Family budgets reflect what our priorities are, what we value as a society, and what we hope for in the future. Some families can barely afford the necessities, but they still sacrifice to save for their children’s education. I remember my parents trying to strike a careful balance between what we needed as a family and what we wanted. For example, vacations were something considered only after the necessities and savings for future needs were met. We’ve all been there, which is what makes the Federal Budget process so, well … disappointing.
As a Nation, we are lending money interest free to the richest and taking heating fuel, shelter and food away from the poorest. Instead of fixing some very bad plumbing known as the Defense budget, we are continuing to budget money for increased water bills. And then there’s that expensive little vacation in exotic Afghanistan…
Dr. Martin Luther King, perhaps the greatest moral character in American politics, put it best when he said “A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” 1
When we spend more money on giving millionaires tax breaks or on interest free loans to Wall Street Banks than we do on educating our children, or making sure that the most vulnerable people in our society have basic necessities such as food and shelter, then we have become a spiritually sick society.
1 Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.