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Dave Ramsey

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Liz Pulliam Weston

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What Obama Needs to Do About Debt

What Obama Needs to Do About Debt

Now that the election's over, the real work begins. Already pols and pundits, as well as writers across the globe, are offering advice about what should take place in Obama's first days and weeks as President.

Gosh. And we thought that after you became leader of the free world, things got easier.

An interesting bit appeared today on what Obama should do to reduce the nation's debt during his first 30 days in office. The author says that the president-elect will have a very narrow window of about 30-60 days to send a clear message about where we are heading financially. Some points for action he includes are:

  • Sending a very clear signal that we are going to begin to live within our means, spend what we earn, eventually begin to save. This requires a bipartisan program that makes both Democrats and Republicans most unhappy as we begin to restructure our debt.
  • Picking and choosing who gets saved. We cannot spend a few hundred billion more, every week, without major consequences. Some banks, some major companies, cannot be saved.
  • Creating budget transparency. CEOs who exceeded a budget by as much, or hid as much debt, as most governments routinely do would, at best, be fired. More likely they would be jailed. We need to apply a simplified Sarbanes Oxley to business and to state and federal government. While cutting in some places, the U.S does have to keep fast-growing start ups alive; it's where more jobs are being generated.

His final point is perhaps the best one: this financial crisis WILL pass. But it's going to take work and commitment on everyone's part. Let us know what you think the new president should do about the economy, and what you're doing to reduce debt as well.

Posted: 11/7/08

It's so much easier to say than do, but I'm getting much better at living within my means. Our country will be in a much better place sooner if we could all be a little better about such a simple rule.


I love what people are saying about Obama's seriousness and his inclusive and collaborative style. He's not going to isolate himself or just listen to a few out of touch cronies.

I hope the knuckleheads in Congress will do the right thing and get behind Obama to make real change in this country a reality.