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Talking to Your Kids About the Deficit

My son asked me the other day, a few weeks shy of his wedding I’ll proudly add, why the deficit as a result of the recent tax plan, was ‘bad’ if it raised the stock market.  How do you explain something so complicated to a mechanical engineer, smart, but focused on inventing stuff and whose main eye contact is with his feet?  

I made it so simple even a member of Congress would get it.  I explained that I just wrote him a check for a hypothetical $1 mn, and asked what he would do with it.  He started a list of things -- ATV, snowmobile, chainsaw for starters -- to which I said, great, but you already owed $1 mn and have to pay off that debt, too, so now you owe $2 mn.  He furrowed his eyebrows a bit, thought for a moment, and asked if he’d already bought the ATV with the first million.  I said, no, he spent that on the dishwasher and A/C, which isn’t working, with a little bit to pay for college and a lot to pay for Grandma’s Social Security and Medicare.  “But she paid into Social Security!”  I advised, “Not as much as she’s getting.” Read more from David Ader's latest musings...
Talking to Your Kids About the Deficit

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