Jackie Gingrich Cushman

To continue this example, pretend that a family makes $19,302 per year, and is $126,728 in debt. They plan on spending $33,911 this year and are borrowing an additional $14,607 to do so. So, in an attempt to make ends meet, they sit around the kitchen table and decide to cut back. At the end of a long, hard review, they agree to spend $186 less than they had originally planned for next year. Additionally, they promised that they would spend less later on (the ten year figure for debt deal savings of $2.1 trillion equals $18,648 per household).

They are still spending more that they are making. Should they congratulate themselves on spending less than originally planned, or should they find more cuts in spending?

Wow. The challenge that we have as a nation is that we have become used to our government spending more than it takes in. When things go wrong, the government spends.

Government spending cannot be the solution because we cannot continue to spend ever-increasing sums of money, unless, we print more money. But if we do that, inflation will eventually catch up to us. So what is the solution? To spend less and engage more. "Seventy-seven percent of Americans said the U.S. economy is getting worse in the week ending August 7," noted a Gallup press release this past Tuesday. "This is up from 71 percent two weeks prior and 64 percent a month ago. Substantially more Americans say the U.S. Economy is getting worse right now than said so at this time a year ago."

Once again, the phrase coined by James Carville, and used by Bill Clinton during his 1992 successful presidential race comes to mind, "It's the economy, stupid."

Jobs, jobs, and more jobs should be the focus. With 25.1 million persons who are unemployed, underemployed or discouraged, we have to figure out a way to create jobs. There is a lot of untapped energy and potential in these people, if we can just figure out how to get them the jobs that they want.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.