I recently met my newest nephew, and of course he is incredibly handsome, sweet spirited and all around wonderful. I am biased, but who cares, its all true. There are some curious things that happen to me when I meet these new little ones. They are curious but, having gone through it now a number of times, should by now be predictable.
One of the things that happen is an immediate bond. The love you knew you would feel becomes almost intense in its reality. Your life suddenly includes this little being you've never met previously and yet now cannot imagine life without. It's awe-inspiring.
I've also experienced what I call the expando-heart. It is that the more you love, the more you love the people you already love. By, adding one more nephew to love, my capacity to love all of my nieces and nephews increases, as does my ability to love in general (how many times did I use the word love?).
Another curious thing that happens is that my perspective is honed and my priorities are properly positioned. I could go on and on about the perspective shifting into focus, but will limit myself here to just a few thoughts.
One of the things that I've been asking myself these past couple of weeks is 'What are we handing down to our children?' I wonder what America will be like for them. Again, I could go on and on. But, one subject has been on my mind quite a bit, our debt.
President George Washington said this in his farewell address:
"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." [Farewell Address. Fitzpatrick 35:230. (1796.)]
He understood that occasion could warrant debt, but that the unreasonable accumulation of it was unwise. What happened to that kind of common sense American thinking?
The burden that President Washington was speaking of recently has hit home for me. I finished reading Mark Levin's excellent book Liberty and Tyranny, and was struck by his discussion of the debt burden passed on from previous political generations. Speaking about Social Security specifically Levin states, "The taxpayers are, 'the full faith and credit' behind the U.S. Government. The agency holds trillions of dollars in IOU's that the taxpayers have unwittingly assumed and will one day have to make good on, because there are no funded accounts from which individuals can draw." (p. 100). It is estimated that by 2030 Social Security will cover 84 million people and consume 6 percent of the nation's economy. Levin also discusses Medicare and Medicaid. It is estimated that by 2030 Medicare will cover 79 million people and consume 11 percent of the nation's economy. Medicaid today covers approximately 21 percent of total state spending. (p. 101-104).
These things were all about the government taking away perceived pain in order to win political favor. Little do people realize the crushing burden that has been passed down. It is not just an idea, the debt is real as is its burden. It has weighed heavy on me this past little while. I have thought before how we should not pass a debt onto our children. But, reading about what I have to face from previous generations, I have felt the reality of that burden upon my shoulders. I would not describe my emotional reaction to this reality as anger, rather I feel disappointed, sad and disregarded.
Having realized how this weight feels on my shoulders has made me realize the unkindness it would be to pass it and more to the next generations. Perhaps it is best that we see that generation as children. For the thought of passing this weight onto their shoulders as small as they are literally fills my eyes with tears. How can they bear it? How could we think to make them do so? It is immoral. Forget about what we owe China for a second and consider what we owe our children.
The perspective then is this. How can I, who believes myself to be a loving aunt, sit idly by and watch the thievery committed against these precious ones? The answer is I can't.
I know they will go through difficult times. It breaks my heart to hear of hospital and doctors visits, or sad and disappointing experiences. But, I know they will be okay because life is designed that way. And as long as they have loving hands to lift them up, and arms to enfold them, they will make it through, and even be the better for it. But, oh the horror I feel at the thought of harm coming upon them if I bear some of the responsibility by commission or omission. The thought is offensive to me.
For me there are 14 reasons to stand up against this denigrating deficit spending and government takeover. Their names are Zeke, Gumi, Brenna, Moses, Lizzie, Ty, Will, Gid, Rem, Trace, Isaac, River, Ronnie and Bridger.
I'm determined to work to give them a better world. I want them to rise up higher than me. So, instead of stooping because of the weight of debt which makes it slide off ours onto the next small shoulders, we should instead stand erect and work to remove the burden piece by piece until our shoulders are free to hoist the little ones up. Stop spending money on things we have absolutely no need of. There are plenty of projects that can either wait or have no need to even be started. I mean pigs have stunk for a long time, and figuring out why won't make them stop. (I'm sorry to digress but it is a ridiculous example of earmark spending). So, first we stop, and then we responsibly start paying back the money. It can be done, people do it all of the time on a more personal or familial basis. By taking the courage to lighten our own burdens, we make the world better for the little guys. It just takes hard work and dedication and the truth is they are worth every effort.
Sarah Emily Jordan