Mr. S. Willey and the national debt

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By Ken Begley

I’ve been reading a lot on the national debt of these here United States lately.

I think the U.S. Government is going to spend some $1.8 trillion dollars more than it will take in this next year alone.

Trillion?  Isn’t that a hard word to wrap your mind around?  

It takes a thousand million to make one billion dollars and a thousand billion to make one trillion dollars.  So $1.8 trillion is one thousand, eight hundred billion dollars.  Kind of makes that mortgage and credit card bill you have look a little puny, don’t it?  

It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.  I wonder how we got into this mess anyway?

I didn’t know, so I called my 81-year-old New York City financial advisor to find out the other day.  Here’s what he told me.


“Mr. S. Willey, Financial Advisors, Inc.  How may I help you?”

“This is Ken Begley.  I’d like to speak to Mr. Willey.”

“One moment.”

“This is Mr. Willey.  Can I help you?”

“Hey, Mr. Willey, this is Ken Begley.  I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

“Ken, Ken, I always have time for my clients.  I hope you’re not planning to move your account, are you?  I’ve lost so many lately due to the fall.”

“You mean the stock market fall?”

“Nope, the clients fall when they read their first quarter statement and jumped out the window.  Actually, it wasn’t the fall, but the sudden stop at the end that did them in.”

“My house has only one story.  I did jump out the window, but only landed in a sticker bush.  Anyway, I would like to ask you about this ‘national debt’ thing I keep seeing in the news.  Is it something I should be worried about?”

“Worried?  No, you shouldn’t be worried about it at all.  Just take it from me.  I’m 81 years old and have 60 years of experience on Wall Street.  Why, young man, I’ve seen it all.  We’ll steer our way out of this mess and you will hardly know it even happened.  You might even get another tax break.  You definitely have nothing to worry about.  Now, do you feel better?”

“Yes, I do!”

“Ha, ha, ha!   I swear, Ken, I’ve told a lot of whoppers in my time, but that last one sure takes the cake!  I should have been in politics!  Think of how far I could have gone spouting out such nonsensical lies without even cracking a smile.”


“Yes, sir, young man, we’re living in the land of the ‘truly screwed!’  We’ve all lived so ‘high off the hog’ for so long we’d just about fall over sideways if we were told we had to go back to living within our means.”

“But how could this happen’ Mr. Willey.”

“It all boils down to politics’ young man.”


“Yep’ politics.”

“You mean politicians. don’t you?”

“Nope, they’re just the voters’ messenger boys.  You see, politics is when certain people get something of value and someone else pays for it.  It makes me tingle all over just thinking about it.  After all, if you had to pay for everything you wanted, then what would be the point of politics?  Woe to the politician that tries to get us to pay now for what we want today.  Our only problem is we let it get out of hand for about four decades, and there are repercussions.”

“How bad are the repercussions?”

“You remember when you went to your nephew Ryan’s wedding, and you and your brother-in-law Bernard went to town on that ‘free bar’ at the wedding reception?”

“Do I?  We found Bernard up at the top of a 50-foot tree in his underwear around midnight.  He claimed he flew up there.  Shoot, I had to fly up and get him down.  My head hurt for a week.”

“Well, there you are.  That’s about how it’s going to be for the old U.S. of A. when they finally take the debt bottle away from us.  It was a good party while it lasted, though.”

“You don’t know the half of it, Mr. Wiley.  We found out later the bar wasn’t free.”

“Don’t worry, Ken, neither was this.  There’s only one way a nation such as ours will be able to pay off this mountain of debt.  We’re going to have to stick out our jaws, hitch up our pants, throw out our chests, roll up our sleeves and fix this problem the old fashioned way!”

“You mean with hard work?”

“Nope, I mean by cranking up the printing presses.  We’ll shoot out as many phony baloney dollars as we possibly can before they lose all their value and our creditors come after us with pitchforks.

“You’re a smart man Mr. Slick Willey.”

“I know Ken, I know.”

WRITER’S NOTE:  Neither my brother-in-law nor I drink more than one beer a year, and that’s with the local parson after Sunday dinner on a hot July day.  The above incident at my nephew Ryan’s wedding last May was embellished for educational purposes only.