Debt – Why Are We Addicted To It?


Why are we addicted to debt in America?  We go into debt to buy our cars; we borrow money to finance our college education; we get mortgages to buy our houses; we use credit cards to pay for our everyday expenses.  It seems like every time we turn around, we are taking on more and more debt.

Our federal government is in on the act too.  The government debt is over $12 trillion, and growing rapidly.  We have become a nation totally dependent on debt to function.

I don’t mean to imply that all debt is bad.  Used wisely, debt can be an important tool.  For example, most Americans would not be able to afford a house without mortgage debt. 

But honestly, as a society, haven’t we taken it too far?  I believe the root of the problem is a mentality our society has adopted which basically says, “I’ve got to have it now.”  We’ve lost the art of only buying what we can afford, or saving up for a major expenditure.  Even our federal government debt is largely the result of our politicians trying to satisfy our desires.  The politicians want to be re-elected, so they give us what we want (or what they think we want), even when the money isn’t there to pay for it.

So what can we do?  I believe the change has to begin on an individual basis.  Each of us needs to carefully examine how we use debt; and if we’re not using it wisely, we need to make the necessary changes in our personal lives. 

We also need to carefully examine what our expectations are of the federal government.  If we are going to get out of the debt crisis we are in, we’ve got to stop expecting the federal government to meet our every need.  Only then can we expect our politicians to start acting responsibly with the federal debt.

Thank you for visiting this site and reading this article on our federal debt. Your interest in the national debt and related topics is very much appreciated, and you are invited to read additional articles on this site.