I've said it before and I'll say it again. America has a spending problem. From the government, to the citizens, people seem to think they can spend money even if they don't have it.
As Ben Franklin once said:
"If you can't pay for a thing, don't buy it. If you can't get paid for it, don't sell it. Do this, and you will have calm and drowsy nights, with all of the good business you have now and none of the bad. If you have time, don't wait for time."
Personally I blame a large deal of this on the credit card philosophy of today. People get used to buying EVERYTHING on credit, so much so that they buy houses that they can't afford and later on when they get laid off, they don't have enough extra money set aside to keep their mortgage payment current.
It's called planning ahead, buying only things you can afford, and setting a budget. Any time you see "Buy a car, BAD CREDIT and NO CREDIT OK!", you can thank them for playing a big part in this problem.
I had a little voice in my head two years ago tell me this was going to happen. My wife thought I was nuts, but I started pouring money into all of our debts and payed them off except a small amount we now have on the card. I'm glad I did. Since I've developed a habit of "not spending", I've noticed an increase in available money I thought was impossible. It is amazing how buying only what you need makes such a difference.
Now if we can just get the government to do the same and wise up.