It is normal for parents to want to take care of their children. Most of us who have children want to provide them with a good education if we’re able. Animal mothers in the wild will put their lives on the line to save their young. If you are out for a walk and come across a mother quail and her young, she will sometimes feign a broken wing to distract you so her children can escape to safety. It’s instinctive in animals and in humans. Even amongst criminals in prison, those who are known child abusers have to fear for their lives – there is a rough moral code that says “you don’t hurt children.”
So what are we to say when we the people of the United States and the government that represents us, having lived beyond our means for several decades, decide to take money from our children so that we can increase our standard of living? Back in the Ronald Reagan’s day, a $200 billion deficit seemed enormous and irresponsible, but now comes the news
that the government is proposing to run a deficit of $1.8 trillion this year and to keep on borrowing around a trillion dollars a year for the following ten years. It’s much worse than the President forecasted and it doesn’t even take into account the looming social security and medicare crises.
I say it’s outrageous and immoral. It is a form of generational robbery that prioritizes the needs of those of us 50 and over ahead of the 20-somethings who will be left to clean up our economic mess. It is the inverse of the most fundamental instinctual drive in nature – to take care of one’s own children. And just as getting in over one’s head in personal debt limits one’s options, so doing this at a national level will greatly diminish our children’s options. We’re obligating them to pay for our fun.
Part of the reason that the President and congress can get away with what they’re proposing is that the numbers are so big, people don’t understand them. It helps to look at our national government budget to your own personal budget. So, take the following simple example: Let’s say you make $2,000 a month and have to pay $500 a month in credit card debt. That means you are paying 25% of your income to service your debt.
Now let’s suppose that your expenses rise and exceed your income. To keep up with them, over the course of the year, let’s suppose that you have to keep borrowing more until you find yourself paying $1000 just in interest on your credit card debt. Keep this up and you’ll go bankrupt. What can you do to get out of this situation?
Your choices are to find a higher paying job or cut your expenses. Instead, the current plan is that we will borrow more money and put off the day of reckoning. In its latest budget, the government is proposing that we steal $25,000 per family from the next generation.
We all know from our personal finances that you are better off cutting your lifestyle and living within your means. It will hurt, but it’s better to face up to reality.
What about you? If you’re under 30, you and your family stand to pay the most for this largesse. How do you, the people, feel about this?