I keep hearing pundits and business people insisting that our economy is getting better. In the very short run, that might be true, but WHO is going to pay for our massive $13 trillion ($10 trillion of it incurred in the last year) federal debt? No one seems to have an answer to that question. Every man, woman and child in this country now owes over $350,000 to the federal government. Wake up!!!! Here’s a staggering comparison – the USA vs. Canada:

Federal debt to GDP: Canada – 36%; USA – 93%
Unemployment Rate: Canada – 8.2%; USA – 9.7%
Total Health Spend (public and private) to GDP: Canada – 10%; USA – 15%
Total Defense Spend to GDP: Canada – 1%; USA – 5%
Estimate Household Consumption to GDP: Canada – 54%; USA – 69%

Let the good times roll?

Federal debt in Canada has not grown materially in 15 years. Our debt grew 400% in the last year. Our politicians argue that it was necessary to save the economy. Actually, they did it to save their collective a–! The only thing that is (temporarily) saving the US dollar is colossal mismanagement in Europe, where the only way to preserve the integrity of the Euro is to let Greece default – not gonna happen!

What a mess!

Here’s what you can do: Be an example FOR others rather than following the example OF others when it comes to living a prudent, responsible financial life by:

• spending less than you make.
• paying yourself first.
• incurring minimum debt.
• paying off credit card, auto and mortgage balances as soon as its practical
to do so.
• teaching your children to be financially literate.
• becoming financially literate yourself, if you aren’t.

Some very smart financial people are predicting dire consequences for our economy as a result of financial mismanagement. You cannot impact that except by voting for politicians who have, in the past, demonstrated fiscal restraint. (And no, I don’t know many other than Peter Schiff from Connecticut.) You can, however, live in a way that maximizes your personal chances of weathering any storm.

Thanks to Ben Peress, my financial manager in McLean, Virginia, for the USA vs. Canada stats. In the fall of 2008 when it "hit the fan," Ben saved us. If you’re looking for a guy to handle your $, he’d be a great choice.

Copyright 2010 Rand Golletz. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Rand Golletz is the managing partner of Rand Golletz Performance Systems, a leadership development, executive coaching and consulting firm that works with senior corporate leaders and business owners on a wide range of issues, including interpersonal effectiveness, brand-building, sales management, strategy creation and implementation. For more information and to sign up for Rand's free newsletter, The Real Deal, visit http://www.randgolletz.com.