Deficits & Debt Aren't Bad

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I’m totally comfortable with credit, deficits, and debt. As a woman and a small business owner, I wouldn’t be here without debt. I financed my education through Sallie Mae. I own a home thanks to my mortgage company. (In fact, I own two homes.) I started my business with a dream and an airplane ticket (purchased on a credit card) to a blogging conference.

I look around the world and shudder when I see cash-based societies. America would look like Afghanistan if we didn’t have a credit market. Women wouldn’t be empowered to own businesses. Girls and boys wouldn’t be educated. We would be ruled by immediate gratification instead of long-term thinking. That’s right. The concept of debt can help us make better strategic decisions because we can think, prepare, and spend past the next season or cycle.

Credit markets and deficit-spending are tools that are often misused and misapplied by greedy special interests. You can blame a person for taking out a subprime mortgage, or you can have a more holistic view and blame an industry that targeted poor families and promised them a bill of goods. Don’t even get me started about the industry that rolled up all that bad debt into a ‘book of business’ and then auctioned off that risk to the highest bidder.

So let me write this clearly: I’m pro-debt and pro-deficit. I want to feed our children and protect our citizens. I want strong borders and a strong military infrastructure. I want a space program. I want universal healthcare. I want to help small businesses achieve future profitability. I want jobs. I want human rights. And I’m okay with asking our children to pay this off in the future because we’ll be making their future better.

Am I crazy? What do you think?

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