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Tribune on National Debt

Chicago Tribune | Bush fails consumer credit test, critics say
WASHINGTON — The government outlined five “fundamental practices” Wednesday that people should follow to get control of their personal credit, such as building savings, paying down debt, and understanding one’s credit history.
Unfortunately, say budget experts and officials in prior administrations, the government is not heeding its own advice. A government deep in the red has little credibility when trying to advise consumers on how to get in the black, they said.
With personal bankruptcies and debt at record levels, the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department issued a five-step plan to help debt-ridden consumers better manage their credit–essentially in one-sentence admonitions like “pay bills on time.”

John Irons, economist at OMB Watch, an organization that monitors the budget, said that too many people do not understand how the deficit affects them. The state and local fiscal crisis is forcing job layoffs and a reduction in services across the board, he said, yet few people pin the blame on the deficit or Bush’s tax cuts.

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