From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/25-9
Like Their Government, Americans Live on Debt
by Ted Rall
Published on Monday, April 25, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
NEW YORK--During his State of the Union address President Obama repeated this ancient canard: "We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in," he said. "That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same."
Republicans have used this "families balance their budgets, so should government" line for years. Now Democrats are doing it too. Everyone is jumping aboard the pseudo-austerity bandwagon. (Why pseudo? Neither party really wants to balance the federal budget because it can only be done by bringing home the troops, shrinking the Pentagon by 90 percent, ending corporate welfare, and soaking the rich--i.e. major campaign donors--with higher taxes.)
But it's still being televised.
The family budget talking point is a fascinating meme that reflects a rarely considered national blind spot. As with other cases of mass denial (we think we're generous do-gooders around the world, foreigners see us for the crazy mean torturers we also are), we give ourselves more credit than we deserve.
We Americans value thrift and personal responsibility. We believe we should live within our means. These cultural ideals stem from our Puritan history.
But we don't live up to our ideals. Not even close.
Americans are up to the ears in debt.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/25-9