A retired 74-year-old from the aerospace industry living in a senior community: It’s a shame that our country has so much debt. From the moment they’re born, future generations will start paying for what is now a $14.3 trillion total debt. It’s also going to affect my Social Security benefits and will reduce my Medicare health insurance and prescription benefits. I have worked very hard to pay into this entitlement and because Congress cannot control their spending they are using my benefits to offset their spending.
A local apartment owner: I’m now charging less and less for rent while my existing tenants are moving more and more family members into small apartment units without telling me. My new tenants don’t want to pay the rent that is specified on the lease and I’m getting constant calls to lower rents so people can pay for food, gasoline, utilities and medical emergencies for their children. I barely collect enough rent to pay the mortgage and maintain the building. I owe more income taxes every year and I do not collect enough rents to pay the IRS. I have consulted my CPA, attorney and Realtor repeatedly to find a way to sell. They all tell me the same thing: Selling will actually give me more income tax debts on this investment property. I have no way out of my financial red tape every month. I think our government has mismanaged our income tax dollars and is now making the individuals and small businesses pay for its over-spending.
A homeowner who is losing his home: I’m sick and tired of all the politics by an overpaid government body. They’re taking our income taxes and giving us nothing in return. The public education system sucks; our children are the dumbest in the country. My wife has been unemployed for more than three years and has no job prospects. I am losing my first home, my three children live with me and we cannot afford the $1,200 monthly rent in our own neighborhood so we’re moving to a $1,000 house in Sun Valley. My wife and I are thinking about moving permanently to Mexico where the cost of living is actually affordable.
A local photographer: I moved here from Maine two years ago. I expected that between beautiful Lake Tahoe and the casino and ski resorts, my photography business would quickly take off. I was shocked to find out that businesses are broke here. Nobody hires a professional photographer at a wedding, anniversary or other events anymore. Ski resorts are not spending the money to advertise on a grand scale. Please get the word out to other self-employed individuals like myself that you cannot make a good living here. The tourism economy is failing and the entire town seems to be hurting. I did not move here to be broke.
An under-employed electrician in the carpentry union: During the real estate peak, I worked constantly and was bringing in a double income by myself. My wife stopped working, we moved into a beautiful four-bedroom home in the suburbs and she stayed home to care for our three children.
But four years ago, construction in Reno/Sparks stopped abruptly. My wife eventually divorced me due to the financial hardship. Two years ago my unemployment benefits ran out, I lost my house and filed bankruptcy. My electrician buddies have all slowly been moving out of the area. I no longer have a promising career and am too old to be retrained for another career. I did not pay 20 years of union dues for this barely-there, on-call career.
Is this fair? I am very angry and will probably stay angry for a long time. I do not have a way out of this government-sponsored mess. When will this bad economy ever end?
Is this debt deal good for our local citizens?
We’ve already lost so much but unfortunately the bad economy looks like it is here to stay for the foreseeable future, deal or no deal. We’ve lost confidence in our government as they tax our smaller, hard earned paychecks and create more and more political turmoil.
What will our lawmakers ultimately do to bring positive change to our economy before we completely lose faith in the American dream?
Annie Christian is a real estate broker and owner of The Annie Christian Real Estate Group. She helps with everything from buying and selling to foreclosure and short sale. To submit a question, call 351-5117. Her website is www.anniechristian.com.