Federal Government and Detailed Cash Planning – Welcome to Our World!

Not to minimize the severity of the problem, or the potential downside of a default — but,  as an entrepreneur I can’t help but chuckle at some of the hand-wringing going on among our national leaders on both sides of the aisle.  “We may have to choose who gets paid first, and who does not!”  goes the refrain.  What a horrible thing!  Well, welcome to our world.

This morning’s Washington Post carried an article about certain analysts speculating that we have until August 8th or August 10th, or even until the end of August before the federal government is forced to miss some obligations.  This is due to higher than expected daily cash receipts.  I had been wondering when we were going to see a revision in the projected date of running out of cash.  The August 2nd date has been in place for at least 2 or 3 months.  As any cash planner knows, things change, and you need to update those projections frequently.  According to the Post article, the Treasury reported that the federal government had over $85 billion in cash on Friday.


What they need are a few seasoned entrepreneurs to take on the cash planning for a few months.  We’d whip things into shape faster than you can say “Small Business Credit Crunch” or “TARP” or “Goldman Sachs.”  First thing is that you don’t delay social security and payments to veterans as your first choice.  I’d start with the most profitable defense contractors, beltway bandits, Congressional members and aides, and others feeding at the federal trough.  My fellow entrepreneurs – you know the drill.

By the way, just how did we get to the point where we have to borrow 40% of the money we spend each month?  Sounds like someone’s been asleep at the switch.  Out in the real world, we don’t have that luxury.  Time to get the cow out of the ditch.  Then figure out why it fell into the ditch in the first place.  And make sure it never falls into the ditch again.

While I’m on my soap box, let me just say that we entrepreneurs – you know, the ones running small companies comprising 1/2 of our GDP, spending $5 trillion a year, accounting for most private sector job growth – are not being heard in this debate.  We can help plot a way forward.  Just give a chance.  Doing something about the Small Business Credit Crunch would be a good start.  Re-writing the tax code couldn’t hurt either.  Enough of this political theater! The key to our economy right now is job growth.  If you’d just remove some of the shackles, we’ll revive our animal spirits and remind the country of what we are capable of.  In the meantime, I am happy to help with the cash planning.