Have you ever gotten a raise at work or a new job or just come into some unexpected dough and gotten cocky? I call it "cash cocky."
It's that brief euphoria when you realize you've suddenly got more wiggle room in your cash flow and you're liking the flow and you're going with the flow.
Well, right now, Democrats in Washington are feeling cash cocky.
What else could explain the president not even mentioning our debt in his State of the Union address? Or Nancy Pelosi and -- today -- Sen. Tom Harkin not even thinking we have a spending problem?
They've got to be seeing something we don't or smoking something we're not. I'll assume the former, although I'm thinking the latter. And I suspect I know why they're acting the way they are: They're cash cocky.
They're looking at the markets and saying, wow. And they're looking at a surprising January budget surplus -- the first one in years -- and saying, double wow.
They're assuming that revenue from taxes they wanted proves the merits of avoiding spending cuts they never wanted. They're cocky. They're cash cocky.
But here's the thing about being cash cocky -- you need to keep making cash to stay cocky. Just like you need to keep getting big raises to keep that cash flowing. Less cash starts flowing in, it's back to fretting about all that cash flowing out.
But here's why I'm fretting about Washington -- Washington's not fretting! At least not the president who, far from reining in spending, is proposing hundreds of billions of dollars more of it.
You see, that's the thing about being cash cocky. You're cocky enough to think you'll always have the cash and cocky enough to say stupid things like, "Well, you know, as a percentage of GDP, this debt of ours isn't that bad."
You're assuming, of course, that the GDP continues growing and the cash you just stumbled upon keeps coming.
What if it doesn't?
It's like the lottery winner who goes on a huge spending spree and wakes up one morning and wonders where all the dough went. Maybe if that lottery winner had first paid off her bills before creating new ones, she'd have avoided this mess.
We didn't even win a lottery and, thanks to Washington, we're in a much bigger mess!
And all because these guys are cash cocky. Spending cash we don't have on stuff we can't afford and ignoring our collective tapped out Visa bill and assuming it doesn't matter.
Because here's the thing about bills -- they're always there. And here's the thing about new-found dough -- it rarely stays.