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What’s another trillion dollars?

Jul 18th, 2011 by Dr. Elia | 0

We recently celebrated the Fourth of July, honoring America’s independence. Our family has a tradition of going up to Breckenridge, Colo., a beautiful mountain ski town about half an hour from Vail. Every year we go to the local parade and watch the fireworks at night. It is quintessential small-town Americana at its best: picnics, fishing, family reunions, all sorts of festivities coupled with the beauty of this land.

As you can tell, I am very proud of this country and have never been ashamed to admit it.

Following the Fourth of July celebrations, we faced an increasing number of thunderstorms almost on a daily basis. Now, summer rains are beautiful to witness, but the ferocity of these storms the last few days has been exceptional and unusual.

We had a big aspen tree uprooted a block from our house, and the next-door neighbor’s trampoline was picked up, slammed to the ground and demolished. Thunder, lightning, hail and wind have accompanied each storm, and they seem to be getting more severe.

In less than a month, specifically Aug. 2., the federal government will reach the limit on its debt, which now stands at an astonishing $14 trillion! Those numbers are incomprehensible to me. It’s like saying my family has a credit card debt somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million. It sounds ridiculous of course when we put it in those terms.

Everyone knows we’ll never pay it back, and yet we’d like to raise our debt ceiling, which is exactly what the White House and Congress are trying to negotiate right now. Raising a debt limit so we don’t “bounce” any checks to our creditors may be a temporary solution, but it’s not facing or dealing with our monumental problems.

What happens when the biggest economy in the world defaults on its payments is a scenario that nobody wants to see come to fruition. The so-called experts have described the consequences of such an event as catastrophic and dangerously unpredictable. So if we must increase the debt ceiling for now to avoid catastrophe, it has to be done with a clear understanding that it is followed with a realistic plan of action that will lead to increased deficit reduction. Anything less than such an agreement is like kicking the can down the road, which is how we got into this mess to begin with.


Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women’s issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of “DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married” and he has an upcoming CD entitled “The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!” He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.

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