$19 Trillion is a lot of money, but explaining our nation's debt and problems to students can be simplified using a character from "The Sneeches," some sarcasm, a little hyperbole, some creativity, and 200 words. Here Goes....
Don’t Trust the Bank of Sylvester McBean
Sylvester McBean is CEO of a bank.
He’s paid $100,000 yearly.
This isn’t enough, so he spends $150,000 yearly.
He’s racked up $700,000.00 on the bank’s charge-card.
Recently, McBean bought new homes, new cars, and a pool. “We must keep up appearances”, McBean tells Shareholders & Trustees….
The trustees, a mix of liberals and conservatives, allow McBean’s extravagant deficit spending to continue, thereby endorsing it.
The trustees don’t control McBean’s overspending because they’re well compensated—and the bank’s shareholders haven’t complained-they don’t pay attention to financial statements and other such nuisances...
So trustees know they can print more stock, diluting existing shares whenever they want more cash! “Let them eat cake” is their condescending attitude toward shareholders!
Now trustees congratulate themselves because McBean cut his deficit spending in half; he now only spends $125k yearly! (His salary is still $100K.)
Discussing McBean’s spending is unpopular. How will McBean’s huge debt be repaid? Not addressed- trustees simply ignore the problem…
McBean’s contract expires in two years.
Nevertheless, trustees naively believe future trustees, shareholders, and/or other CEOs will “fix the finances.”
These finances can’t be “fixed”, though.
(BTW-we’re the shareholders in this “bank”-congratulations!)