1.29.2009

Quit Spending My Kids’ Money

Everyone seems to be on board with President Obama’s stimulus - excuse me, recovery – bill, and naysayers are branded as being reactionary and heartless impediments to progress. Leave it to Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial page to perfectly capture my response: “So let's remember that with any and all of the recommendations for the latest $825 billion stimulus package - whether it's the increased spending favored by Democrats or the tax cuts preferred by Republicans - the money is all borrowed and will have to be paid back by taxpayers. That's why it is best to make sure the money is properly spent and not earmarked for a wish list of pet projects by a long line of pols.”

I’m not saying we shouldn’t spend, spend, and spend. After all, there are a lot of times in our lives when it is prudent to spend now and pay later: going to college and buying a house being two notable examples.

But let’s not forget that this isn’t free money spurting out of Washington. Our kids will have to pay this back, with interest. And they’ll do so at the same time that we’ve strained our entitlement programs to the limit. To cite but one example, we’ve gone from 14 workers for every retiree when Social Security was enacted in the 1930’s to 3 for 1 today and 2 for 1 when I retire; and all this as we live longer and therefore will be collecting checks for more years.

So you’ll excuse me if I’m hoping for a more than little restraint and analysis when it comes to federal spending. After all, that’s my kids’ money we’re spending.
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