Our Unfunded Liabilities – What If the United States Was A Man Named Joe?

Joe’s Promises

A story about Joe, the man who makes many promises.

There is a man named Joe (J). Joe is a rather spectacular person, or at least he appears to be.

J is well respected and looked up to as a leader and role-model of success, personal power, and financial prowess. Joe has developed such a cache of personal power, that he shares his power by taking care of others in their time of need. J provides strength of character, although the most important way he takes care of others – is financially.

J has a few financial support programs, referred to collectively as Joe’s Promises (JPs). Anyone who enrolls in Joe’s programs is entitled to a financial promise. It is a great financial promise and many people are coming to rely on Joes’s integrity as their sole source of financial support in the certain situations that Joe’s promises cover.

Specifically, each member is entitled to money to cover their medical expenses and money to live on after they reach a certain age.

That’s right, Joe is promising money.

Want some? Most people do. Why wouldn’t you?

So now you have your promises and you feel safe. You’ve got help with your medical expenses – the most outrageous and damaging expenses of all. When you get old and your energy to produce – ie. your earning power – decreases, you’ve got Joe to pay you money and keep you safe. And with JPs, you are safe, aren’t you?

But wait, there’s a problem. Potentially, a big problem.

Problems with Joe

“What’s the problem with Joe?” you overhear being whispered between two other members of Joe’s Promise. You see, as we learned earlier, Joe (J) appears to be spectacular, although the validity of his magnificence has been growing shakey.

J is a social man and a provider. J keeps his financial records public, for all to see and have confidence in his power…and his promises. The problem is – the people do not have confidence in J’s finances. Joe’s finances look bad – real bad – and how many people are depending on super solid JPs?

Word got out about J’s financial problems and some people have begun to talk about it. Those who know are worried. Angry. Devoid of hope. Shocked. Confused. Dumbfounded. Appalled. Preparing for it all to break loose.

Why? Why such drastic reactions? It’s Joe, how bad could it possibly be?

That is exactly what you want to know – how bad could it be – because you’re depending on Joe’s Promises too.

You quite your thoughts as you hear the other members start getting to the nitty gritty. This is what you learn:

1. J earns $15m/year

2. J has current debt of $14.5m

3. J incurs debt at $0.5m/year

4. J has 1 out of of every 2 people in the community enrolled in Joe’s Promises

5. J is promising to pay these people a total of $115m

That’s how bad it is. J is promising to pay $115m and only makes $15m – all of which could technically be required to pay J’s other debts.

Here’s the worst part.

Remember we learned earlier that JPs pay money when people get to a certain age? Well, a bunch of people are about to reach that age – 1 out of 4 people in the entire community. Which means it’s time for J to pay up. Yet, according to Joe’s financials, not only does Joe not have nearly enough money to pay up…Joe’s broke.

All of those people, including yourself, are promised money that Joe does not have.

Upon reflecting on the implications of this horror, your eyes explode wide open, your throat swells, you attempt to swallow the non-existent saliva on your dry tongue, and you immediately rethink your financial life.

“I’ve got to take care of myself.”

From that moment forward you develop income protection and financial self-sufficiency for yourself. J ignores the monster beneath his bed and the people are unknowingly awaiting a surprise.

1. Joe, the United States

2. This story of Joe is a story of the United States.

3. Joe = the United States

4. Joe’s Promises = Entitlement programs and Unfunded liabilities

5. Joe’s numbers (times) 1000 [income, debt, promises, members] = the numbers of the United States

6. Members of Joe’s Promises = the American people

7. You = You, I, and other members of the informed public.

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