My children had a favorite childhood song. Its silly but it made them laugh. Its first line went something like, Im being swallowed by a boa constrictor. It tells what we thought to be an improbable tale of somone being swallowed alive.
By SARALEE RHOADS
Special to The Star
But perhaps it is not too far-fetched after all.
The world seems to revolve around money, so much so that a regard for the morality of spending money has taken a nose dive, and robbery of future generations is the norm. Of course I speak of the national debt.
Republicans and Democrats, both cut from the same cloth, like to spend money, each on different perks or toys. I find little difference in them. Certainly each rewards favorite interest groups.
Special interest groups are not endowed with a conscience, contrary to the individual, who must stand up to the scrutiny of society.
Most of the families I know carefully budget their money, live responsibly, pay their bills on time and save for a rainy day.
The local businesses they patronize depend on the solvency of these ordinary people to continue the delicate fabric of enterprise, and surprisingly, it works. If families can do it, why cant our government?
Surely shoes and groceries have their complement in guns and subsidies. Big numbers have more zeroes in them, but really, do legislators find it absolutely impossible to live within their means?
Learning to live debt free requires a fundamental shift in the object of life. Instead of cutting corners, it requires cutting wants.
Learning frugality begins in the home, when a young one breaks a toy and must live without it or wait a while for its replacement. It comes from cleaning plates and growing gardens and canning vegetables.
Born of delayed gratification and etched into the practical details of life, debt-free living is a concept whose time has come.
I hear a lot of ordinary people talk about saving for something rather than putting it on the card, forcing the delayed payment to compete with yet another emerging need.
But not our legislators.
Until legislators in our society willingly learn and demonstrate frugality, indebtedness will continue to be a plague upon our nation, and our children and our childrens children. We like to throw stones, blaming the government for uncontrolled spending, which is true.
But in reality, it began with entitled citizens who neglected their moral duty to pay as they went through life, borrowing for college, borrowing for cars, borrowing for new furniture, borrowing for a bigger and better house, borrowing for a campaign and carrying that same philosophy with them into elected office.
We must require fiscal responsibility from those elected, hold them to it and elect more responsible people in their place if they refuse.
Let me be clear: Simply arguing over a reduction in spending is not living within our means. If we fail to do this now, it will swallow us later.
Citizens: Do you sense the shadow of the boa constrictor slithering ever closer? Act now to avoid annihilation.
Dont be swallowed up in debt.
Saralee Rhoads has worked as an emergency room nurse, surgical nurse and home school advocate and is founder of Families for Home Education. She also has a bead business. She lives in Sibley, Mo. To reach her, send email to email@example.com or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.