Imagine the scene. Husband comes home from a long day at the office. He’s had to endure the commute home from hell, standing like a sardine in a tin can, whilst some drunk next to him breathes alcoholic fumes over him alongside the body odour of the carriage.
Wife pours him a long drink and drapes her arms around him from behind.
Then she utters those words “Darling! I’ve got something to tell you!”
Then his world comes crumbling down as she pours out the truth that she has run up £50,000 debt on several credit cards, paying for various handbags, shoes and designer clothes, that of course have only been worn once and never seen the light of day again.
Being bored at home all day she started playing bingo online, and got quite addicted that’s where the housekeeping money has gone – thousands of pounds frittered away on some hope that she might win the next big jackpot.
The utility bills are piling up, as she never actually got round to popping them on to direct debit.
There is barely enough to cover food and last week she had to try several cards as they kept getting rejected.
But … (as she quivers her lip, flutters her eyelashes and goes all gaga on him) she still loves him and hopes he can forgive her. She tried to sort things out by selling her jewellery to some internet firm – they grabbed the antique items and gave her a pittance – when she realised her mistake and tried to get them to return it, they offered that she could buy them back at face value, the true price that is, not the price they’d paid her. She tried to get a loan, but with no job she was unsuccessful…
What’s he to do?
Reckon he has 2 choices:
Pat her on the head, say “there, there, it’s OK darling, there’s nothing at all to worry your pretty little head about. Just keep spending money like there’s no tomorrow and everything will work out!”
Turn round and tell her what a stupid idiot she’s been, and that she’s lucky they haven’t yet been forced out of their house, and he won’t be suing for divorce … yet. then tell her it’s got to stop – the spending. He asks for all the credit cards, bills, etc. Removes her laptop, i-phone and any access to the internet so she can’t fritter away money on bingo. Cuts up her credit cards and says that he will be in charge of the budget and will want account for everything she spends, itemized to the letter. Puts the bills in a pile and sorts out top priority ones first. Phones up credit card companies and arranges ways to repay, ditto the utility bills. He then takes her firmly by the shoulders and says that until the debt is paid off it’s going to be tough, painful and they will have to cut their cloth accordingly – screw keeping up with the Joneses. It’s time to get the house in shape before they can even think about ways to increase their ‘affluence’.
Now, could somebody please tell me what the difference is between the scenario above and trying to sort out the national debt?