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Hey Now, You’re In Debt

State of the Union: On fiscal responsibility and Smash Mouth.
90s music
1999 albums "Astro Lounge" by Smash Mouth, and "Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 3"

For once, I wasn't the first one to bring up country music on a podcast episode.

Last week, Josh Hawley introduced a bill to fight insane credit card interest rates, otherwise known as usury, which got the podcast crew thinking about the “olden days,” when it was looked down on to buy on credit. Helen plugged the (incredible) Aaron Tippin song “I Got It Honest,” a 1994 release that extols the virtues of hard work and living within one's means.


Of course, I had to add my own country music commentary. Aaron Watson channeled similar anti-credit themes in his 2015 song “The Underdog”: Don't buy a thing unless you can pay in cash / Go ahead and throw those credit cards in the trash.” As we surpass $1 trillion in household credit card debt, I think it's far to ask: How did buying on credit become so commonplace?

Speaking of the '90s, Steve Harwell died this week. The name might not be familiar, but the voice certainly is for very kid who came of age in the late '90s. The front man of Smash Mouth left an indelible mark on my childhood. I vividly remember clicking the repeat button on my 1999 Discman for Track 1 of Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 3. “All Star” was the sound of a different time in American life. RIP.

For those other 90s kids, here's some nostalgia for you:

Listen to the whole episode of “TAC Right Now” here.


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