This post is just some thoughts on the disturbing political craziness in America lately. I wrote a few blog posts about the latest Trump drama with the FBI raiding Trump’s home, so I’m skipping that today. With the recent Democrat-created, Inflation Reduction Act (green-energy/healthcare plan), that President Biden signed into law last week and now the executive action this week, where Biden announced $10,000 per student college loan cancellation, I’m left wondering how soon our government’s financial house of cards will collapse. The Inflation Reduction Act was $750 billion dollars more in spending, just as the US passed two quarters of negative growth (a recession).
I went to college one year after high school and my parents struggled to pay for my first semester and I took out a student loan for the second semester. I dropped out of college and joined the Army and I paid off that student loan. One thing that seems obvious is “debt forgiveness,” like President Biden just doled out for student loans, won’t be coming for average Americans, who have racked up more consumer debt than they can handle. This was just a pre-election vote-buying effort. Plus, seeing that the Inflation Reduction Act includes expedited hiring of 87,000 more IRS agents, well, it’s obvious the Biden administration is gearing up to take every cent possible from hard-working Americans to help fund their green-energy dreams.
While the fiscal insanity in Washington should alarm all of us, Washington isn’t alone in crazy fiscal policy, because according to the figures of credit card debt in America, so are millions upon millions of Americans, who are racking up huge amounts of credit card and other consumer debt as inflation is soaring. According to this CNN report from August 2, 2022, “US household debt surpassed $16 trillion for the first time ever during the second quarter, the New York Federal Reserve said Tuesday.” This article also states, “Over the past year, credit card debt has jumped by $100 billion, or 13%, the biggest percentage increase in more than 20 years. Credit cards typically charge high interest rates when balances aren’t fully paid off, making this an expensive form of debt.”
It’s easy to fume about the government’s reckless fiscal policies, but each of can control our own personal finances. Too many people dig themselves into too much personal debt trying to achieve or maintain a lifestyle that is beyond their means. With inflation climbing, most people will have to make hard decisions and for many people that will require cutting out extras and streamlining their expenses to make ends meet. Unfortunately, a whole lot of people are racking up massive amounts of credit card debt to maintain a standard of living their means can’t cover with the rising cost of living.
I can only speak for my own small town’s grocery stores, but inflation is continuing to climb every time I shop. Shortages continue to crop up too – no potatoes yesterday, except for a few bags of red potatoes. I am glad I canned some potatoes, have instant and dehydrated, plus I have some frozen fries and tater tots in the freezer, but I can guarantee you, if the potato supply situation improves once this year’s potato crops make it to stores, I will be canning more potatoes. Nothing has really improved in the overall financial picture in my small area of America – prices on just about everything have continued to climb and while gas prices have dropped, that’s largely due to the Biden administration releasing over a million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is a short-sighted plan.
I mentioned in other blog posts that this move by the Biden White House can’t continue indefinitely, they have no concrete plan on replenishing the SPR and are recklessly leaving America unprepared for a serious crisis. Once they stop releasing that much oil into the market, gas prices could sky-rocket, but it would happen after the November elections this year – and that’s the whole point of their using the SPR. It’s a political gimmick geared toward the November election. The SPR release, the Inflation Reduction Act, which has nothing to do with reducing inflation or this student loan forgiveness plan are intended to buy liberal votes and energize Democrat voters to show up on election day. Here’s a letter from last week, that Energy Sec. Granholm, sent top oil refiners:
Of course, economic collapse and massive upheavals seem likely to hit Europe before the US, but we definitely are positioned to be facing some unchartered political, economic, and societal chaos in the coming months. While I’ve come across all sorts of good emergency preparedness advice, it’s one thing being prepared for a limited emergency like a natural disaster vs. being prepared for a long-term emergency that ebbs and flows, which also has the potential to substantially impact our lives in ways we can’t even predict yet. I’m still struggling with figuring out my own preparedness plan in this situation.
I’ve been trying to continue stocking up food and other supplies, downsizing my lifestyle where I can, and trying to improve my gardening skills and other skills, like gaining experience with various food preservation methods, like home canning and dehydrating, but I also bought a book. Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, which explores several old-fashioned food preservation methods, like lacto-fermentation, preserving in oil, salt, sugar, alcohol, plus dehydrating.
I’m still following some news, but I’m more focused on trying to improve my own skills in several areas. Getting back to my sewing and needlework is on my list too, because I’d like to improve my darning and mending skills. I always loved working on decorative needlework, not fixing clothes and damaged fabric. My mother was very good at darning and mending. She used various stitches and techniques she learned growing up during the Great Depression and she never bought into the disposable clothing habits that took hold in America. My mother had her priorities right – master the important basic skills first, before the frivolous stuff.
Everyone’s preparedness goals will probably vary, but with all the ominous problems from disruptions in supply chains, economic crises, geopolitical instability in the world, serious droughts (here in America and abroad) things look gloomy. Add in the rancorous state of American politics, where President Biden just yesterday, once again smeared “MAGA Republicans” (however he defines that) as semi-fascists and the NY Post reported, “Gov. Kathy Hochul, who hasn’t proven shy about issuing orders, had one for the state’s Republicans this week — all 5.4 million of them: “Just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK?” she said. “You are not New Yorkers.” So much for President Biden being the president who would return us to normal and unite America.
I’m also looking around my house trying to decide which home repair projects I need to get done now and which can wait. I’ve been tackling some small things myself and asking my sons for help with a few things, but I have some bigger projects I’ll need to hire someone else to do.
Each little accomplishment matters and every act of kindness we extend to others or which are extended to us matter too. I’m trying to focus on not criticizing people (in person and online)- yeah, except for politicians, because I am still going to criticize them. We can’t change the world with some big swooping action, but all the little acts of kindness can add up and truly change hearts.