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Rich Paulsen - What’s Up

It is time to get your flu shot

The federal health folks are recommending that you get your flu shot right now. There has been a big outbreak of the flu over in Australia. Due to travel and other factors, it may land in the USA sometime soon.

Most, but not all, health care plans cover the shot. They run about $38 if you don’t have a health care insurer. It’s still a bargain, because if you get the flu it will cost you more for that doctors visit and medicine than the cost of the shot.

Plus, if the weather stays warm this winter we will all be more susceptible due to everybody getting around and about. And, if you have kids or work with the public, you always have a greater chance of catching the bug.


I see the Scratch Cupcake truck made an appearance in Creston on Tuesday. I would guess they sold out by the looks of the lines in front of the truck.

I went by the line a couple of times and it looked like about 90 percent of the people standing in line were female. I’m not sure how many the truck holds, but folks were carrying out cupcakes by the dozen. I read where the truck is booked up until 2019 and you can book it up till 2025 if you would like.

Lucky Penny

I see Iowa State Savings Bank is hiding lucky pennies around the area starting Sept. 18 which are worth $25 if you find one. It’s kind of the “find a penny and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck” theory!

Credit cards

I read that credit card spending went up to $33 billion last quarter. Wallethub says we are now on track to surpass the $1 trillion mark in spending by the end of the year. The average household balance is almost $8,000. These figures are looking strangely close to the numbers that took place right before the last recession started. That’s not a good sign. Folks aren’t paying off their credit cards and it looks like it could come back to haunt us!

Speaking of debt

The national debt went over the $20 trillion mark this past Monday. That’s not a good thing!

If you made $40,000 per year it would take 25 million years to make a trillion dollars! If you lived to be 80, you would have to save $34 million every day to have a trillion dollars, which means you would have to save $680 million per day every day for 80 years to pay off the national debt. Wow!

Interest on the debt is “only” $268 billion per year or $7,710 per year for every man, woman and child in the United States. If we were to pay off the debt, every person would have to come up with almost $62,000. Long story short is that we now spend almost $4 trillion as a nation each year and only bring in $3.3 trillion, so it is only going to get worse as time goes on unless, of course, we quit spending or tax everyone some more to make up the difference.

A lot of people don’t understand that all this debt will help keep the interest rate low for a long time due to the fact that for every 1 percentage point the rate goes up, you add another $160 billion onto the interest. Also, the low interest rates are making many pension plans unstable. More plans are biting the bullet everyday. More plans are becoming under-funded every day. It will affect our economy in many ways coming up, and not in a good way. Economics lesson 101 has now ended!

Thought for the week: “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – Bill Clinton

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