun, but he knew there was a brighter future. He looked at both uncles and both were successful, but Uncle Mitt had a history of solving problems and he had been very successful in the private sector.

Uncle Obama, was a good man and a good public servant, but he had never been in a position of solving problems. Uncle Mitt may have kept his tax rate low, which most people think is smart, but he has paid a whole lot more to the government than Uncle Obama and he has solved lots of problems. He isn’t as good a talker, but he is a do-er.

As John Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Don’t pass your debt and extravagant spending onto your children and grandchildren. Who are you going to vote for — bankruptcy or a brighter future where your children will have the same opportunities that you have had?

Time is running out.


Al Arends is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.