I’ve been in Washington, D.C. this week with a group of ‘mom’ bloggers to promote a super cool new project called MomThink.org. The whole political spectrum was represented, from the ultra conservative (yours truly) to the deep blue Momocrats, but we all had two things in common: Motherhood and a concern for the national debt.
MomThink.org is a nonpartisan campaign with the goal of “educating mothers about important issues that will impact their children today and in the future.” The number-one issue on everyone’s mind right now (politicians and moms alike) is the national deficit and debt, and how to overcome it.
Out of control spending is one of the few topics that both political parties seem to be able to agree on these days. We can’t agree on how to balance the budget, but there’s no denying that it needs balancing. The beauty of MomThink.org is that it isn’t about the hows of balancing trillions of dollars as much as it is about bringing facts and information to moms so that they can develop their own informed opinions.
Educating ourselves about the national debt can seem like a daunting task, but it is fairly easy to break down. As moms, we manage our household budgets, and even though the national budget is MUCH larger than our own, it relies on the same basic concept: Money in, money out.
We bring money into our homes, and we use it pay for things like the rent or mortgage, groceries, piano lessons, etc. The government brings money into D.C., and then uses it to pay for things like Social Security, Medicare, our troops, etc.
See? Not so very different.
If the federal government were an average household, it would bring in about $50,000 a year. If it spent at the same rate that it did on the larger scale, it would spend $68,500. That’s a heck of a lot more going out than coming in, and I think (hope!) that we all can acknowledge that this is unacceptable.
The United States doesn’t charge the rest of the money to MasterCard or Visa … we charge it to China and to our children. Did you know that there’s an entire bureau in Washington that does nothing but borrow money? It’s hard to think of billions and trillions of dollars in real terms, but this is real, and we owe it to our kids to figure out where we stand on the issue of eliminating our annual deficit and getting to business of paying off our debt.
It’s not going to be easy, just as it hasn’t been easy to adjust our household budgets in this difficult economic climate. But if we can do it, Uncle Sam can do it, and just as we make our families stronger by helping each other to find new, affordable ways to do things, we can help our communities and our country to do the same.
Our kids deserve a better tomorrow, and they’re not going to get it if we stick our heads in the sand and pretend that our financial obligations are just going to go away. Our debt is as real as our overdrawn credit cards, and without a plan, the creditors are just going to keep on coming.
Image via momthink.org