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Comments of the week, debt ceiling edition

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Keep the comments coming!One of the best parts of running Bargaineering so far is getting to read all the incisive comments left by readers. Here are a few that stood out on some of the big issues we blogged about this week, including the debt-limit fight going on in Washington, D.C.:

Here’s one comment from Freeby50, who’s seems to be feeling a little more confident than I am that Congress will work this out:

No. I am not worried about a default because I don’t believe it will happen. What’s happening right now is just politics and I don’t believe they have any intention of letting the government default. Just like the last time… and the time before. There have been over a dozen government shutdowns in the past and they’ve debated the debt ceiling every time it comes up lately.

Of course if it did happen it was be a major disaster. And that’s why they won’t let it happen. Even though our politicians act like idiots, we have to see through that and realize they are (almost all) very clever people who know what they’re doing. They’ll make a lot of noise about stuff that scares people for political reasons. That is what they’re doing right now. Fear tactics.

I agree it’s still unlikely we’ll see a default, but I do think there are some legislators who truly believe a default wouldn’t be a big deal, and that’s scary.

Jim doesn’t share my confidence in the new nominee for Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen:

What is downright scary is that she was blindsided by the Great Recession and the housing crisis. A business executive who studied business in college was telling me at the time that the recession was the perfect inverted curve and easily predictable. Real estate investors who had no college education saw it coming. Yet she saw nothing wrong. Amazing, just amazing!

Jim, I probably should have been a little more precise with my words in the original post. Yellen definitely saw a recession coming. She said this in 2007: “The possibilities of a credit crunch developing and of the economy slipping into a recession seem all too real. At the time of our last meeting, I held out hope that the financial turmoil would gradually ebb and the economy might escape without serious damage. Subsequent developments have severely shaken that belief.”

But she’s also admitted since that, like a lot of people, she didn’t expect to see one of the worst financial crises in the history of the country. Don’t know if that makes it any better, but I figured I’d provide some context.

This one from Sue F. on getting the most from HOA fees brought some real-world experience into the conversation:

Our subdivision’s HOA is extremely overpriced for what we get. Firstly, some residents pay a lot more than others. No one can figure out why that is. We are one of the higher ones, paying almost $400 a year. Yeah, they clear the snow off the streets sometimes, but blow it right up into owners’ driveways, making it difficult for us to get onto the street. Sometimes, we have to shovel the snow that they put there. What kind of beneficial service is that? Also, Christmas wreaths at all the entrances are hung in early December; good timing on that one. But the removal is some point in March or April, months after the wreaths have died. I’m curious if anyone else has problems like this.

Sue, I’ve definitely heard some horror stories about HOAs around here, and I think the majority are fairly overpriced relative to the services they provide.

This one from Don, who could relate to a reader’s story of messing up her first car purchase:

That is the exact same thing that happened to me when I bought my first vehicle out of college. I regretted the decision so much I ended up driving the truck for 10 years as a reminder. I was going to drive it into the ground until a policy at my work changed and I had to get something new. I just bought a new vehicle and did it the right way this time and have no regrets. That first vehicle taught me so many lessons that I’ll never forget.

And this comment from Fabclimbers on Miranda’s post about student loans really struck a cord for me, as a guy trying to make time for my daughters while working a lot of long days:

When I was starting college, I read that accounting was going to be in demand. I was pretty good at it in school, so I pursued that as a career. Someone failed to include the fact that in order to hold a good job I would be working 60 to 70 hours a week, on holidays and many weekends at Christmas time, not to mention every New Year’s day for the last 25 years.

I have never been unemployed, but my family doesn’t even know who I am. My grown children don’t call me because I never spent enough time with them.

I’d stay away from accounting if I were you.

Thanks to everyone who came to the site and commented. You make the site a much better place to spend time!

(Photo: Flickr user geishaboy500)

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5 Responses to “Comments of the week, debt ceiling edition”

  1. To the accounting person, try to find a job in corporate accounting somewhere. I work at a manufacturing plant and pretty much work 40 hours a week. It isn’t bad either, but doesn’t pay anywhere near as much as public accounting.

  2. Karl says:

    To the accountant: buy your own business and use your skills to manage it. I am surprised as a small business owner and small real estate investor how my knowledge of ROI (arithmetic), tax laws, common sense and frugality have helped me and how uncommon these skills are. Accounting is the language of business. I speak it.

    And if I go bust I can ways go back to accounting.

  3. Karl says:

    On debt ceiling: I think that congress will sort it out as their boss (corporate America and the .001%) would loose too much. It’s that simple: politicians are waiters and contributors are the diners: bad service and you’ll get no tip and loose your job. (And no I am not a liberal- we just spend too much on everything: military, corporate handouts, healthcare, welfare, etc. Cut it all by 5% a year automatically and start thinking about how much more to cut in 5 years)

  4. jestjack says:

    First IMHO Yellen…big mistake….best I can tell basically “a nodding head” that went along with whatever Ben said. Say what you want about Larry Summers but he is “no shrinking violet” and was immensely qualified for the job. He’s smart… he knows it and doesn’t tolerate fools long. I think he would have been perfect much like Paul Volker was the right guy at the right time. Who can forget Volcker addressing Congress with a cigar in his mouth and a no smoking sign on the desk before him? He did what had to be done to kill inflation…interest rates soared to 20%…but it worked. Hyper inflation was tamed. I worry about the debt ceiling issue as it becomes Congress’ way of playing “chicken”. What floors me is that as I understand it….after this is behind us all those furloughed workers will get their pay…even though they performed no work. My thought is these guys are “locked out” and therefore should put in for unemployment benefits. AND for the record …how about an amendment that during future goverment shutdowns Congress or their staff do not get paid as well. I’m thinking the shutdowns would be very short-lived…..

  5. Rose says:

    It took 60 yrs for the UK to pay back loans from US/Canada to keep from going bankrupt after WWII. Germany just paid WWI reparation debts; took them 90+ years; still owing for WWII damages. Bush stole monies from Social Security and borrowed trillions of $$$ – now Congressman Gingrey says cuts to Social Security are in the budget-talks during the shutdown. No wonder favor for the R-party is at a 17-yr low. Our generation has been ripped off with sequesters/shutdowns. Enough $$$ to bailout banks but no jobs & no gov’t services when so many are in dire need? It’s despicable to take food out of the mouths of millions of hardworking Americans that cannot afford HC insurance premiums! Oh yes, it was bad timing for “Obamacare” and it was sabotaged from the gitgo by over 100 Repub admendments…and Obama signed it! Lesson: When terrorist buttheads are holding America hostage – don’t back down. Fight against tyranny.


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