What would happen if you ran your family’s budget the way the government runs the country’s budget? For example, suppose you owe five of your neighbors over $5,000 and your family brings in approximately $60,000 per year. Your neighbors want their money ASAP, so unfortunately you have to use about half of your income to simply pay off debt from your neighbors! Now what should you do?
Well isn’t it obvious! If you use past standards set by the government, simply make a detailed 100+ page plan, which you know your neighbors will not fully read, detailing how you need to borrow more money in order to make more money, and explaining how you plan to pay them back some day. In fact, include a clause that your children will likely end up paying back most of the money, due to the size of the debt. However, in the meantime, since you are borrowing money anyway, go ahead and ask for a few more thousand dollars so that you and your children can continue to fund projects you have become accustomed to, like family vacations to Disney World and the Gulf.
Of course, no family with an ounce of values would do this. However, the government has followed this model of operation for some time. An article today in the Birmingham News by Mary Orndorff discusses how our Alabama Senators fought to add ‘earmarks’ to an already huge budget, but thankfully that particular budget did not pass. The government is in debt so we should only be funding the bare necessities at this time. Seems like they are finally getting it.
It is time for the government and for families to operate within their means. Families also can use this ‘natural learning opportunity’ provided by the state of our economy to teach their children about the Christian way to budget. Sure enough, there are certain programs in Alabama that will have to work with less money since the earmarks did not go through, but welcome to the real world – many families also have to work with less income due to layoffs and an increase in prices. Remember, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” [Proverbs 22:7], so unless we want our children to be our neighbors’ servants, or China’s, families and the government will need to return to using good old-fashioned money management skills.
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