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Posted on Jun 17, 2016

It’s time this country lives within its means — for the kids’ sake

By Gene Staley

Somehow important, I’m just not. But someone has got to speak for our children before we vote. So I’ll try.
Not unlike an addict, we Americans are ruining the things we treasure most in life – our freedom and children’s futures. How is that even possible when 1.2 million of us have gone to early graves to preserve those things?
“I see that you are unable to care for yourselves, and know how needy, deprived and put upon you are. But vote for me and government will take care of you.” These self-serving, dishonest promises are nonsense, but they will be repeated countless times in the run-up to an election day.
We are the most fortunate people on earth. Not because someone takes care of us but because we can live out our days in freedom. Perfect, we sure aren’t, but we, not government, have made a difference in the world. We pay the taxes, do the work and all too often do the dying. Not so long ago we defeated the mightiest armies on earth then handed freedom to millions of enslaved people. Then we went home, asking only that they live in peace.
Each time government is asked for almost anything, a trade takes place. We may get what is wanted, but with it comes hundreds, or thousands, of pages of law, rules and regulations. Then that slice of life is lived not as we choose but as government demands. In recent years, we have traded away many slices and many politicians are simply gagging to trade us out of what remains of our freedom.
Each time our nation spends more than it has, the resulting bills have got to be paid somehow. Because we don’t want to endure the pain of paying, we borrow, then send that debt and pain into our children’s futures. Unless we change our ways, almost surely one day our children will live in a weak and debt-ridden country, their dreams and freedom badly degraded. That cannot be any way to tell anyone that we love them.
Of course we must help those who cannot help themselves, but not by impoverishing our children. Our decency demands we accomplish that by living within our means and paying our own debts. We know how to live that way, have done it throughout our lifetimes. Now we’ve got to demand the same from government.
When our politicians move into their offices this fall, they will be holding our freedom and children’s futures in their hands. If they then govern in the purposeful dishonesty and widespread incompetency of right now, it will be the treasures they hold that will continue to be even more badly damaged.
We deserve far better in those we hire to manage this country. It will, indeed, pain us each when much of what we have been getting from Washington is cut or eliminated so our country can live within its means. But we must, because we do love those kids and this grand country with its priceless freedom.
More than life itself, we do.

Gene Staley is a longtime Quincy resident and a retired bank manager.

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