There are some days I feel I should not read anything. Every morning I get up at 5:30am run out to my driveway to pick up my newspapers. The Columbian is on my porch and the Wall Street Journal is actually on my driveway. I grab my piece of toast and a cup of coffee and begin my morning ritual. Some mornings I should go back to bed.
Today was one of those mornings. The headlines of the journal reads “U.S. Warned on Debt Load.” Our national credit rating is in danger. The S&P has changed our status from stable to negative due to our growing debt and inability to make decisions. There are currently 19 nationals with a AAA rating like ours, but (get this) we are the only ones with a negative outlook.
If we lose our AAA rating we will join the ranks of other countries that have lost and regained their stellar rating. How would you like to be a part of the management team that runs the organization into the ground?
According to Peter Coy in Business Week, “destroying America’s full faith and credit is no small matter. It’s outrageous to risk doing so for political gain.” This comment brings me to the frustrating part. You know what our illustrious politicians did when they heard about the change? Did they get together to try and work out a deal to get the organization back on track? No, they made political speeches blaming the other side. Amazing!
This is a classic escalation of commitment issue. Management teams make bad decisions and instead of changing course to fix the situation they continue on the same course and commit more resources. They dump more money down a rat hole.
In all fairness to Paul Ryan he is listening to the American public screaming loud and clear get debt under control. His plan is an attempt to accomplish this by making huge cuts to the U.S. budget while maintaining tax breaks. The Democrats want to keep higher levels of spending to maintain entitlements for people.
The fact is our system is insane. As we all know the definition of insane is doing the same things and expecting a different result. We are in a completely different situation than we have ever been before. To think that we can do the same thing and get a different result is not an option. We need a management team that is creative and willing to lead. By lead I mean make the hard decisions because it is right, not because it is politically expedient.
Come on politicians we are going to become Greece and Ireland if we don’t get our act together. Why don’t you try working together for a change instead of trying to make sure you are getting reelected. Run the business well and you will take care of the people.
And that is my thought for the day!